Journey to Faith

Journey to Faith
Follow your own path

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Ignite the Power Within Step 2: How to Make Better Choices

Life is all about choices, isn't it? Every day we make dozens of choices, some conscious and some not. We make a choice about what time to get up in the morning. What to have for breakfast. What to wear to work. Some choices are automatic and others we have to think about. The great news is we can make new and different choices each and every day. You can transform your life by changing the choices you make and it all starts with changing how you think.

Now this concept is not new. In fact, 2000 or so years ago, the Apostle Paul encouraged us to "Be transformed daily by the renewing of our minds" (Romans 12:2). What we read, watch, listen to and who we hang around all program our minds without us realizing it. Funny story.

Years ago, when I worked for the state government, there was a lovely coworker who had the habit of making a "Tsk tsk" kind of sound with her mouth. Believe it or not, after several months of being around her, I, too, started making this same sound. People influence us. Television influences us. Magazines and photos are a strong influence. Music influences us. We have to be mindful of what is influencing our minds.

Our thoughts are extremely powerful.We have the ability to change our lives by simply changing our thoughts.  They can motivate and encourage us or they can cause us to be depressed and down. Norman Vincent Peale said when we change our thoughts, we change our world. What we think about and dwell on, is eventually what will manifest itself in our lives.

Just because an ad on television features a mouth-watering pizza or cheeseburger, doesn't mean we have to pick up the phone and order a delivery. Just because someone brings in donuts at the office or has a candy dish on their desk, does not mean we have to indulge. It's not only outside messages we have to watch out for, we also need to be aware of the messages we are sending ourselves.

For example, instead of saying to yourself, "I'm too lazy to exercise" start reprogramming your mind by saying "I am self-controlled and disciplined.  I will exercise today because I value my health and my body and I want to keep it in good shape." Instead of saying "I don't have any will power ," say "I am powerful and I can control what I eat, drink, say, think etc". Our beliefs impact our thoughts which in turn impact our actions. You are more powerful than you realize. Give yourself more credit.

You have the ability to recreate yourself every day. Reality starts in our minds every morning when we get up. Many years ago, I memorized a verse of scripture to start my day off on a positive note:

"This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it." (Ps. 118: 24).

No matter whether the sun is out or not, how well I slept the night before, or what I need to deal with that day,  I make a conscious decision to put on an attitude of gratitude and joy.  Our day will go better when we set a positive tone first thing in the morning.

Step 2 to Igniting the Power Within asks us to take control of our thoughts. We are to think on things that are true, noble, and of good report. In other words, focus on the positive. Dwelling on negative thoughts like what someone said or did to us or a mistake we made, keeps us stuck in yesterday, drains our energy from today, and leads us into a downward spiral of inertia that sidetracks us from our destiny.

Here's an exercise to help you gain more control of your thoughts. For 5 or 10 minutes a day, stop and observe what you are thinking about. If you can sit down and close your eyes all the better. You may be surprised where your mind has wandered. Then take a few minutes to totally clear your mind of any thoughts. Pay attention to your breath.  Lastly, replace any negative thoughts with good, positive, energizing thoughts. Give it a try and see how much better you feel!

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Until next time, stay tuned for more on igniting the power within and discovering your destiny!

Keep looking up!

Ariel Paz