Do you watch those holiday marathons of old I Love Lucy or Twilight Zone re-runs? You’ve seen them before, but you watch them over and over again. Like the television shows that are repeated, your thoughts go through your head over and over again. When you watch the television show, you might have a renewed view of the same thing, or you may not have consciously remembered what you witnessed the first time, but it is still a re-run. You have seen it before.
It is the same with your thoughts. Eighty five-percent of what you are thinking is a re-run. It is a repeat of an earlier thought. It is something that you think about over and over again. Of course, when you turn on the television, and realize that you are watching something you have seen before, you have a choice. There is an Off button. You do not have to watch the same show over again. Similarly, you can turn off your repetitive and negative thought patterns.
When paying attention to thoughts, notice the triggers that call for those behaviors. The triggers are memories associated with a feeling that is being replayed in your mind. When you know the triggers, you can substitute a new thought so that you think about something better and you will get a different result. You can create a new thought pattern that serves you. Understanding the way the mind works leads you to improve your life.
An example is that every time your boss passes your desk and looks at you, you think “Oh, no. He thinks I’m not doing enough. I’m afraid I am going to be passed up for that promotion.” You think the thought, and suddenly try to look busy. The trigger is the sight of your boss. But you can think about something else when your boss passes your desk. You can think: “I am such a good worker. I am sure that my boss realizes this when he looks at me.” This fleeting thought does not foster negative ideas and instead prompts productivity and creativity. As the boss passes by, instead of clenching your jaw, you are relaxed and diligently working. This positive mindset will elicit a good response from your boss. Perhaps he is not thinking anything negative when he passes your desk, but your thoughts can create negative energy. When you think better thoughts, the whole atmosphere improves. This is just one example, but the idea that these repetitive thoughts can be changed and tamed is an important one. When you stop negative repetitive thoughts—the re-runs in your mind—you make room for positive ones, and that will make a big difference in the quality of your life.