Our individual thoughts determine our happiness, success, friends, future…ultimately, our entire lives. It is a heavy belief to have; that I, alone, hold the responsibility of my life’s outcome. Neither fate, God, nor others in the world can determine this, only my thoughts. This belief is not merely a statement; it is a way of life. I first started learning the effects of my thoughts from my Dad. He is, and has been for quite a while, a strong advocate of the power of your thoughts. His belief comes from many books on motivation, improving your life, and so on. Lectures on “changing your thoughts” from Dad are a regular occurrence, to my family and me when we are acting negatively. This hasn’t been immediately effective considering it is exhausting to have someone in your family drill you on an aspect of your character and/or habits, especially when you are only feeling sorry for yourself. The first time I truly realized the power of simply changing my thoughts; was when I finally gave in to it during one of these lectures. A heated argument with my parents now transitioned easily into a loving conversation. Because of my Dad’s persistence-which I am very thankful for now-every conversation with my parents since has been significant practice for controlling my thoughts. Now that I am older and understand the results of changing how I am thinking, I have been applying it to things that have been overruled by negative thoughts, and have hindered my potential. My schoolwork is the most challenging aspect thus far that I have been able to improve using my positive thoughts. My grades have suffered in the past four or five years because of constant negative thoughts. This senior year of high school, I have finally been successful in stifling these thoughts as soon as they arise, and replacing them with positive thoughts. I now have a B+ or above in all of my classes. The result is that after thinking these thoughts, they soon become true. You can determine if you have a “good day” or “bad” simply by your thoughts. Anything that could go wrong, or will, during the day does not determine if it was good or bad, only how you choose to perceive it. If you force yourself to think only positive thoughts all day, you will inevitably have a “good day.” The same is true if you are constantly thinking negatively, you will have a “bad day”, the “bad” will simply overpower the “good” in your mind. Because we are only human, it is impossible to never have another negative thought. I also believe thoughts determine further imposing aspects of your life- such as your marriage, job, character and more- just as easily. However, I believe that the power is in knowing how to change your thoughts to create the life you want to live and the person you want to be. If you think this is possible, then it is.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.