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

Reduce Your Negativity in 4 Ways

Back in March, I started this site as a producer of positivity and hope for the masses. That goal is still incredibly strong inside me. I feel the burning urge to help people.

I feel compelled to help people through my stories and experiences. Everyday, I wake up and check my statistics for the site. I am delighted that people are reading and commenting and enjoying this site. Thank you, by the way.

I am more than content to help people, in whatever small way possible. That being said, I aim to be a ray of positivity in peoples’ lives.

There is so much negativity in the world. It seems as if people are drawn to it. The more they hear about it, the more they want to participate in it.

People surround themselves with negativity through their everyday lives. And for those who do not surround themselves with it, negativity seems to seek them out.


I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have many positive and loving people in my life. These people have molded the man you are reading about today.

But, these people weren’t always there. I had to go through an intense sifting process to filter out the toxic people in life.

I suggest doing the same. Pessimistic people continue to suck the soul from your body. They want to complain, gossip, hate, negative-ate (a patented Leroy word) all their feelings on you.

You don’t need all that in your life. Cut them.


I BARELY watch television these days. This is partially due to the lack of time, but also because there isn’t anything to watch.

There are so few good (by ‘good,’ I mean positive) shows out there. The majority of them are crime dramas and news.

When I was growing up, there were shows like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Wholesome television shows with positive messages about family, love, and friendship. Now the biggest shows are about jealousy, backstabbing and meth.

When did we turn towards the dark-side? While these shows are ‘entertaining,’ negative messages are propagated. Through cinematography we consume so much negativity and hate.


This is somewhat similar to television, except for the fact that the news is literally EVERYWHERE. It’s hard to escape it. I never ever watch or read the news.

This is not due to ignorance. Under qualified, stupid reporters that spread negativity reports the news. There is never anything positive on the news. No heroic stories? No Jimmy opening up a lemonade stand? No nothing.

“But how will you fit in?”

A new friend told me in high society, people would look down on you if you don’t know current events. While that may be true, I don’t really care.

My main question is “why?” To fit into some negativity small-talk box? To surround myself with all the negative people, I’ve spent the majority of life avoiding?

Personally, I find it a waste of time.


Cyber-bullying is all the rage these days. It is a huge problem. Back in my day (am I really that old?), kids just called me fat and pushed me around. It hurt, a lot. But I got over it.

There is a key difference between my childhood bullying and modern bullying. My bullying was unavoidable. I had to go to school everyday. Social media isn’t necessary. Delete it, you don’t need it.

Similarly, negativity is found in literally all over the Internet. YouTube trolls, Facebook arguments, and Twitter ‘beefs.’ Do not subscribe to these forms of avoidable negativity.

Use these ‘tools’ but do not get consumed by them.


Use the word ‘No’ more often. There is great power in that word. Take control of your life. Opt for ‘No’ to anything and anyone you do not want in your life.


Say ‘no’ to mindless meetings, negative people, social media ‘beefs,’ anger, and regret. Mindless television and news. Say no to all the negativity in your life. The moment you do so, you’ll notice an incredible change.

Life will be simpler, almost serene.

“When you have a tiny piece of shit in the soup, it doesn’t matter how much more water you pour in and how many more spices you put on top. There’s shit in the soup.” – James Altucher

Say ‘no’ when people try to place a little piece of shit in your soup.

Be bold, be free, and love on.

Make Your Mind A Negative FREE Zone

What a nightmare.

I was face to face with my mortal enemy, and I couldn’t do a thing about it.

I could feel my blood boiling, my heart racing, and my adrenaline pumping. I tried to tell myself to stay calm, but I was shaking with anger.

I was finding myself in this situation more and more often since his family had moved in with my girlfriend’s family. Talk about a universal joke on everyone involved.

My girlfriend at the time had more reason to hate him than I did, I have no idea how she dealt with it.

I always hated that I felt all this anger towards him, but he felt nothing.

No matter how much I held his image in my mind, wishing all manner of evil towards him, he was unaffected.

“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.”
-Mark Twain

That is how anger works.

You are the only one who is affected by your anger. No matter how justified it is, you have to deal with consequences of your negative thoughts.

Your frame of mind will decay and you will torment yourself the longer you continue this destructive thinking.

This is the same for all negative thinking or emotions.

If you are envious of someone, you feel the negativity and their lives are unchanged.

Apply this thinking to any pessimistic emotions you have and you will see this is always the result.

You can’t avoid everyone who will drag you down or rile you up.

But no matter how much they get to you, I want you to stop thinking about them and stop talking about them.

Not because they deserve to get off scot free, this isn’t for their benefit, but because you deserve to be happy.

Imagine your mind is your bed room.

Your thoughts are the posters and knickknacks you decorate it with.

Would you ever cover your room in pictures of people you hate? Would you ever allow any object into your room that upsets you?

So why are you letting so much of this garbage into your mind? After all, you are in your mind every moment of every day.

I am firm believer that negativity can only breed more negativity. If you can’t forgive and forget, pick one.

Keep your mind clean for your own benefit.

Decorate it with everything that invigorates and uplifts you.

The world outside can drag you down at every turn, don’t drag yourself down on the inside as well.


I wrote this a couple of days ago and something weird happened last night.
I saw my old “Mortal Enemy” again.

I was going to an event to support a friend who is a DJ and as I walked in I recognized the security guard.
It was him.

You can call it a coincidence, but whatever it was, it was weird. I saw in his eyes that he wanted peace, and so did I.

After all the time and energy I wasted, after all the negativity I allowed into my life, it meant nothing.

Peace in your mind creates peace in your life.
And you deserve a peaceful life.


The Pizza Thieves

I bought a pizza and left it in the fridge at work. I figured I would have food there, so I did not pack anything. I got to work only to realize that something despicable had occurred.

My pizza was eaten, ravaged by a pack of scavenging co-workers. Who has the gall to eat another man’s food?  I complained for almost half my shift. It threw off my entire morning.

Stupid, right? Thinking about it now, I let half a pizza ruin my entire morning.

We complain about the weather, traffic, and the weeds in our yards. We complain about tight clothing, misplaced keys and the price of gasoline. We complain about our jobs or our lack of jobs. We have become too quick to complain, about everything.

Complaints compound into massive amounts of negative energy. It fosters a negative attitude, which makes you focus on the negatives in every situation. The negativity impacts those around you and will eventually repel people. It doesn’t change the current circumstances. I would not get my fallen pizza no matter how much I complained.

Managing complaints is necessary to a trouble-free life. Here is how I do it.


A) Embrace the Imperfect World

Life is not always going to serve up what we would like (or even expect) at every turn. Life is filled with troubles, trials and pain. But, honestly, that’s okay. Everyone is experiencing the same imperfect world.

The sooner we stop holding the notion that the world revolves around us, the easier it will become. Discomfort should not surprise us. It is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

My pizza was robbed. Sometimes, in life you just have to say screw it. Sometimes things just happen.

B) Things Can Always Get Worse

When things seem at its worse, I sit down and think. Could it get any worse than it already is?

The answer is always yes.

Instead of my whole pizza missing, my co-workers could have eaten all the toppings and left the plain dough.

There is always room for more negative energy. Consequently, it works true for positive energy. Be grateful that it isn’t worse.

C) Out of Proportion

Most complaints are over trivial things. We make small problems into big problems. It starts to consume our thoughts and leads to other terrible thoughts. Eventually, your body is dragged down into spiraling negativity.

I was definitely blowing it out of proportion. I found myself thinking about all my co-workers conspiring against me. I pictured all of them huddling around, consuming my pizza. I saw one of them manically laugh.

Your brain enjoys playing tricks on you. It makes small situations larger than it is because it wants you to be consumed with negative thoughts.

D) Notice the Triggers

Is there a specific time where you complain more than others? What about a specific place? Maybe when you are around co-workers? Or maybe when you haven’t had much sleep?

Notice these triggers and seek to remedy or avoid them. Be extra vigilant when you see them arise.

E) Complaining for the Sake of Validation

We often use our complaints to validate ourselves to others. “I’m so busy,” is a classic example of this. We often say it as a means to subtly communicate our importance. You do not need to validate yourself to others. You do not need to impress others.

It is to often that we drown ourselves in complaints. In today’s world, complaints are rampant. They drown your body and mind into negativity.

Challenge: Do not complain for a full day. Start now! Keep it on your mind the entire day. If you do, be vigilant. Catch yourself halfway through and stop it. You will be amazed at the profound effects you will feel at the end of the day. There is enough negativity circling around you. Be the change and do not contribute to it.


The Dark Side.

There is so much negativity in the world. It comes from all avenues and affects all of us. It is the force in the world that aims to drive you down.

Everyone has people in their lives that are negative soul-suckers. These are the people that are constantly negative. The people that can somehow always turn a good thing into a bad one.

I feel it everywhere I go and with almost everyone I talk to. Is there really so much to complain about? Is your life really that bad? Maybe it is. I cannot judge you.

But maybe, just maybe, the negativity is being used to make it worse than it really is. Maybe, just maybe, you can cut that negativity in half or avoided all together. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m crazy and you will stop reading after this sentence.

If you are still with me, I want to thank you. You are a positive influence in my life. The reason I keep writing is to show my gratitude by trying to be a positive influence in yours.

Avoiding negativity can be a hard task but it is equally as rewarding, when achieved. Does any of below work? Yes. It works for me. I will be more positive today because of these things.


1) Harmful Relationships

Cut out all the bad relationships in your life. All the negative friends, significant others, co-workers, bosses, acquaintances and random people. These people should not have the power to influence your life in a negative way.

Negative people slowly chip away at you till you have nothing left. Instead avoid them, store your positive energy and release it to the world.

2) Negative Situations

I always find myself roped into situations that I do not necessarily want to be in. I feel like I know what is best for me and some situations are just damaging. I used to come up with phony excuses to events, meetings, and things in the distant future.

But now I propose just saying no. There is a lot of power in the word ‘no.’ You can say ‘no’ to anything. Exercise the power of ‘no.’ Hone it like a blade and use it when you feel necessary. It will be your greatest weapon against negativity.

Choose to say no to anything you feel will harm you, physical, emotional, mentally and/or spiritually.

3) Dealing With Yourself

This is the most harmful form of negativity. Once you’ve avoided all the external causes, the biggest battle occurs within yourself.

It is perfectly normal to have a negative thought. But, the problem arises when you allow it to change into a train of thought that rides to no end.

Sometimes, I replay an old conflict in my head. I endlessly think about the different ways I could have dealt with it. It continues towards more negative thoughts. This goes on and before I even realize, my mind is clouded with negativity.

I need to recognize when I cloud my mind in this way, the negative thoughts ruin my day. My body and mind are troubled and it is hard to overcome.

Recognize your negative patterns, dig deep and find out where they are coming from. Deal with them head-on. When you think a negative thought, recognize it, learn from it, and let it go.

Live in the Now

In this present moment, as I write this, I completely content. Everything is quiet and peaceful. But in this blissful moment, inner negativity strikes. It aims to destroy your blissful state.

Next time a negative thought tries to surface, observe it. Be the watcher of your mind. In this present moment, there is nothing wrong. It is my mind trying to seize control of my thoughts.

You always have a choice in the matter. When you start observing your mind, you can start to consciously be aware of your thoughts. Increased awareness will allow you filter the negativity.

I aim to be a positive influence in peoples’ lives, through my body, mind and soul. Through my writing, I try to change peoples’ perspectives on life and happiness. Negativity will not allow you to reach your goals. Do not be a prisoner of negativity and grow stronger through positive thoughts, actions, and relationships.