“In the end, it doesn’t matter how well we have performed or what we have accomplished—a life without heart is not worth living.”
I don’t know of anything more difficult to do than change the way I think. I get more lost in my own head than probably anyone else. The other day I was talking with my wife about something, I can’t remember the details, I just know that in my mind that I was right. I had gotten on to my kids for something that I had told them to do at least 5 times and they still hadn’t done it. In my frustration I vented and used an angry tone of voice and in turn, hurt my kids. Well, my wife disagreed with me and felt that I should be able to see something that I was either unwilling or unable to see about myself. Obviously, the anger didn’t help either. And in the process I lost some ground in my kids hearts.
This caused so much frustration for me that I just didn’t know what to do. Eventually I had to go back and apologize for yelling at my kids, but in my heart I was still holding on to the thing that I knew I was right about.
Which brings me to my thought for today. Changing the way I think is extremely difficult. But if I’m going to learn to get any traction as a parent, leading my family, or just doing life, I’m going to have to learn how to change the way I think.
Here are a few thoughts to get you started on changing the way you think.
- Anger Assassinates Relationships. I first heard this phrase from a pastor friend of mine Jamie George. The idea is simple. Getting angry at someone only escalates the emotional intensity of the situation and clouds good judgment. You can’t think clearly if you immediately take offense at people who you are trying to communicate with. Many a once strong relationship has been killed by continual angry outbursts.
- Thinking Requires Objectivity. Objectivity is the ability to gain a bird’s eye view perspective on a moment in time that you are in. For example, if you are in the heat of a moment of crisis or arguing with someone, you have to take a moment, shut up, and begin trying to see the conversation or crisis from a different perspective.
- Listen With Intentionality. I’ve already said this, but you really do have to shut up if you’re going to listen well. Be very purposeful that you are actively listening to the other person.
- Renew Your Mind. You are what you think about. There is no denying this fact. What you watch, what you listen to, and who you listen to, all will influence the way you think. There are many voices in your world competing for your attention. TV, Music, Books, etc. Be very selective about what you are choosing to let in the door of your mind or through the windows of your eyes. Fill your mind with things that set you free, not with things that bind you up. Listen to positive music, read inspirational books, read the Bible, watch movies that stir you heart. Don’t waste your mind on fluff.
- Don’t Give Up. I love the song “Free Bird” by Lynard Skynard. Great song. Great tune. Completely wrong thinking. “This bird you cannot change!” If this is you, then you’re going to have to let go of that kind of thinking. You CAN change. It may be the most amazing thing about humanity, our ability to change the way we think changes who we become over time.
Thinking is a discipline, of that I have no doubt. Thinking differently is going to really be a painful process, I don’t want to deceive you. But it is absolutely necessary if you and I are going to be able to create something good in this world. We have to align ourselves with the mind of God, the One who created us to think differently and change happily. When we do that, we not only think differently in our minds, but we live from our hearts.
Where do you find it difficult to change the way you think? Why do you think that is? Is it because of addictive behaviors? Are you trying to please someone else? Is there an element of control you aren’t willing to let go of?
Talk to me. Leave your comments below so we can continue this conversation.
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