The brain loves a fresh start. In fact, a study from the School of Wharton at University of Pennsylvania shows that people are more likely to achieve their goals after they allow their brain to label a fresh start. Further, it is my experience that the better we get at labeling moments in our lives as fresh starts or temporal landmarks, the more life satisfaction we will have.
In this week’s podcast episode, I give many examples of how our mindset and our thinking patterns affect our actions. Please listen in while also reviewing this more simplistic model of how the brain works. We gain so much power when we realize that the thoughts we are thinking create the results we see in our lives. Yet many of us flip this model on its’ head and think that the results we have are evidence of what’s possible for us, instead of them being evidence for how we’re thinking.
There is no ‘Thought Police”
We get to think whatever we want to think. There is no one telling us we can’t think that way. We can think however we want to about a certain thing. If someone says to you don’t think about a purple cow, you can start right at them and think “purple cow, purple cow, purple cow” over and over and there’s nothing they can do about it. They can yell, they can scream, they can hurt you. you always have the power to choose what you’re thinking. Please don’t take this lightly and please examine your thinking frequently so as to catch yourself when you’re giving this power away with unconscious thinking.
First, the more we think on purpose, the more satisfied we will be with our life. Truly. The only thing standing between you and that life you want to be living is your brain and its’ unexamined thinking.
The thoughts we think about our life create the life we are living. In last week’s episode I used my own life as an example to illustrate our brain’s power. The way I was thinking of my life when I was younger, created the life I had. Further, the way I’m thinking about my life now, creates the life I have now. And finally, the way I think of my life in the future will create the reality I have then. Which is why I put so much emphasis and influence on being aware of the thoughts we’re thinking. They matter! The thoughts we’re thinking today create the future we will be living tomorrow, 6months from now, 6 years from now.
Deliberate Thinking for A Fresh Start
Choose your temporal landmark intentionally and use your brain’s power to think about what you’re thinking about. Decide that this can be your fresh start and practice every day to monitor your thinking. Clean up your stinking thinking, as Dr. Amen says.
Our brains main job is to keep us safe. And so, since we’ve survived every day we’ve lived so far, it looks to the past to repeat that for our safety. Our brain will say things aren’t possible for us solely because we haven’t done them yet. It will tell us we can’t do that because we don’t see others around us doing them.
Where might you be limiting yourself because of something you don’t know? We don’t know what we don’t know. Further, which sentences in your head are holding you back? We have more than 60,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot of sentences running around in our head. Pay attention to them. What are they telling you? Where are those sentences from? Do the sentences add up to tell a story about your past, present, and future that you want to be telling?
Fresh Start Thought: I get to believe whatever I want to believe about my future.
Here are some more thoughts and questions for reflection for your fresh start:
- Where am I unhappy in life?
- When have I recently said to myself “it’s good enough”?
- What do I secretly desire?
- If you had all the money in the world, where would you live? What would you do for work? How would you spend your days?
- For my busy warriors out there, repeat the above question but instead of money, ask: “If I had no responsibilities, …”
Today is Your Day.