If you have ever seriously competed in a sport, you know what it feels like to expend a lot of effort and take the victory. I don’t mean something like playing checkers, I mean a tough competition with a worthy opponent that challenges you to exert the extra mental energy required to come out on top. I say mental energy because at the end of the day it’s your thoughts that propel you to victory. You can have the strongest, most athletic body on Earth, but if you don’t win in your mind, you won’t win on the field!
Your life, my life is lived amidst a great competition. And whether we choose to compete or not, we are in it! The way that we compete is by the thoughts we think. That’s right folks! Your thoughts lead to your beliefs and your beliefs determine how your life turns out. As I’ve said many times before, don’t get it twisted…life doesn’t happen to you, you happen to life. If you can grasp this one idea, you can revolutionize your life.
Most people pay very little attention to the thoughts they are thinking. It’s like automatic pilot. You are thinking things, evaluating things, feeling things and blowing right by them as if it’s just a part of life. Oh I get why it happens. It happens because your belief system has informed you that thoughts are just thoughts and have no impact on this thing called, “your life.” But that, my friends, couldn’t be further from the truth. And like choosing not to compete in the competition of life, it really doesn’t matter because you are competing and your thoughts are how you are competing – like it or not!
When things are going badly for you; when circumstances seemed stacked up against you; when nothing seems to be going right, the first place to check is your thoughts. What are you thinking about? What are you focusing on? Where are you expending your mental energy? What have you accepted as true that might not be true? What time period are you in? The future; the past or right now? To think that you can maintain a sour, negative outlook and still get a good result may be the height of insanity. If you were in a physical race and all you thought about was not losing the race, chances are you lost that race! Run your own race! If you were playing basketball and all you could focus on was not missing the last shot, I guarantee you missed that shot. Take the shot!
In life, I imagine all of us have hopes and dreams about how this thing is supposed to turn out. We’re happy. We have enough money. We have a great job that allows us to use our talents to the fullest. We have great relationships with people that we love. We’re peaceful and content. But, how often do we entertain those thoughts? Not much! Instead we want to focus on everything that isn’t right and worse, bitch and moan in detail about it. Crazy…
In the great competition, we have an opponent. That opponent is always up for the challenge. He works in the systems of the world to make sure you don’t get to live out your dreams by influencing your thoughts. He counts on the fact that you don’t realize the importance of what you are thinking. In fact, he is the mastermind of distraction and lies and wields them both with breathtaking accuracy. The moment you make up your mind to change something or get something better, you are deluged with other ideas about why you can’t; don’t deserve it; aren’t be realistic; fooling yourself…on into infinity (almost). But instead of sticking to your guns and strengthening your resolve, you get fainthearted, lose energy and get back in line with the other billion people.
So what can you do about it? How can you finally win? Well, first of all you have to learn to start paying attention to what you are thinking about. Then, and here is where it can get pretty gnarly, you have to fight back. That’s right! Instead of recognizing that you feel bored or depressed or sad or weak and just living with it, you have to fight back! You have to make up your mind to take that thought on. Just because you thought something does not make it true. Again, JUST BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT SOMETHING DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE! (YELLING) That has to be one of the biggest con jobs that ever happened to mankind. It’s a thought and it just invited you to compete. Okay, so you are tired today and don’t feel like fighting. But, if a scary, masked man just strolled into your living room and threatened your child, you’d feel like fighting, right? It wouldn’t matter if you were up all night, you would fight. Well, it’s the same with your thoughts. You may not want to fight, but if your peace of mind is at stake, you have to take it on. In fact, if that thought threatens anything you hold dear, you have to take it on.
Intentional living is really about intentional thinking. Decide what you want for your life and rigorously exclude any thoughts that aren’t in agreement with what you want. Hey man, they’re your thoughts… If you find yourself feeling negative or grouchy or upset, decide to stop it. Oh you can stop it alright. Change your thoughts. Think about the good things; your blessings; what you are grateful for; who you love, something. But for Lord’s sake don’t stay in the misery pit. No one gets out of the misery pit by choosing not to compete. They get out when and only when they decide to!
Some folks sadly never learn this lesson. Don’t let that be you! Take charge of your life by taking charge of your mind. It really is the only thing you are ever in complete control of…Hmmm, that alone should make you think (haha).
3…2…1, he shoots and it’s goooooooooooood! The Blazers win, the Blazers win! (Go Damian Lillard)
Winning feels so good!
Just some good thoughts…