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Repost: Thought: The Source of All

July 1, 2011

Thought: The Source of All:

If you google “power of speech” you will find articles from every faith: Jewish, Hindu, and Christian teachings are in the top ten responses. Each of these traditions recognizes that what we speak has power. Speech has the power to heal or to hurt; the power to create or to destroy. These teachings are often focused on the effect that our words have on others—a very important aspect of speech. We may overlook, however, that the words we speak also have an effect on ourselves. When we speak with affirmative commitment to our goals and actions and speak of ourselves with respect, the effects are that we are forwarding our personal journey and enhancing our self-esteem. Alternately, we may limit ourselves and our successes by the things we say about ourselves and our potential. These words may contribute to a feeling of lack of power or self-worth. Speech is one of our most powerful tools.

Our speech is predicated by our thoughts. It is likely that you have heard of the power of positive thinking. Norman Vincent Peale’s book by this name has sold over seven million copies. A faith-based book, Peale addresses such issues as believing in yourself and creating your own power. One chapter in his book is titled: “Inflow of new thoughts can remake you.” Have you ever wanted to remake yourself? You can look at dozens of reality shows that offer a physical makeover to your look and style, even to your home. What about giving yourself a makeover not on the physical but on the intellectual, psychological, emotional, spiritual or professional plane?

Peale quotes William James, who said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” These words are accurate not just for James’ generation, but for ours as well. How do we do this? Peale suggests, “Fill your mind with fresh, new creative thoughts of faith, love and goodness. By this process, you can actually remake your life.”

It’s that simple. Paying close attention to our thoughts, we will see where they lead us. If we want to remake ourselves, we can choose – at any moment – to think new and different thoughts. Different thoughts will get us different results. Consciously replacing our uncertain, negative or self-deprecating thoughts with thoughts of affirmation and positive action, with “creative thoughts of faith, love and goodness,” will begin to transform our thinking process and spill over to our speech. The two combined will then in turn affect our actions. The result will be a constructive change in one’s own life that ripples out to the work we do in the world and into the lives of those we touch.

May your day be filled with constructive, creative and loving thoughts.

Robin Damsky

Robin Damsky is the rabbi of West Suburban Temple Har Zion in River Forest, Illinois, and co-author of Find-Fulfill-Flourish: Discover Your Purpose with LifePath GPS – a book, tool kit, and workshop series focused on guiding people toward more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

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