MANAGE YOUR MIND (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers #8)

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We dreamers and creators are always working toward a goal or dealing with a problem; waiting and hoping for answers and breakthroughs. Along the journey to realizing our hopes and aspirations we’ll encounter opposition and setbacks, and we’ll need to be able to endure delays and disappointments. Sadly, when “life happens,” it’s tempting to give up on our dreams and creative pursuits. If we want to stay the course and fulfill our destinies, we’ll need the backing, encouragement, comfort, strength, and reassurance that comes from One greater than ourselves. To get this Divine support, we’ll need some basic training … to follow several important spiritual steps.

8. Manage your Mind

Nutritionists remind us, “You are what you eat.” But just ask any of the leading motivational speakers and they’ll tell you, “No, you are what you THINK.” Of course, these highly-paid consultants are simply following in the footsteps of the Biblical King Solomon, who wrote that as a person “thinks within himself, so he is.” (Proverbs 23:7 NASB)

If you think you’re a failure, then that’s probably all you’ll ever be. If you think your dreams will never come true, then there’s a good chance they won’t. Face facts, it’s impossible to have hope when your head is full of hopelessness; or to be positive about life and all the possibilities your future holds if you continually feed your mind with negative thoughts.

Researchers have discovered that the average person processes as many as 50,000 thoughts a day. And, unfortunately, many (if not most) of these thoughts are negative. Yech!  This unpleasant truth brings to memory a worn-out comedy sketch from an old TV show called Hee Haw! Four ragged-looking hillbillies sitting in a dirty barnyard look up at the sky with  piteous eyes, and croon woefully, “Gloom, despair, and agony on me! Deep dark depression, excessive misery! If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all — gloom, despair, and agony on me!”

If we had that outlook on life, we’d probably never get out of bed, let alone dabble in the rewarding pursuits of our God-given creativity, or follow all our hopes and dreams. (Instead, we’d groan, “Please go away! Wake me when the world’s over.”) And we warn you, dear reader, if you’re going to create something of lasting (eternal) value; if you’re serious about wanting to achieve your goals; if you simply want to live the “abundant life” the Lord promised (John 10:10), then you’d do well to properly manage your mind. Negative thoughts, such as fear, worry, pessimism, and a critical spirit, can kill hope and creativity.

Keeping your mind free of negative thoughts isn’t always easy: because we live in a “fallen” — and hence, imperfect — world; and also because we inherited from our ancestors Adam and Eve, a predisposition to do all the wrong things in life. It’s called the “sin nature,” but it’s just another way of saying that, when left to their own devices, people will always be selfish, self-centered, and self-serving. Collectively, such people have a tremendous negative impact on our world, helping to create a harsh, often cold environment that is hostile to dreamers and their dreams, and critical of just about any creative endeavor.

The best we can do to improve the world is to refuse to contribute to the cesspool of hostility and negativity. But in regards to our own hopes and dreams, we can take steps to keep this cesspool from poisoning our spirits … and our MINDS. The Apostle Paul admonishes us, “Don’t become like the people of this world [cruel, pessimistic, critical, spiteful]. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants — what is good, pleasing, and perfect. (Romans 12:2 GOD’S WORD) Another way of putting it: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person….” (Romans 12:2 NLT)

Want to manage your mind? Then, to borrow an ad slogan from Apple Computers, “Think different.” Replace any negative thoughts (including spiritual doubts) with positive (faith-filled) thoughts. Be hopeful (optimistic), not cynical (pessimistic). Flush away the “stinking thinking” (thoughts of fear, failure, regrets, hurts, disappointments, and doubts); stop dwelling on the past; stop replaying unpleasant memories of painful events and disparaging words that were spoken to you (or about you). Stop rehearsing any worst-case scenarios regarding your future. And stop nursing any grudges you may be holding. Such stinking thinking creates toxic emotions that will eventually poison your mind and your creativity, as well as contaminate your relationships.

TO BE CONTINUED….

Join us tomorrow for THINK DIFFERENT. We’ll discuss how to flush out negative thoughts and replace stinking thinking.

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More on SUPERNATURAL FAVOR (Boot Camp for Creators & Dreamers #7.2)

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We dreamers and creators are always working toward a goal or dealing with a problem; waiting and hoping for answers and breakthroughs. Along the journey to realizing our hopes and aspirations we’ll encounter opposition and setbacks, and we’ll need to be able to endure delays and disappointments. Sadly, when “life happens,” it’s tempting to give up on our dreams and creative pursuits. If wewant to stay the course and fulfill our destinies, we’ll need the backing, encouragement, comfort, strength, and reassurance that comes from One greater than ourselves. To get this Divine support, we’ll need some basic training … to follow several important spiritual steps

7.2. Seek and Trust God for Supernatural Favor (continued)

  • Trust God to Bring Influential People into your Life.

Ask God to bring into your life people who will support your vision and help you to fulfill your dreams. Why? Because we all need help. Nobody can make it totally alone. Even the so-called “self-made” successes got a helping hand somewhere along the way. According to the Bible, the Apostle Paul had all the right stuff — education and experience, connections and influence — but he eventually reached a place where he needed assistance; a friend and facilitator who could help Paul fulfill the great vision God gave him: spreading the Gospel among the Gentiles.

2000 years ago, Paul had his Barnabas (Acts 9:26-31). More recently, Dr. Phil had his Oprah. To quote the Beatles song, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” So don’t be shy; ask God for a “Barnabas” who can assist you in the pursuit of your dreams, goals, and creative endeavors. After all, one “yes” is often all it takes — and yet many of us are so fearful of rejection we never dare to ask.

But exactly what is there to fear? What’s the worst that can happen? Someone says NO and you simply say, “Next!” and then move on. Remember: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In their book The Aladdin Factor: How to Ask and Get Everything You Want in Life, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen write, “As you pursue your dreams, have the courage to ask for what you want. Somewhere out there is a person or an organization that wants to give you what you want and who will be willing to say yes to you. It’s simply a matter of asking enough people.”

Rrr-okay!

We previously wrote of a young entrepreneur who followed this advice to great success. He sent out 150 letters asking for the assistance he needed to realize his dream. 149 of his requests for help were simply ignored, went unanswered, or were answered with a rejection. But one letter received a “yes” that changed the young man’s life. The “yes” came from none other than President-elect Donald Trump. Lesson learned: speak up and aim high.

  • Trust God to Handle the Details

It’s true: the Devil is in the details. And dreamers and creators can go crazy fretting over them, or just trying to make sense of them. Don’t concern yourself with disappointments and delays. Don’t try to figure out why this person wouldn’t help or that door didn’t open. It’s a waste of time and energy, and it will steal your peace. There will always be setbacks, false starts, and crazy occurrences that don’t seem to make sense.

Know what? Not everything in life does make sense. But it doesn’t matter if we’re trusting God with the details. Regardless of what happens, we can take comfort in the knowledge that God is in control. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT) Mistakes? Obstacles? Failures? Rejection? Ha! No worries! God knows what He’s doing. Trust Him.

Never forget, God has promised, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT). “Now thanks be to God, [who] always causes us to triumph in Christ….” (2 Corinthians 2:14 AKJV)

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