Here is something very interesting I recently read. See what you think:
“I can make you rise or fall. I can work for you or against you. I can make you a success or a failure. I control the way that you feel and the way that you act. I can make you laugh, work, love. I can make your heart sing with joy, excitement, elation. Or I can make you wretched, dejected, morbid. I can make you sick, listless. I can be as a shackle, heavy, attached, burdensome, or I can be as the prism’s hue, dancing, bright, fleeting, lost forever unless captured by pen or purpose. I can be nurtured and grown to be great and beautiful, seen by the eyes of others through action in you. I can never be removed, only replaced.
“I am a thought. Why not know me better?”
Good, isn’t it? “I am a thought.” It is our thought that colors the time we hold it. How many thoughts does a person have during the day? A thousand? Maybe more? But each thought, as we hold it, shapes our life, our feelings, our actions, the way we act toward others and our environment.
Cicero said, “To think is to live.” All of your living rests in your thinking. Your very existence lies in your mind. Events taking place right now apart from you do not even exist as far as you’re concerned because they don't exist in your thinking. All the things you want in life are either achieved by or maintained by your thinking. So, the most important influence in your life is the way that you think. The ways that you think are your attitudes.
The way that you think about a person is your attitude toward that person. The way that you think about your job is your attitude toward your job. Knowing this, you can perhaps understand the dramatic impact of this statement by William James, the great American philosopher and psychologist. He said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that men can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
Our thoughts, and therefore our attitudes, are not forced upon us. We’re free to choose our thoughts, our attitudes. And since we know that we can alter our lives by altering our attitudes of mind, it might be a good idea to give some thought and attention to this vital, this shaping, part of our lives. We should try to hold those thoughts and attitudes that are most likely to lead us to the conditions and the things we want. The kind of life we want to live.
You probably know people who will never be successful because you feel they have the wrong attitude, and you’re right. But what about your attitude and mine? Are they as good as they could be? Are they getting us the results we want?
There’s a very excellent book on this subject. The name of the book is The Dynamics of Successful Attitudes by Bob Conklin, published by Prentice-Hall. If your attitude or the attitude of someone near you isn’t all it might be, get the book The Dynamics of Successful Attitudes.
One Heart, One Life
Along with taking care of your mind and attitude, you must also take care of yourself physically. Dr. Paul Dudley White, past president of the American Heart Association and world-famous heart specialist, has some words on taking care of your heart. And he begins with some information on just when middle age begins.
In an article written for the Heart Association, Dr. White says, “When does middle age begin? At 20, and it lasts until 80. And the dangerous years of this 60-year span are the first 20, not the last. These are the years when an overfed and underexercised public is sowing the seeds of a coronary harvest. I conceive of the ages of man as five.” Dr. White continues, “Birth to the 20th year, then a three-stage middle age of 20 to 40, 40 to 60, and 60 to 80. And, finally, old age, 80 to 100. The latter constitutes a steadily expanding horizon to which I see no eventual limit. Our life expectancy should keep rising indefinitely as medical research keeps making progress against disease.
“Now the public can play an important role in this effort to push the lifespan further and further. Individual physical fitness programs for men between the ages of 20 and 40 would guard against creeping degeneration and would instill lifelong good habits. A man marries in his early 20s. How are his eating habits? Between the cooking and eating, the family car and the TV set, the man has gained 20 pounds or maybe 30 by the time he’s 45. These are the years in which arthrosclerosis and rusting of the arteries occur. And it can ultimately reach the brain as a stroke or the heart as a coronary thrombosis. It may affect the kidneys. This is why an apparently healthy man drops dead at 45 or 50. His death is not sudden at all. It’s been building up for years. The automobile and the TV, I might add, should be the servants of the American public, not its masters.
“Despite the nation’s generally unhealthy way of life, two factors work in favor of the American male in his 40s. It is never too late at any age to begin controlling obesity and resuming a program of sensible exercise. How to do this? Exercise and diet under a physician’s supervision. Exercise should be regular, and it should be enjoyable. One excellent form available to all is walking. This should be brisk and, for a normally healthy person, five miles a week is not enough. Neither is one weekly 18-hole golf game.”
I hope you’ll take Dr. White seriously. Those who want to keep your loved ones alive, encourage them to exercise every day. And watch what you eat, what you serve; stay away from the fattening foods. Heart disease takes more lives each year than the next five leading causes of death combined. Ninety-two million Americans living today will eventually die of heart disease unless cardiovascular research provides control. Watch your weight, your diet, and your exercise, will you please?
Make this year a great one!