Friday, August 1, 2008


According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the definition of the word think is this:
To form or have in the mind. Think implies the entrance of an idea into one's mind.

I picked up the book, "Choices That Change Lives" by Hal Urban. I have had it sitting on my shelf for a few months now, and decided to take it with me yesterday as I sat at the local pool to watch my son swim. I happened to turn to the sixth chapter, Thinking. Being that I love to know what thoughts go on in people's heads, I thought that was the chapter for me to read. With highlighter in hand, sure I'd find some nugget of information I could use, I eagerly began reading the chapter.

Now, to back up a moment. My father in law, a math educator and school administrator, always told his students, children and grandchildren to think. In fact, his license plate for his car was, "Think 1". He insisted that we do not live our lives unconsciously without thought. He believed that the answers to anything evolved if we thought first. I could not believe my eyes as I began to read...

So, here I am reading this book and the author mentions a college professor who also professed the importance of thinking. This professor said, "the problem was that most people never learn to operate it (the brain) as effectively as they could, and that this usually results in unfulfilled lives." "Our thoughts rule of lives." Reading this, I got chills up my spine. It's what I have believe and know...and what my father law knew well before me. Somehow I could feel my father-in-law looking over smiling. (he passed away 2 years ago)

The chapter goes on to talk about the difference between an empty head and an open mind. (Big difference here!!) An open mind is really an attitude of being open to new information and to other points of view. An open mind, therefore, is open to being fed nourishing ideas, thoughts and beliefs. A empty head is just that....empty.

Just as it's important to have a healthy diet, it's important to have a healthy mental diet. While it's impossible to totally control everything that goes into our minds due to the fact we are constantly bombarded with email, phone calls, tv, radio, etc. we can choose to screen out a high percentage of the trash, and replace it with healthier material. It's important, therefore, to have a steady stream of positive, nurturing, and uplifting ideas and information. Stimulate and challenge your mind AND take the time to weed and feed your mind as well.

My father in law was a brilliant man. He chose to share his brilliance with whomever he came in contact with. He always wanted to write a book, but never did. Somehow reading "Choices That Change Lives" reiterated the powerful messages he shared with me. As Earl Nightingale, one of the great modern thinkers, has said, "schools teach us how to remember, not to think." He suggested, "there should be a required course called "Thinking" at every grade level of school and throughout college." How I wish I could make that come true for both Earl Nightingale and my father in law.

I've posted some new quotes with regard to this topic of thinking. Read and enjoy...and give them some thought. Afterall, "You are what you are because of what goes into your mind." - Zig Ziglar