Switching Your Thinking
Within our Wisdom Notes today visualize with me this scenario: We are starting to hike on a trail and we see the huge mountains before us. As we view these mountains we can look at them in one of two ways. We can say:
These mountains are so huge that I will never be able to scale them
We can look at the challenge before us with excitement and enthusiasm and think, “What a great day it is to trek to the summit and see the beautiful view that waits for me there!”
Today’s Wisdom Note is about the science of thinking big versus thinking small. I call it a science because it has been proven empirically that what we think about a situation, or indeed life, largely determines how it will turn out. Now, if you find yourself in a valley of despair at the moment and desire to scale to the mountain peaks, it may take some time. As with everything in life, we need to take it one step at a time. Given enough time, being persistent and consistent, we can even move mountains. An old Chinese Proverb puts it this way, “The man who moved a mountain was the one who began carrying away small stones.” So, regardless of where you are on your trek, start carrying away small stones, and soon the mountains will be moved.
As a person of faith, I recognize there is also clear evidence from Scripture that our thinking or faith has a major impact on the outcomes in our lives. I always want to be very careful that I do not take verses of Scripture out of context in order to fit my point, but there are many instances within Scripture where Christ taught that our thinking, or faith, was a contributing factor in the outcome of healings and other miracles.
Now, I do not profess to fully understand how our thinking and/or faith intertwine with the sovereign will of God. I realize that people with great faith still become ill or have other problems in life, seemingly outside of their control. Things break down and fall apart, whether it is a car, washing machine, or even our bodies. This is due to the fact that we are part of a fallen world, and that there are certain “laws of nature” that God allows to play out in our lives. Obviously, the better we take care of any of these, the better chance that they will not break down as quickly.
Even though I do not fully understand the mind of God in many matters, I do understand there is a direct correlation between our thinking and beliefs (or faith) and the results. One example of this is when Christ’s disciples were unable to heal a demon-possessed boy in Matthew 17:19-20, “Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, ‘Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?’ ‘You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.’”
This is a powerful statement about the impact of how our thinking/faith impacts the results that we see in life. Now, I have never heard of anyone literally being able to move a physical mountain. But, there are many situations where people have overcome mountainous obstacles and have gone on to greatness because in their thinking they believed that it was possible.
Our thinking does impact the outcomes in our lives. Our attitudes toward life are very important because our “Attitudes are patterns of thinking formed over a long period of time.”
The way to switch from small thinking to big thinking is to control what goes into your mind. “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.”
What you allow to permeate your mind will be what and how you think. You either need to control your thinking, or your thinking will control you. What your mind dwells on, your body acts on. You will become what your think about. “How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.”
You must constantly ask yourself these questions:
- Who am I around?
- What are they doing to me?
- What do they have me reading or watching?
- What do they have me saying?
- Where do they have me going?
- What do they have me thinking?
- And most importantly, what do they have me becoming?
Then ask yourself the big question, “Is that okay?” Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.
“Your thinking today determines your performance today.”
Guard your thoughts as if they were precious gold and jewels for they are much more valuable than any wealth. Your thoughts are your true wealth.
Proverbs 4:23 encourages, “Guard your heart (mind) above all else for it determines the course of your life.”
As your guide, friend, mentor, and fellow sojourner, let me know how I can help you become a better leader and mentor to your tribe.