As this year comes to a close and a new year arrives, it is natural to take pause and consider our goals for the new year. For many of us, one of your goals is to improve the quality of our life and how we respond to the challenges of life.  The ability to respond to life rather than react to it allows us not only to reach our goals, but also to become the people we want to be, who others want to be around and to stay positive even in stressful or challenging situations.

Basically, it all starts in the mind: Everything around us started as a thought in someone’s mind. The chair we sit on, the car we drive, an airplane that takes us across the globe, all had a humble beginning as an idea in one’s mind. Depending on how we use our mind, we can make the world a better place or not. We can extend equal rights to women, send a man to the moon, or be a source of a human holocaust.

Our mind is like a busy freeway: Every day, each of us has about 50,000 thoughts.  Between 70% and 80% of them are negative. This translates into 40,000 negative thoughts every day! Out of these 50,000 thoughts – 95% are repeat thoughts and reflect our mindset and our core beliefs. It has been claimed that for every negative comment a person hears it takes seven positive comments to balance out the one negative comment.  Try to have good thoughts to cancel out the negative.

Our mind is like a computer software: Our subconscious mind stores programs and files. It is filled with memories and buttons that can be pushed by people we share this planet with.

Our conscious mind sets the goals and our subconscious mind runs the show: The conscious mind is what we all are aware of.  It is responsible for about 5 % of our creation! The thoughts we think create our lives, only 5 % of thinking comes from our conscious mind and the rest – 95 % come from old subconscious programs.

We all experienced it in the past when we started a new year with new goals and commitment or when we decided to lose weight or quit smoking. Consciously we want to do something different! But in a few short days or weeks, we stop it as if this goal wasn’t important any longer. We are hijacked by our subconscious mind.

The mind as an instrument of expression: We have to pay attention and ask ourselves: What am I expressing in my daily life?   Am I my mind’s master who responds to life or am I a reactive slave? Am I expressing my unique gifts while contributing to the world around me or am I hiding who I am? Do I believe my thoughts and live from a narrow-contracted viewpoint? Or do I question my thoughts and remain open to new ideas that expand my mind? Am I willing to try new things and expand my horizons?  Am I living as a source of love and compassion? Do people in my presence feel safe and accepted?

When our mind contracts, we become rigid, judgmental, biased, defensive and exclusive. When our mind expands, our heart is open- we are inspired, all inclusive, kind and loving.

We cannot control people, but we can be in charge of our attitude: We have a choice what thoughts we think and what beliefs we have.  We can fall asleep by reacting and going on auto pilot or we can wake up and pause when we are triggered or stressed.  We can incorporate a daily practice of gratitude, self-reflection, prayer or meditation.  Each of them will reprogram our minds. It will support us in mastering our minds and mastering our lives.



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