Monday, September 8, 2014

This blog has moved!

Please continue to follow this blog on Building Better Relationships at:


Monday, September 1, 2014

How Your Thoughts Steer Your Destiny

In an article called New Ways to Predict Which Marriages Will Succeed, by Robert M. Sapolsky, in the Wall Street Journal on August 21, 2014, interestingly enough, science reinforces the fact that:

The more subconscious negativity in a newlywed, the larger the decline in marital satisfaction four years later.

What are you thinking about?  Even if subconsciously you entertain negativity about your spouse, your marriage, your life in general, your thoughts will steer your destiny.

Proverbs 23.7 says, As a man thinks in his heart, so is he…

Luke 6.45 tells us, Good people do the good that is in them. But evil people do the evil that is in them. The things people say come from inside them.

And Matthew 12.34 says: How can you evil people say anything good? Your mouth says what comes from inside you.

Watch the way you allow yourself to think… Those thoughts are more powerful than you realize! 

Discipline your mind:

1.         Think positive thoughts.  Positive means consisting in or characterized by the presence or possession of features or qualities rather than their absence.  In other words, be grateful for what you have and stop looking at what you don’t have.  (Read Chapter 6, Reasonable and Realistic, and Chapter 14, Joy in the Journey from my book, How to Build an Enduring Marriage, which can be ordered at

2.         Put negative thoughts out of your mind, replacing them with positive ones.  Negative thoughts are thoughts consisting in or characterized by the absence rather than the presence of distinguishing features.  If you see that science and statistics prove that negativity predicts disaster, take note that you don’t concentrate on what you don’t have!

3.         Make your presence a positive one.  Build up rather than tear down.  Watch little things that may seem innocuous but are subconsciously detouring your future success.  I am amazed and embarrassed when I hear someone recounting something negative about their spouse. I am keenly aware that as the closest person in someone’s life, a spouse certainly can find negative thing to talk about.  But I am also keenly aware that a spouse can find positive things to share about their mate, particularly in public.  Even if it is poking fun or sarcastically sharing a bad habit, the dynamics behind such conversation goes deeper than the moment:

            (1)  First of all, you are tearing down with your words rather than building up.  You have a chance to share something wonderful about your spouse to others with him/her present, and instead you choose some remote little idiosyncrasy to embellish.  Just think of how different your spouse would feel if you shared something wonderful they have done recently with the public instead!

            (2)  Secondly, you are feeding negative feelings about what bothers you instead of feeding positive feelings about why you love your spouse.  As the article in the Wall Street Journal and statistics prove, you are feeding a decline in your marital satisfaction.

            (3)  You are establishing a pattern for your thoughts and for what you share about your spouse.  If you do that long enough, you will find yourself habitually driving in the rut you have established.

            (4)  You are showing your spouse that all the good things he/she has done, been involved with, or tried to do, the thing you choose to SHARE PUBLICLY about him/her is some negative thing. 

As Sapolsky states in his article:  Did people with the most positive automatic feelings about their spouses subsequently develop fewer problems in their marriages, or were they less sensitive to the usual number of problems? Subtle data analysis suggested the latter.  So the more POSITIVE you think, the less sensitive you will be when problems come, enabling you to get through them easier!

Philippians 4.8 sums it up:  Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

I love Proverbs 18.21:  Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.  Change your words by changing your heart and bring LIFE and GOOD when you speak!

Challenge:  Stop being so NEGATIVE.  Let your words show you what is in your heart, and set a watch over your mouth as you work on what you think about!  ONLY speak about good things and see how different your week goes!