Ten Thoughts You Need to Immediately Stop Entertaining

These are ten thoughts you need to immediately stop thinking if you want to feel peace and lightness and be successful in life.

1. Stop assuming you know what other people are thinking. Don’t assume you know or understand what’s in their heads. Ask them. Communicate. Be assertive. Don’t assume you can know what’s in someone else’s head without asking them.

2. Stop assuming things will go wrong. Don’t have a defeatist attitude. Don’t turn your destiny into a self-fulfilling prophecy. Think positively, prepare thoroughly, and don’t make yourself miserable thinking of what could go wrong.

3. Stop worrying about pleasing other people. Be respectful and courteous, but follow your own bliss. Live for yourself. Those who are meant to be in your life will not expect you to be miserable for them.

4. Stop focusing on the negative instead of the positive. A lot of things in life suck, but life is also beautiful! Pursue the beautiful and minimize or ignore the “suck” where and when you can.

5. Stop believing your thoughts and emotions reflect the truth. Your thoughts and emotions can change by the second and are impermanent. They’re not reliable. Don’t dwell on them.

6. Stop taking things personally. Most people aren’t trying to hurt you. Many people don’t even think about you at all. And most of the time it simply doesn’t matter what they think, anyway. There’s probably not a massive conspiracy against you.

7. Stop trying to control everything. Life comes at you fast. It can be unpredictable and shocking. Hang on for the ride and be flexible. It’ll hurt less every time it crashes. And those who adapt are those who persevere.

8. Stop thinking you’re always right. You’ll be surprised how much you don’t know, how many other perspectives there are, how many illegitimate thoughts you allowed to sway your emotions and your actions.

9. Stop comparing your situation to other people’s. Other people have different upbringings, histories, frames of reference, and circumstances. No two people have the exact same advantages and disadvantages in life. Do the best you can with the cards you’re dealt.

10. Stop being hard on yourself. Talk to yourself kindly. Encourage yourself. Uplift yourself. Never stop trying to do good for yourself every day. If you screw up, start over.

I try to apply these tips every day to my thought life. I fail often; however, I do believe following them will lead to a happy, less stressful life.

The Negative Side of Always Being Positive

Is it always right to be positive? Always wrong to be negative? Is it possible for negativity to be positive and positivity to be negative? Can positivity ever be counterproductive and negativity productive? Here are my thoughts.

Positivity doesn’t always acknowledge your feelings. You are everything and all you feel, and it all has value to you, even your grief, heartache, confusion, and anger. You must honor your feelings and their underlying motivations before you can move past them to other more pleasurable emotions.

Positivity implies there’s nothing redeemable about the existence of the supposed negative in life. However, there are almost always important lessons learned going through tough situations and coming out the other side alive. Trauma, death, loss, and destruction are not thought of as inherently positive, but can act as teachers revealing the direction of one’s life.

Positivity denies the opportunity for growth. You learn about yourself moreso through the bad times than the good. In the good times, facades are impenetrable and masks don’t slip. In bad times, your mettle is tested and character is revealed. Your triggers, your natural responses, your learned coping strategies, your natural tendencies all come to the forefront, and it’s a time of self-exploration and digging deep.

Positivity is often unrealistic. Things sometimes suck, and it’s okay to call a spade, a spade when they do. Denying reality seldom fixes anything.

Positivity, or “putting on a brave face”, is often used as a charitable act towards others. People seen as “positive” are generally more well-liked and enjoyable than those seen as “negative”. Negative people can even be seen as a burden to others.

So what’s the take-away? It’s natural for your mood and outlook to be aligned with your current emotions and circumstances. If they’re not, you risk being untrue to yourself, sacrificing self-care and the hard work of self-discovery on the altar of social acceptance.

Perspective = Reality

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how our perspective becomes our reality. The way we see situations and events determines how those things will affect us. Even the words we use shape our worldview, which in turn shapes our stances and emotions.

For example, I often hear the term “failed marriage”. But why do we conclude a marriage has failed just because it has ended? Perhaps it is the traditional “’til death do we part” part. Can a marriage be called a failure if the members of that marriage were happy for at least part of it and learned something from the experience? Is a marriage seen as “failed” because of the implied religious mandates that the couple never sever the relationship? Perhaps your parents, pastor, or society itself has taught you that marriage should be life-long, even if the situation becomes untenable for one or both spouse(s). Perhaps you’ve internalized that belief and therefore convinced yourself that you’re a “quitter” or that you didn’t try “hard enough”.

But this post really isn’t about marriage. It’s about perspective becoming reality. We have to be so careful to only humor the thoughts we think about ourselves that uplift us, not those that tear us down. Because ultimately, our thoughts become our own personal reality. I am trying to remember this daily by not dwelling on what I consider to be negative and constantly either reframing stressors in my life or concentrating on more important, pleasant things. I also definitely notice that it’s easier not to obsess over an issue or think of it it in a negative light if my life is otherwise full of positivity. Adopting positive perspectives can be a struggle, but it gets easier with practice and is always worth the work.

Accents and Attitudes

Recently I’ve been noticing how accents and attitudes are similar in that, the more you’re around them, the more likely you are to adopt them, yourself. If I am around people at work who speak a certain way, use a certain kind of slang or colloquialisms, I find myself using them when I’m away from work, unintentionally. I also find the same concept applies to attitudes. When I’m surrounded by people with positive, optimistic attitudes, I tend to take on those same feelings. Likewise, when I am around negative, pessimistic people, I feel discontent and dread the unknown and new, myself. It’s easier to surround yourself with positive people when not at work, but you can’t control who your coworkers are. Spending eight hours a day around people who bring you down can be the recipe for a miserable time. I have just started a new job where the training period is very long and the work takes a while to learn and master. I’ve made it through the first week but the next several weeks is when we really get into the meat of the job duties and put them into practice. I’ve made the commitment to be as positive an influence as possible. This will not only hopefully put those around me in a positive state of mind, but will put me in the frame of mind to learn and absorb rapidly and to expect success, not failure! The difference is palpable when I interact with fellow trainees and other coworkers who are positive, helpful, pleasant people. I feel calm, optimistic, and self-assured. On the contrary, interacting with negative, sour, unpleasant coworkers makes me feel negative and unsure of myself. I don’t want to set myself up for a self-fulfilling prophecy, where I tell myself I can’t, so I can’t. I want to use the law of attraction to manifest greatness so that I can be great!