LIFE ASSESSMENT & CLOGGED FILTERS
I believe it is a good idea every now and then to stop and take a look back to review the various choices and decisions I have made to determine if I am really getting the results I desire in my life. Lately, I have been doing just that-taking a basic assessment of my life's circumstances and situations that are literally the outcome of my own choices and decision-making-and attempting to be as honest with myself as possible as I process what I am seeing.
For me, this life assessment starts with asking myself a series of probing questions, such as:
Have I been acting or behaving properly toward others?
Are my attitudes right towards the situation?
Am I open to changing my views and seeing things from a different perspective?
Have I enthusiastically and actively shown interest in others or do a hang back hoping people will be interested in me and approach me first?
Am I making the right choices regarding my personal habits? Am I hanging on to old dead habits that keep me from growing?
Is what I have been doing working for me? Am I happy with the results?
Have I been responding with assertiveness and confidence?
Am I giving and serving others or am I more concerned about my own needs and wants being met?
But it's not enough to just ask these types of questions. I want to get honest and real answers. I want to filter and process this information as effectively as possible because I know this assessment will impact my future choices and decisions. (Honestly, the more I think about the "filtering" process and how it works, the more I am convinced that it is a key component to every life assessment.) I believe the human mind is like a filter that can, over time, become clogged with fear, doubt and confusion, and the regret of poor decisions past mistakes, and if I am to really see things as they are, I need to "clean out" the filter on a regular basis. In other words, if I am to properly assess situations, circumstances and relationships and see things more clearly, my mind probably needs some good old-fashioned routine maintenance right now. It needs to have the wrong thinking and negative attitudes flushed right out of it!
This flushing is very similar to the process on of the reverse osmosis equipment we have under our kitchen sink, which filters our water until it is pure for drinking. This flushing does not occur automatically. I must manually activate the process once each month or the filter becomes clogged and it will not give us clean, clear water.
In addition to regular cleaning and flushing, the water filter periodically needs to have its filter changed. Sometimes a complete change of the filter needs to take place in one's mind, as well, and developing a new mind set or paradigm is required to negotiate this challenge of effective decision making and living a fuller, richer and more productive life. This I often refer to as "re-thinking our thinking" to assure that I am thinking right and proper about things.
I will share some things I do to flush my mind and/or change my "filter". Please note, you may want to roll up your sleeves (things could get a bit messy!) before you start in. Even though this job will take a bit of time and energy, this is not the time to get lazy and put off the job for later. Just keep in mind, that once the job is done, life will operate much smoother because you'll be thinking clearer than ever before, better equipped to make sound choices and decisions as you step into the future.
Maintain positive self-talk.
Cultivate a proper mental attitude by reading Scripture or other inspirational and motivational material.
Talk things over with someone who will be tough on me.
Pray and/or meditate.
Read and research for the facts.
Learn all you can from an authority (i.e. a mentor) on the subject and apply what you learn to your situation.
I urge you, my friend, to do a check-up on your "filter" today. And remember that whatever you think about you will become.