Think About Such Things
“The defining characteristic of pessimists is that they tend to believe bad events will last a long time, will undermine everything they do, and are their own fault. The optimists, who are confronted with the same hard knocks of this world, think about misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe defeat is just a temporary setback, that its causes are confined to this one case. The optimists believe defeat is not their fault: Circumstances, bad luck, or other people brought it about. Such people are unfazed by defeat. Confronted by a bad situation, they perceive it as a challenge and try harder.”
“One of the most significant findings in psychology in the past twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think.”
—Martin E. P. Seligman, Learned Optimism
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8–9 NIV
To a large degree, you can train your mind and patterns of thinking, just as you can train your body with proper diet and exercise. Truly, the battlefield of this world is the war waged and won in your own mind. Whereas being always positive is probably impossible, overcoming negative thoughts is not. Put everything into its proper perspective. Do not dwell on negative thoughts for any length of time, and do not let them overtake you. Take control of them by shifting focus on what’s been learned, how that can be positively applied, the better possibilities that certainly exist, and take steps to move forward to the next better thing.
Philippians 4:8–9 has the formula for us: think about such things, put it into practice, and the God of peace will be with you.