Clean Up Your Environment…


Much can be said about your environment and what you choose to live in each day. Some environments are healthy and serve to promote growth. Other environments are toxic and slowly eat away at your core. Dark and dreary spaces rob your heart of the sunshine of living. While bright and cheerful abodes freely admit fresh air and revitalization into your soul. Clutter and unattended to accumulation choke and stifle. Well placed and well intentioned objects promote peace.

Human minds, like your living room, must be meticulously maintained and well cared for. Failure to do so will eventually lead to anarchy. Every non-beneficial thought you let go of will soon gain ascendancy over your life. Every un-confronted  criticism, every darkening shadow, every unaddressed burden, every threat to your future will work together against you to suffocate your heart, rendering it callused and useless. Yet, most people only render a half consciousness regarding their thoughts and even less confidence in their ability to control them. Worse still, only a tiny majority recognize that the space in their heads is theirs and theirs alone to manage and if necessary, clean up.

I know it sounds trite and the expression is completely worn out, but you are the only you, you have got. Your mind is the command center of your life. Out from your mind, your heart come the issues of your life. I’ll say it another way. That which you think about the most; that which you dwell upon; that which you choose to faithfully consider is how your life turns out. That person you pity at your high school reunion who seems as if life has gotten the better of him isn’t so because of fate or bad luck, but rather because of a failure to protect his mental environment. If you knew how much your thoughts impacted your life, you wouldn’t be so frivolous concerning them. Every negative seed “the wind” blows in will, if left unattended, produce a weed. And like every good weed seeks to do, will eventually ruin your garden. Your lack of energy, your absence of enthusiasm, your perpetual feelings of fatigue are more from your mental environment than any lack of sleep.

The circumstances you encounter, the trials and the difficulties, the weighty burdens come not first but after. Your thinking is the primary cause. And while the world may be engulfed in evil, irritation, suffering and annoyance, you don’t have to be engulfed or submerged in it. There is a way out and that way out is found in changing your thoughts. Feeling negative and frustrated and futile are temptations which must be fought against. Submission to the negatives in life is like settling down in a filthy home that you have the capability to clean up. Clean up your environment. Locate the unwelcome guests one at a time and replace them one at a time. Your goal isn’t a vacuum (though you may need to vacuum). Your goal is replacement. You have to locate something that is wholesome, edifying and true to replace that which is unhealthy, damaging and false. But, do it you must!

It may seem like controlling your thoughts is an impossible task given the sheer speed and volume with which we think. But your task isn’t all of your thoughts, it is your next thoughts. When it comes to life, when it comes to your existence, when it comes to your personal experience, what are you saying to yourself? Are you being kind to yourself like you are to a dear friend, though despite his foibles, you continue to love? Are you exhibiting patience like you would offer to a child? Are you extending to yourself a new beginning; a thousand new beginnings, like you would to someone that you’ve determine to forgive? Are you? Or are you faithfully engaged in berating yourself, criticizing yourself, comparing and weighing yourself against others? The Instagram model whose body you have been coveting may have spent a lifetime cultivating it, yet there you are actually hating your own wonderful flesh in response to it. You see, the beginning of healthy thought begins with the things you think about yourself. Are you really such a bad person or are you perhaps much like everyone else; battling absurdities and weakness and errors, yet continuing on in spite of them?

Building up your mind, building up your heart takes time. You can’t expect to change a lifetime of wrong thinking overnight, just as you wouldn’t expect your body to show signs of change after the first few days of exercising. But persistence in controlling your mind will produce a lifetime of results. Controlling your thoughts doesn’t just consist of the things you say about yourself, but also comprises the things you say about your life, your relationships, your job, your boss, you name it. Every negative viewpoint, every false assumption, every rehearsed and expected failure you envision cannot help but to produce more after its kind. Maybe, just maybe your life sucks because that’s what you have been confessing for the past twenty years. Maybe you can’t catch a break because you don’t expect to catch a break and then somehow that is God’s fault. Your life is far, far from being destined or predetermined with our wonderful God having supplied you with the one thing you can control, if you really want to!

If you take nothing away from this but one solitary thing, know that your thinking is vitally and crucially important in determining how your life turns out. Clean up your environment. Don’t allow anything to remain that pains you or causes you to feel unrest. Banish fear and worry as both have failed miserably in preventing anything from happening. Cleanse and purify your estimation of yourself by refusing anything that makes you feel bad about yourself or lessens you in your own sight. Thinking good things, expecting good things, envisioning good things is no harder than doing the opposite with the only exception being breaking out of the things you have habitually practiced. It’s all right there for you folks if you will only take heed and do it… Clean up your mental environment!

Just some good thoughts…

 

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Desperately Seeking Happiness…


I don’t know about you, but there are more opinions on finding happiness than there are stars in the sky. Some suggest that you turn your focus to yourself, prioritize yourself and choose yourself first. Others promote gratitude as the answer. A majority report it comes from doing the things you love. Many say that happiness is not a destination you reach, but rather something that occurs along the journey. Some offer that happiness is found in favorable circumstances. Indeed there are a multitude of theories and ideas, but do they really work? Can you find the happiness you so desperately seek?

There are few things you can directly control in life. Circumstances change, people change, events ebb and flow. Some days you are on top of the world, other days nothing seems right. At times you feel totally in control and other times completely out of control. Try as you might, control as much as you can, take no risks, choose maximum safety and still things go wrong; sometimes disastrously wrong. It doesn’t seem to matter if you are a good person or a bad person, though we like to assume that bad people have it coming. Yet, bad things happen to good people as well. So, what is it? What are you supposed to do?

The only thing you can have total control of is your mind. Often the missing key lies in what you choose to do with your mind. I don’t mean you should try to be happy when things are going bad for you. No, that’s not realistic or reasonable. I’m talking more about your mindset. What is your default mindset? What do you think about when no-one is watching? What thoughts, ideas and expectations are you rehearsing in your head? Do you even know? Or have you bought into the crazy idea that your mind thinks and concludes with or without your permission? It’s sort of like when people say they can’t shut their minds off in order to go to sleep. I’m here to testify that you can turn your mind off or better quiet it down, once you begin to learn how to control your mind. Happiness is a result of consistently controlling your mind.

Think about the times in your life when you felt happy and blessed. Maybe it was a family vacation or on your wedding day or when you graduated from college. Was it really the vacation in the tropics that made you happy or was it your anticipation and expectation? I would suggest it is the latter. There are many folks living in the tropics that aren’t working and are free to play who are miserable still! Why? Because of their negative expectation. How many people do you know who are always waiting for their happiness as if it is on a train and they are awaiting its arrival? They are waiting to be happy. They feel that once such and such happens they will finally be happy. Maybe when they get the money or the job or the perfect spouse, maybe then the happiness will follow. In the interim, they remain suspended, waiting and waiting for some circumstance to finally line up or for their lucky break to at last arrive. You see, there are 260 workdays in a year, but only 52 Saturdays if you get my drift. That’s a lot of waiting…

There is a far better strategy than waiting! The best plan of action, yes action, is found in choosing to be happy right now, no matter what your circumstances are promoting as reality. Being enthusiastic and optimistic, indeed expecting good things is a function of your mind. The action is to control your thinking. Stop being run about from pillar to post being blown about with every wind of doctrine. Stop basing your happiness on what things look like! Stop waiting and hoping and wishing and just decide to be happy. You might not have recognized it before but it is the same thing you did the last time you felt happy, only you assigned your happiness to the pleasant circumstances. You don’t need pleasant circumstances to feel happy. All you need is to control what you are thinking and when your thinking goes south, as it necessarily must, you have to change your mind. Your feelings, those great natural barometers, are simply responding to your thoughts. It’s not magic or predestination, good luck or bad luck. It’s not some mysterious force outside of you picking you for one or the other. It’s you, my friend, and what you are doing with your mind…

Allowing your thoughts to default to your experience and taking life as it comes is a recipe for misery. The world we live in is fraught with negativity. Letting your thoughts run where they wish will lead you down the rabbit hole of mental defeat. Instead your solution, God’s solution for you, is for you to take charge of that unruly mind and line it up with the things you actually want. You line it up! You control it! You make it get in line with the life you so desperately seek and then experience the joy of seeing it coming to pass. Do you know why life works so well for some people? Because they expect it to and you don’t have to look any deeper than that. Do you know how to get blessed by God? Become blessed first and then the blessings will follow. Stop waiting on God. God is waiting on you!

The ability to control your mind is one of the greatest things God ever did for you. It is His solution in a world that seems chaotic and out of control. There’s no need to beg God to change your life around. You change your life around by changing your thoughts around, not later on when it looks favorable, but now in the midst of whatever! When the negative thoughts come, recognize them and change them. And, if you really want to excel, if you want to tap into the abundant life, instead of the ordinary life, then find some positive promise of God that counters your negativity and change your mind to that! Say that, rehearse that, announce that, claim that! Soon you’ll find your happiness increasing exponentially…

Are you desperately seeking happiness in your life? Have you already tried all the theories? Learn to focus and control your thinking. Decide first you are going to be blessed and enthusiastic and happy. Decide it right now today in this moment and keep deciding it though all hell should try to drag you back down. Don’t spend another second waiting… Your feelings follow your thoughts and you are in charge of your thoughts! Be happy…

Just some good thoughts…