Your single greatest asset, according to Rick Warren, is not your net worth or your network—it’s your mind. Warren has written about the battle for your mind and it has stuck with me. He talks about an invisible war that’s always taking place when you’re trying to learn how to control your mind. This battle never stops and is always intense. But if you don’t learn how to control your mind, you won’t have much control of anything.
Consider what you worry about. Are you constantly seeking approval from others? Do you deal with fear, shame, guilt? At some point or another, many of us fight these things. I don’t know about you, but my mind isn’t easy for me to control. When I need to think about something, my mind is prone to wander. Is it possible to control your thoughts and win the battle for your mind? Yes, it is. And here are 3 ways to do it.
1. Don’t always trust your mind.
Rick Warren says that if you think something, it’s easy to assume it must be true—because it comes from you. But have you ever been “certain” something is true just to find out later that it isn’t? Our memories fail us sometimes, so we need to question our thoughts. We also must question our opinions. Ask yourself why you think what you think. Do you have all the information? And is the information you have accurate? Before you speak or share something, verify whether it’s true.Instead of putting harmful things in, be diligent to fill your mind with things that are good for you.
2. Resist filling your mind with junk.
I’ve known people who think they can consume any media and not be fazed by it. But we’re kidding ourselves if we think this. What we put into our minds will shape our thoughts. So instead of putting harmful things in, be diligent to fill your mind with things that are good for you. Philippians 4:8 says, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable … dwell on these things.”
3. Don’t let your mind get lazy.
The more you learn about a subject, the more you will gain a perspective that maybe you didn’t have before. Remember, it’s not good enough just to get knowledge; it’s important also to gain understanding and wisdom. Wisdom comes from studying and thinking through a topic from its proper perspective. Once we gain a proper perspective of something, we can develop convictions about it. One problem I notice today is that people have strong feelings—convictions—about things they haven’t studied. Instead, we should stay intent on being teachable. If you don’t know something, learn about it rather than making assumptions or being content with never knowing.
Sound off: What have you learned from experience about how to control your mind? What advice would you give to someone whose thoughts feel out of control?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it takes to control your thoughts?”