I’ve been doing a lot of thinking in preparation for turning 40! One of the things I’ve been giving considerable thought to is the idea of mental strength. I give a lot of energy and thought to the development of physical strength. Research shows that the brain is much like a muscle… it can develop with use and atrophy because of a lack of use!
I don’t want a strong back and a weak mind, so I’m developing an exercise routine for my mind that includes learning something new on a regular basis. I don’t want to be the middle-aged man who’s best thoughts have already been thought!
To be proactive and growing mentally, I commit a lot of time reading and meditating on new thoughts, or old ideas that I have not implemented well. I’m going to begin blogging, largely for my sake, but you’re welcome to read along, the thoughts that I’ve spent the most time pondering.
So with no further ado… here are the thoughts that have taken up the most space in my mind this week!
The important stuff requires daily attention.
Over the last several months I have been working on a plan that answers “How” I am going to achieve the things I want in my life. (I wrote a bit about it here).
I’ve spent hours putting the details on paper. During the course of thinking and writing it occurred to me…
The most important things I want to achieve will all require daily attention!
Think about it…
You don’t have great relationships just because you wake up one day and say, “I want to be a great husband, dad, friend, etc.” It requires daily attention.
Same thing is true of finances, health, wisdom, etc.
The most important things will all require daily attention!
To be a great dad I must be an expert on my children… each one of them.
I must have a Ph.D in each child. That includes being fluent in each child’s love language, and being adept and flexible in how I encourage, teach, and, discipline each child!
This requires daily attention and a willingness to make adjustments as they evolve!
It also means I need to say “No” to a lot of things that would compete for the time I would give to this cause.
The most important thing in my life is people.
Recently I celebrated my birthday. The best gift I received was the time I spent with my friends! Seriously, a new pair of pants, a new book, etc., all of which I love, are great, but next year I’ll have outgrown or read them. What will never go away is the memory of joy and deep love I felt as I hugged my friends.
As I mature, I am realizing that including friends in the rhythm of my life is critical to creating a beat I can dance to for a long time!
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1)
This is a big one… especially as a parent of strong children! I’m realizing that it’s possible to “win the battle but lose the war” on this one.
I can get louder and more severe here because I’m bigger. I can make them be quiet and do what I say… and in the process create an angry heart in my child.
I’m learning to slow down and quiet down and in the process resolve issues that end with children with happy hearts doing good things.
Wise people can become wiser still. The key is in exploration and humility. (See Proverbs 1:5-6)
One of my life desires is to be a wise man. I love the fact that wisdom is not a static state. It is an ever expanding state reserved for those who are humble and willing to continue exploring.
One of the best ways to do this is to interact with wise people (e.g. wisdom literature, etc.)… which means I probably need to spend less and less time with the buffoonery that happens on much of social media! Yes, I do have Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but I realize that every time I spend time in those venues, I am choosing NOT to spend time in other venues (e.g. coffee with a wise friend, a book, etc.).
Now here’s the thing…
I’ve got a lot of work to do… but the first step in changing your life is changing your thinking!
So by simply processing these thoughts I’m setting my self up for some positive changes… starting today!
How about you? What have you been thinking about lately?