How to Think Better: thoughts


My undergrad experience is inextricably linked to watching David Letterman. One of my favorite bits was always the Top 10 lists.

They had me laughing before the list even began with topics like Top Ten Least Popular Pepperidge Farm Cookies and Top Ten Things Overheard At New York City Pay Phones.

I thought I’d pay tribute with my own Top 10 list.

Top 10 thoughts it would be better not to think

  1. I just can’t get past my past.
  2. Self-care isn’t that important.
  3. I have to worry. I’m just wired that way.
  4. Everyone else has it all figured out.
  5. It’s too late to make a big change.
  6. What will people think?
  7. Purpose and passion are for others.
  8. I can’t try because I might fail.
  9. Everything has to be perfect.
  10. I’m not good enough.

OK, I’m no David Letterman and my list isn’t funny.

Rather than laugh, this list makes me want to cry. Because I hear some version of these thoughts all-too-frequently. From clients. From friends and acquaintances. From the barista at my favorite cafe.

Raise your hand if you think your own version of one (or more) of the thoughts above. Go ahead, really own the thought. Which ones do you think?

And now ask yourself:

  • How is that thought serving me?
  • How does that thought make me feel? How does it enhance my life?
  • What action do I take when I think this thought? Or inaction?
  • And, most importantly, is that thought helping me get the results I want in my life?

Know this: Each and every thought on that Top 10 list is a choice. It may not seem like a choice if it’s been your go-to thought for a long time. But it’s a choice nonetheless.

Which means if it’s not serving you—if it’s not letting you be the best version of yourself and live your best life—then it’s time for a new thought.

What would your Top 10 list of life-expanding, self-enhancing thoughts look like?