A recent facebook post caught my eye. It was one of those TED talks and the title was The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor. You can look it up on YouTube if it interests you. He's pretty entertaining...
He was talking about the fact that 90% of our happiness is not determined by external factors . . . (which theoretically we all know, but amazingly we tend to act like it most definitely is determined by external factors and my kiddos are not exempt). It is pointed out that our thinking is backwards... we will be happy when we have so many dollars in the bank, we'll be satisfied when we reach thus and such goal, we'll be happy when everybody is nice to us, we'll be happy when something goes away... Only to find we are constantly changing our goals, never fully satisfied because there's more to be had. It's turned around. We need to be happy first. With that in place then our productivity and creativity increases, our relationships are more successful, and we find meaning and joy in the journey. Happiness requires positive thinking. (Imagine that ! :-)
The thinking must be guided... Our thoughts must be harnessed and driven in the right direction, and though Achor doesn't seem to acknowledge it, the Bible clearly speaks to that principle.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself above the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor. 10:5
"Even the thoughts
must be brought into subjection
to the will of God,
and the feelings under the control of reason. . .
If the thoughts are wrong, the feelings will be wrong;
and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character.
The power of right thought
is more precious than the golden wedge of Ophir....
We need to place a high value
upon the right control of our thoughts,
for such control prepares the mind and soul
to labor harmoniously for the Master.
It is necessary for our peace and happiness
in this life that
our thoughts center in Christ.
As a man thinketh, so is he.
Our improvement in moral purity
on right thinking and right acting....
Evil thoughts destroy. .
We need a constant sense
of the ennobling power of pure thoughts
and the damaging influence of evil thoughts.
The only security for any soul is right thinking.
Here is his little formula plan for 21 days to making positive thoughts a habit.
1. write down three things each day that you are grateful for. (Thankfully we know WHO we can be grateful to and begin our prayers with praise and thanksgiving. This is a Biblical principle.)
2. Journal 1 positive experience each day that happened within the past 24 hrs.
3. Exercise (Okay, to be honest, I wasn't sure if he was saying put on your running shoes and go out walk a couple miles or exercise positive thinking. Both ways have a physical and psychological positive effect, so I guess, do both).
4. meditate ( Okay here is where I diverge from the formula. He was saying we need to teach ourselves to focus because we are a multi-tasking generation driving ourselves over the brink of ADHD... meditation is dangerous ground if you are thinking of the kind where you empty your mind and chant a mantra. NOTHING can teach you to focus more than scripture memory work. FILL your mind with the good things of the Bible and meditate on the thoughts of God.)
5. Random Acts of Kindness. That speaks for itself. Blessing others always blesses us.
Anyway, I had the privilege of watching this positive/negative thinking played out. I have twins. Two children, both the same age, living the same day, with the same circumstances blocking their plans.
ONE was negative. Thoughts were negative, words were negative, actions were terribly negative... and spiraled down, worse and worse until relationships were trashed, destruction took the place of productivity, all learning was at a stalemate and lying, crying, bossiness, manipulation, resulted and life wasn't worth living much. Finally this mom sent her to bed, screaming her unhappiness, early.
The other was positive. Positive thought came out in positive words, relationships flourished, productivity was on the up and up, the mind was perceptive to learning and discoveries were made, privileges were granted, and more learning took place. The boy went to bed at the end of the day tired and happy.
which floods into your system when you're positive,
has two functions.
It makes you happier AND turns on all the learning centers in your brain."
Now, can anyone help me figure out how to GET that little girl to think positive? All this information is absolutely essential for me. Living with a troubled child increases the risk that I will become depressed and fall into the trap of negative thinking...... However, it is a mystery to me how I am, as her mother suppose to instill these principles in the lives of this kiddo. I can walk her through the steps, but she still has the choice. Alas, she was suppose to be in these pictures.....
PS. Though we are still socked in with smoke, (yesterday was better) the school has re-opened after they figured a way to purify the air. Herein lies my first grateful statement of the day: I am thankful for the structure, and positive surroundings that the school provides for my struggling child. I am Grateful they found a way to have school even in this emergency situation our town is under.
Today the girls start back to college. It was going to be Christina's first day of school, too, but somehow she's off horseback riding with a friend. . . SO, with the babies at their visit I AM ALONE in the house. Just imagine!