Life's Results & What Our Reflection Reveals About Us
A reflection is defined as that which mirrors, manifests or reveals something. In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is expressed this way in Proverbs 27:19, "As in water face answers to face, so the mind of man reflects the man."
Our thoughts mirror, manifest or reveal a great deal about who we are as a person. Bob Proctor, one of the inspirational leaders in the movie, "The Secret" puts it this way. He says if we want to change our life, or the results we are getting in our life, we need to change how we think about things; we need to change our thoughts. Our mind reflects who we are, and influences the results which come to us in life. Proctor explains that our thoughts determine our feelings, our feelings determine our actions, and our actions determine our results. If we want to have different results in our life, we need to have a paradigm shift in our thinking.
Another way of saying this is that in order to have things we've never had before, we need to do things we've never done before. To change results by changing our thoughts, we need to have a desire, define our goals, and take action. When this is set in motion, something truly remarkable happens. The transformation in our reflection is as significant as are our life's results.
Zig Ziglar states it this way, "What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals." The wisdom, insight and veracity of this assertion is stunning to me. What it says about us is powerful. Here not only the value, but the transformative influence, of personal growth is highlighted. From it all things worthwhile flow. Pesonal growth shows and is reflected in us. What we become actually outshines what we acquire!
There is a popular saying, "No Whining." While those two words can seem harsh and judgemental, they also contain a lot of wisdom and power. When we whine, or allow our self-perception to be one of "victim," we do ourselves great harm. Through this disservice to self we willingly relinquish our power and we limit what we can do, the results we can achieve and the person we can become. When we are depressed, always angry, rigid, unkind, or lacking in a belief in ourselves and others, we severely impoverish our lives. If we don't like our life's results, we absolutely can change them by changing our outlook, and our thoughts.
What some may not realize is that this is not some unfounded or groundless mumbo-jumbo. It is based on universal laws and principles. It is scriptural. It is true, possible and preferable to drifting aimlessly through our lives without a vision, a future or any hope.
Napoleon Hill has written at length about this, and I have personally employed and contintue to be blessed by his approach. In his classic book, "Think and Grow Rich," he states a powerful truth which anyone can readily practice. He writes, "Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind."
If you are inclinded to doubt or discount this, I invite you to try introducing some postive emotion into your thoughts when you are feeling negative. Start thinking of things for which you are grateful. Little things, big things, everyday things. Can you breathe? Can you see colors in nature and turn on a faucet and get a drink of fresh, clean water? Gratitude is a potent expression of emotion which aligns us with the source of real and ultimate power.
You and I have been wronged. We have experienced betrayal and been in situations that were absolutely unfair and at times even frightening. Living is a contact sport and fouls and injuries occur. How we respond to these transgressions will determine what our face reflects.
Our countenance is like our reflection which mirrors, manifests or reveals what is in our thoughts, in our heart and mind. "As in water face answers to face, so the mind of man reflects the man." What do you reflect to those around you? Are your thoughts pretty negative or primarily positive? Are you harried and grumpy, or happy and grateful?
In my faith tradition there is a saying, "Speak the truth in love." This can be a sharp, yet priceless gift. What does your mirror say to you? What are the dominating thoughts inhabiting your mind? The difficult news is that our life's results are ours to determine. And the good news is that our life's results are ours to determine. When we recognize that the responsibility for our results, our responses, and our life is ours, then we can embrace our power of choice to direct our thoughts, and to determine what we reflect.
Consider again the words of Napoleon Hill, "Positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time. One or the other must dominate. It is your responsibility to make sure that positive emotions constitute the dominating influence of your mind." When we embrace and take seriously the gift of this awesome responsibility, our lives can take on whole new realms of meaning and richness.
More by this Author
Before finally honoring my entrepreneurial spirit, well into mid-life, I spent most of my career in non-profit leadership. The non-profit world can only exist because of government grants or the philanthropic generosity...
The power of the understanding and meaning we bring to something, largely determines the way we will experience it. The wonder of this, is that grief holds within itself the possibility of happiness.
There are times we get in a funk. Despite all of our best intentions and even with our understanding of the power of a positive mindset, we can still get discouraged or experience a setback.