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“The thoughts you keep in a loop determine the direction of your life”

~ Steven Furtick

It’s incredible how many thoughts fire across our synapses every day. The estimate sits somewhere between 60,000 to 80,000 thoughts per day, which then equates to 2,500 to 3,300 per hour.

Just remarkable…

Except that it would be even more remarkable if all our thoughts were positive.

Yet many (and sometimes most) of our thoughts are negative, pessimistic, or even toxic. We are human. We aren’t going to turn off a thought and we aren’t going to stop those negative thoughts from flashing through our mind.

But we CAN control what we do with those thoughts.

There is a Bible verse in Philippians 4:8 that tells us to test our thoughts. It says, “…fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT, Life Application, 2nd Ed). Now, even if you do not subscribe to a faith, that is wildly fantastic advice. Who doesn’t want things that are good, lovely, and excellent?

So today, test your thoughts.

Each time a thought about the test crosses your brain, stop and think whether that thought was negative, or whether it aligns with any of the good descriptors we just examined.

Testing your thoughts can actually be trickier than expected because our brains work so fast. Some thoughts become so ingrained they act more like reflexes. So this week, just be aware. Be aware of your thoughts, ask yourself what you thought about today regarding the test, and simply become cognizant of the musings running through your brain.

Remember, you aren’t expected to adjust every negative thought you become aware of, but we can work to free our minds of the poor thinking patterns we tend to become stuck in. And we do it one thought at a time. Just as we are taking our NPTE® journey one step at a time and putting one foot in front of the other to summit this mountain.

Once we become aware of those toxic thoughts, we can choose a better reaction to them.

This is the start to the PROCESS that we said mindset shifting would be. So test your thoughts every day. If you have a bad day, look toward tomorrow. If you have a good day, revel in it. Eventually, you won’t have to test as many of your thoughts because you already know if they meet the standards, and the more you focus on the thoughts that create excellence, honor, and goodness, then the more those thoughts will dominate the 3,300 thoughts you experience each hour.

In the next blog we will provide some specific examples of the thoughts we want to change about the NPTE® and we will start talking about techniques to restructure those unwanted thoughts.

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