How are you doing? Many of us are not happy or not as happy as we'd like to be.
To enjoy my life, to positively transform the ways in which I see my life and the world in which I live, I intentionally engage my thoughts. How I'm doing starts with my mind. Now, this seems fairly straightforward and self-evident. And yet many of us are not happy or not as happy as we'd like to be. Many people suffer from daily problems and feel more confused than happy about life.
Shaped by Your Mind
Every experience you have is shaped by your mind. When certain parts of our lives could need a little help or boost--when our job is not fulfilling, when there's not enough money in the checking account, when our lover seems distant--our minds are what is actually shaping, determining, defining those experiences. Everything you do, everything you experience, everything you feel--all of life is because that's how you deliberately think it is.
A Common Question
After our family fellowship, I took my family to one of my favorite restaurants in town to enjoy some lunch. After being seated at our table, our server asked me how I was doing. It was a common question that she has likely asked a thousand people.
At that moment I was reminded that my answer to her would be solely dependent upon how I thought about the present state of my life. My answer was not dependent upon how my life actually was, but upon how I in fact thought of it. Regardless of what was presently happening in my life, my answer to her question rested squarely upon my thoughts, my mind. My purposive answer to her would be a direct reflection of how my thoughts shaped my world. My world is my representation, as Schopenhauer said. I have the freedom to manifest my world into whatever I'd like it to be, and I could share that with anyone.
"Welcome to the restaurant. How are you doing," she asked.
"I'm doing great," I replied. "I think I'm having the best day. Glad to be here. Thank you for asking."
Our Minds Are Everything
Our minds are everything. How we think about ourselves determines how we live our lives. Everything I am and everything I've done are shaped by my mind. No matter where you work, no matter how much money you make, no matter who you're making love to, you won't enjoy any of it, unless you intentionally think to.
Game of Life
Let me ask you. How are you at this present moment (while reading these words)? Your answer will depend upon how you work your mind, regardless of the situation. Your mind could be in control, or it could be out of control, and your life feels like riding a wild horse in the night blindfolded. Either way, you determine it. And this is part of the game of life.
Once you understand that, then you can play the game differently. One of the most important rules of the game is: the way in which you intentionally think about the present moment determines how you live your life.
Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama, Lao Tzu, Paul of Tarsus, and many great philosophers, poets, and enlightened folk will all tell you the same thing: the mind is everything.
Sam Harris, in his book, Waking Up, says:
Religion, which is the most destructive and dangerous man-made creation on Earth, and its dogma that condemns minds into prisons of fear and ignorance will not reveal this simple, empirical truth of life about our minds. So, let's not go there.
1 Peter 3:8 says that we ought to be more like-minded, united in spirit, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit toward each other as members of one household.
I encourage you to learn more about the human condition and how each of us have been given a lifetime of learning how to live a spiritual life founded on an empirical belief in God that consciously engages our bodies, minds and spirit.