buddha what we think

Over the last couple of years I have become fascinated with the idea that everything in your life is a result of what goes on in your mind.

If there are two twins that are the exact same in every way, except that one is relentlessly positive and the other is endlessly negative, their lives would be completely different.

They could encounter the exact same scenarios and obstacles but they would perceive them in different ways. The positive person would see them as a chance to grow, and the negative person would see them as evidence that you can never succeed.

With this in mind I am convinced that learning to skew your mind towards the positive and the useful is the best way to completely transform your life.

Here are the three steps to learning to control your mind like a Jedi.

1) Observe your thoughts.

In order to start controlling the endless chatter in your mind you first have to get rid of the idea that you are your thoughts.

We tend to think that the chatter in our mind is who we are and that is it, but that is just a part of who you are. You are your whole body from top to bottom and your entire subconscious, not just your conscious thoughts.

Now what you need to do is to step back from your thoughts and observe them. Start keeping track of when you are thinking negatively. The next time you find yourself upset, step back for a second and think “Wow, I have a lot of negative thoughts right now.”

Doing this will help you catch yourself in these useless reflexive thought cycles. Nothing good comes from beating yourself up or feeling sorry for yourself so the more you start to catch yourself, the quicker you can implement my next step.

2) Cancel your negative thoughts.

Now that you are starting to keep an eye on what you are thinking instead of just letting the chatter go on, you can start to pull yourself out of these habitual thought patterns.

Your brain doesn’t like using a lot of energy, so if you are a person who naturally reacts negatively, your mind will jump to that first because it is easy. Doing something outside of the norm requires conscious effort, something your brain would rather avoid.
Yeah, thanks evolution, we really appreciate that…

My favourite way to pull myself out of my bad habitual thought cycles is to use an “interrupt mantra.”

An interrupt mantra is something that you start repeating over and over once you realize that you are in one of these cycles. It will replace your useless thoughts with the exact opposite and more useful thoughts.

If you are someone who has problems with procrastination, once you realize that you are thinking “Man, I hate doing this work, I just want to relax and watch some Netflix” you have to switch to your interrupt mantra. It could be something like “I am energized and ready to take on anything. I’ll conquer this project with ease and energy to spare.”

Repeat that as many times in a row as you have to and after a while of canceling your negative thoughts, your mind will start to reflexively jump to the positive and more useful thoughts.

It only makes sense that your procrastination will naturally shrink when your reflexive thoughts are that of being energized and ready to conquer the obstacles ahead of you.

Interrupt mantras can work for any negative thoughts. If you have negative thoughts about your confidence interrupt them with “I am an amazing and confident person. I am going to start giving myself the credit I deserve.”

If you have problems with willpower interrupt those thoughts by saying “I have tons of willpower to spare. I am a strong person who can beat any temptation with ease.”

Rinse and repeat as many times as needed whether it be ten, twenty, or thirty times in a row.

3) Meditation.

This step isn’t required, but it will make the whole process ten times easier. When I started meditating I didn’t realize just how impactful it would be. I also didn’t realize how many of my favourite celebrities and great thinkers meditated.

Everyone from Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Katy Perry, to Oprah Winfrey and more credit meditation as a key part of their success and ability to stay balanced.

We could discuss meditation for hours, the spiritual aspects, the physical effects it has on the brain over time or even just the calming effect it can create instantly. But for now there is one plus side to meditation that I want to share with you.

It allows you to step back from your thoughts.

With the type of meditation I do the point is to focus on your breath so intensely that your thoughts cease. Now, during meditation you are sure to have thoughts pop into your head. In this case you just allow them to surface without analyzing them, and then get back to focusing on your breathing. If you get an itch on your leg, you feel it, but then immediately bring your attention back to your breath.

This will train you to be able to have a thought or emotion surface without allowing it to pull you into its rabbit hole. This way when something happens in your daily life that aggravates you, instead of stewing over it for hours and ruining your whole day you can step back and say “is this really a useful thing to focus on? Do these thought patterns improve my life in any way shape or form, or do they just serve to steal energy and happiness from me?”

Armed with this ability to step back and question these reflexive thoughts, you can truly start to control your mind and use it for your own self improvement.

A quote that has been repeated by many of the great minds of the world, and is very close to my heart is: “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.”

This quote perfectly explains the two different relationships you can have with your mind.

Either you control it, or it controls you. The decision is yours.

With love
Steven Farquharson, 2HelpfulGuys


  1. Great blog. I have some friends that are extreme pessimists so researched the subject. You are not born negative or positive but it is a learned behaviour. Great books out there about how to raise positive kids. I call myself an eternal optimist. I could never be part of the political opposition party. It would kill me.:)


    1. I know a lot of pessimists as well, I try to convince them to think in a positive manner more often but it doesn’t always work. I definitely agree that you aren’t born negative, and you can unlearn these thought patterns. I’m glad to have a optimist like yourself reading my words, it reassuring. 🙂


  2. Great Jedi blog post guys, gladly reblogging it! 😀
    Coming from an IT and hacking background (white hat hacking, the side of the force), I found useful to thing about the practice of watching your thoughts, or witnessing, to something similar to the process manager observing the tasks in the computer. The first step to take action on negative programming, just like with anything else, is to be aware of it : )
    Great also the cancel technique.
    Have a wonderful week!


    1. That is such an interesting way to come to those conclusions! I read a book by the creator of the Dilbert comic strips and he always spoke about the brain being a “Mushy computer” that you can reprogram. It’s a very interesting and useful perspective!


  3. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Great Jedi blog post guys, gladly reblogging it! 😀
    Coming from an IT and hacking background (white hat hacking, the side of the force), I found useful to thing about the practice of watching your thoughts, or witnessing, to something similar to the process manager observing the tasks in the computer. The first step to take action on negative programming, just like with anything else, is to be aware of it : )
    Great also the cancel technique.
    Have a wonderful week!


  4. Another great post… I come across this post as I sit in bed, trying to sleep, but the chatter and worries in my head keep me from doing so.


    1. That is a problem that I have a lot as well. I hope that this article has helped you overcome the negative chatter! I have to remind myself often to put these things into practice, it’s a constant battle but it can get easier over time.


  5. I keep on telling myself that today I’m going to take time to meditate, yet somewhere in between the time I have that thought and the moment I fall asleep at night, I have forgotten what I’ve promised to do.


    1. @Glynis: leave yourself a message on your pillow. Write down your commitment and sign it. Bring it into existence from a thought into physical matter using pen and paper and it will become more real.
      I leave myself messages everyday about things to improve to change
      my habits, it works!
      And if a sheet of paper gets to easy to be “accidentally removed” … you can use a brick : P
      Happy meditating ^^
      Love & Light

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is great advice! Thank you for sharing those words of wisdom, I hope more people contribute on this little forum we have here. We all have a perspective that could help other people if we share it. Leaving yourself messages is a very effective method indeed!


      2. Fabio, Writing notes to myself is very effective. I really like the way you explain it: “Bring it into existence from a thought into physical matter.”


    1. I hope it helps you. It has done wonders for me over time. I use different interrupt mantras for so many things! Please spread the word if it works for you, I have been talking about it ever since I first started doing it months ago.


  6. Thank you ‘2Helpful Guys’. I can say that the meditation is something to be sought after. Watching your thoughts does take mental discipline also, if you r usual reaction is to be consumed by them. As for the mantra, I am yet to find one that really makes me refocus. I even tried building my own.
    You know whatI definitely agree with, your Brain is Lazy sometimes!!!!
    THanks guys.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is no problem at all. I try to make my interrupt mantras as directly related to my problem as possible. If I have problems separating myself from my thoughts I would say something like “My thoughts are only temporary, they are not my identity. My thoughts are the storms, but I am the sky the lasts through it all.”

      I like to make them kind of dramatic so that I feel emotion when I say them. Make sure you say your interrupt mantra many times in a row whenever you need to! Repetition is key, it will train your brain to naturally go to that more positive thought instead of your old habitual negative thoughts.


  7. Meditation has helped me to quiet and focus my mind. Even so, your post is a much needed reminder not to *listen* to negative thoughts. Problems will always arise, but we have a choice in how we react to and handle them. Your interrupt suggestion is the key to choosing a positive reaction and outcome. Thank you for yet another extremely helpful post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would like to share my gratitude towards you for being a return reader and supporting us with your wonderful comments. I love when I see a name that I recognize, it shows me that I can hopefully make an impact on someones life. Thank you so much for sharing your insights and bringing positivity wherever you go.


    1. I try to put my heart and soul into everything I write. Thank you for appreciating that, it makes it all worth it! Sometimes I worry whether I put to much of ‘myself’ into these articles, but seeing comments like this let me know I am on the right path.


  8. Excellent tips. Interrupting negative thought patterns is the easiest way to turn your life around. Sadly, too many people refuse to accept responsibility for their thoughts, believing they can’t control them.


    1. You have touched on something very important here. A lot of people tend to think that their thoughts are their identity, and thus cannot be changed. In reality you can look at your habitual thoughts objectively and make the conscious decision to change them.


  9. Once I hit my thumb with a hammer, very hard. I was outside and instantly looked up at the sky and forbid myself to think of by throbbing thumb. I looked at the clouds passing overhead and focused on anything but my pain. Within a short time, the pain had passed and it didn’t hurt anymore. I am pretty certain I would have lost a fingernail if I hadn’t have done what I did, or at least had a very black nail. As it turned out, there were no visible signs of the accident. I try to share this with my g’kids when they get an “owie”. I know our minds can be very powerful forces for or against us.


  10. Wonderful advice; succinct and easy to comprehend. Mindfulness and meditation transformed my life, and are still continuing to do so!


  11. Extremely informative…

    Now understanding how much meditation is now important for me to learn and too exorcise daily…

    i would like to thank you for dropping by to have a read…


  12. “Doing something outside of the norm requires conscious effort, something your brain would rather avoid.”

    This explains so much from weight management to personal finance to professional choices. I read a book recently about practicing rituals and core values, which helps to combat the brain strain of: should I or shouldn’t I … eat that? buy that? pursue that?


  13. Hey guys. If you had seen the movie secret, Those people emphasize on positive thinking as thinking again and again about things you want for eg car, home etc and you will get it one day. On the other day what I think is positive thinking is whatever happening with you is best for you. I have some confusion regarding the movie secret. As Buddha mentioned “Desire is the root cause of suffering”. If we are thinking again and again to have the car, ultimately we are desiring for it. Please share your thought regarding it


    1. Actually, I recently an article regarding The Secret and the power of thoughts (I’ll link it at the end of the comment). Regarding positive thinking, I do believe that thoughts directly impact your feelings and desires. That being said, I find The Secret a little farfetched. They propose thinking about a car and the car will manifest magically if you want it enough. I think that if you desire a car, you will develop the means to attaining said car because you possess a determined mindset, not because the universe delivers it to you.

      I do believe in a lot of Buddha’s teaching, especially that desire is the root cause of suffering. When we get trapped in the consumerist desire for more things, we lose touch of what makes us truly happy. People do not need many things for happiness, but through this mentality, we associate physical items with emotional well-being. I truly believe that Buddha is correct.

      If you want more information here’s the article.

      Liked by 1 person

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