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MCLEOD: The right thoughts can change your whole life

Can a single thought change your life?

It’s certainly a good place to start.

When we’re not aware of our own internal thoughts, we tend to believe that our actions are in response to our circumstances.

But that’s not the way it works.

Here’s what really happens: Our thoughts trigger our emotions, which drive our actions, which then create our circumstances. We may tell ourselves that our actions aren’t emotionally driven. But we’re human. Emotions play a bigger role in our lives than we often realize or admit. We’re also more in control of them than you might think.

For example, try this. Think a thought like I love my children, or I love watching “Glee.” Notice that it triggers certain emotions. Now think another thought like, “My boss is a jerk” or “I don’t have enough money,” and you’ll probably find yourself going down a different emotional path.

We often say that emotions shouldn’t interfere with logical decision-making or taking smart actions. But it would be a more accurate (and attainable) goal to say that we want to successfully manage our emotions in a way that serves us (as opposed to letting them sabotage us).

It’s like a circle: Thoughts trigger emotions, which drive actions, which create circumstances. It all starts with your thoughts.

If you want to create different circumstances, the first step is to start thinking different thoughts.

Money guru Suze Orman, known for tweeting out inspirational thoughts to more than a million Twitter followers, found that her short “Suzeisms” — as her community refers to them — got such a powerful response they were being retweeted around the globe. Her followers suggested she put them into a book.

The result: “Thoughts that Can Change Your Life,” a fuchsia, pocket-sized book of 89 potentially life-changing thoughts.

Orman created the book in partnership with Avon to benefit the Avon Foundation for Women, whose mission is focused on breast cancer and domestic violence.

It’s only fitting that thought No. 1 is, “With faith, integrity and courage anything is possible.”

Orman says, “When you are thinking there is no hope, I want you to understand, you really can change your life, because change starts with your thoughts. Your thoughts do create your destiny; if you can think great thoughts, you will speak great words, and do great actions.”

Orman, whose mother sold Avon, said she wanted to create something thoughtful and beautiful. In the book she writes, “There are words within this book to lift you up to make you stronger, wiser, happier and wealthier.”

Examples include No. 6, “When you have too much on your plate, get a bigger plate.” And No. 35, “Spend your thoughts being happy about the future, not sad about the past.”

Testifying to just how powerful thoughts can be, Orman’s No. 45, “It is your thoughts, actions and intentions that will determine the outcome of your life.”

Of course No. 44 is, “The goal of life is to know your own thoughts.”

Hmm, that may be true, but I’m kind of thinking that I like Suze’s thoughts better. They seem to have worked pretty well for her.

Then again that’s the beauty of thoughts. Once you start thinking one, it becomes your own.

Your thoughts trigger your emotions, which drive your actions, which create your circumstances.

Choose the right thoughts, and there’s no limit to what you can do.

Sign up for Lisa Earle McLeod’s newsletter at www.TriangleofTruth.com.