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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
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
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
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
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
Being For Others Blog copyright © 2020 Kent Busse
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