The [Delete] Button
In computers, the [Delete] button is where we remove unwanted information. We use the delete button countless times a day. Whenever we make a typo, we hit [Delete]. When we have unwanted data, we hit [Delete]. When we have no use for a document, we hit [Delete].
What if there is no [Delete] button on our computers? Our computers will become a mess, and that is an understatement. Our emails will be incoherent because we can’t delete typos. Our documents will be unusable because of the useless data mixed with the important stuff. Our hard disks will be bloated with unwanted files. After a short period of use, our computers become useless scraps of metals, because we can’t delete and organize our information.
Our Minds as Computers
That is what happens to many people’s minds. Imagine your mind as a personal computer. Think of the thoughts that run through your mind as the data on a computer.
The negative, fear-based thoughts that appear in your mind are useless data. The positive and constructive thoughts in your mind are the valuable data you want to hold on to. Same for the important information you get from your daily conversations and reading.
Like a computer without a functioning delete button, you may have lots of good ideas and thoughts, but if it’s constantly cluttered with negativity, you won’t get much value from the good stuff in your brain. You are constantly trying to sort through negative thoughts to make sense of the positive thoughts in your mind.
Using [Delete] For Our Minds
This is where the [Delete] button comes in. Imagine you have a [Delete] button for your mind. Use that for every unconstructive thought that floats into your mind.
- Have negative thoughts about something? [Delete]
- Not feeling confident about yourself? [Delete]
- Feeling fearful about something? [Delete]
- Loading up on ‘Buts’? [Delete]
- Feel like complaining? [Delete]
- Thinking about an unhappy memory? [Delete]
For each thought with no positive impact on your life, delete it right away. Don’t waste your time entertaining those thoughts, because every time you do that, you clutter up your mind. A thought is like a seed — when you give it energy, it grows and becomes a web of 10, 20, 50 thoughts. Pay attention to 10 negative thoughts, and soon you are dealing with 100, 200, and 500 negative thoughts!
See how you use the delete button freely when you type documents and emails? Delete your negative thoughts so they don’t have a chance to fester.
In doing so, you free up your mind for the things that matter: Your goals. Your happiness. Positive conversations. Relationships that matter. Action taking. Soon you will start to focus on action steps rather than complain about things. That’s because you are getting rid of the useless stuff in your mind, useless stuff that’s been taking up your energy.
The [Delete] button is best for unconstructive thoughts with no purpose or value. For example,
- If someone is irritating you, [Delete] that thought and get back to work.
- If you want to complain, [Delete] that thought and do something that will solve the problem instead.
- If you are thinking self-defeatist thoughts, [Delete] that thought and do something that makes you happy.
When [Delete] Doesn’t Work
The exception is when the same negative thoughts keep surfacing, even after you have deleted them multiple times.
In this case, you want to get to the root of the problem. Write down what’s bothering you. Understand why it’s bothering you. Identify a few action steps to solve this problem. Work on these action steps, rather than focus on the negative thoughts. More on this in my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.
At the end of the day, our mind is the most powerful tool we have in life. How we manage our thoughts directly affects our feelings and actions. These in turn affect what we achieve and our quality of life.
What unconstructive thoughts do you have today? How can you use the [Delete] button to create a more positive mind? The next time you use the [Delete] button on your computer, ask yourself: What unconstructive thoughts can I delete today? 🙂