Did you know that we have between 12,000 and 70,000 thoughts each day? And did you know that these thoughts actually create our reality? I bet you've heard this before, but do you actually believe it? 

our thoughts = our reality

This is a subject that has fascinated me for YEARS. I remember when I was a senior in high school going on a leadership retreat for band camp (yes I was a band nerd, but I was in the color guard and I LOVED it) and learning about the concept of mind management and falling in love with the concept. I read books and books and books on the subject and probably is where my love for self-management was formed. 

Right now, you are living in the consequences of your own mental habits and choices. You are where your thoughts have led you and you standing right now at this moment in the life your thoughts have created. You will go as far and as high in the future as your own mind allows.

The amazing reality of this fact is that we can literally create exactly what we want. We get to choose how we view events that happen to us and we get to create the world that we live in.

You have the power to become EXACTLY who you want to be.

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The weekend before the 4th of July I attended a yoga class at a casino in Las Vegas. It was in the morning, but in Las Vegas in the summer, it's 110 degrees by 10 am. We were dripping, and I was actually feeling quite light headed. The instructor quoted Napolean Hill and said, "Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds." I was thinking, "yeah right, I'm sure I can't prevent myself from passing out if I overheat just by thinking about it." But then I remembered the mindset tools I have learned and I pressed on.

We alter our destiny by altering our thoughts. When we do this, we gain the power to act, rather than to be acted upon. 

Sometimes we fall into a victim mindset and act as if our environment or someone or something else is creating our misery. We blame others for our misfortunes or think that if something had just gone differently, or just gone our way, that we would be happier. This is simply not true. It is not your environment that will shape you - it is the quality of your mind that will decide and shape your present and future.

The thing is, we cannot choose not to think, we are humans, the only animals on the planet earth that have the capacity to have real thoughts and they are constant, swimming through our minds even in our sleep. This is a law of the nature of the mind. However, we DO have the power to CHOOSE which thoughts we are going to pay attention to and what ones we are going to focus on because

"Behavior is mind driving body in fulfillment of dominant thought," - Dennis R. Deaton, The Book on Mind Management

So, if we choose positive and constructive thoughts, we will yield the fruits of success, happiness, and joy. If we choose negative and unproductive thoughts, we will yield the latter. 

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Another law of the mind is that we can only focus on ONE thought at any given moment. (yeah, this burst my thinking that I could multi-task and do a lot of things at once, it's just not possible.) Our minds are amazing machines, but they can only focus on ONE thing at a time. The good news about this limitation is that we cannot have a positive and negative thought at the same time. We can choose one or the other. What choice will you make?

So how do we CHOOSE our thoughts?

1. ELIMINATE MENTAL CLUTTER - since we can only have one thought at a time, eliminate the clutter and focus the mind. Have a meditation routine and practice emptying your mind and just being. One of the greatest feats of my life will be learning now to clear my busy mind, I'm sure it will be a lifetime of perfecting this quality, but each and every step brings me more peace of mind and happiness. 

2. FEED YOUR MIND GOOD THOUGHTS - have you heard the phrase, "you are what you eat"? And have you experienced the truthfulness of that statement? Well, we also are what we THINK. Just like you would put healthy, nutritious foods into your body to feel good, you need to put good, healthy thoughts into your mind to feel good. Surround yourself with positive people, places, and things. Read good books. Listen to uplifting, positive music. While we have the choice of which thoughts to let stick, it's a whole lot easier when we're setting ourselves up for success by surrounding ourselves with positive. 

3. SEE THE POSITIVE - sometimes things happen that are not in our control, but we do have control over our attitude about it. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Try not to take things personally. Take an unfortunate situation or mistake that you made and see what can be learned. Remember how thoughts are constant? One negative thought leads to another and another. One positive thought leads to another and another. Wouldn't you rather be carried away in the winds of positivity than to be swept away in the sands of despair? 

4. HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE - Have a gratitude practice. Daily. Before you go to bed each night list 5-10 things that you are grateful for the day. Our minds naturally see the negative, having a gratitude ritual literally TRAINS your mind to see the positive. 

5. VISUALIZE - Add a visualizing ritual to your morning routine. Before you get out of bed in the morning, spend 2 minutes visualizing how your want your day to go. See things working out. See relationships blossoming and work going smoothly. See yourself succeeding in the tasks of your day as you smile and are a light to all those around you. Visualizing is POWERFUL. What we think, we create. I promise, this works. :)

"All that you accomplish, all that you affect, and all that you effect - all that you are - comes from the being you create and see and be, right now, in your thoughts."

You have the power. You get to choose. Who do you want to be? What do you want to have? Where do you want to go? How do you want to feel? Our thoughts lead to our emotions which lead to our actions which equals our reality. So, do yourself a favor and master your thoughts. Then you will become a master of your life and a master of your destiny.