“The greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another.”
– William James

One of the most helpful and life changing lessons I ever learned was when I was 21 years old.

I learned it from a woman named Linda who became my mentor shortly after I quit using drugs. She was my friend’s mom and she was (and is) a very wise and spiritually-minded person.

During one of our first meetings she told me I could “choose my thoughts.” She encouraged me to read a book titled, The Battlefield of the Mind and also to meditate on a scripture that talked about “taking every thought captive.”

So I did. And the crazy thing is that it worked!

To be able to choose what to think versus just entertaining every passing thought was a totally new concept for me. I was excited but also a little embarrassed because I wondered if everyone else already knew this “secret” that I just discovered at age 21.

Was it something you were supposed to learn as a kid? I don’t know.

But I do know this… it changed my life. I no longer had to agree with every negative, self-defeating whisper in my ear. I didn’t have to believe all the depressing thoughts that sucked the life right out of me.

I could choose to think positive, life-giving thoughts. It felt so good (and still does!).

I’ve come a long way since I was that crazy kid trying to kick my drug habit. But I still need to remember this truth that I can choose my thoughts. It’s one of the most simple but powerful tools I have at my disposal. And it’s available to you too.

What will you choose to think about after you get done reading this?

Will you choose to be thankful for something or someone?
Will you choose to think about all the good things (or bad things) that could happen?
Will you choose to think about all the people you love (or gossip about people you don’t like)?
Will you choose to focus on what you have or don’t have?

The choice is yours!