On Thinking Part 1
By John Thurman
“All leaders are readers.” Dwight Bain, Life Coach, therapist and speaker. A couple of years ago Dwight and I were traveling to a Christian Writer’s Conference where we would be participating as speakers. As we made our way to northern New Mexico we were having a conversation about life change, the importance of being balanced and developing psychological wealth. When to topic of renewing the mind came up Dwight began telling me about his reading program. For the past few years he has been trying to read one book a week. Incredible! I am not where Dwight is, but I am working on it.
As our conversation continued, Dwight pressed the point that we renew our mind by practicing the spiritual disciplines of Bible reading, Bible study, Prayer, meditation, worship as well as reading great, mind-stretching books and being a life learner.
Do you want to improve your life? Do you want to learn how to make lasting life change? Read on.
“For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)
One of the keys to developing psychological wealth is learning how to think right. Before I go on let me give you a working definition of what on earth I am talking about. I can hear some of you right now, “Oh, no, Thurman has gone off the deep end.” Well, I haven’t. As I continue to grow I try to be constantly challenged by new ways of seeing things that do not compromise the Scripture.
Psychological wealth according to authors Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener is a combination of “your true total net worth, and includes your attitudes toward life, social support, personal, spiritual development, material resources, health and the activities in which you engage. “ Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.
Whatever you focus on is what you become. That is a powerful statement, but true. Where the mind goes, the body will usually follow. Remember the last time you were in the grocery store and as you approached the checkout counter, there they were, Hershey’s chocolate and chocolate almond bars calling out to you like the sirens from Homer’s Odyssey. Before you know it you buy two of them and before you leave the parking lot at least one of them is being assimilated into you physiology.
I spend a good part of my week trying to help people change their thinking. So many Americans invest so much time focusing on the negatives in our lives. Just listen to people the next couple of days if you are out and about. Everything, including conversations seemed to be filled with hopelessness, negativity and complaints. As our culture continues to focus on “what’s wrong,” the dark cloud of pessimism will continue to envelope us.
If we choose to focus on only the negative, we will become negative and before you know it we lose out motivations, our hope and our joy.
It is possible that you could be experiencing some life or business challenges at this point in your life-not even realizing that your thought life could be creating and sustaining them.
As we choose psychological wealth and spiritual balance, we will be able to choose and manage our thoughts more carefully. We will be able to identify some of these hurtful patterns and, with God’s help, learn how to think thought that build up and edify. The Bible teaches us to always believe the best. When we are able to do that, it makes our own lives happier and more peaceful.
I heard a speaker say, “As you go through life, whatever your be your goal, keep your eye on the donut and not upon the hole.” Way too many people focus on what is not there and that ain’t right.
In his book, The 4:8 Principle, and entire book focused on Philippians 4:8, Tommy Newberry says, “Where you have been, what you have done, and where you are now matters far less than where you are headed. If you persist in identifying with current or prior performance by constantly thinking and talking about it, then where you have been, where you are, and where you are going will be one and the same. This holds true for your marriage, your business, your golf game, and any other area of your life.”
The choice is up to you. Will be count your blessings or list your complaints.
The idea of Philippians 4:8 is that
· there is always going to be some junk in life, stuff worth complaining about
· there will always be dome good stuff, something good to be grateful for
· There is always a choice left up to us, we can choose to be positive or negative
Ten Junkers – Junk Producing Thoughts
1. I’m never going to be happy again.
2. This probably won’t work out.
3. I don’t have what it takes.
4. I could never do that.
5. The honeymoon is officially over.
6. No one wants to buy from me.
7. I can never get anything right.
8. I knew this wasn’t going to work.
9. That’s just who I am.
10. I can’t build my business.
Ten Joy Builders
1. I expect the best, and it shows!
2. I trust God; my faith is strong.
3. I am responsible.
4. I take deliberate action to reach my goals.
5. I now accept the best that life has to offer.
6. I am a new creature through Christ!
7. I surround myself with winners.
8. People want to look at my business.
9. I change what I need to change.
10. I ask and I receive.
This brings me back to Dwight’s comment about leaders being readers. Are you a reader? Are you putting good things into your brain? Are you on the path to becoming psychologically wealthy?
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Philippians 4:8 (The Message)
(c) John Thurman 2009