What kind of thoughts are you having? Research shows we have more than 6,000 thoughts run through our heads each day. What are their origin stories? Are you having “good” thoughts? And what does that even mean?
Many of those thoughts are connected to tasks. We have to navigate through our days. Those tasks are specific to your everyday life. Mine involve managing myself, managing my family, managing the animals, and my work. But there are other thoughts which go on as well. Those are more focused on the narrative happening in our brains. And those are more within our control.
“Good” does not equal “happy”. Good = helpful, in this case. Good thoughts are those which help us see our mistakes more clearly. Good thoughts are the insights we take from those mistakes. Good thoughts are those which wonder how someone else is seeing things. They help us to have empathy. Good thoughts help us give ourselves more grace. Good thoughts are ones we would say out loud to our closest humans.
And what about the origin stories of those thoughts? Where do they come from? I watched my mother suffer under the weight of thoughts for many years that were not hers. Her father was a veteran from WWII with a tragic story. He returned from the war with PTSD which was never diagnosed. It made him an angry, bitter, sometimes cruel man. My mother, born just before he’d left, was his favorite victim. As an adult, she was unable to see how it was his voice which echoed in her head, telling her she wasn’t ever going to be enough. Those weren’t her thoughts originally. They were planted by him.
Whose thoughts do you carry around?
Take a moment in the midst of this holiday season and end-of-the-year reflection time to think about your thoughts. Examine them. As my mentor coach tells me, make friends with them. Try to evaluate what their origin stories are, and if they are “good”. When you find the ones which don’t serve you, say goodbye to them. It’s more within your control than you may realize.