How We Spend Our Thinking

There's a life directive that I love: spend our time and money as a reflection of our values. 

The idea being that time and money are two of the more powerful resources we can use in service of what matters to us. 

I agree wholeheartedly. And I'd like to take it a step further: 

Spend our thinking as a reflection of our values. 

We think all the time. Some of us even think overtime. And I'll tell you, I've got plenty of thoughts that are pretty disconnected from my values: judgments, self-criticisms, cynicism, righteousness, defensiveness, if I listed all of them, we'd be here through the next total solar eclipse. 

This kind of thinking strikes me as pretty human; our thoughts are constant, not all of them are going to be our best and finest. 

So rather than be passive about this, I'm practicing choosing which thoughts I give my attention to. And the thoughts I want to choose are the ones that most reflect my values. The other thoughts don't go away, they just don't get my attention. 

Now, there are three words I'd use to describe this practice: very, very hard. 

That's why it's a practice, not an event. My ability to choose worthwhile thoughts is nowhere nearly as strong as my ability to get stuck in worthless thoughts. But each time we choose, we strengthen our ability to spend our thinking as a reflection of our values. 

I don't know that this ever becomes easy, but it does become easier. Especially if we're gentle with ourselves as we fumble along. 

Plus, there are three other words I'd use to describe this practice: worth the effort. 

Our thinking is another powerful resource we can use in service of what matters to us. And with regular practice and real self-tenderness, we can begin to spend more of our thinking as a reflection of our values. 

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