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Many people involved with self improvement and personal growth give affirmations a thumbs down, actually saying they are worthless, but there are also many who give them the status of being the absolute key to success. So how do you look at something that is described as being at total opposite ends of the spectrum, from magic elixir of change to a useless waste of time?
I would like to inject some clarification into the topic of the usefulness of using affirmations in your self improvement efforts to change and further expand your life. The topic of affirmations is no different than any concept, there are two end of the spectrum which can be looked at. What I have found with most things there is a fine line in the middle between the two end which is where the value and power is found. And certainly with affirmations one can look at them from a perspective too far one way or the other.
Have you ever allowed yourself to do something that you really should not have?
The human mind is a wonderful thing, however, it can work against you if you allow it to.
Is can be beneficial to understand how this can happen so you can prevent it, keeping yourself out of undesirable situations.
Last week, in my family we experienced a situation that is a good example of how the mind can lead us astray – if we let it.
My youngest daughter came to a point of thinking something was OK to do, when it was not.
It appears that her path of thought was supported more by her desire to do something rather than all the facts.
She justified, in her mind, that certain things occurred in ways that supported her desire.
The mind can do this easily.
This allowed her to make decisions that further supported what she wanted.
It’s a normal function of the mind that it tries to find solutions that support our desires – this is how we grow, develop and fully experience our life.
You may have noticed how your mind may attempt to circumvent your values in an attempt to take the shortest route to producing your desire.
You support this line of thinking when you take a small step allowing your mind to guide you to think something is acceptable now when previously it was not.
It’s usually a small step, but then another small step, and another and so on.
And you will find yourself doing something you shouldn’t.
This is where you may say something to yourself like;
“It will be OK this time”, or
“They didn’t tell me not to”, or
“But I really want this”, or
“Who will know”, or
“Just this once”, or
You may recall some of your own.
Here is where you need to be in command, to temper the minds tendency to give you what you want- no matter what.
This is an opportunity for you to solidify your standards and principles.
Every time you stop your mind from taking the shortest route to give you what you want, you strengthen the position of your values.
Even when you think you have developed habits that are based on your principles, still be on the watch for what you are doing.
Keep monitoring your thoughts and actions, your unconscious mind can slip into finding the easiest way to accomplish your desires without telling you – that’s how it’s built.
Don’t take for granted that you are all set with your thinking.
Change is constant with new and different circumstances coming before you that need your interpretation.
Continue to filter everything through your principles.
Justification is just a convenient way to circumvent your principles in order to get what you want.
Justification turns off the filtering mechanism you use to interpret what you do.
Vigilant thought management is the key.
“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your
words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” — Anonymous
“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.” — Heraculitus
“The character ethic, which I believe to be the foundation of success, teaches that there are basic principles of effective living, and that people can only experience true success and enduring happiness as they learn and integrate these principles into their basic character.” — Stephen Covey
“Character and personal force are the only investments that are worth anything.” — Walt Whitman