Have you changed your brain filter lately?

The recent polar vortex brought record cold temperatures throughout much of the US. In fact, the AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature recorded in Thief River Falls, Minnesota, was an astounding 77°F below zero.


Our biggest ally in surviving these freezing temps was our furnace. Mine ran non-stop trying to keep my house warm enough. What was protecting this vital appliance to keep it running? An often-forgotten filter.

We don't realize how much dust and dirty particles pervade our homes until we change the furnace filter.

A clean filter improves the furnace’s performance, and protects the blower fan from all the dust, hair and other contaminants in the air.

Our brains operate the same way. They run 24 hours a day, even while we sleep. There’s also a filter. Invisible to the eye, it sorts through all the stimuli and selectively lets a tiny number of thoughts into our consciousness.

For a small business owner, this filter may be the single most overlooked asset in our portfolio, because it’s a leading contributor to our conscious thoughts.

Thoughts result in decisions.

Decisions lead to action (or inaction). Action (or inaction) determines results. Results determine business profitability, sustainability and significance.

So, it makes sense to train our brain's filter to let in what we need—and block what we don’t.

Disclaimer: I’m not a trained psychologist or an expert in how the brain works. But I have been educated by real-world personal experiences, specifically the destructive power of negative self-talk: little false sayings that your brain begins to be believe are true.

“I can't do that. Why am I wasting my time? This will never work. What am I thinking? I'm not good (or smart or fast or old or young) enough.”

Unchecked, these negative thoughts lead to a diminished or even destructive self-image. When they occur, it's time for a new brain filter.

Our brain filter needs to be changed regularly, just like our furnace filter. Out with the dirty one, in with the new one. The one we engineer to block out the negative and let in the positive.

Have you changed your brain filter lately?

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