Thoughts on Thoughts – Part I of XVI

I’ve been thinking about thoughts for quite a while…not days…not months…a few years now.

Last December at our ward Relief Society Christmas dinner the guest speaker said that on average people think 300 negative thougths a day. 

Is that true?  I had to find out for myself.  I bought a clicker.  You know, one of those hand-held counters they use at ball games and carnivals.  I went online and bought the happiest color I could find…yellow.  (If one is going to focus on the negative, it should be as pleasant as possible.)  And…I started counting.


I announced the experiment to my family informing them why I had a “clicker” fastened to my arm/wrist, in my pocket, in my purse or sitting on the counter next to me.   That morning, while driving the kids to school, I set the clicker on the panel in between the two front seats.  Meg (9) picked it up and looked at how many clicks I had. 

“Eight!!??”  She gasped.  “Whoa!  That is a lot!  You have eight already!?”

I picked up the clicker…(Click.)

I decided to cover the numbers with masking tape so I couldn’t see how many I was accumulating throughout the day.  They said 300 negative thoughts per day…I didn’t want to fall behind!  I’m no slacker.  So, in order to prevent myself from peeking and interferring with the accuracy (ha ha) of the test, I covered it up. 

By the end of the day…I had racked up 124 clicks.   A good portion of the clicks can be attributed to our puppy (9 months), Emmie.  (Click.)  I still don’t want a dog.  (Click.)  Occasionally, I found it annoying to have the clicker on my wrist.  (Click.)  There was a variety of “clicking” reasons.


Today’s clicking surprised me.  145 total…that I recognized and “gave myself credit for.”  I’m certain that there were many negative thoughts that didn’t get clicked each day.  (I didn’t say it was scientific…I just said it was an experiment.)

The thing that surprised me about the negative thoughts today was that most of them happened while Tim and I were on date night.  Weird?  Kind of…but kind of not…here’s what I realized.  When I go on that much needed date night – that break during the week from the kids and cares of homemaking – I let down.  I complain.  I whine.  I tell Tim everything that’s wrong.  “The kids drove me nuts today.” (Click) “I’m having a bad hair day.” (Click)  “The house is a mess.”  (Click)  “I didn’t get a minute to myself.” (Click)  “I stubbed my toe on the kitchen table.”  (Click, click)  “My visiting teachers didn’t show up.” (Click.)  Emmie chewed up a sock. (Click, click, clickety, click.)

Is that fun for a husband to hear?  Wouldn’t he rather spend date night with a positive thinker?  I had no idea I was doing that.  It had never even occurred to me.  It was a good eye opener.

Then,  we went to a movie.  It was PG-13, but I guess that isn’t saying much these days.  I clicked.  A. Lot. 

DAY THREE  – 98 clicks

DAY FOUR  – 92 clicks

DAY FIVE – 57 clicks (I don’t remember why the number was so low…maybe I took a nap or ate ice cream.  Either will cut down on negativity.)

DAY SIX  – 141 clicks

Why a spike in the clicks?  I watched myself on a video I had filmed for my children’s charter school.  I had filmed a short question and answer interview and at the Jr. High orientation I saw it.  I was so embarrassed about how I looked.  Everything that I don’t like about my face seemed magnified a hundred and seven times on that screen.  I couldn’t quit clicking.  It was a click-fest.  If I don’t ever see myself on video again for the rest of my life…it will be too soon.

After almost a week of clicking, I woke up one morning and felt really, really down.  I was outright depressed.  I felt sad and discouraged – and I had absolutely no reason to feel that way.  Then it dawned on me…  It was the experiment.  By simply “clicking” the negative thoughts I was giving them enough attention and consequently enough power to effect my mood.  John Kehoe, author of Mind Power said, “Although a single unaided thought hasn’t much power, through repetition the thought can become concentrated and directed, and its force can be magnified many times.  The more the thought is repeated the more energy and power it generates, and the more readily it is able to manifest itself.”

Unexpected.  Truly.  I had no idea that paying even the slightest bit of attention to those negative thoughts could have that kind of effect on me.  It wasn’t as if I dwelled on them once they came into my mind – NO, not at all.  I actually tried to chase them away.  But the click.  The click acknowledged them enough to give the negative thoughts the ability to change my mood and outlook.

So…I decided to go a new direction with my experiment.  And that will be part II.

Blog to you soon,


14 Responses to “Thoughts on Thoughts – Part I of XVI”

  1. Jill Says:

    So now you could click when you think a positive thought, eh? :D

  2. Andrea Says:

    I’m thinking you’d better start some positive clicking… and FAST! :)

    That’s a very interesting experiment. I’d be scared to find out how many times I’d “click”, because I can always find things wrong with myself. Yikes!

  3. Cheyenne Hayes Says:

    Very interesting Hilary~
    I have to say when I saw you click count the first day, I thought, well if HILARY has that many negative thoughts, the rest of us are in trouble!! :)

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend!

  4. Audrey Jacobsen Says:

    I’m anxiously awaiting the second part to this story… :)

  5. Elizabeth Schatz Says:

    What a fantastic post and experiment! I’ve thought a lot about negative thoughts, too, mostly because of being involved in Weight Watchers, but I could see how focusing on counting the negative thoughts could be harmful. It’s a little refreshing to know though that even Hilary Weeks is quite human!
    p.s. I don’t believe you could ever look bad on video!

  6. Sherri Says:

    Fun experiment. You are entertaining (bloggin, too), write music and sing perfectly in the world of LDS music. Positive clicking can start now!

  7. Ofelia Luna Says:

    Dear Hilary
    Thank you sooooo much for sharing the experiment with us.If we focus on the negative ,we can feel really miserable. =( You are amazing =)

    Count your Blessings.
    Your girls.Click
    Your eternal marriage.Click
    The gift of your music.Click
    The Gospel.Click
    Jesus Love for you CLICK CLICK CLICK!!

  8. stacyj Says:

    Hillary — I LOVE your blog. I’m not sure I knew you had one and today a friend forwarded me your post. Wow. counting negative thoughts — how interesting is that. I’m hoping of course that part II will be counting the positive ones? And while I’m commenting I’m thinking that there are positive thoughts you cannot count because they are those thoughts that others are having about you because of the gifts you’ve shared with us over the years. I think positive thoughts about you every time I play one of your songs and that is often — now multiply that by a million and two and those negative thoughts have zero chance of competing.

    Mull that one over for a moment!

  9. Kylia Says:

    Wow! What an interesting results from your experiment! I’m a “Negative Nancy”, so this is one area that I excel in…I’m afraid if I did this I’d set that clicker on fire the first day! By the way, you are one of the most beautiful people ever! Your inner beauty magnifies your outer beauty and you are simply stunning! Thanks for all that you do to help build testimonies around the world!

  10. Annie Says:

    What a wonderful experiment. I like you already for having fewer than the “average” number of negative thoughts a day. (And even wanting to make counting negative thoughts positive.) Also, fascinated by your conclusion! AND, I liked your insights about date night. My husband and I have “coffee morning” and I think there may be something similar going on. I’m so glad I arrived here from somewhere….(Jill posted link)

  11. moana Says:

    i loved hearing your stories about ‘clicking’ the negative thoughts into positive today at auckland’s time out for women! it was awesome! it made me realise how i really need to work on my negative thoughts and make them positive! and that i have the power to do that! and i love what u said about visualising, having good thoughts in the morning and at nite, i’m gonna try those things and let u know how i go! thank u again for your beautiful testimony and your talent of music, i wish i bought a box of tissues! i was so touched by the spirit today through your music, always been a fan, keep doing what u do!

  12. Abbie Says:

    My aunt told me about this idea! She did this for girl’s camp this Summer and loved the results that she got out of it. She had such a good time and encouraged me and my sister to try it.
    So me and my sister, who are 16, each bought a clicker and we carry them everywhere we go. The difference it makes in my life is amazing. I love thinking such happy thoughts all the time! We’ve had so much fun with them..and we’ve been able to share this experience with everyone around us and they love it! Thank you SO much for this amazing idea! :D My clicker is sitting right next me at this very moment.

  13. Hilary Weeks » Blog Archive » We All Have a Voice Says:

    [...] –  It is the outgrowth of the clickers that I’ve talked about on my blog, firesides and at TOFW.   Many people have had amazing experiences with clicking and paying [...]

  14. Camille Keller Says:

    So, I just received my clickers! I’m going to share them with my friends. I can hardly wait to start clicking! :) I like the yellow. Yellow is a happy color!

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