Our thoughts become the words we say. Our words influence the actions we take, and our actions show the world what kind of character we possess. Now I certainly don’t choose every thought that comes into my mind. Sometimes I’m downright shocked by the things that pop up! But, once a thought appears, I get to choose what happens next.
I like to think of the thoughts as seeds, and I am the master gardener. Bad thoughts are the weeds in my garden. If I recognize them early enough, I can discard those seeds before they are even planted. Should a bad thought take root and sprout, I have to act quickly. They have a tendency to multiply and take over everything! But I can’t actually pluck a thought out of my mind like a weed. Instead, my goal becomes to feed and water all the varieties of good plants in my patch of soil. What we nourish will flourish, as the saying goes.
While I can’t control the thoughts that come up, I can control whether I give them my energy and attention. The nasty weeds of judgment, self-criticism and jealousy can be ignored, left to dry up and wither away. Instead, I will shine my focus on the positive thoughts: those filled with kindness, compassion and goodwill. The more attention I give them, the more they expand and fill my mind. Eventually there is no room for the negative. Good thoughts lead to kind words which trigger helpful actions. And a strong and deep-rooted character will grow.