We hear that our thoughts are powerful in metaphysical, new-age circles these days. They have the power to shape the course of your life, determine your destiny, and even have obvious physical effects on your body. The quality of your thoughts can either make or break your life. It is certainly worth considering the idea that our thoughts are not simply random and meaningless. Their effects may be more far-reaching and powerful than any of us realise.

Imagine that you own ten houses that are built close together in a little community. Now let's say that you rent all ten houses out to different people. Three of the houses get rented out to decent, hard working, normal couples with children. But the other seven houses are rented out to criminals - thieves, drug dealers and the like. What do you imagine will happen to the three normal families after some time has passed living among these criminals?

That's right, they'll leave. Put yourself in their situation. You're surrounded by criminals of all kinds. You fear for your safety and that of your children. Of course you would leave. Any sane person would. And soon after those families left, the criminals, being what they are, would quickly take over the remaining three houses, leaving you with ten houses full of criminals. And they probably won't even pay you a penny in rent!

So by not being discerning in choosing the kinds of people you chose to rent your houses to, you've wound up with a huge mess that will be very difficult to clear up. You're going to have to work hard to get those bad elements out of your houses so that some good people can move in.

Now be honest; would you really do this? Rent seven out of ten houses to criminals? No, of course you wouldn't! You would do your due diligence in choosing your lodgers so that you would have as little bother as possible. Those houses of yours are worth a lot of money, and you don't want them damaged.

How about if you get one of those funny emails from some random stranger telling you that they have selected you as the recipient of $2,000,000, and that you should email them back for more information on how to collect this huge pile of cash? Now, it's tempting! Honestly, you would really like to have that $2,000,000, and it would be quite simple to answer that email. But you know in your heart of hearts that this is a scam and that on the other end of that email there is someone who is at best going to put a virus on your computer, or at worst is going to try to cheat you out of some of your money. So you wisely hit the delete button and send that email straight into the trash!

Or how about your car? Do you think it would be a good idea to try to get another type of fuel to work in your car? Maybe a cheaper fuel than gasoline? How about trying something like cooking oil? So maybe the next time your gas tank is empty, you could put in some cooking oil and see how it goes? No? Well of course not! After all, your car cost you a lot of money, didn't it? You're not about to put some cheap, damaging product in it to gum up all the works and leave you with an engine that probably needs to be replaced! That would be so stupid, wouldn't it?

Think about your brain now. Your brain is one of the most vital organs you possess. It beats your heart, controls your breathing, and your movements. It allows you to make decisions, to learn new things and take on new challenges. Without your brain, you wouldn't be here.

Now you didn't have to pay any money for your brain, but maybe it would be better if you had had to. We value the things that cost us money, like the houses and the car mentioned above. We take care of those things, make sure we look after them so nothing goes wrong with them.

But do we do the same thing with our brain? Do we always put good thoughts in there so as to make sure we're constantly in a resourceful state? Have you ever said this to yourself: "I'm such an idiot!" or, "I'm so stupid!" I'm willing to bet that you have. I've heard some of the most talented, brightest people I know say things like this to themselves. We usually do this when we make a mistake or do something we know we shouldn't have done. And you might not think that saying something like that to yourself makes any difference. After all, it's just words, isn't it?

What you have to understand is that your brain is listening. It hears everything you say to it, whether true or not, and it takes it on board. Your words, your thoughts are the fuel your brain runs on, and they have tremendous power.

I recall Dr. Deepak Chopra recounting the story of a doctor friend of his who was a heavy smoker. This man was always coughing, and Chopra, concerned for his friend, suggested he should have a chest x-ray to see if everything was okay. His friend agreed, and the x-ray revealed a spot on his lung. Not long after this, his friend began to cough up blood, and within a month he died.

So was this a case of simply not catching the lung cancer in time to have something done about it? Chopra does not think so. After his friend had died, while cleaning out his office, Chopra came across a chest x-ray that had been taken years previously. The x-ray revealed the very same spot, in the same location, exactly the same size, which had just been detected a month prior to his friend's death.

Chopra was convinced that his friend did not die from cancer, but rather from the mental effects of having been diagnosed. His friend believed that cancer was a death sentence, and so it was. It was his thoughts about the disease that led to his speedy demise.

It's a fact that much of life is difficult. We will all see tough times and endure traumatic events during the course of our lives. And we're tempted during these times to get down, become depressed because of the way we're processing the events.

We may say things like, "How can I ever recover from this?", "How can I go on without my loved one?", "I'll never get out of debt." "I just can't seem to get ahead in life.", "Nothing good ever happens to me."

Remember, when you think thoughts like these, your brain is listening. The quality of your thoughts is the quality of your life. If you start letting negative thoughts like those rent space in your brain, just like the criminals that drove the decent people out of your houses, those negative thoughts will take over your entire thought process.

Henry Ford once said, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, either way, you're right." Your thoughts have the power to become self-fulfilling prophecies.

It might be tempting to think negative thoughts when things go wrong, just like it was tempting to answer that email that was promising you $2,000,000. You knew it was a false promise, and you were smart enough not to answer it. Be smart enough to dismiss those negative thoughts. After all, it's you and only you who have the power to decide whether to entertain or dismiss the thoughts you have.

And of course you would never knowingly rent your property out to criminals, any more then you would put cooking oil in the gas tank of your car. You're smart enough not to do those things. So be smart enough to put good thoughts in your brain. Give it good fuel to run on. Because it does indeed direct the course of your life. It's far more valuable than your car or those houses.

Catch the negative thoughts when they come and replace them with positive ones:

I am smart. I am confident. I am driven. I am strong. I am able for anything.

Your brain will thank you for it.

Author's Bio: 

Dante Petrilla has been studying the success literature for the past decade and used the techniques and skills he learned to turn his own life completely around. He transformed himself from a depressed person to a happy person once he learned to direct the focus of his thoughts and emotions. The one thing he found that made the techniques he learned so effective was the use positive affirmations to install them into everyday thinking. Dante is also a writer who enjoys writing in the personal development area.

Dante is also a memory training expert, and has written the book How to Memorize Anything with The Secret of Your Perfect Memory which is available on Amazon. He is also in the process of turning this into an audio book, which will be available in the near future.

Dante is an AUNLP certified life coach and NLP Master Practitioner, member of the American University of NLP, and also a Global Sciences Foundation member. He is now making a deeper study of NLP in order to implement what he has learned on his journey so that he might impart that knowledge and help others.