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Three Worthless Thoughts to Avoid

And how to replace them

John Mashni
4 min readMay 3, 2021


“If I eat just one of the Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls, it won’t affect me.”

How many times have I had that thought? Too many.

I’ve had other thoughts, of course, that aren’t productive. We all have thoughts that don’t help us at all. So why do our own minds betray us?

In the race of thoughts inside my own head, there are three that not only lead to a dead-end, but somehow lead to a circular track of doom that is impossible to leave.

Impossible that is, unless I replace them. Replacement is a subtle sleight-of-mind that accepts the premise — that something is off — but doesn’t accept the conclusion that my brain is force-feeding me.

Here are three unproductive thoughts to avoid this year.

1. “Other People Have It Easier”

Most people compare themselves to other people. It’s human nature. And most of the time, that comparison is not healthy.

Other people have it easier.

Other people don’t have to work as hard. Other people don’t have to deal with what I do. If only I were him, my life would be easier. If only I were like her, I wouldn’t have to struggle. They’re all the same.

Does someone else actually have an easier life? Yes, it’s possible. But the truth is that it doesn’t matter, and you don’t know for sure. Whenever I start to dig into someone else’s life, I discover that most other people don’t have it easier. They just have different problems — problems that I wouldn’t want.

We need to ditch the “other people have it easier” thought as soon as we recognize it. Here’s one thought to replace it with:

“Easy or hard is relative. All that matters is what is in front of me.”

If you focus on the one problem in front of you, then it won’t matter how other people’s problems are because you’ll have to focus so much on your own.

2. I Deserve

We all want to be treated well. But all of us have been treated poorly at some point, and most of us are hurting in some way. It’s easy to feel like we don’t have what we think we should.



John Mashni

I only write about what I have done: no theory. Writer, Attorney, Entrepreneur, Movie Producer, and more… the ONLY 3 ways to reinvent: