This is the ninth in a series of 10 articles that give suggestions meant to improve the over-all quality of your life.
9. Stop broken thoughts. Broken thoughts are those subtle patterns that aren’t quite big enough to fall into the bad habits category. This means that despite their harmful effect they often escape under the radar. Broken thoughts often take the form of justifications. Examples? I’m just going to leave my dish here by the sink, I’ll wash it later (when you know your spouse will end up washing it). I’m bookmarking this article to read later (how often do you ever go back and read old bookmarked articles?). I’ll hang my shirt up later (when you know it will be there for a week before you touch it).
At first it will be hard to recognize broken thoughts since they are so ingrained into our world views–they are things we do every day and we’re so used to doing them that we don’t even recognize that they are harmful to ourselves or those around us. If you make an effort to find them soon you’ll notice broken thoughts everywhere which might be negative if weren’t so easy to fix!
Often broken thoughts are the result of procrastination–anytime you hear the word later pronounced by your inner-voice let it be a trigger that alerts you to the possibility of a broken thought. The other big one is offsetting responsibility to someone else. If you’re leaving something because someone else (your wife/husband/mom/dad/co-worker) will pick up your slack it’s a broken thought–improve their life and yours and take care of it yourself.
The great thing about these broken thoughts is that fixing them generally takes a day or two–they’re not like bad habits that can take years to cure. It’s such a good feeling to see a noticeable improvement so quickly. It keeps you on your toes and keeps your actions in sync with your values.