Friday, October 14, 2011

The Power of Positive Filters

Once again I picked up the book The*Lost*Art*of*Thinking  (asterisked to protect the droves of people who google this book and who are not looking for me and my prattle.) This of course, is the book on improving Emotional Intelligence.This time I did not pick it up for the sake of the twins. It's time to assess my own mental filters...I'm sure I'm due for a spring cleaning. Anyone who works very long with distorted, unbalanced and inaccurate thinkers must evaluate their own thought patterns from time to time. Of course, I believe that is what regular Bible study and prayer will do for people, but it doesn't hurt to take a conscious look at our thinking and perspective to be sure we have not become an overgeneralizing, negative, "mind-reading", magnifying or minimizing, critical labeler. How's that for a mouthful?

My brain hurts.

I've decided to take a piece of advice and do a 14 day thought improvement plan. Who is with me? Anybody want to try it?

14 Day Plan to Improve Thought Patterns

The topics of our conversation really can have a negative or positive influence on our health.

  1. For fourteen consecutive days decide to say nothing critical or negative about anything or any person.
  2. Not one critical word is allowed to be spoken to others (not even “constructive” criticisms.)
  3. Speak to others using positive or neutral words or speak nothing at all (use the same rule for thoughts.)
  4. If you slip upon any day during the two weeks, you begin counting again until you achieve all 14 consecutive days.
  5. Don’t get discouraged if you have to start over; things will get easier as you become more aware of your thoughts.
  6. After completing 14 consecutive days, constructive criticism is allowed and you will be a far better judge of what that really means.
This exercise may seem impossible for those raising children or leading in a business environment. It is possible, however, to communicate expectations and enforce consequences without critical words.

To be perfectly honest.... I've done this a few times in my life, but have yet to be very successful since the twins came to live here. Poor kids get blamed for everything, don't they? Okay, enough of that. Only positive and neutral words from here on out....

Guess who turned 18 this week? Wow! When I turned 18 and Steve turned 21 (a month apart) we  began our courtship... my mother was 37 and my dad 39 at the time, if that tells you anything. . . According to Brianna each generation gets a little bit smarter.....  No fellows on the horizons. 


Kelly said...

Love the picture!!!

I will try this challenge but I am not promising anything. LOL

Man, this is going to be a hard one. Wishing I had not come over here to your blog today. ;)

14 days? really? oh, man. Sad that this will be so hard. Tells me about myself...a part I don't like.

Thanks for the reminder and challenge.

GB's Mom said...

I am up for the challenge, though I think you will me in the dirt. Particularly good timing... My husband will be in Michigan for 6 days!

Jenny said...

Wow, what a challenge! I am going to try also. This is just as hard as trying to stick to a diet in my current life. I can't seem to lose the "pregnancy weight" I gained in the first year of having the twins. It is going to be an extra challenge because so much is blamed on our twins also, unfortunately most of it is justified. I think you have more courage and patience than I do.

14 days? Really?

Jenny said...

Blew it already!! Thanks goodness tomorrow is a new day!!

Daniela said...

As for the 14-day plan: Interesting challenge indeed!

As for your daughters still being teenagers and no fellows on the horizon: Good for them!

Acceptance with Joy said...

I'm so excited that you ladies took me up on the challenge. I need accountability :-)

Yes, I'm starting over tomorrow. I actually was quite aware of my thoughts and words all day... I was just amazed that some things that came out of my mouth that weren't legally "Negative" came out in a tone meant to portray a negative emotion. I might as well have used critical words. The words were fine, it was the way they were spoken and so I have decided I have to start over. The kids were awesome today, though... wait until we hit a rough patch.... praying the Lord to strengthen me for those HARD times.


Acceptance with Joy said...


I'm only too happy the girls are focused on other things!!

This is a Dr. Nedley challenge.

Shonni said...

O.K. Wow! I’m thinking I could totally succeed at this challenge IF I holed out in a beautiful, completely stocked cabin in the Rocky Mountains for 14 days. But I guess that isn’t the point is it LOL.
So, I really can see that I have become negative and critical! And I am also I am in! Do I have to leave my quiet room and face the children before I can start counting?

Jennifer P said...

I'm totally in. Any bit of accountability is GOOD for me. Thankful that mercy is new every morning.

It is hard looking in the mirror all day long. So convicting when I let it be....

Sean and Lisa said...

Oh my, way to hit me below the belt. LOL! Honestly, I NEED this I really do but not sure I could succeed through one day of the challenge...of course, there in lies WHY I NEED to do this challenge!
Oh my, taking a deep breath and fortifying myself to dive into this challenge with you.
Please pray for me! :)
Since it's almost kids bedtime I'll start first thing in the morning......
Thanks for this....I think....LOL!

Denise said...

I'm just reading this, although I've heard a couple of people mention "the challenge." Honestly, this seems almost impossible right now...which is precisely why I need to do it!

Lisa in Texas = ) said...

Hello - I clicked over from Ann's blog - His Grace To Me. I am new to your blog. Your challenge sounds like a real challenge but one that I really need to work on. By God's grace I will be working on this,
Lisa :o)