“…for as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” ~Proverbs 23:7
Folks, it’s all in your head! Really! Ever so often, I have to remind myself of that scripture in Proverbs because it is the difference in a victorious life and a beaten-down life. Everything begins in your mind with your thoughts, your outlook on life and your attitude. From there, you can go anywhere you want. Yes, anywhere.
Whether it’s John Maxwell, Og Mandino, Joyce Meyer, Napoleon Hill, Henry Ford or the Bible itself, they all agree: It all starts in your head. Your attitude, your habits, your finances, your relationships and even your destiny and future begin with a single thought.
- Walter Wintle says: “If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost.”
- Hill believes that “If you fail to control your own mind, you may be sure you will control nothing else.”
- The legendary Henry Ford said a century ago: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
- Joyce Meyer has written one of the best books on wrestling with the mind (Battlefield of the Mind) and she puts it very starkly: “…your life will not get straightened out until your mind does.”
Whew! It’s an absolute, across-the-board, unanimous verdict. Your success — or failure — depends on your thoughts. Indeed, your future hinges on what you’re thinking. It’s a battle of the mind. Whether it’s Oprah Winfrey, Mike Murdock, John Mason or Tony Robbins, they all agree with the others. Your mind is a gold mine and your destiny begins with your next thought.
Your positive thoughts yield confidence, determination, faith, hope and momentum. Your negative thoughts also bring about the same results, just in the opposite direction.
Experts say you have between 60,000 and 80,000 thoughts per day or around 3,000 per hour! You probably don’t even notice most of them, until you try to slow down and concentrate on one thing. You get to decide what stays up there, which thoughts take root and how they direct your future.
“Whatever you hold in your mind on a consistent basis is exactly what you will experience in your life,” Robbins says.
Now, don’t start typing and shoutin’ me down just yet. I’m not signing onto a prosperity, name-it-claim-it gospel, but there is something about positivity and harnessing your thoughts that warrant your evaluation and consideration.
In 2 Corinthians 10:5, Paul writes that we should “take every thought captive”. So, let me preach a little bit here. If God says you are an overcomer, you are the head and not the tail, you are above and not beneath, why would you let any other thought enter your mind. Or to be more specific, why would you let any other thought stay in your mind or leave your mind through your words? Further, if you can control those thoughts, why wouldn’t you? If you can replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts, why wouldn’t you? If you can decide which thoughts will determine your tomorrow, why wouldn’t you choose the decisively positive thoughts that would put you on the road to prosperity, peace and happiness?
So, let’s go a little further here. Your thoughts will show up in your habits, your words and your actions. How do you take that negative thought captive? It’s a choice. You choose which thoughts you dwell on and activate. You pick one idea to speak about, to turn into habits and to take action on. Then, it becomes the difference in the future you take.
It’s evident in criminals. In many cases, you can go back in time and see where a particular crime started. Sure there are impulse crimes, but statistics show that the corruption began long ago in the mind of the criminal. It began with a thought, a thought about robbing, stealing, embezzling, arson or any other crime. So it stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if corruption begins in the mind that prosperity, happiness and peace also start in the brain, right?
“You are what you are, and you are where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You change what you are, and you change where you are by going by changing what goes into your mind. ~Zig Ziglar.
In other words, you are where you are today because of the choices you made yesterday, and last month and last year. You determine your future by choosing the college you attended or that first job you took and those choices began with a single thought. You may not decide to rob a bank, but you can choose to believe you’ll get that job you applied for, whether you’ll bless that enemy, or whether to be resentful and angry or pleasant and cheerful. You can choose to believe the positive thoughts or negative thoughts.
In his fascinating book The Greatest Salesman in the World, Mandino notes that “Weak is he who permits his thoughts to control his actions; strong is he who forces his actions to control his thoughts.”
Yes, I’ve always believed that your decisions today determine your destiny tomorrow. But it goes deeper than that. Your thoughts today will determine your destiny tomorrow. Thoughts are based on your beliefs, but they give life to your words and actions, which become your choices and become your destiny and future and hope. Jeremiah quoted God: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Indeed, God has chosen to prosper you in every facet of your life. Relationships, attitude, job, finances. He offers, no, He has already provided a hope and a future. The choice is yours. Which thoughts coming into your head will you follow?
So now you know. It’s up to you. And it begins with your next thought. What will you do with it? How will you proceed? What will your tomorrow look like?
“You have absolute control of but one thing, and that is your thoughts,” Hill continues in Think and Grow Rich. “This is the most significant and inspiring of all facts known to man! It reflects man’s Divine nature. This Divine prerogative is the sole means by which you may control your own destiny.”
“…the sole means”.
In other words, you can control your attitude, you can dictate your actions, and, yes, you can supervise your words. But it all comes down to your stinkin’ thinkin’. Your future awaits. Will you take the way lined with failure and resentment and anger and jealousy? Or will you take the road less travelled?
“..many people take thinking for granted. But the truth is that intentional thinking isn’t commonplace. What you do every day in the area of thinking really matters because it sets the stage for all your actions, and it will bring you either adversity or advantage.” ~~John Maxwell
The verdict is in: It’s all in your head! Take it out for a test drive today. Take captive or replace a few thoughts and see what happens. Because “…as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…“