[IMGCAP(1)] In my last blog post, “Rethinking Success” I wrote about some simple ways to experience success “in the now” as opposed to holding it in mind as only a future possibility. In this post, I will talk more about the inner dialogue I referred to, that voice in our head that provides a running commentary on pretty much everything we say and do.

Take a moment, right now, and listen to what this running commentary is saying. If it helps, think back over your day. As you step back and observe your thoughts, distinguish between those thoughts that serve you in some way, versus the non-productive, energy draining, judgmental commentary.

The human mind is a miraculous creation in many ways, helping us solve problems and achieve amazing things. However, there’s an aspect of mind that can work against us. Repetitive, non-productive thoughts can consume heaps of our time and energy. In fact, my official, completely unproven and unscientific estimate is that on average, 15 percent of our thoughts are productive, and 85 percent are repetitive. What do you think?   

Here’s the good news. This negative, unsupportive mental commentary can be lessened, even eliminated. First step is to become aware of it. When we put our attention on this commentary and challenge it as I describe below, it can start to lessen.

So how do you become aware of these unwanted thoughts? They might be telling you what you did wrong, why something didn’t work, or can’t happen, or perhaps there are judgments about ourselves, our abilities, and so on. The common denominator to all these thoughts is that they’re always about something that we want to change or control, but feel like we can’t. Can you recognize such thoughts in yourself?

It can help to write down some of these thoughts to get them out of your head and objectify them.   Then, ask yourself if they serve you in some way. If not, would you be willing to let them go?  Sound simple? Actually, it is. When we realize that continually thinking about something will not change or fix it, it opens the possibility for us to let it go. While it might look like these thoughts have a life of their own, in reality we feed them and hold them there. If you look closely, you’ll see this. And when you do, you can choose to let them go.

As we let go of this running commentary, our ability to experience success “in the now” naturally emerges. Energy, enthusiasm, and an increased sense of well-being will naturally emerge!

Try this experiment for yourself, and please report back with the results (or questions).

As a consultant and trainer for the past two decades, Rick Solomon, CPA, both challenges and empowers accountants to reach higher levels of success. Making more money in fewer hours, doing more enjoyable work, and having an awesome life/work balance are just part of how he defines success. He is chief executive of RAN ONE Americas.