Positive personal power
What type of thoughts are you preoccupied with? What do you tend to pay attention to? And what do you talk about again and again and again? Is there one unpleasant event in your past that you meditate on more than any other? And how is that working for you?
For that matter, what are you thinking about right now? Is your present frame of mind going to help you move ahead in your life – help you become all that you were intended to be – or is it going to hold you back. Will it feed your fears?
It sounds simplistic, but deliberately choosing what you will pay attention to has the potential to alter the course of your life. Yes, it can. You can let other people tell you what to think about, or you can choose what you will think about. Consider the implications of doing that for a moment. All things being equal, self-control via thought control could make all the difference.
What you think determines what you will do.
It is possible to essentially give up your right to manage what goes on in your own mind. Some people abdicate their responsibility. But it is also possible to reclaim this territory – to ram that flag deep down into the earth as if to say, “I claim this untamed wilderness land in the name of the King of…well, ideally the King of kings.”
Chasing the bad thoughts out and trying to drag some good thoughts in can be a daily struggle. But it is worth it. Over the years, engaging in this struggle will help you make a difference. This discipline will shape your future and define your destiny.
Living in denial is not the idea here. Plunging your head deep down into the sand is hardly the goal. The idea, rather, is to meditate – to fix your mind – on what is positive and good and helpful and productive.
Perhaps you have experienced a few very painful failures in your life. Who hasn’t? But, what is important, is not whether or not you feel like you have failed; what matters is how you choose to respond to your life situation. If you are reading this your life isn’t over yet. And may I suggest, that the best (from God’s perspective) may well be yet to come.
While it is a mistake to entertain illusions of grandeur, there isn’t much point in selling yourself short either.
When it comes to dreams and goals, picture yourself doing a little more good in this world than you think you can. Imagine reaching just a bit higher than your present understanding of your abilities allow. Raise the bar too high and you will become discouraged and give up. But a good coach will help you raise the bar, so to speak, just the right amount. I’m indebted to the senior pastor at my home church, Mike Smart, for this general insight. It is good advice.
We all need other people. But at the same time, it is possible to partially coach yourself. My hunch is that many people think negative and self-defeating thoughts on a daily, weekly, and monthly, basis. My guess is that this a very common routine or rut to fall into. Once you are in, it is hard to get back out. Before you know it, negative thinking becomes a way of life. Your thoughts become almost all negative almost all the time.
Opening a window can sometimes let some much-needed fresh air into a room. Opening your mind to a new way of thinking can have the same effect.
Today, you don’t need to let your mind go where you have always gone. It doesn’t have to happen. With some discipline and encouragement you can regularly go to a better place. It won’t be easy, but you can change. Yes, to start things off, consider that encouraging thought.
A word of caution: As far as I can tell, my thoughts do not determine what is real and likely neither will yours. Hurricane Sandy is going to show up on the East Coast and do what it does whether we think it will or not. This isn’t some sort of mind over monster-storm message. Life is filled with difficult and sometimes very dangerous situations that you will need to deal with directly.
But you will be much better prepared to face the future if you are not constantly thinking about problems and painful situations in your past.
© Career & Life Direction 2012. All rights reserved.