Did you know that 90% of the thoughts we have today are the same thoughts we had yesterday? What does that say about the general quality of our thinking? High achievers choose their beliefs and their self-talk carefully. They choose their thoughts.
How exactly do you choose your thoughts when they often seem to spring up from nowhere? Wayne Dyer taught me to think of thoughts as passing buses: you may not be able to choose which ones stop at the bus stop, but you certainly can choose whether to get on board or not. We cannot necessarily prevent a negative thought occurring, but we can decide the extent to which we dwell on it.
As a parent of children who are now making their own way in the world — driving cars, riding motor bikes, travelling to different (and sometimes difficult) parts of the world — very troubling thoughts arrive in my head on a daily basis. I have a choice: dwell on the thought and become neurotic and full of anxiety and fear, or refuse to get on the thought, and watch it go past. In one ear and out the other, so to speak.
I choose to remind myself (mostly) that every single thought — fleeting or otherwise — is just a story. That story is not THE truth, and if it is an unhelpful or negative thought, I do not want it to become MY truth.
These moments can happen anywhere and at any time. Before a sales call, before a meeting with a demanding client, during a meeting with a colleague who is getting under your skin, arriving home to a frustrating situation or a growing tension with someone you love. These moments are nothing more than moments of choice. It is in these moments that we choose what happens next. It is in the accumulation of these moments that we determine our destiny.