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Whether it's at a workshop or a keynote speech or an inquiry from our website, there's one question that folks always ask us: What is the #1 best way to get rid of the garbage in your life?

Here's the answer: Start noticing what's floating through your mind.

Think about what's in your head right now: Decades of memories and experiences. The time you got hurt. The time you got left out. The time they made fun of you. After each experience, you made up something about yourself. You're not good enough. Love means pain. Life is stacked against you. When you're young, the world can be a very scary place, so you invent things to feel safe or protected. It's a kid's way to make sense of feelings they don't yet understand.

More than likely, you've forgotten most of the hundreds of little experiences that have chipped away at your self-esteem over the years. However, unless you've actively let go of the conclusions you drew from them, there's a pile of garbage sitting in the back of your mind, quietly judging everything you do.

Then, the day comes when you read an article like this and suddenly, you realize that old garbage has been influencing the way you think and feel. That's when you see:

- How much of the garbage is chatter
- How much it holds you back
- How much it detracts from your attention
- How much it keeps you separate and apart from everyone else
- How it robs you of the future you really want

What would it be like if you unburdened yourself of old thoughts, beliefs, and opinions? You can start by using the #1 tool: Pay attention to what you're thinking and feeling. If you tell yourself to start noticing blue cars, pretty soon, you'll be seeing blue cars everywhere. The same is true for the contents of your head. As soon as you start asking, "Where is the garbage?", you'll start seeing it all over your life, and it won't take long to realize how obsolete it's become. That's when you can tell your kid self that made it up, "I've got this now. You don't need to protect me anymore."

There's no magic here. All you need to do is turn up your awareness meter a notch or two and call some of your thoughts, beliefs, and opinions what they really are: Garbage. And we all know what to do with that stuff. Toss it. That's the first step to clearing your mind and jumpstarting your life.


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An Introduction to Forgiveness

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How to Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

The #1 Tool for Tossing Trash

Chocolate Chip Cookies: The Perfect Garbage Metaphor

What to Do When Life Throws Garbage at You

Why Recycling is a Waste of Time

Routes, Goals, and Garbage

Cerebral Spring Cleaning

How Breaking My Arms Got Me Into College

How to Trash Your Career

The Unconscious Connection

How a Broken Heart Can Increase Your Property Value

A Tribute to Sam Berns

Why Thoughts Smell

Why the Holidays Have No Value

Why Dumping Trash Matters