As a man thinks in his heart…so he is! – Proverbs 23:7
Have you ever considered the fact that thoughts are not neutral? They are manifested in our lives in so many different ways. Why? Because, as we think in our hearts – so we are!
If that’s true…then what have your thoughts turned you into?
What thoughts consume you right now?
What keeps you up at night?
These thoughts become the essence of the lives we live. Take this scenario as an example.
Two children grow up in the same home. They are poor and struggle to make it from day to day. One of them focuses his thoughts and energy on how miserable his circumstances are. The other on rising above and making a better life for him and his family. Fast forward twenty years. How do you think their lives turned out?
The illustration is, I hope, obvious. If we are the essence of the thoughts we allow, then one kid made it out and rose above his circumstances while the other kid remained stuck.
In order for us to keep from getting stuck, or to get out of it when we are, we must learn to set our sails for success. Here’s what I mean.
Setting Your Sail
When I think about the illustration above, I think of specific names and stories. I think about family and friends and people in our community who have either risen above or sunk below their circumstances based solely on how they set focused their thoughts. Some set them for success. Others, however, stayed stuck.
As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, such as How to Create a Life you Love, we are driven by how we feel. But feelings are terrible leaders. They often betray us or lead us astray. What’s more important, however, is the issue of where those feelings come from. Again, to paraphrase Tony Robbins, “What we focus on is what we feel.”
You and I are emotional creatures. God has created us to feel a lot of different things. This can be a blessing and a curse. What is most interesting to me (and to this discussion as it pertains to helping families Thrive at Life) is the fact that we are in control of the thoughts that lead to the feelings.
The late, great, Jim Rohn has said this and it bears repeating: “It’s not what happens that determines your life future. It’s what you do about what happens. It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines your destination. It’s the set of your sail. The same wind blows on us all. A difference in arrival is not the blowing up the wind. It’s the set of the sail.”
You may want to stop and re-read that quote. It can truly change your life!
Life and circumstances happen to us all. It is true that some stories are riddled with more pain, abuse, frustration, and agony. However, there is evidence that shows that someone has been where you have been or where you are now. They have been down and out and at their wits-end. However, the blowing of those harsh winds in their life did not capsize their dreams or steal their joy. By focus and determination (and God’s grace), these people made a decision that what they went through would not define their future.
They chose to think of solutions – not problems.
Joy- not pain.
More – not less.
Ultimately, it is as simple as this fact: what we think of is a choice. Plain and simple. The outcomes, however, are neither plain nor simple. But the choice to train our attention and focus on something worthwhile is.
When it comes to your life and your finances, where will you arrive 5 years, 10 years, or 20 years from now with the thoughts that you currently hold? Where will they take you? Life and happenstance find us all. But where you arrive when it’s all said and done is up to you and how you set your sail.
Thoughts are not neutral. So choose your thoughts wisely. Your life is in your hands!
What do you think? Are we bound to the circumstances of our life or can we truly determine life’s outcomes?
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