To achieve the open mind required of a leader we must prepare our selves to truly listen to others with pure empathy. A key step that we should examine here is the origination of our own thoughts. Who are we? What defines us? In our mind thoughts are manufactured. We choose to either deliberate with the thought or to cast it in the trash. If we deliberate then we create a process of reasoning in which we shape thoughts into actionable emotions. The emotions then combined with energy proceed from our mind to the members of our body. Our body is the instrument through which our thoughts come to life. Our thoughts define us. We become our thoughts. Our thoughts guide all that we do. The thought process happens continually millions of times per day. Just like any other manufacturing process the quality of the inputs determine the quality of the outputs. What are the inputs in the manufacturing process of thought?
Let us consider the manufacturing process of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The inputs are bread, peanut butter, and jelly. In order to create the perfect sandwich in this case we must choose the highest quality inputs. Perhaps we might like to bake our own fresh bread if it is our fancy. Maybe we pick wild blackberries and make fresh jelly. What about freshly ground peanuts as well? Not only is the quality of the inputs important, but also the quantity of each shares similar import. We wouldn't want ten slices of bread per tablespoon of peanut butter would we? And then we should consider the complimentary items. A fresh, cold glass of milk a few hours departed from Betsy's udder. The perfection of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a fun adventure to consider. How much more interesting then is it for us to consider the perfection of our own thought process?
What is the way by which we can cleanse our mind and by so doing completely open it up so that empathy may thrive? Just like our peanut butter and jelly sandwich, we must choose the highest quality inputs for our process of thought. In modern day western society a near continuous stream of poor quality inputs are disseminated for our minds to consider. By understanding that the inputs to a process define the outputs we are enabled to stare down a major barrier in the path of our leadership journey. We become what we allow to enter our mind. If poor quality inputs are not rejected then they create a poor quality output. We are not dealing with a sandwich though; we are dealing with the definition of our own mind, body, and soul. We should take an examination today. How many things in the past 24 hours that we thought and said were direct copies of or influenced by an input received from television, magazines, movies, internet, and radio? We are all unique, reasoning creations of God. We become what we think. Saint Maximus the Confessor once said when explaining what it means to slip down that, "It means that someone who had the ability to direct the steps of his soul unswervingly toward God voluntarily exchanged what is better, his true being, for what is worse, non-being." We choose true being by controlling the inputs, selecting only those of highest quality or we fall into non-being, which is the result of losing control of our own mind to the shackles of bad input.
Copyright © Robert Clinton Chedester 2013