If your flower or vegetable garden becomes overrun with weeds, the plants you are trying to grow wither and die. This happens because the weeds take up space while competing for nutrients in the soil, water, and light. Desirable plants rarely grow in a weed choked garden.

Weeds grow without any care. They appear even though you don’t plant them. They require no watering or feeding. They’ll sprout in the worst growing conditions where it is impossible to get the plants you want started.

Cultivating a thriving garden requires the pulling of weeds as soon as they appear. This maintenance process is constant. It’s just as important as watering and fertilizing. Without regular weeding, all of your other gardening efforts are wasted.

Your mind is like a garden. You want to cultivate good thoughts and positive energy. Just as in the garden, mental weeds interfere with your growth. You need to identify your mental weeds so they can be eliminated as soon as they emerge.

Negative thoughts, like garden weeds, grow uninvited. They pop up at the most inopportune times, crowding out positive thoughts. If not removed, they grow, and spread continuously. Negative thoughts prosper without any specific care.

You want to eliminate your mental weeds while caring for your positive thoughts. It’s your positive thoughts which lead to positive emotions and actions. Every aspect of your life is enhanced by growing a lush positive mental garden.

Negative self-talk is a frequent source of mental weeds. This is where you constantly tell yourself what you can’t do and why, along with what won’t work and why. Negative self-talk also includes incessant complaining about problems, situations, and people.

Eliminate negative self-talk by replacing it with positive self-talk. Continuously tell yourself about all of the good aspects of your life for which you are thankful. Tell yourself all you are capable of and what you will accomplish.

Being problem oriented creates mental weeds. Problem orientation is when you always look for problems in every situation. You then use the problems as excuses for inaction, or reasons for failure.

Replace a problem orientation with a solution orientation where you focus on finding solutions for each problem rather than complaining. Don’t waste any energy whining. Once a problem is identified, all that matters is finding an effective solution.

Thoughts which harm you are mental weeds. Let go of anger, bitterness, and resentment because they fuel explosive mental weed growth. You have no control over other people or circumstances but you do have control over your response.

Worry is mental weed fertilizer. Worry is like being in a rocking chair; it is a lot of activity which doesn’t get you anywhere. Replace worry with action. Take positive action which improves situations you can influence, or have control over. Let go of circumstances which are beyond your control.

Negative information overload creates mental weeds. You are surrounded by negative news. The internet, T.V., social media, newspapers, magazines, and gossip, provide a constant source of negativity. Continuous exposure to a never-ending stream of negative news rapidly dampens your positivity.

Limit, or even eliminate your exposure to negative information by being very selective as to what information you follow. You can stay informed without becoming immersed in negativity. If you are upset by what you are watching, or reading, reduce the amount of time you spend taking in depressing information.

Take good care of your mental garden. Keep out the weeds by choosing happiness and positivity. Watch for any mental weeds which spring up. Eliminate them with positive thoughts and actions.

NOW AVAILABLE: “Dare to Live Without Limits,” the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper

NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at bryan@columnist.com or write him c/o this paper

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