As I sat down at Starbuck enjoying a hot Caramel Macchiato, a thought kept bothering me. In a moment, I forgot everything around me. The only thing that existed was me and my thought. The music, people, the chatters, chairs, tables, coffee, the aroma… everything was completely out of existence in my own mind.

The thought itself was too strong. I was scared. My body was shaking. I was living in a completely different world. I was sweating. I was only wakened up by a sound. It was very small at first. The sound kept getting louder and louder until I was fully awake. The baby on my right-hand table was crying. I was back to being in the Starbuck store sipping my Caramel Macchiato.

That thought followed me for a few years. I wanted to get rid of it. I read books on how to change my thought. I tried different methods to switch that scary thought into a positive one. The more I tried, the stronger it got. I was in prison of my own negative thought.

At the same time, another thought was in my head. I wanted to nurture this thought. It was the thought of me being a successful leader adding value to people. It was such a beautiful thought to have. However, the negative thought kept coming back. That strong negative thought was like a stubborn unwanted guest who appeared repeatedly and unexpectedly. Whenever I was enjoying the positive thought, the negative one creeped in and refused to go away.

I read about people who were sick because of their own thoughts. There were people who thought themselves to death. There were people who were so taken by negative thoughts that they acted strange. I did not want to become one of those. I did not want my life to be taken by my thought. I kept searching and searching. Finally I was enlightened.

What did I do to get rid of the negative thought? It really only took 1s to change the thought. I realized I had a choice. I did not have to live with it. I can choose my own thought. The more I allowed that negative thought to be in my mind, the stronger it got. I actually nurtured it by allowing myself to think about it. I was lazy not choosing what to think.

The beautiful thing about realizing that I can choose my thought is that I can be free. Whenever that negative thought came, I chose my positive one instead. The more I choose to do so, the stronger my positive thought gets.  The more I choose my positive thought, the weaker my negative one gets. I did not have to try to get rid of it. It just kept getting weaker and weaker.  Eventually, my mind is filled with the positive thought.

We become what we think about most of the time. By allowing that negative thought to exist, I became negative and moved further from my own want. By choosing my positive thought, I become positive and move closer to get what I want.

By not consciously choosing my thought, I gave my energy to my negative thought which I did not want it in my head in the first place. As Emerson said, the only thing that can grow is the thing that we give energy to. By choosing a thought, I give energy to that thought. And it grows. So consciously choosing a positive one, I give energy to my positive thought. The negative thought would die on its own.

You can do the same. What are you thinking most of the time? What thoughts are in your mind most of the time? What are you giving your energy to? List all the thoughts out and start examining. Start choosing the one that you want. Don’t bother with the ones you don’t want.

Choose it and live it.

This post was inspired by Crazy Good – the book of choices by Steve Chandler. It’s a wonderful book about the power of choosing. Steve is the godfather of coaching. His writing is as powerful as his coaching.

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Posted by Hoan M Do

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