Thought Character and Developing a Good One

“The character of thought we think or put out affects our business favorably or unfavorably. It influences others for or against us. It is an element felt pleasantly or unpleasantly by others. … The prevailing state of mind, or character of thought, shapes the body and features. It makes us ugly or pleasing, attractive or repulsive. …

“An hour of grumbling, fret,or fear, whether spoken or silent, uses up so much element or force in making us less endurable to others, and perhaps making for us enemies. … To be able, then, to throw off (or forget) a thought or force which is injuring us, is a most important means for gaining strength of body and clearness of mind. … It brings also strength of spirit.” Prentiss Mulford

Thought Character

Our thought character can be positive or negative, angry or kind, reasonable and open or dogmatic. And those are just a few of the possibilities. And our general state of mind or thought character can have a great influence on us and how we live.

The person who is successful in business looks around and see opportunities to grow, chances to start new business. The failure looks at the same scene and sees nothing but obstacles and barriers.

The attractive person sees things that make them happy, pleasant things, friends and potential friends. The unattractive person sees threats, enemies, competitors. It isn’t that they are looking at a different world, they are just mentally seeing a different world.

Snowballing Thought Character

One of the worse aspects of bad thought character is that it tends to snowball. The fearful person sees only things to fear. That makes him fear even more. The greedy person sees shrinking supplies which only makes her want to hoard even more.

The good news is that this snowballing effect works just as well on those with a good thought character. He person who looks for opportunities finds them. In doing so, he believes even more that life is full of opportunities or that opportunities will present themselves to those who seek them.

Just as a kid making a snowman can turn in a different direction as he roles that snowball bigger and bigger, so can we change the direction of our snowballing thought character. By practicing visualization and positive thinking techniques, we can turn away from fear, greed, and anger and toward kindness, love, and peace. We have to simply realize that for the most part, we are the one rolling that snowball and building that snowman. We have to stop complaining about the results and do something to change them.

Spiritual Thought Character

While Mr. Mulford was more of a social guru than a spiritual one, I occasionally quote from him because what he has to say is often useful on many levels. In this case, this development of thought character is just as important for the spiritual student as it is for a businessman looking for financial success. And since today, in most places, spiritual people still have to work and earn money if they don’t want to live naked in a cave, it is useful to know how to have reasonable success in the material world as well. That doesn’t mean that the spiritual person should be greedy, but they do have to live in a world of matter as well as the spiritual ones.

The first thought character the spiritual person must develop is the belief that spiritual growth is more important than the physical. This shouldn’t be too difficult. The permanent is almost always more valuable and more useful than the temporary. The physical body is temporary. The spirit and soul are permanent.

Beyond that, we as spiritual students must learn to value truth above all, even when it shatters long-held beliefs. You don’t learn and grow from accepting lies, no matter how pleasant they may be.

Changing Our Thought

None of us is perfect. We all have room for improvement. One way to do that is to look at how e behaved and thought at the end of each day. Just before going to sleep, go over what happened that day. Did we get angry? Did we get jealous? Was anger part of our response to events? We can almost always find something negative. When we do, we should concentrate on changing our attitude o that doesn’t happen again. We want to have a spiritual mind, and that means having a positive, healthy thought character.

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