Training To Think More Positively: Breaking Free From Well-Trodden Destructive Paths

Picture of By Jesse Engelbrecht

By Jesse Engelbrecht

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The mind is like a vast garden, and our thoughts are the well-trodden paths that weave throughout it. Some paths are well-established, while others are just emerging, and still, others have been left to wither away. These paths represent our habits, behaviours, and thought patterns.

Imagine the well-trodden paths as those that are easy to follow because they offer less resistance and are more comfortable to navigate. However, just because a path is well-trodden does not guarantee it leads to a positive destination. It could be a path of negativity, self-doubt, or unproductive behaviours.

Now, consider the possibility of forging a new path – one that leads to better habits, thoughts, and behaviours. Just as a gardener clears away weeds and debris to create a new pathway, so too can we reshape our neural pathways by choosing to think differently.

With persistence and intention, the new path grows more distinct, while the old, destructive path becomes overgrown and less accessible. The key is to consciously forge our paths that align with our desired outcomes and work diligently to strengthen and maintain them.

So, take a moment to reflect on the paths in your mind’s garden. Are they well-trodden with healthy habits, behaviours, and thoughts? If not, it’s time to pick up your mental gardening tools and start carving out a new path that leads to a brighter future.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Therefore excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”


According to Aristotle, excellence is not a one-time act, but rather the result of consistent and intentional behaviour.

What path are you forging next?

Cartoon person standing on the edge of a garden thinking about what path to take or to carve a new one?


Whenever you’re ready, here are 4 more ways you can consume SportMind content to help you train your mind:

  1. Check out the SportMind podcast. And this is my FAVOURITE episode to date
  2. Get your coach in your pocket by downloading the SportMind App on Apple or Android
  3. Ever wanted the tools to Unlock Flow? I have a workshop just for this
  4. Become a SportMind member and gain full access to mental training. Learn more here

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Jesse Engelbrecht

SportMind Founder,
High Performance Coach,
& Squash Professional

A professional and dedicated coach full of enthusiasm and passion for helping and teaching.

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