[success]Habits of thinking need not be forever. One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think. ~ Martin Seligman[/success]

How different would your life be if you had a clear path to your goals and desires?

Imagine walking a path that’s filled with brambles and bushes and weeds as high as a house that stop you from seeing the path clearly.  That stop you from walking the path easily. That slow your progress because you have to fight your way through.

This is the inner path most of us are walking.

You have an amazing mind. It imagines, it creates, it conserves and it transforms. It’s a huge and mostly untapped source of power, but one thing will prevent you from getting the best out of it, if you let it.

One thing will always, always hold us back.  It’s that very same powerful mind filled to overflowing with all our past experiences, past interpretations of events, past judgements, past labels, past beliefs and most especially past conditioning.

These are the brambles and bushes and weeds that make your journey more challenging than it need be. They block your inner pathway, leaving no room for fresh ideas and opportunities and beliefs.

1.Let go of looking for happiness outside of yourself

Happiness isn’t out there.  It isn’t in the next big deal you make, it isn’t waiting for you in your next relationship, you can’t borrow it from someone, or buy it, or keep it in your handbag or wallet. Happiness is where it’s always been, within you.

If your happiness depends on outer circumstances you’ll find it doesn’t last long and worse, some person or event has control over it.  Not cool.

Feeling happy is always only one thought away. Choose to think it. Speak words of happiness over your life and allow them to well up in your heart…you’ll never again seek happiness in outer ephemeral things. Why would you? Your life will become amazing.

Don’t let your happiness be limited because of yesterday. It exists right now, in you, in this moment.  Start each day by telling yourself today I choose happiness.

Let go of the idea that the power to be happy lies in some outside source. 

2.Eliminate the habit of backward thinking

This is part of our conditioning and needs to be cleared out.  Stop letting your current results control you.

You can’t look at the results you’re getting and think from them and expect to see something different show up.

This is a great formula for not living an amazing life.

We look at our present relationship, we look at our bills, we look at a doctor’s report or an x-ray and then we let those results control our thinking.

Shift this, let your present results simply show you where you were. Start your thought process with a clear idea of what you really want and let that thought determine how you think and feel.

Begin to think about it as though you were experiencing it right here and now. What’s that called?  Oh yes, using the power of your imagination.

The way you think controls how you feel, which controls what you do and how you act, and this in turn produces your results.

As you think differently new results occur, check them out, are they still what you want? If so, great, begin again with another new idea to think from.  If not, great, begin again with another new idea.

3.Victimhood be gone

We’ve all been here.  Why is this happening to me…again. Woe is me. I’ve been dealt a terrible hand. A rotten story keeps playing out in my life.

Falling into a victim mentality will always deny you a view of life from an empowered perspective. You’re pretty much stuck in a place where you can never make changes.  How can you?  You’re at the mercy of everyone and everything else.  Powerless. And that makes for a gigantic thorny bush on your path.

You can’t play the role of victim and be empowered at the same time. Sitting in victimhood lessens your ability to make changes.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done my fair share of wingeing and whining and there are some who might say I was pretty blooming good at it too.  But you know what I noticed?  It never got me one step closer to the fulfillment of any of my dreams and desires.

Clear victimhood out of the way.

4.Banish unlovely reactions

What’s important about the way you react to the conditions and events and people in your world?

Your reactions to life reveal the state of mind you live in and your state of mind…all the thoughts and feelings and beliefs that you hold…are the creators of your life experiences.

As you react to your experiences you’re tying yourself to them, in your conscious awareness.

Generally our reactions are that of resisting, or pushing against those things we don’t like. And the more you resist, the more fuel is given to the things you don’t want. And where does that get you? Wrapped in another thorny bush of stuckness.

The person you desire to be can’t be brought about without a change in your reactions to life. And the person you desire to be is the one with their current dreams and goals fulfilled. Right?

5.Make room for dreams

We’re so busy being experts, or making judgements that we get in our own way. I’ve had to regroup more times than I’ve had hot dinners.  I’ve had to let go of old habits of thought, drop old beliefs and labels in order to entertain new ones. And then I’ve had to do it again and yet again.

Making the choice to clear out all old thought habits that imply you’re powerless to alter your current life experience can turn your so-so life into one that’s amazing.

Be willing to empty out memories of things gone by and create some space for a new life dynamic, new relationships, new beliefs.  Old thought habits and beliefs block your path and keep you stuck in your present life.

Make the choice to no longer passively wait for your dreams to come true because you’re now willing to make room for them. They’ve been knocking at the door for how long now? Days? Weeks? Months? Years?

6.Stop seeking agreement

I read once taking offense is as bad as giving it. I’ve no idea if this is true or not, but I do know that not everyone will agree with what you do, or what you say, or what you believe.  Don’t let that stop you.

When my late husband passed away and I decided to travel to the States to visit my sister and spend some months in Florida it would be an understatement to say that my friends and family thought that this was a terrible idea.

At first I found myself confused as to what I should do.

Maybe they did know better.

Maybe I wasn’t yet myself.

Perhaps it was too soon to be making decisions like this.  I did it anyway.

It turned out to be one of my better choices. It was a journey of discovery, opportunity and clarity, leading me into an entirely new and brilliant life adventure.

Don’t get hung up on how others see you, you’re not meant to live their life. You should be too busy living your own.

Start now, start today…make that one choice to make the rest of your life amazing; choose to clear the way of every label and judgement and doubt that blocks the pathway to your dreams.

In the end life is far too short to wait and see what other people think of your chosen path. The only approval necessary is your own.

What else would you like to add that could help us clear old habits of thinking? Share your thoughts in the comments below, we all value your wisdom and brilliance.

Thank you for reading and commenting and sharing.  Have I told you that you rock?

Encourage one another

Love Elle


Elle Sommer is the author of 4 books and a workbook. Her latest publications are a series called The Power of Consciousness, and you will find all three books in this trilogy now available on Kindle. She shares quotes, inspiration and positive vibes on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. And her greatest desire is to encourage and inspire others to create not just a good life, but a phenomenal life.


  1. Dear Elle,
    I agree wholeheartedly that true happiness can only be found within. I know that might seem impossible when you’re in the midst of all those brambles and weeds. We all need to encouragement like this so we can see beyond our limited thinking to all the possibility that truly exists.

    • Elle

      Hi Sandra and you make a good point, it can be challenging to choose happiness when we’re stuck in a gigantic bramble bush. Which is why the practice of choosing it every day might help us more easily when confronted by said thorny block. 🙂

  2. I completely agree – you only need your own approval. I remember when I recognized this for myself and was strong enough to share with others and need nothing more. I didn’t need their approval nor their understanding. It was about me. All I really sought from them was respect of my decisions.

    • Elle

      Hi Lea, thanks for stopping be. Love the way you put that…you were seeking respect for your decisions. A lesson for us all. 🙂

  3. Hi Elle,

    You have nailed this!! Have I told you, you rock! 🙂

    When you realize that happiness is not outside of you, that it is not dependant on anyone or anything else, that realization is power in itself. Happiness is a choice, it is within you.

    Letting go of the past is so important, holding onto people, situations and events from past experiences only holds you back and blocks you from recognizing new opportunities and the good in your life.

    When you decide to let go of the past, you flow more with life and begin to see opportunities that before you were blind too.

    Great Big Hugs

    • Elle

      Hi Clare, so happy you enjoyed this. I think we’re all rocking this together. 🙂 The more we practice the more we see and the more we see the easier it is to empty the cup, as the old zen saying goes. 😀

  4. Hi Elle,
    I like that point you make about our dreams.
    It takes a little more determination to remain on track to pursue our dreams than the ordinary mind thinks.
    So chasing dreams is not the time to give up.This is not the time to play with second thoughts.The silver lining is often too near when we start changing course,turning our destiny away from something which we always wanted to achieve.
    Normally we think unconsciously,respond equally unconsciously,and attend to life unconsciously.However if we could become a little more conscious about our surroundings ,our thinking ,our feelings,our relationships,our memories, perhaps life would settle down into a more deliberate flow instead of scudding by mechanically.

    • Elle

      Hi Mona, as always I enjoyed your wise words. What a great phrase, life scudding by. The more consciously we live, the more likely it is that we’ll be experiencing what we want. Now, as you point out, we need a little determination to do this. 🙂

  5. Staying positive in life is hard work, no doubt. But the rewards are great if you do that. Beautiful piece Elle 🙂

    • Elle

      Hi Vinma, it’s true it seems hard, especially in the beginning, but with practice it gets easier and as you say, the rewards are phenomenal. 😀

  6. Ah yes, like in a state of victim hood has been compared to living in a hospital emergency room, one crises after another over which you have no control. No thank you! If I finally get that I write the script of my life, then I am now empowered to change it whenever I like, just like you did when you moved to FL and so many Floridians are so glad you did!

    • Elle

      Hi Dore, thank you my friend, I’m happy I moved to Fl too. 🙂

  7. Wise Elle-
    Yes, Yes, and Yes to everything you wrote.
    Our ability to make choices is one of the most powerful gifts with which we are endowed.
    You’ve started my week off on the right note with yet another Elle post…xxoo

    • Elle

      Hi Fran, you are so sweet and so right, it is a powerful gift, our choice making. Thanks for letting me start your week off and I’m happy it’s the right note. 🙂

  8. I love this – “The way you think controls how you feel, which controls what you do and how you act, and this in turn produces your results”. That is absolutely true! I know a lot of people who are stuck in a negative way of thinking and acting. Maybe someday, the light will come on and they will change that, then start thinking and acting positively!

    • Elle

      Hi Cher, it’s so true and we get stuck in a thinking rut. Not an easy place to pull ourselves out from and time was when I thought it was my role in live to bodily lift them out! You can imagine it didn’t work so well. Now I just imagine them being happier and allowing the laws of life and nature to take their course. Much easier on us all! 🙂

  9. Hi Elle,

    “Happiness isn’t out there. It isn’t in the next big deal you make…” really speaks to me. I too have done my fair share of whining and thinking that someone else could make me happy. I had to learn, and probably the hard way, that happiness is an inside job. To be truly happy, we have to find for ourselves and then we can share it with others. I really enjoyed this post!

    • Elle

      Hi Cathy, you made me laugh, I simply couldn’t imagine you whining about anything, not at all! And you’re so right, we get to determine what makes us happy and just let that flow. 🙂

  10. It is my life’s philosophy, Elle! I am grateful that I can choose my thoughts. For, do we not attract what we think? Love your post. It is too easy to regress and stagnate in what-might-have-been rather than move forward, out of that mire, into a fresh space. Also, cribbing has its own fan club. I’ve often noticed people are drawn to complaining, rather than listening to someone being vocal about their happiness.


    • Elle

      Hi Vidya, I think you’ve got a great point. Maybe that’s why there’s a saying that misery loves company? 🙂

  11. Excellent advice as always Elle!
    I would add that to be present in every moment, and cherishing it for what it is, that is, a perfect moment, where everything is exactly as it should be – is the one thing that I keep being reminded of.
    For it is only in the countless little moments that we continually add up all the good in our lives.

    • Elle

      Hi Li-ling, funnily enough I was taking a trip down memory lane whilst driving in my car today, enjoying some happy memories when it struck me how I wished I’d enjoyed them more in the moment. What a great way to put it, the countless little moments add up to all the good. Wonderful. 🙂

  12. Hello; This was an especially great post just before the holidays. It will make people think about their lives their habits their dreams, and what has held them back from achieving their dreams. I think a key is to forgive yourself. You are always learning and when you made that mistake you did it with the best information skills talents abilities you had at the time. some people need to actually say good bye to the past. And I’ve heard some people will even hold a ceremony to bury their past. Its important to look towards the future. as a blind person i can tell you you don’t have to see the rainbow silver lining or light at the end of the tunnel to know its there. and that goes back to your thought about deciding to be happy. looking forward to an even better 2014 than this year. thanks again and have a happy thanksgiving, max

    • Elle

      Hi Max, as always you have many wise words to share with us all. You are much appreciated my friend. 🙂

  13. Hi Elle – what a great post. And it is so true, we can’t find happiness out there… On the outside we can only find short lived excitement, but never lasting happiness, no matter what we acquire or achieve.

    I also liked it when you said: “feeling happy is always only one thought away.” – exactly, it’s just a simple shift in your mind, it is about choosing to think a different thought…

    • Elle

      Hi Robert thanks for taking the time to share your insights. I like what you say, it’s a simple shift in your mind. Nicely said my friend. 🙂

    • Elle

      Now you’re making me laugh at the image Linda. Love the idea of your weed whacker. 🙂

  14. I love this post and the metaphor of the brambles and weeds. I am very guilty of seeking the approval of others, seeking validation for my life’s choices. I am learning that, as you say, life is far too short to wait and see what other people think of me and my “chosen path.” “The only approval necessary is my own.” – Oh, I love this!!

    Can I make a graphic of that line? Of course, I would attribute the quote to you. I want to add it to my Tumblr.

    • Elle

      You know you’re a member of a giant club don’t you Jessica? And as to the graphic I’d be delighted to have you add my lines to your Tumblir and thanks ahead of time for the attribution. 🙂

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