“Men are not prisoners of fate, but prisoners of their own minds.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt
There’s a scene from Episode Four of Star Wars where Yoda trains Luke Skywalker to be a Jedi Knight. As he begins the training, Yoda instructed the young Skywalker, “You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Sometimes we need to untrain our minds to train them properly. There are things in your mind that you need to unlearn in order to learn new truths.
We need a mental detox. One reason is because we live in a society that feeds us a lot of mixed messages and half-truths. Should she be a size “0” or an athlete? Should he be at home more or make millions of dollars? Should she have a career or just bigger breasts? Should he drive a nicer car or just be a nicer guy?
Culture tells us so many things about how we should live, look, and behave. Subtly, and often subconsciously, our minds slowly conform to the ways of the world around us. When it gives us positive messages, that’s a good thing. But when it gives us the not-so-positive ones, well, that’s a problem.
Think about the friends you had when you were younger. Even those of us who would consider ourselves leaders still went along with the crowd in some ways. And where was the crowd going? Where is the crowd going today? What are the ways of thinking that you’ve subtly adapted and where is that way of thinking leading you?
If you want to make changes in your life—and you can—it all starts in the mind. And if you want to achieve new or different results, in terms of health and life in general, it’s time for a new strategy and a new way of thinking.
Before you can establish and start living out the new healthy patterns you desire, you have to honestly identify the old ways of thinking (and following) that were getting you nowhere. You have to be untrained before you can be trained.
Consider the following areas of life. Take a few minutes to think long and hard, and examine your perspectives. Identify something you believe about which issue might be influencing you negatively and could use a change. Write it down. Then identify how you would like to think about or perceive that issue. Write that down, too.
Life Issue Current Thinking Re-Thinking
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. —Romans 12:2