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33 We go where we look

My mind walks out on sermons that focus on evil that is overtaking the world. My sermons here illuminate and appreciate improvement that is permeating the world. Same world? Different outlook!

The last article declared that we do not climb up by looking down. Our minds and muscles carry us where we fix our gaze. If this is self-evident, why are people bound for heaven (up) preoccupied with sin (down)? Sin-bashing is mental pollution.

In Boy Scouts I learned a basic rule of chopping wood: look at the log you are trying to hit, not the toe you are trying to miss, because the axe comes down where you are looking. If all you see is sin, your preoccupation indicates where you are headed.

At least two people have stopped smoking by using my attention-redirecting method. I taught them that sitting at home bemoaning their addiction made the problem worse because of anxiety and self-deprecation. They needed to redirect their strength by focusing on activities that made them feel better about themselves. When the negative self-perceptions went away, so did the smoking habit. This positive mindset does not require being naïve or blind. After a failed rocket launch, the engineers must study what went wrong without engaging in paralyzing self-condemnation. As quickly as suggestions emerge, the lab starts testing them in pursuit of improvement. This is much different from complaining over once having been wrong.

Legal reasoning starts with the question “did the described event happen?” From there the logic moves to moral turpitude: “what was the intent?” If the best of intentions goes awry, that mitigates so-called guilt over the fact. As in the failed rocket launch illustration, the aim of investigation is not to add suffering, but rather to ask, “Are we making the best possible progress given the situation in which we find ourselves?”

These models apply so strongly that we can dispense with the concepts of sin and guilt. Those labels are inglorious obstacles to progress. Our natural human hunger for betterment is all the impetus we need to abandon mistakes happily. Perhaps this realization emerges from the fact that my parents imparted so much joy over my learning that I did not even think about having once been ignorant. All of us humans need to apply that mindset so that we grow unfettered.

This recommendation is like Dr. Benjamin Hardy’s proposal that we measure ourselves by our futures, not our pasts. Positive mental attitude or PMA is identifying as the better versions of ourselves that we are becoming.

Note: the above link is NOT affiliate marketing. It is a footnote documentation to define the topic I am discussing. (I bought Dr. Hardy’s book with my own money.)

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