Don’t beat yourself up! Be selective with your thoughts…


(This post is based on an email shared with my team at Axioned.)


I sent you all a create podcast re: Mo Gawdat over the weekend. See email: “Listen to “Mo Gawdat tells us about his scientific and engineering approach to happiness on Stitcher”. Do take the time to listen when you can. I still have a ways to go until I finish his book (“Solve for Happy”).

This ^^^ and an experience I had yesterday (see below, “My Story”) inspired me to write/share the following. I hope it helps?


“Be selective with your thoughts”…

You can change your attitude, towards everything and anything — INCLUDING YOURSELF — by choosing what thoughts you choose to entertain or not.

Here are a few simple steps:

1. The first step is becoming mindful — aka aware — of those thoughts and how they make you feel. (One way to “get there” is through practicing simple breathing exercises and/or meditation. If forced to prioritise A SINGLE breathing exercise, focus on taking the time — 3–4 seconds — to breath OUT. Do this when you’re in conversations with people. Do this when you find yourself getting caught-up in your thoughts.)

2. When you see yourself thinking negatively (and subsequently feeling “not so good” as a result) ask yourself: Does this thought process help me? Does it help someone else? Is this thought energising/inspiring to me or others?

3. If the answers to these questions help you confirm that the thought you’re having is NOT helping you (or others), then KNOW that you have the power to say: Goodbye Thought. You are free to go! I am free to think something else that’s more energising/inspiring. I’m also free to think nothing at all and focus on breathing in & breathing out.

By the way (btw): Do not “beat yourself up” for having a negative thought and/or for not mastering the above!


“My Story”

I struggled with this yesterday.

I got tired whilst in an all-day meeting and then started exhibiting “questionable” behaviours that were not energising or inspiring to others, or an example of my best self. I spent the entire evening yesterday battling the thoughts of: “I should be less tired!”, “I shouldn’t have exhibited xyz behaviours!” and “I should have been at the top of my game for the entire day!”.

But I know now (only through penning this email/experience) that I was kinder to myself, with these thoughts, than I would have been previously. I heard them (those negative and uninspiring thoughts), but I also did nothing in reaction to them that would have caused myself and/or others further harm. I separated myself from others (aka created solitude for myself), I got into bed early, and I found a positive distraction for myself…which was watching a Netflix documentary on Lady Gaga ;-).

So I know I’ve made progress. But I also know I have a long-way to go and a lot more to learn! As do most of us…which, I find, is another comforting thought!