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I want a substitute for the sentence "The thought came to my mind". It should be a slightly formal substitute as I am writing a formal letter. Can someone help me with that?

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If it was a good thought, you could use inspired.

I was inspired to...

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oc·cur intransitive verb \ə-ˈkər\ (merriam-webster)

3 : to come to mind
"an idea that has occurred to me"

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