Mondays’ topic during July is “Managing.” We begin with the most daunting challenge: Managing Self.
If, like me, you talk to yourself, let me put your mind at ease from the beginning.
Scientists have discovered that people who talk to themselves are geniuses.
Talking to yourself stimulates your memory. By speaking the word, you are visualizing it, and therefore, more likely to remember.
Talking to yourself helps you to clarify your thoughts, calm you down, and help you re-assess and re-think; in other words, make fewer blunders when you speak to someone else.
Talking to yourself can help encourage you to do better or meet a challenge.
And it is a Scriptural idea.
David said in Psalm 42: 5 & 11. Why art thou cast down, oh, my soul, and why art thou disquieted [in turmoil] within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him who is the health of my countenance and my God.
David, in despair, took time to take stock and demand of himself why he was in turmoil when He had God as a resource, hiding place, shepherd, defender, light.
Martin Lloyd-Jones said: Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?
How often during the last week have you said to yourself, out loud or in your mind:
“How could you be so stupid?”
“Why did you eat that?”
“Why didn’t you get up earlier?”
“Why didn’t you write that down?”
We all lecture ourselves about the way we conduct our lives, more often than not reprimanding ourselves about our miserable failure to perform up to expectations—our own and everybody else’s.
Managing the way you talk to yourself can have enormous benefits. Here are some guidelines that may help:
The answer is not always Yes or always No.
We can get ourselves into the biggest conundrums and endless cycles by adopting a policy or procedure and sticking to it, come way may.
You cannot spend every waking moment wasting time or visiting with friends or spending money or eating whatever you want.
On the other hand, you should not spend every waking minute “scheduled,” turning down invitations because you want to get ahead on a project or get caught up or stay caught up.
You have to watch what you eat and follow a sensible eating plan, but sometimes you need a treat. Allow yourself this pleasure and then get back to business tomorrow.
You have to have a budget, but sometimes you need a surprise for the kids or a reward for yourself for a job well done.
Or even better, a gift for someone else.
All this means: living in moderation.
When at your wit’s end, consider how you would advise a friend with the same problem
When we are faced with a problem which seems unsolvable, thinking can become “cyclical,” or like being caught in a whirlpool.
Step outside yourself and look at yourself more clinically…and have as much compassion for yourself as you would for someone else.
We often demand positions and reactions of ourselves we would never expect other people to adhere to.
Quite simply: sometimes you have to cut yourself some “slack.”
Keep on the sunny side of life.
[If you are not familiar with this phrase—a song title—you will find several renditions on YouTube.]
Dale Carnegie: By talking to yourself about the things you have to be grateful for you can fill your mind with thoughts that soar and sing.
The Power of Positive Thinking.
Instead of thinking of all the ways you are falling short and all the ways you could do better, think instead…or write down an actual list…of all the things you did right today.
Instead of fretting over all you have to do, be thankful for the roof over your head and the mess under your feet, made by the family you love.
Here’s the little poem that used to hang over our kitchen sink.
Thank God for dirty dishes.
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We’re eating very well.
With home and health and happiness,
I shouldn’t want to fuss
For by the stack of evidence,
God’s been good to us.
Indeed He has.
Think about that.
And tell yourself so.