Updated: Nov 21, 2020
In a world full of immediate information at the click of a button do we lean on the opinions of others now to direct us or do we avoid the screens and pursue our own thinking?
Everyone's lifetime is spent in the very process of making decisions on a daily basis for decades, how can we ensure the stimulus is correct?
It all comes back to the mind, everything we do, hear, see, encounter ends up being translated in the processor of our own thinking and then it is translated as our reality.
Personally I read books on the mind to help me understand this vehicle that drives my decisions and I also find, that this isn't just physical but spiritual too, and mentioned many times in scripture.
I'm sure you have heard Jay Shetty quote Cooley when he says:
"Today I am not what I think I am, I am not what you think I am, I am what I think you think I am" Let it sink in and you will see it refers to our own projections and deciding things on that assumption. Well, God emphasizes the importance of the mind too throughout the bible,
Roman's 8.6 says the mind governed by the flesh is death, the mind governed by the spirit is life and peace.
The mind and soul (Soul is our mind, Will, Emotions) are what connects our spirit with our body. So who we are is largely determined by our thought life and the affects on our body follow. That's why its so important to manage your thoughts, they have the power to create because if you follow a thought it results in an action and then a consequence. I'm sure you have seen it, people panic themselves into even worse states at times and its scientifically proven that continually caving to stress affects your body and can cause disease. Thoughts filter through to your heart and define your character.
I've had times where I entered environments and pictured in my head prior that the people in that event where judgmental with bad intentions. I found that they where not friendly but I never gave consideration to the aura I was giving off as a result of my own belief which may have been wrong. After all I am not a mind reader but you will find that when you follow a thought into a belief , it creates an atmosphere, you can choose if it's one people want to step into or avoid.
A Pastor I follow says that " your life will always go in the direction of your thoughts. You are a reflection of your thoughts. Your life is the outward manifestation of the inner workings of your mind" What are your thought patterns, do they bring life or do they burden you?
Well fear not, you can manage how you think and decide on the lies or truth that you accept as actualization. Sometimes we tend to overcomplicate things rather than address things simply. I've had the advice in the past to see your mind like a garden, the thoughts are what you are planting in the soil which will grow something good or something bad. So keep the plants in and pull out the weeds and trust me, you will breath, feel and live better.
Talk about simple but funnily Graham Cooke says " If all your thinking has brought you to a place you don't like....have another thought, think again"
With all things it helps to ask what is its purpose, what is the purpose of this thought, is it bringing life or bringing harm? Will I feed it or water it even if it builds me with jealousy or rage or low self esteem? If the thought could come alive as a person and you saw it for all it was, would you still welcome it into your life so freely?
The main arena of falling into this trap is offence, harboring hurt because of another persons words or actions. Similarly peoples pasts seem to haunt them throughout their lives by recalling a hurt they cant get rid of but with all that focus of our energy on our history, it can abort our destiny. One of my fall areas has been when men over do it with their appreciation of my Wife's beauty. Yes it is normal and to be expected however after 13 years together it can get tiring. We are not talking glances here but real life pause button, creepy, awkward stuff. Like a video game I have completed multiple times I can predict exactly what the villains will do, when they will do it, how they will do it but I've had to ask myself does this focus on the external sustain me or restrain me?
You have an old man and a new man when you follow Christ. The new man wants to die to all that worldly stuff and rise above by being constantly renewed by the word of God. However the old self is always looking for ways to come alive again, carrying things like pride and ego, he tries to plant ideas in your ear that you really should drop your grace and instead try out that eye gouge move you learnt in krav maga!
I heard before that our attitude determines our altitude and sure enough the days I take a bad attitude to this issue if can be a dark lowly place. If I rise above it and not allow the distasteful thought life of other peoples manifestations affect me, then its bitterness I don't need to taste had I reacted in anger. We have all had days when we walked outside and felt the world was dark and hopeless and then the very next day believed it was bright and full of opportunity ,
Einstein asked, "do you choose to live in a friendly or hostile universe?" There is more to that than we give it credit for because perspective can be an immediate choice regardless of circumstances and events in our lives. Lets take the whole covid19 pandemic, it has instilled a global wave of fear in many I haven't seen before, but it has also in contrast brought out a fight in others. Do you spend your time reading the death stats and inhaling the faulty propaganda or do you take the time to share hope with struggling friends, feed the poor, study for certifications or look at the opportunities that will allow you to boldly walk out of the mist? Like everything it takes intentional practice to see change and reward. If you want to exercise healthier, powerful thinking you can read specific books to start you off like "Think And Grow Rich By Napolean Hill and "The Magic Of Thinking Big" by David Schwarz.
Finishing off, I also have some practical tips to help shift habits and environment in these early stages, all tried and tested and I really look forward to hearing how it works for others. 1) Analyze all bad influences in your life and cut them out. It can be people , apps, habits , lack of exercise, or violent entertainment as example. 2) Analyze all the things that make you feel Alive. Press into them more. Go deeper as to why they make you feel good and then find various alternatives you can add into your life. If you like a friends character, ask them why they are that way and what makes them happy and then you can try similar things as an example. 3) Decide 6 things that make you happy and set Goals and Affirmations on a vision board. Declare them each day after your shower . I've attached one of my own affirmation boards as an example to help you implement it.
4) Learn. Keep reading and exploring things that interest you, be intentional and committed and do courses on any given topic on platforms like Udacity or Thinkific. People with pessimistic mindsets tend to be stagnant and unable to see beyond their own stillness. It's a rut you need to drag yourself out of if you want to see light. 5) Don't check your phone until you have set your own mindset for the day. If exercising brings you alive, wake up early and do 30 mins, declare your affirmations as mentioned in step 3 and once you feel positive then read your emails! 6) Be conscious and aware of your thoughts from now on and dont accept them all. So anytime a bad thought comes in, acknowledge it and remove it. The same goes for your words, dont let negative or self destructive statements leave your mouth. Life and death are in the power of the tongue 7) Modify your influencers. I tend to flick between various apps like sports news, Instagram when I get a free moment but I noticed they didn't bring a good feeling or value. I removed them until I felt ready and then when I started Instagram again I only connected to positive interests so that any home feed or click bate was positive, no garbage.
I have now installed the Freedom App which helps you shut off distracting apps during the day which works brilliantly. 8) Clock your pattern. Learn it and improve it.
Everyone has a pattern, a time you check the news or have your coffee for example. I noticed that between work i would do certain things as a habit, starting small even if it was 10 minutes scrolling sports news I would instead read a book, my affirmations, listen to an entrepreneurial podcast which brought so much more valuable impact. These little habits are patterns and patterns repeated days, weeks and months form something, why not put the unconscious time in these periods to better use. The sport news can follow but it was more of a reward with this discipline 9) Embrace Change. Everything shifts all of the time so dont get too comfortable, anticipate it coming and see the possibilities due to it. Anytime a problem or big change starts to make you feel negative, count to 5 seconds and replace it with gratitude. It will set the tone for a positive outlook that will enable faster breakthrough.
10) Share your process with someone that Inspires you and ask for advice when you need it. We all need counsel around us and are built to thrive in community. Don't fight it.
Proverbs 12.15 "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes but a wise man listens to advice"
Your brain is just an organ which serves a very important function of course, your mind is part of your soul, care and protect yourself and don't allow the worlds programming system to define you
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