Mental Health,  Mindfulness

Take Control of Your Life by Taking Control of Your Thoughts

By Dylan Howell

As this is my first blog here, I’d like to talk about an essential component of positive living: thinking habits! I’m choosing to blog about this topic first of all given its importance and impact on one’s life. I’ll first share my own experience, followed by some other thoughts and helpful tips.

Growing up, I pretty much lived in survival mode in a very chaotic household. Yes, there were some good times but mostly I was just existing rather than living. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin for most of my life. I was always a deep thinker and got my first philosophy book early on in middle school though 1) I never thought clearly and 2) I didn’t know how to take control of my thoughts.

Fast-forward to high school and here is my one-word description of that: party. I didn’t take life seriously at all and mostly just wanted to have fun (short-term, unsustainable gratification). Until my wake-up call that is. I hit a bottom with the way I was living and was just about forced by the Greater Good to surrender and change my ways- by far the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was a true spiritual awakening, you know, one that comes with a complete and utter change in perspective.

Yes, my thinking started to change by the grace of God. I let go of my resentments and tons of fears with the help of other people and a thorough self-searching inventory. This was a starting point in the revolution of my thinking. However, I still struggled with thinking clearly.

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Flash back to 6th grade: I put on a friend’s glasses and could see a million times better than ever… I had been living my life thinking I could see clearly until that moment. Then I went and got glasses and was amazed at all the detail that surrounded me. This pretty much is analogous to my thinking before and after I realized I had clinical depression and started taking anti-depressants (after over 7 years of being opposed to medication and doing hardcore therapy and spiritual work).

After I got on medication and was able to think clearly (like most of the world can all the time), I began to really take control of my own thinking habits. I had read many spiritual writings about the power of positive thinking and it sounded great in theory but I couldn’t seem to work it into my daily life- until this point.

My partner brought home a book by Marc Allen, founder of New World Library, that was all about manifesting the life of your dreams. Also something that sounded nice in theory but always seemed just a bit out of my reach. Maybe it was for people who had the means to do it- but probably not me. Well, I’ll have to admit that I was mistaken. It is for me. It can be for all of us.

I started writing goal affirmations that described the kind of life I want to live and I would read them aloud on a daily (sometimes weekly) basis. Then I made a very short plan to obtain each item on my list. Not a perfect plan either- just some simple steps. I didn’t know if it would work or not but boy, has my life been transformed in 8 months!

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We’ll take a look at a few of my affirmations: 1) start a business 2) move to Hawaii and 3) have many interesting and deep people in my life. About 6 months after I started all this, I got laid off… nothing I did, they just wanted to eliminate that position. The morning of the day it happened, I prayed that God give me direction around my work because I was so unhappy there and BAM- laid off. Then after a short course of events, I decided to follow my passions and meet them with my skills by opening up a life coaching biz instead of settling for something I didn’t really care for. Done and done. Next, my partner and I have a plan to move to Hawaii next year as long as we meet some stringent financial goals. Two months into the year and we’ve met our goals thus far. Lastly, since I’ve started this business, I’ve met many awesome, spiritual, deep people with similar values and goals. It’s all coming together like it was meant to be.

I was shocked to watch everything start falling into place. I sincerely believe it’s due to changing my thinking and taking action based on my new and positive thoughts. I am creating the life of my dreams.

In life we will see whatever we magnify through our thinking. When I worked selling Bose speakers, I saw how many people had them! When I worked in fundraising, I always noted major donors wherever I went. The same goes with positive (and negative) thinking.

What are you thinking about? Have you noticed patterns that are no longer serving you?

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Here are some tips to change thinking:

  • If there are resentments in your life, take a look at them and let go.
  • If you have a lack mentality (never enough money, time, etc.) let it go.
  • If you are critical of yourself and others, let it go.
  • Change this negative thinking for positive affirmations…
  • Say a few affirmations each morning (‘I am valuable’, ‘Abundance surrounds me’).
  • Get a stack of Post-Its. Whenever you have a negative thought, write it down. Then paste another note over it with TWO positives to counter it.

We are creating our world by our thoughts and the actions that follow. PAY ATTENTION!

You got this ladies and gentlemen- go forth and change the world!

-Courtney Howell

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  • Mary Kidd

    This is great stuff! I especially like the Post-Its idea. Thanks for sharing, Courtney!

  • Ryan

    That was excellent!!! For many years I have been learning and understanding the use of thoughts to create the circumstances I want in life! I still have a lot of work to do, but it all has to do with me, not others, or the circumstances that surround me…I create those things, and I forget that sometimes, lol! Thank you for sharing your thoughts

  • Marcy Calabrese

    Great post! Thanks for sharing this. I am overcoming the belief thing that success is for other people, not me. They can achieve it their business and I struggle. I really have to work on believing that I can do it too, I’m getting there!

  • cnhowell444

    It can seem like a long journey but it’s gotta start somewhere! It can also seem overwhelming but each positive thought we add to the thought bank really counts and affects us!

    Thanks for all the comments!

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