“I can make you rise or fall. I can work for you or against you. I can make you a success or a failure. I control the way that you feel and the way that you act. I can make you laugh…work…love. I can make your heart sing with joy…excitement…elation. Or I can make you wretched…dejected…morbid. I can make you sick…listless. I can be as a shackle…heavy…attached…burdensome. Or I can be as the prism’s hue…dancing…bright…fleeting…lost forever unless captured by pen or purpose. I can be nurtured and grown to be great and beautiful…seen by the eyes of others through action in you. I can never be removed…only replaced. I am a THOUGHT.”-Bob Cocklin
The above piece by author and successful businessman, Bob Cocklin, is an excerpt from the book The Difference Maker, by John C. Maxwell. The difference maker in our lives, according to Maxwell, is our attitudes. He used the above excerpt from Mr. Cocklin to show how our thoughts impact our attitudes. As we see in the excerpt, our thoughts make a huge impact on us.
Proverbs 23:7 of the bible declares, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Our thoughts are indeed very powerful; they can determine the outcome of our lives. A quote by Frank outlaw says, “Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” Your destiny, what you become in life, grows from the seeds of your thoughts. What we think, we become.
Since our thoughts are so powerful, how can we change our way of thinking?
The term GIGO, Garbage In Garbage Out, is a computer terminology referring to the fact that the computer can only output what is input. The computer cannot control itself, it can only do what it is programmed to do, therefore if garbage is entered, garbage is what will exit.
The same can be said about our minds, if we continually allow garbage to enter our brains, then garbage is what will exude from us in our thoughts, words and actions. We must therefore be careful what we allow to enter our minds. So how do thoughts enter our minds?
1. What we listen to
What we listen to has a great influence on our thoughts. We must be careful of the type of music we listen to or words expressed by family, friends or other persons we interact with.
It is said that many of the songs that persons listen to today such as Rap music, may have subliminal messages. Studies have shown that in some cases such as school shootings in the United States, when investigations are done, it is found that the culprits or persons accused of the crimes may have been acting out messages found in the lyrics of songs they were listening to.
We must also be careful of the type of persons we hang around and what we are hearing from them. Persons who constantly hang around people who curse and use obscene language soon begin doing so themselves.
Some persons are also very negative. They are always complaining about everything or doing all in their power to discourage or bring others down. We must be aware of such people and be careful of the advice we take from them.
If we constantly hang around negative people, our minds can easily be saturated by their negative talks and we may begin to think as they do. We must therefore listen to positive things; be it gospel or some secular music, inspirational messages such as from Pastors or Motivational Speakers and associate with positive friends who can inspire us to think positively and have better attitudes.
Always keep in mind, though, that we must always be wise and have a ‘spirit of discernment,’ meaning that in listening to even persons believed to be positive, there may be some things that we may have to think on or research for ourselves before readily accepting.
2. What we read
What we read is another way that thoughts enter our minds and it also has a great influence on our thoughts. We should therefore make an effort to read more inspirational and educational books, remembering that knowledge is indeed power. The more we read, the more knowledge we obtain and therefore we should begin to think differently. We should aim to read at least one inspirational book a month. The Bible, the book that teaches us all how to live, should of course be on our list of daily reading, memorizing scripture verses, so that we can apply them to our lives.
3. What we watch
There’s a little children’s song that says, “Oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little eyes what you see, for the father up above is looking down in tender love, oh be careful little eyes what you see.” This song also has lyrics talking about being careful what you hear and think.
What we watch also causes certain thoughts to penetrate our minds. We must be careful of how much garbage gets into our minds through extremely violent or pornographic movies. We should therefore also watch inspirational movies, talk shows or documentaries or religious programs via television; positive things that can have a positive impact on our thoughts.
We have the power to control our thoughts, thus controlling our attitudes and the outcome of our lives by implementing some of the above.
Philippians 4:8 states, “Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Your thoughts are indeed powerful; they shape your life. Be careful of what you allow to penetrate them in what you listen to, what you read and what you watch.
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Published Thursday, May 29, 2014