I’ve written before about the most important and most lengthy conversation all of us have every day. It’s the conversation we have with ourselves—it’s called thinking. But for many people, their thinking is stuck in a rut.
I’ve often had conversations with people bucking against a new thought where I have asked them why they believe what they believe. Far too many times they tell me, “That’s just the way I was raised.” Okay, but what do you think about it? “I don’t know. That’s just the way I was raised.”
Two books that have really helped my thinking are As A Man Thinketh (James Allen) and Thinking For A Change (John Maxwell). Allen uses the analogy of our minds as gardens where we need to constantly pull out the weeds and plant the thoughts that will bear the fruit we desire. Maxwell challenges us to look differently at the way we think our thoughts.
The Apostle Paul tells us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). And then we can begin to change the way we think: Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8).
“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.
If your thinking is ever going to go to a higher level it has to start with this: You have to be willing to think about what you’re thinking about.
In other words, why are you thinking what you’re thinking? Start capturing the thoughts running through your mind and ask them, “Why are you here?” Are you thinking what you’re thinking because you thought it, or because someone else thought it for you?
It is only by capturing the thoughts that are already in your head that you can sort out the healthy thoughts from the unhealthy thoughts.