Here’s a random thought. One feather weighs roughly one gram. 454 feathers weigh 454 grams and that converts to one pound. It’s not really a random thought because one of the analogies I often use for thoughts, especially ones that I prefer not to keep hold of is that one negative thought equates to a feather and if I choose to do so, I can visualize blowing it out of mind. It’s my choice to entertain that thought or not and it can be the thing that makes or breaks the day and ultimately, short or long-term success.

It’s Not The Situation

We respond to situations that crop up in our lives based on the thoughts we have. Those thoughts may have been developed since childhood and passed down through the generations of family, culture or personal experience and often they are the primary cause of unhappiness. Yet, we don’t always recognize the damage they can cause. Instead, we apportion blame elsewhere.

It’s not my fault that my business or relationship is failing, it must be the business system, another persons’ fault . . .

We can choose to hang on to those negative and challenging thoughts and those that follow, and before we know where we are, we have a headache. A pound of feathers is blocking our thoughts and cutting off the supply of positivity. It may as well be a pound of rocks. They may be less than 454 but they weigh the same as a pound of feathers.

A Multitude of Thoughts

Research argues that we have anything upwards of 50,000 thoughts in a day. Some are positive, others inquisitive while some are impure and negative; they can damage or inhibit aspects of our lives that we prefer to keep positive.

It’s just not possible to manage the processing of so many thoughts so we apply filters.

We delete some thoughts because they are irrelevant while we generalize others into packages because they fit particular thought patterns. Some are distorting; we believe them, but they don’t always give a true picture, at best, they present a skewed picture of things in our lives.

Think Happy Thoughts

When things seem hard, it’s not always easy to think Peter Pan, happy thoughts and it can be downright annoying when people tell us to be positive. Is a personal example of something not so positive coming to mind? Go on, think about it for a moment and ask yourself:

  • Is it the situation that brings on challenging thoughts?


  • Is it your thinking?

Make a written or mental note. Don’t dwell on it and put it to one side for a minute.

Scientific Evidence

The furniture company IKEA conducted an experiment with school children to show the effects of bullying. No humans were harmed in this experiment although a plant was.

The live experiment involved IKEA taking two of its own plants and installing them at a school, where one plant was fed compliments and words of encouragement, while the other was verbally bullied. The students were encouraged to record their own voices to share their love with the first plant and words of criticism to the second. After 30 days, the complimented plant continued to thrive, the bullied plant was visibly struggling.

Both plants were treated the same: water, sunlight, and fertilizer. By the end of the experiment, the results were clear; look at the image.

There have been other experiments that show comparable results. Notably the work of Dr. Masaru Emoto, a researcher and alternative healer from Japan.

Positive and negative words made the difference and is it not positive and negative thoughts that make a difference to us too?

Another Challenging Day

If you think that the “something not so positive” thought that I asked you to bring to mind a moment ago will keep repeating, you can bet that it will and win the bet. Thinking these thoughts attract negative energy and off you go down the road to negativity. Positivity becomes difficult to attain; you attract what you think.

Change Your Thinking

If you have a negative thought, STOP!

Turn it around and look for the positive solutions. Everything has an opposite. This takes practice and it might not become a natural way of being today, but it will enable you to grow like that plant on the right. If you are willing to work at your growth.

Personal Development is all very well, but it only works if you work consistently.

How often do we think; here we go again? It’s dark and dismal outside. It’s going to be a dark and dismal day; I should hide under the duvet. If you think it, you will get it.

Yesterday I went out for a mountain bike ride with my wife on a route she doesn’t particularly enjoy. On the way to the challenging sections, I focused on what a stunning day it was, how the mountains looked supreme. I shared a few positive ride tips and she crushed that ride apart from one physically challenging section where she had to walk up a very steep and bumpy 30 meters.

I rode that section and was subjected to (unprintable words) and her assurance that next time she would be right on my tail. She thoroughly enjoyed the ride and we will be repeating it on Thursday. Positive thinking has crushed the negative she started out with. My experience improved too; Sarah’s positivity added to my own. We were both in the happy, Peter Pan zone. Positive energy attracts positive energy.

Positive Affirmations

Yes, they work! They are not some mumbo jumbo nonsense that people Tweet about. Find a few that resonate with you and write them on post it notes. If they question negative thinking and make you feel good, repeat them often. Smile when the sun shines and remember that on dark, dismal days, the sun is simply taking a break behind the clouds. Open your mind to positivity, don’t reign it in because you think you should; look for the magic. It’s there for all of us.


There are many ways to effectively explore and challenge your limits. We need a box of tools to challenge the boundaries and move forward toward realizing success.

If you feel that you may benefit from help, please leave your contact details in the comments section below and you will be contacted by your preferred method. Please understand that your contact details will never be published, and your privacy is assured.

Comments and Questions

Please leave yours below. Your thoughts or questions may well ignite a positive spark in other readers thinking. You will always receive a prompt response to your questions and there is no such thing as a bad question; only the one that was never asked.


I bow to the place in you that is love, light, and joy

Peace & Light

Steve Costello is a British Community & Youth Studies and Psychology honors graduate with over 30-years theoretical and practical experience in the Personal Development public and private sectors. He founded ExGro in 2018 with business partner, friend and clinical psychologist, Leo Faerberg.


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