Strengthen your thinking

A helpful thought experiment:

Imagine a huge audience were watching your life on a screen. And they’ve been fully briefed on what you want and don’t want to happen in your life. They know it better than you do.

Not only that, they get to see every single thought you have in subtitles on the screen. One after another after another.

Now imagine they’ve been given a voting device with two buttons.

After each thought you have, they must consider the context of what you want and don’t want in life and then vote whether they think that specific thought you just had was either ‘helpful’ to take you towards what you want, or ‘unhelpful’.

And the aggregate of their votes is projected on a huge dial on the wall. The needle clearly points to the left red side if the audience think it’s unhelpful, and the right green side if helpful. If it’s really helpful, it goes full whack to the 3 o’clock position.

I wonder how often you’re thinking things that keep the needle to the green helpful side?

And how often your needle points left?

Now imagine the audience can pause your life. And offer you a more helpful thought in that moment. One that keeps you focused on doing the right thing in that moment. They need to ensure its something you believe or else you’ll disregard it. But they know there are always plenty more thoughts that you do believe that are simply more helpful than the one you just had.

So they all shout out more helpful thoughts for you for that specific moment: “You’ll make it through this!”, “you’ve done this before!”, “face forwards and keep moving!”, “you can learn how to solve this!”, “this person faces pressures I know nothing about and is probably doing their best”, “how can I avoid being the road block to this person here?”

You’re bombarded by the energetic helpful crowd. And you get to pick one above all the others. The one that you’ll go with. You believe it, it makes you feel better to think it, and it pumps you up, and most importantly, it gets you to feel and do the right thing in that moment.

The fact is, most of us could spend far more time with the needle in the green than we do, and it would get us to do the things we want to do, in the way we want to do them.

Now we have an optional tool: we can call upon that audience any time we remember to.

The next thing then, is to find a way to remind yourself to.

One way is to start building the habit. Repetition of an action tends to increase the chances of further repetition. One way to build the habit is to schedule moments (use an alarm) to write down what you’re thinking right now about certain things, check the dial, and when it’s in the red listen to the audience shout out more helpful thoughts. Then choose one for that moment, and repeat it to yourself until you’re back on the right track.

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