Value added thoughts are thoughts that empower you, keep you positive and happy and on purpose. Value added thoughts create progress and potential; they aim you towards your goals and channel your talents giving you a greater chance of success.

When you have value added thoughts your thinking expands and you can explore new horizons, focusing on worthwhile and productive projects. By checking that your thinking is adding value you can start to let go and ignore any thoughts that hinder your flow and progress. Battling with your thoughts can be like trying to row upstream in a dinghy with one paddle! Check out the Dealing with a Negative Thought Mind Map for tips on how to move through negative thinking.

Negative thoughts are always going to come; after all, we are humans, not computers! Are your thoughts enriching your life? Thoughts that are not empowering you are signals for change. On noticing a thought or thinking pattern that does not provide value you can begin to refocus and clear your thinking by taking a break. The Time to think Mind Map covers taking time out for contemplation and thinking from a clearer starting point rather than being lost in thought.

Non-productive thinking can move you away from your goals and cloud your focus; hindering your progress. In the dinghy scenario above, sometimes going with the flow is a better option – other times it can prove more productive to get your dinghy out of the stream altogether! From the riverbank you can stop and reassess. Mid-stream it’s not so easy.

Questioning your thinking and checking that your thoughts are adding value can help lead to:

  • Seeing more effective and efficient possibilities
  • Taking progressive and useful action
  • Solution orientated focus and seeking workable solutions
  • Empowering and motivating results
  • Success and happiness

Naturally, value added thinking can do far more than the examples above.

When observing and questioning your thinking you can pinpoint moments when you are thinking positively and your attention is worthwhile and productive. With practice you can learn to stand back when your thoughts become negative and choose not to pursue non-productive thinking. Productive thinking is solution-orientated, looking for answers and results. Non-productive thinking is like treading water; it gets you nowhere and the sooner you realise it the quicker you can adapt.

When you think of your best achievements and those of others, exceptional results come through value added thoughts. When you pass a test or exam you are operating with value added thoughts. When you witness others at the top of their game or when you are given good service by others they are operating with value added thoughts.

There is a subtle difference between focusing on positive thinking and simply witnessing and questioning your thoughts to see if they are adding value to your life. Check out the Negative Positive Filing Mind Map which expands on being aware of your thinking.

Words and songs can move you, yet if you check inside it’s not the words themselves; they are just words – it’s you who choose to be moved, via your thoughts about the words or songs. You can therefore expand the idea of value added thoughts to value added connections when questioning your thoughts.

Checking for value added thoughts can also help you if you are battling materialism & impulse buys. A great visualisation is to imagine a sheep in a field with the items you think you need – it adds a comical twist to help you check your thinking. Do you really need the item? The De-clutter Mind Map and Blog Post (guest post at IQ Matrix) expands on de-cluttering your internal and external environment.

Another way to look at it is to ask what you are bringing to the table – value added thoughts might represent a bowl of delicious fresh fruit and non-productive thoughts might be a plateful of rotten cores. Slicing melons or picking pips?

Whenever you find yourself lost in thought, when the flow has gone, or when results are simply not happening try checking your thinking and asking yourself “Am I having a value added thought?” If not, try taking a break – check out the Time to Think Mind Map and Blog Post for more on this and if you are looking to generate ideas you may like to purchase my 101 Page illustrated E-Book Idea Creation which includes over 20 Mind Maps.

What are your experiences of having value added or not so value added thoughts?

Please share in the comments below.

Associated Mind Maps:

Your Best is Effortless Mind Map

Time to Think Mind Map

Dealing with a Negative Thought Mind Map

Suggested further reading:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R.Covey
Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer
The Element by Sir Ken Robinson
Loving what is by Byron Katie
Stop Thinking & Start Living by Richard Carlson
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

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