You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Select my thoughts? Really? Well, I don’t know about you, but my brain goes so fast that there’s barely time even to catch my thoughts let alone select them! As if I have a choice!?!

Was that your reaction to Elizabeth Gilbert’s very wise suggestion?

Not surprising.

Our thoughts are lightening-fast most of the time, and because of the information overload as well as option overload, of course we can’t select every thought we have, but … what we can do is manage the ten percent of our brains over which we have conscious control.

Did you know that? Ninety percent of our brains are autonomic. There are ways to weigh in on autonomic processes—witness biofeedback for influence on blood pressure or heart rate—but most of the systems of our bodies are controlled, regulated, and operated by the ninety percent of the brain which is NOT under our conscious control.

And good thing, too.

Can you imagine sitting in a meeting, attempting to pay attention to the agenda, and having to manufacture red and white blood cells consciously? Oh, and also bone marrow, eye lashes, tears, sweat, digestion, elimination, bile, enzymes, mitochondria … you take my point. We’d be exhausted if we were responsible for making all these things happen. And the meeting? Why go? We couldn’t pay attention anyway.

So what about the other ten percent?

This is the part of your brain wherein you do, if you learn how to slow it down enough, get to select your thoughts. Let me tell you a client story from many years ago.

I had a client who was a bestselling author. She was about to have her umpty-umpth book come out, and she was terrified that the critics would hate it. She came to see me and went on and on about how bad it would be if they did. Finally, I’d had it and I interrupted her woe-is-I lamentation to say, “When is the book coming out?”

She squeaked, “In less than four weeks!” The terror was obvious in her posture, her voice, her eyes.

Eventually, she wound down long enough for me to say, “Okay, why don’t you have a bestseller until the critics hate it?”

My question stopped her cold. “What?”

“Why not think of your book as a bestseller until it isn’t? All you’re doing now is bringing toward yourself exactly what you fear!”

She stopped her hand-wringing and shifted in an instant.

What happened?

Her book was her best seller, and became a bestseller all over the world.

Beloved, you select your thoughts so that you co-create your life in the future. Today’s thoughts set the tone for tomorrow’s experience. Or, as a teacher of mine used to say, “What you think about, you bring about.”

In the ten percent of your brain under your conscious control, you most definitely want to think about selecting the thoughts that will create the future you want.

And here’s a little secret: if you not sure what you want for an outcome in any given situation (namely, the outcome could work any number of ways, and you’re not attached to any of them), then here’s a thought to select that works in any and every situation all the time—

Everything works in my favor.

Learn to slow your brain, listen to your heart, and select the thoughts that go toward creating the life or the business or the relationships that you want rather than what you don’t want. You’ll be so glad you did.