Aren't we all guilty of misusing and abusing the single most important asset we will ever have? Our mind can be defined as “the human consciousness that originates in the brain and is manifested especially in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory and imagination.”
If you need a simpler and more practical definition, it is “the faculty of thinking, reasoning, and applying knowledge.” Why, then, is it the most abused and misused asset man possesses?
One of the most enlightening and inspiring books I have ever read is “As a man thinketh” by James Allen. In this book he compares the mind to a garden. He says: “A man’s mind may be likened to a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild; but whether cultivated or neglected, it must and will bring forth. If no useful seeds are put into it, then an abundance of useless weed-seeds will fall therein, and will continue to produce their kind.”
Whatever is planted in that garden is what will be reaped. Just as you cannot plant corn and reap oranges, so you cannot plant destructive thoughts and reap a happy and successful life. If you plant positive thoughts you will reap positive results. Plant negative thoughts and you will reap negative results. Neglect to plant anything at all and the weeds will inevitably take over.
Positive thinking - it's all in Your Control
There is a reason why a lot of people don’t believe in positive thinking. It is simply that they do not want to face the fact that their lives are totally in their own hands. Believing in positive thinking would mean that they cannot blame their lack of education, their parents, teacher or spouse for their failures.
It is much easier to think there is some force out there called “destiny” that is just against you and takes pleasure in seeing you suffer. We would be so much better off if we didn't have anyone else to blame.
Choose your response
I am not saying that bad things don’t happen in life. Sometimes they do happen. However, your response to what happens to you, whether good or bad, is your choice. Here is my favourite equation: E X R = O where E is Event, R is Reaction and O is Outcome. Event is something we can't always control. We can however control the R, which is our reaction. And by applying the appropriate R factor, we become in control of the outcome. It really is that simple.
Positive thinking: Feed your Mind Right
Your mind will work just as hard to make you fail as it will to make you succeed. It does not discriminate between good seed and bad seed. That should be great news. The amount of effort it takes to fail is the same amount of effort it takes to succeed as far as the mind is concerned. It is your responsibility to provide it with the right seeds of thought.
How do you change your negative thoughts into positive thoughts? It has taken years, if not decades for some of us to develop the negative thought patterns that we may have. So it would be absolutely impractical to expect to change these thought patterns overnight. Like the gardener who takes tender care of his garden, slowly weeding out the unwanted plants and giving care and nurturing to the desired plants, we must get rid of the negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
We cannot simply decide that you will stop thinking negatively. The mind cannot be a vacuum. Something has to be there. So we have to start thinking positive. It should be a process of replacement of the negative with the positive.
The Power of Association
By far the best way to change your mind set is to associate with other great minds. The saying “show me your friends and I will show you your future” is right on the spot! The company you keep says a lot about who you are and how you think. If you do not have company worth keeping, do not lose heart. This is, after all, the information age. Through books, music, movies and the internet you can have access to the greatest minds that ever lived. Reading in particular has great potential to break the chains on your mind and expand it to greater dimensions.
Take every opportunity you have to read inspiring, uplifting and motivational books that will slowly but surely help you to create a beautiful garden in your mind and weed out the suffocating thoughts that so easily control our lives.
Guard your mind jealously. Stay away from any form of negativity. This includes “good” friends that are a danger to your thinking. You don’t have to read everything in the paper about murder, death and suffering! Don’t join the pity party about how “the economy is tough and you are just barely managing.” Stay positive in all circumstances.
Enjoy the holidays, eat healthy, exercise and stay positive.