Much is and has been written lately about keeping a positive mindset. Even before ‘COVID-19’ was a blip on the radar, not to mention THE daily headline, I was writing in my book, Mustard Seed Faith, about the first step to living a life of significance, began by thinking differently than most other people.
For you see, even in normal circumstances, even when we are not in the middle of a worldwide crisis, the majority of our thoughts and consciousness are focused on ourselves and how we are being perceived by other people. If we are not thinking directly about ourselves, then we are thinking about how to make other people think about us by clamoring for their attention.
And this line of thinking is all wrong.
Sure, we have to work on ourselves, our goals, our ambitions. And most of us are responsible for other people, some of us to a lot of other people. In my estimation, however, if you want to change your life from the frustration of always hoping to make great strides, to actually being empowered to make a difference, you have to place others ahead of yourself.
In fact, I believe the more we help change the lives of other people, the more our lives change for the better. I believe in this philosophy so much that I made it the subtitle for my book. Zig Ziglar said it best nearly half a century ago. “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
It takes work to develop this “others” mindset. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be learned and taught to others. My father used to say, “if it was easy, everyone would do it.” While this is true I would counter his contention with the argument that if I can do it, anyone can do it. For you see, I am, or at least I was, the most self-centered person you ever met. Just like you–and just like everyone else.
Once you make a determination to start focusing on others, however, your need for justice is replaced with a desire to extend grace. Your need for attention replaced with an attitude of humility. And your need to be the focus of attention dissolves into a desire to serve other people. Especially those in need.
William Shakespeare said, “Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried.” I completely agree. But I would encourage you to flip the script of thinking that you just need to charge ahead and do whatever you can keep moving forward. The most effective way to put your actions to work is to make sure that your actions are being driven by the right motives.
In doing this you will change the thing that is frustrating you the most. I believe that many of us are caught up in the game of trying harder, working more hours, and extending maximum efforts. Only to end up frustrated and empty at the end of the day, week, month, and year. If you desire to ‘Be Different,’ then you will begin to become empowered to do things that matter, things that empower you to leave a legacy, and things that will ‘Make a Difference’ long after you’re gone. And isn’t that a battle you want to win? Put your mind to work.
QUESTION: What practices, tactics, or methods did you use to change your thinking to become more others-focused rather than self-focused? Comment below, share this post and subscribe to be notified each week when a new blog is created.
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