Joyce Meyer wrote "We set ourselves up for disaster with wrong mindsets, but we can have a good life if we learn how to think right”. And from my experience, nothing has ever been so true. I have watched people suffer and continue with the poor thinking that got them in their position of suffering in the first place all based on their quality of thinking. I often wonder why people repel wisdom. Probably because they don't recognize it as wisdom, rather, they prefer doing and believing what's familiar to them. I've seen people live in darkness and oblivion because their mind hasn’t yet recognized wisdom being presented to them and I've seen stubborn, fixed minded people have adult tantrums when their thought processes are challenged. It's sad and pretty frustrating to watch, especially when it's the very people I care for the most who are so deep in their wrong thinking.
How can we tell if we're thinking wrong? Well, the best way I know of is for us to look at our life results. Results never lie. Also, compare your beliefs and thinking to current research for comparison. It's possible you're thinking is rooted in decades of old beliefs systems that are no longer serving the greater good of your life. I see this the most in people who watch the nightly news incessantly. Decades ago, watching the nightly news was a family past time after dinner. Today, research studies prove that the news triggers our nervous system into constant fight/flight, which floods our bodies with too much stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Our bodies were not created to sustain such constant exposure to stress.
We must use our conscious mind to change our thinking patterns and personal behaviors. Additionally, when we were prehistoric protohumans, there wasn’t any broadcasted nightly news because there wasn’t any radio, television, or Internet. And even after radio and TV came into existence, we still didn’t have the kind of international access to worldwide tragedies within moments of catastrophes occurring. We can safely say that in 2021, it's healthier for us not to watch or listen to the news as often, or if ever. I personally never listen to the news because I have more important things to focus on, and I also know that someone will eventually inform me of any imminent danger. Most times, whatever is going on in the world doesn't directly apply to me anyway. Many times, it’s over with by the time I learn of it anyway.
My personal belief is I have more important things to focus on like advancing my family life and community, reading personal development books to improve my thoughts and knowledge base, or working on the personal or business project that's before me. I personally prefer to be an academic and a creator, not a Negative Nancy, Debbie Downer, or a Depressed Danny. I see too many people obsessed by social media negativity and the news. It causes them to live in fear. I don’t want fear to lead my life. Many people tell me I need to watch the news to know what’s going on in the world, but I disagree. I need to focus on creating my life and the news would distract me from achieving that to my fullest potential. But this is how I protect my mind; others are not as interested in protecting their mind, probably because the concept has not yet been introduced to them.
Everyone’s battle is in their mind. Right thinking can enable you and wrong thinking can disable you. Wrong thinking is the primary cause of most of our problems. That's why most people struggle with anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. They don’t have control over their minds. I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not an easy task and that’s why most people don’t like to think about what they’re thinking about. And yes, most times, we don’t have direct control over our thoughts because many of our thoughts are subconsciously programmed into our brain. But we certainly can begin to consciously control our thoughts and redirect them once we “consciously” realize we are experiencing wrong thoughts. I actually prefer to say “unhealthy thoughts”, but either way, wrong or unhealthy thoughts do not serve us at all.
We must get to a point where we consciously decide to wage war against negative, unhealthy, ineffective, and unproductive thoughts. I chose spiritual guidance to protect my mind from unhealthy and wrong thoughts. I began regularly affirming right thinking such as:
I deliberately chose to stop arguing for my limitations. I deliberately chose to live by faith and not by sight. I deliberately chose to believe in miracles. I deliberately chose to believe in the power of prayer and wisdom such as Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”, and Matthew 17:20 paraphrased as I only need to have faith the size of a mustard seed for it to be effective. I chose to study the conscious and subconscious mind because at some point I knew I needed to reprogram my mind if I wanted my life results to match the beautiful vision of inner peace, et cetera, I had created in my mind for my future. My life results proved my personal hypothesis to be true. My beliefs create right or wrong thinking and I deliberately chose right thinking, which motivated my right actions to create desired results.
It’s important to note that it’s not our fault that we are naturally negative thinkers. It’s our brains way of trying to keep us safe. It’s a result of our primitive mind. Additionally, we were programmed from childhood as we interpreted external circumstances through our subconscious mind. Everything we experienced and took in from our five senses programmed our subconscious mind because all we had during our early years was a subconscious mind. As children we responded to external stimuli such as how people talked to us, treated us, and the energy of our environment by the way it felt to us. We didn't have a conscious mind to question our beliefs. We lived to fit in, to receive love, to feel a sense of belonging because to the brain belonging and fitting in meant were safe and would survive.
If we didn’t feel that sense of belonging, it would create fear-based thoughts such as rejection, and to our primitive mind, that equates to potential death. Hence, a society of “followers” was created. This is understandable because we are socially oriented people. Independent, analytical, and in-depth thinkers historically are much more rare, albeit, the creators of civilization.
Today, followers will suffer from unhealthy thinking. In-depth thinkers will question their thoughts and those being espoused in order to ensure intelligent, healthy thinking, which usually equals healthy behaviors. So ask yourself, "Am I thinking right or wrong thoughts, healthy or unhealthy thoughts, positive or negative thoughts”? Do you have a formula for intelligent decision-making? Are you analyzing your life results to gauge the quality of your thoughts? I can assure you if you suffer from anxiety, depression, or negativity, you need to improve the way you're thinking. You may initially want to push back on that suggestion, but pushing back won't serve your evolution. What will serve you is saying, “Today, I will take full responsibility for how the rest of my life turns out no matter what happened to me prior to today. And the way I’ll start taking responsibility for the quality of my life is by improving the quality of my thoughts”.
Ultimately, how your life turns out is your responsibility and the quality of your life starts with how well you think. Question everything about your life and see if you can improve it by improving your thinking habits. Remember, you will be transformed as your mind is renewed by the word of God, incorporating advanced knowledge, and seeking wisdom through independent thinking. The bottom line is we have to change our thinking before anything else about our lives will ever change.
Dr. Capri Cruz