Imagine you are on a platform at a train station in Los Angeles. A train pulls in and you hop on without giving it much thought. Next thing you know, you have ridden that same train all the way to New York, and you realize that you really did not want to go across the entire country—and it was not all that much fun to boot. Way too long and hard of a journey.
Now see yourself again on the same platform in Los Angeles. A train comes in, and you get on. Though this time (based on the memory of your last trip) you give your destination a bit more consideration, only taking it to Chicago. Although, it turns out that this trip was not really much fun either. The city was too cold and windy.
You find yourself again on the same platform. Another train comes in, and you get on. This time you are clearer about your destination, more conscious of where you want to go. You get off in Vegas. Better, though still not a total blast: everywhere is smoky and loud. You realize there is still a healthier choice to be made.
Okay, there you are again, on the platform. You see the train come in. This time you watch as the train comes to a stop and then leaves without you on it. You know you don’t want to get on and ride that train, regardless of its destination. You are now wiser, have greater awareness and the ability to make a conscious choice about where you are going, ergo where your thoughts are heading.
Thoughts are like trains. You can unconsciously get on them and ride all the way to their final destination, only to arrive and find out that you are not happy. Or, you can consciously choose not ride at all. I promise the latter will lead to living a much happier life.