the power of mind

The empires of the future are the empires of the mind.
Winston Churchill

Why the title of this post feels like it’s taken straight from the book “The Secret”? Well, it’s not. But let’s dig down further of what I mean by the power of mind.

Please take a moment and read this short fable:

The Frog Story

A group of frogs were hopping contentedly through the woods, going about their froggy business, when two of them fell into a deep pit. All of the other frogs gathered around the pit to see what could be done to help their companions. When they saw how deep the pit was, they agreed that it was hopeless and told the two frogs in the pit that they should prepare themselves for their fate, because they were as good as dead.

Unwilling to accept this terrible fate, the two frogs began to jump with all of their might. Some of the frogs shouted into the pit that it was hopeless, and that the two frogs wouldn’t be in that situation if they had been more careful, more obedient to the froggy rules, and more responsible. The other frogs continued sorrowfully shouting that they should save their energy and give up, since they were already as good as dead.

The two frogs continued jumping with all their might, and after several hours of this, were quite weary. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to the calls of his fellow frogs. Exhausted, he quietly resolved himself to his fate, lay down at the bottom of the pit, and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could, although his body was wracked with pain and he was quite exhausted. Once again, his companions began yelling for him to accept his fate, stop the pain and just die. The weary frog jumped harder and harder and, wonder of wonders, finally leaped so high that he sprang from the pit.

Amazed, the other frogs celebrated his freedom and then gathering around him asked, “Why did you continue jumping when we told you it was impossible?”

The astonished frog explained to them that he was deaf, and as he saw their gestures and shouting, he thought they were cheering him on. What he had perceived as encouragement inspired him to try harder and to succeed against all odds.”

So the morale of the story coincides with the book of Proverbs, which says, “There is death and life in the power of the tongue“. Our words can contain live, yet it can also contain death. It can heal wounds to those who need it, but it can be a knife that stabs someone from behind.

But I believe, yes, the words matter, and the tongue matters, but what’s more important is the mind.

Human’s brain is the most complex matter that exists in the universe. It has at least 10 billions neurons and each neuron has connections with 10k others. It can trigger you to think positive, or it can force you to think negative. The question is, is your mind taking control of you, or are you the one taking control of your mind?

Looking back at the frog fable, it is apparent that the first frog chose to feed his mind with negativity that his friends gave. While the second frog, (although it was a slightly different case because he’s deaf), chose to believe that his friends are supporting him. We cannot control what others will say, what others will think of us, or what others will do, but we can control our minds, and choose to look at life in a different perspective.

I’d say, the mind is treacherous. Why? It is so hard to focus even for a couple of minutes in doing something, and when suddenly something distracts us, in a blink we go daydreaming – we are thinking of something else. It’s when we sit in a lecture but our minds are drifting towards what to eat for lunch. It’s when we listen to a sermon in church but we are thinking on where to go after church. It’s when we pray, and suddenly we think of our assignments, dishes, TV programs, and much more. Sometimes, I feel like the brain has a mind of its own.

So looking from a psychologist point of view, why do people develop depression? Why does eating disorders, bipolar personality, or suicidal thoughts exist? These people are not necessarily the ‘poorest’ people on earth or the ‘unluckiest’ ones. But I guess, they choose to feed their minds with negativity, thinking that their situation is much more than they can handle, that their body is so fat and they can’t handle the pressure – they choose to be negative instead of living with hope and purpose. Many other people go through the same or even worse situation and choose to succeed, and they do succeed. Well, all goes back to the mind.

Physically, we have to eat healthy food (fruits, veggies, meat etc ) to survive, and sometimes we also eat junk food for pleasure (hamburgers, fast food, chips, etc) which does not necessarily unhealthy, but it will distract us from eating more healthy food. And there’s also the toxic food (drugs, smoke, overdosis alcohol, baygon). The same principle goes for our mental health. We have to feed our minds mentally with healthy food (the Bible, positivity, inspiring stories, studies), less junk food (magazines, gossips, etc), and hopefully, no toxic food (suicidal thoughts, depression, pornography, etc).

Will you let your mind control you, or are you the one holding the steering wheel?

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