Is Your Head More Kew Gardens or Council Wasteland?

I love this quote from ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu:

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

This is a universal law, and it works whatever thoughts you throw into your head. 

It’s a bit like gardening. 

I can say this because I’m not that keen on gardening, and my son, Jay is. 

His garden is absolutely beautiful. He has all sorts of wonderful things growing in it. He plants seeds, tends to them, and reaps the rewards of a stunning array of flowers, vegetables and shrubs. 

I am in awe of his gardening abilities which he most certainly didn’t get from me. 

I am as good at gardening as Boris Johnson is at holding secret garden parties.

My garden has lots of potential. It’s full of low-maintenance shrubs, thank God, that pretty much look after themselves so it always looks “gardeny”, but it could be so much more. We weed it to keep it from being a hideous jungle, but it’s all a bit half-arsed to be honest, and it could be spectacular.

Trouble is, I just don’t give gardening much thought, and you have to think about nice gardens to make them happen. You need to make a conscious effort to plant things deliberately and nurture them, and keep the weeds away, or you’ll just end up with an overgrown mess that strangles all the good things that could be so beautiful. 

Weeds seem to happen effortlessly, and it’s the same for negative thoughts in our brain. 

You have to go looking for the mental weeds and deal with them, or they’ll overtake your brain and suffocate the good things that could be growing there. 

So I challenge you this week to do some mental gardening. Are you going to be more Kew Gardens or council wasteland? 

Which negative thoughts need to be hooked out and burned? What ideas could you plant and watch them grow? 

Here’s an idea you can plant right now:

What one thing could you do this week that would make you feel great? 

It could be something simple like buying some popcorn, choosing your favourite film and having a deliberate movie-night rather than mindlessly watching any old shit, or it could be booking yourself on a spontaneous overnight stay somewhere you’ve always fancied going. 

You could have your best week in ages, and it all starts with thinking a good thought.