Have you ever struggled feeling up and down in your thoughts? One minute we’re thinking about how good God is, the next minute we’re struggling with thoughts of defeat. One day we’re on top of the world and 30 minutes later, we’re in the pit of despair...don't even think about trying to escape…oh, sorry, I got distracted.
Why should we even care if our thoughts are like a rollercoaster, up one minute and down the next?
We Think – We Feel – We Act – We Become
Yes, our thoughts are that powerful!
First, we think.
And, we’ve got lots of thought choices here. We can choose to think on thoughts that build us up and honor God, or we can choose to dwell on thoughts that tear us down and let God know we don’t really believe His word.
Then, we start to feel what we’ve been thinking about.
Not sure that’s true? Have you ever thought about something sad, and then felt like you could take over the world?
Sad thoughts make you FEEL sad, just as happy thoughts make you FEEL happy.
When we feel, we act on what we feel.
If we’re sad, that may mean we cry or retreat from others. If we’re angry, we may yell or punch something. If we’re happy, we may hum a tune or hug someone.
Then we become.
We become how we act. Again, if we act angry, we become that angry person. If we’re acting confident, we become confident. If we’re acting sad and rejected, we become depressed.
If we become what we think about most often, are we becoming who we want? Or, are we becoming something we never wanted?
If you’re in a place that you never thought possible, you may have been thinking about the wrong things.
So, how do we think, feel, act, and become who we want to be?
Mental Discipline is our ability to focus on productive, positive thoughts even when turbulent and distracting thoughts are swirling around us. It’s our ability to think on what Philippians 4:8 puts as good, noble, worthy thoughts.
Mental discipline precedes spiritual, emotional and physical discipline.
The great news is anyone can improve their mental discipline with practice. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Get Clarity
Get clarity about what you want to accomplish and who you want to become. This will require short-term and long-term clarity.
“When our now goals are in alignment with our then goals, we’re primed for mental discipline.” Tommy Newberry
Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV
Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
2. Gain Concentration
How well do we stay engaged in the current moment?
We can gain concentration by focusing on what’s important now.
Multitasking is a trap for concentration. (Um, multitasking also includes constantly pick that phone up). 😉
How much have we missed out on as we look down at that new notification?
Proverbs 4:25 NLT
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
3. Take The Challenge
Our mental discipline will be to the same degree as the demand we’re willing to place on ourselves.
For most, we just want the easy button.
But, our best self is revealed when the stakes are high.
Proverbs 13:4 NLT
Lazy people want much but get little, but those who work hard will prosper.
Mental discipline will help us consistently bring out our best self-helping us become who we were always meant to be.