Every action/step a man takes, every activity he engages in, even the words he speak, goes through his mind before he act on it. There is nothing a man does that doesn’t go through his mind first. Our mind is not a ‘stranger’ to any of our actions. Our thoughts are so powerful that it can make or mar us, it can break or make us, our thoughts can determine whether we would end up a failure or a success.
Interestingly, no man is ‘self-made’. In essence, no man is a product of himself or herself. It is also fair to say that what makes a man who or what he his is the mind. The mind, which is the seat of emotions, feelings, passions, desires, and endeavors is not just formed on its own – there are many factors that influence the way we think positively and/or negatively.
These Factors Include:
1. Our Upbringing
The way a person is brought up goes a long way in determining how he/she thinks. I have seen people say things like ‘who are you to tell me I am wrong? Even my parents have never or would never talk to me that way!’. So, when anyone correct these ones, they believe that the person doesn’t match up to someone that can correct them.
Some have been brought up in an environment that suggests mediocrity, so, they never think outside the box, they never aim high, they are always afraid to take a bold step because they have been made to believe that they are not just good enough no matter how they try; they even see chasing their dreams or what they truly believe in as virtually impossible.
2. Peer Group (Friends)
There is an adage that says: ‘show me your friend and I will tell you who you are’. The interesting thing about this adage is that it didn’t say: ‘I MIGHT show you who you are’ but it says: ‘I WILL show you who you are!‘ This tells you how much the company you keep say about you. Trust me, if you hang around 4 fools, you will be nothing but the fifth (even thinking you are the wisest amidst your friends shows you are just like them). When you have a wise idea, the fear to say it because they wouldn’t understand makes you say something they can understand and sooner than later, you become like them.
3. Social Media
The role of social media in this age and time cannot be overemphasized, as it plays a major role in how we think. We follow the latest gist in town, surf the internet, and check how others live their lives. Sooner than later, we channel our lives towards how they live theirs, we try hard to put up a display of who we are not and neglect our own lives. The social media sure has its numerous benefits, but it can be misused, such that you end up loosing your own mind and inheriting another’s.
4. What We Listen to and What We Watch
I believe if the songs we listen to, and the movies we see contain contents we need not to guard our hearts from, the world would be a better place.
The lyrics of songs and the theme of movies we see has destroyed many lives, has ruined many homes, has robbed many of their minds. Many now think the only thing of utmost importance is power, and money. I have heard youths say words like: ‘how I wish I have a similar sneakers as the one Wizkid puts on in his music video’ or words like “anytime I remember that Nicki Minaj song it ‘ turns me on’ that I masturbate”. I have seen folks that judge their relationship(s) based on a movie, such that any time their partner corrects them, they respond with the same reply their favorite actress gave in a movie!
The above factors amidst others have gone a long way in affecting the way we think, and has made us what we are today (teenagers and young adults most especially)
We have to understand that the thought of a man determines his altitude in life; the way a man thinks determines if he would end up a success or a failure. The way a man reasons determines if he would achieve his dreams or not. Yes, our thoughts are that powerful.
In her book titled ‘mindset’, Carol S. Wreck expounded on the differences between a fixed mindset, and a growth mindset.
The Book explains how the ones with what she (Carol S. Wreck) called the ‘fixed mindset’ are the ones who believe they are the genius and every other person is/can never be as good as they are. In fact, they believe that before they succeed, they don’t have to work hard. To them, their ability is just enough for them to do fine, and if anyone ‘overtakes’ them, well, they immediately believe they have lost their ‘charm’. Instead of getting up, see where they got it wrong and try again, they rather hate themselves for the rest of their lives!
In the same book, she tells the story of a chef who owned a 5-Star restaurant and was regarded as the best in town. The restaurant was rated rather ‘low’ one time and because of this, he thought he was no longer good enough and will never be. So, he killed himself!
The ones with the growth mindset, on the other hand, think life owe them nothing and to gain anything worthwhile out of it, they have to work hard and believe in themselves. They believe no matter their background, they can attain any height they want to. These ones keep bouncing back after every defeat, stronger, and better (Tiger woods is a very good example in this category).
Our thoughts are who we really are, and it’s what we feed our mind with that determine this.
Believe me, if you feed your mind with ‘junks’ then what you think about would be the same, and because your thoughts is who you are, guess what you would be? JUNK!
It’s quite simple, where people expect you to exhibit patience, you act as a child not because something is wrong with you but because you don’t even know what that is. When people expect you to understand that at your age, there are some qualities you must posses before you even think of money and fame, you think otherwise because that’s the same way the ones around you think, or what the songs you listen to suggests.
You have to take charge of the power of your thoughts. That mind of yours has a superpower, use it.
But to do that, you have to;
1. Guard your heart jealously
The good book says: ‘guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life’. In essence, guard the content(s) you allow into your mind, filter the information you receive. Your mind is too precious to allow ‘just anything into it’. I personally don’t hang around some folks, I don’t attend some gatherings, I don’t sit where they discuss certain things.
I don’t involve myself in so many things that is seen as ‘normal’ not because it’s completely bad but because my mind is who I am, and I can’t put it at stake.
My friends know what to discuss with me and what not to. In fact, they feel uncomfortable when they want to do some things or say some things around me (you should live that way too). Yes, it would mean you’re ‘boring’ but it’s the best way, trust me. You don’t have to fit into everyone’s definition of interesting.
Get yourself inspired, get books that talk about your passion, books that will make you a better person, books that have great information for you. A thinker cannot but be a reader.
3. Associate with People Who are Better than You are
The ones that are better than you are not a threat to you, don’t be intimidated by their presence. Move closer to them and learn from them, ask them questions, get to know how they are so good. Stop hanging around those ones that add nothing meaningful to you.
4. Take responsibility for yourself
Make up your mind to be responsible for every decision you make, and stop blaming every one for your mistakes, stop thinking you would always lean on someone to think for you. THINK. FOR YOURSELF, IT’S YOUR LIFE. It’s about you.
So, get up today, awaken that superpower in your mind. Stop thinking it’s only some particular ones that can think right, you’re not a failure, you can achieve those goals no matter where you come from.
THERE IS POWER IN THAT MIND OF YOURS, USE IT. Your generation and that to come would thank you for it.
How do you intend to to be mindful of your thoughts and action from today?
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