Potential of a Disciplined Mind

June 30, 2012

The Potential of a Disciplined Mind

            It´s impossible to comprehend the potential of a mind totally disciplined.  Our minds, like our bodies tend to be lazy.  The natural bent of the mind is to take the path of least resistance.  It takes special effort to think.  We can never expect to have anything but a little mind as long as we allow it to be constantly occupied with little thoughts.

The average person disciplines his mind only to the extent that he finds it necessary in order to cope with the problems and situations that arise throughout the day.  During about 90% of the day his mind is theoretically in neutral.  It probably is not correct to say that the mind is in neutral.  That would be to suggest that the mind is completely blank.  This is a condition that can exist only when we are sound asleep.  The mind is like a servant who’s master has said, ¨Go and find something to be occupied with.  When I need you I will call you.¨ He lingers close by and doodles in the dirt until he is summoned to some new duty.  The undisciplined mind gravitates to a level which is far below its potential.  During our waking hours it is always occupied but, unless it is disciplined, it will be occupied with little things; things that will leave no lasting worthwhile impression on it. It often tends to reflect back to the sounds, sights and smells that have most recently passed through it.  It usually isn’t analyzing what has happened, it is simply reliving it.  Unless the mind is disciplined to be occupied with the present it will often relive the past.

A noble thought in the mind is like a snowball.  If you keep it rolling, it will get larger and weightier as it goes along.  It will sweep up other related thoughts which will substantiate and illuminate the original thought.  On the other hand, if you neglect it, it will begin to melt away and in a short while it will be gone.

We make the false assumption that a select few are born with brilliant minds and all the rest must plug along with a mind that is sluggish.  It is true that some are born with greater mental capacity than others but, it is also true, that even the mind of the brilliant is not working at the peak of its capacity. It is true that some are born with an extraordinary mental capacity but, even those minds are not
working at the peak of their capacity.  We can wonder if the common man could not discipline his mind to the point that his attainments would equal or exceed those of the undisciplined genius.

Our mind, like our body, is of little value to us unless we discipline it and use it.  A man may be born with a body that has all the features desired by the professional athlete.  Just merely having such a body does not win for him any trophies.  He must discipline his body to perform at a high level of efficiency.  The same is true of your mind.  Use what you have.  You may find that for years you have been underestimating the power of your mind.

You may find inexhaustible resources below the surface of what you thought was little more than waste land.  Someone needs to write a scholarly, yet easy to read, book on ¨how to get the most out or your mind.¨ Much research has gone into how to have a healthy body but relatively little on how to have a healthy mind.  The result is that we now have more problems with mental breakdowns than with body breakdowns.  Psychiatry is a big subject and much research has been done in this field.  Most of the research however has been concentrated on how to cure the sick mind, rather than how to keep it healthy.

When our body is neglected it gets progressively weaker and succumbs readily to disease.  Likewise, when our mind is undisciplined it too gets progressively weaker and eventually snaps under the strain of life.  This cannot be taken as a stock cause for every mental breakdown, but it is undoubtedly a contributing factor in a great many.  We need to learn how to discipline our minds.  The undisciplined mind is a shameful waste of resources.  If we have trained our minds to wrestle with perplexing problems and searching questions it will not be overwhelmed when we are faced with adverse circumstances.  Even the man who disciplines his mind may recognize the need of seeking counsel and advice before making important decisions.  He will not, however, be merely letting someone else do his thinking for him.  He will be throwing additional light on the problem before him so that he can more intelligently cope with it.  Salomon said, ¨In the multitude of counselors there is safety.  Salomon was, without a doubt, a man with a well disciplined mind , but he still saw the tremendous value of seeking counsel.

Another problem with an undisciplined mind is that we let it grovel in immoral and profane thoughts.  The result is that we have, what the Bible calls a ¨corrupt mind.¨ (II Corinthians 11:3)  The natural man is tempted to occupy his mind in wicked and immoral thoughts.  The result is that he has little resistance to temptations when they present themselves.  The world in which we live is saturated by pornography.  It’s only natural that the undisciplined mind will think on those things.  God’s will for the Christian is that he have a renewed mind.  Romans 12:1-2 says “I beseech ye therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”   Note that it says “the renewing of your mind.”  It’s something we need to be doing continually.  That too takes discipline.

Having a well disciplined mind should not make us become high-brow intellectuals.  Some people are educated beyond their intelligence.  They may humiliate you with their vocabulary, but their stupid mistakes leave you prudent by comparison.  A well disciplined mind should make you an interesting conversationalist. Others will recognize that you have something intelligent to talk about.  The truly intelligent man is one who can express himself in such a way that he is readily understood by the common man.  When you can intelligently use scientific and scholarly terms you have taken the first step.  You have not taken the second, and most important step, until you have learned to express yourself in such a way that you can be understood by the common man.  Much of the great popularity of newscaster, Paul Harvey, can be attributed to the fact that he could tell us what was going on in the world in old fashioned, back home, words so that the man on the street knew immediately what he was talking about.

Be a good steward of all God has given you.  That includes your mind. 

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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