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Everything we come in contact with influences us. It is our responsibility to manage and filter the external stimuli we allow into our lives. Most of us don’t see how damaging not only the external influences are, but even more important, the internal dialogue we attach to these influences. Let’s start with the external, I consider this the easier fix.

External stimuli are all around us. From friends to television, to music, to podcasts, the books we read, the news we consume, the situations we put ourselves in. Let me start by saying that there is no wrong answer here. Alignment is the only real question. Of course, some things in our lives can be toxic, but even then, I wouldn’t label them as wrong. It is more a question of do they align with the person we desire to be, and the goals we desire to meet. A simple analogy is food; if we desire a lean body type, then consuming foods that contribute to an obese body type is not in alignment with our supposed purpose. I know this seems simple, but it is obviously more difficult than it seems, or we would all be walking around with a six-pack. 

Our intention is where we lose our direction. We consume without intention and thus don’t pay attention to that which we are consuming.  When we create our day and decide what and who will be involved in it and how we are living with intention. Then we can place our attention on the things that align with our goals. Anything else is just silly, yet most of us live this way every day.

Now let’s take a look at our internal dialogue. This is perhaps the most important because not only is it difficult to manage our minds, but we are often not even aware of what we are supposed to manage. Our minds are like a child, running around incessantly with no real plan or purpose. The majority of our thoughts are usually useless and don’t make much sense.  I liken it to a virus running in the background, slowly destroying us from the inside out, without our awareness. This is the most dangerous enemy of all. Silent but very deadly. This again goes back to attention and intention. Becoming proactive and creating your thoughts as opposed to reacting to them.

To do this we must take inventory. This is where awareness and attention come into play. By taking inventory of what we are consuming externally as well as what we are choosing to think about internally, we switch from reactive to proactive in our stance towards how we live our lives.  Alignment with our goals and our purpose is the key here. If we are consuming, thinking, or doing anything that doesn’t align with our purpose, then we know we are off track.  I know life isn’t perfect but do your best to stay in alignment. Here are a few tools to help with that.

  • Journal to process and become aware of your thoughts.
  • Meditate to create stillness and a healthy mind.
  • Create the thoughts through positive affirmations that reflect your purpose and goals.
  • Monitor external stimuli from all sources.
  • Pay attention to who and what influences you and how.
  • Limit exposure to anything that doesn’t align with your true goals and purpose.

These are just a few tools I implement daily to help keep me on the right track. Life is never perfect, but we do have the power to choose our thoughts and to choose what we allow into our lives.