Kennady, my six-year-old granddaughter, showed up at the house grumpy. She’d forgotten her’ show and tell’ stuffed animal for her online class to share, and my daughter refused to return home to get it. Her life that morning went from good to bad instantly. The more significant issue she had to learn to overcome a mindset – attitude of what was most important.

The pandemic has challenged optimism.

Many people’s thoughts and attitudes have turned negative. Mental health rates, including anger and depression, are skyrocketing, marriages are suffering, and parent/teen conflict is erupting as never before. Because of COVID, there are an estimated 3 million children who have become officially lost in the Los Angeles school system. They have never shown up for online classes during the pandemic. That is going to be life-changing for them and our country. Why? Their mindset told them that education wasn’t worth it, and by parents who had found it insignificant. Kennady is a child, and her immaturity is understandable, but Paul teaches us (I Cor. 13:11) that we are to grow up and think like an adult and not as a child so that we can reflect “the hope that lives within us.” I Peter 3:15. As Christians, we are watched by others for how we overcome sudden and challenging situations and reflect the power of the living God in us. 

Our mindset affects the life we chose to live.

If you don’t like your life, it might be time to change your mindset, which means changing your thinking. What are you thinking, and are your thoughts destructive or life-building? “The dominate thoughts you have will affect the outcome of your day and eventually your life,” says Life Church pastor Craig Groeschel. We can determine to change our thoughts by consciously choosing to think differently with new thoughts and accessing resources to help us do so. I admit I need help and a change of attitude often. I need the mind of Jesus working in me and not my selfish desires. I go to the Bible and prayer, followed by worship and then gratitude for what I have and can do. I refuse to let the enemy lead my thoughts and ruin my day and life.

When we allow the negative to rule our lives, we stop trying and stop moving forward.

Too many people have stopped trying. Faced with a mountain of disruptions, poor leadership, and excuses, they have accepted a limited vision of all that God said we could do. Their negative mindset becomes resistant to risk-taking and choosing to take on difficulties. They get stuck in the clutches of, “I am not good enough, can’t afford it, aren’t smart, too old, uneducated,” and the constant negative thoughts that deceiver throws their way. The truth is that God has promised to be at our side and to navigate with us through the many twists and turns of life’s challenge when we don’t cut Him out. When we stay open to His ways and not our thinking, we become emboldened, and our eyes remain open to seeing things differently. We change from being timid and resistant to being bold and confident.

Your confidence will affect how you lead others.

It’s a domino effect. What you think affects what you will pay attention to, listen to, and act on. What you act on will ultimately reflect your passions or heart choices and how you lead others. And your leadership affects the success of your family and career. It affects your ability to accomplish what you are genuinely passionate about. Kennady that morning couldn’t see past her missed sharing time in class, but because she had adults who could help turn her focus and thoughts to what mattered and to future opportunities, and confidently moved forward.

 Are media and the internet affecting your thoughts?

Do you have a thinking issue that has been so deeply ingrained into your mind that it has become a habit and the automatic “go-to place” when challenges arise? Think about what you are paying attention to, listening to and watching. Social media and internet searches could be one of the reasons. Internet information is vast, and embedded into google searches are bots programmed to record what we search for and like. Bots begin to control our online searches and social media “likes,” giving us one-sided information and opinions based on our history of what we like since we can’t read everything. So, for our “convenience” and streamlining our searches, bots only show us what they think we want to see, giving us only partial information. You can understand why this has caused people’s enormous polarization and created negativity and anger. It is affecting our mindset today and causing us to make many poor choices. 

Our mind is a beautiful thing.

Our Creator God in His love for us, gave us a flexible mind. Suppose we mindfully determine to choose differently, recognizing we may have formed habits of resistance and distraction or may have succumbed to media manipulations. In that case, we can then begin to make conscious changes. In daily conscious decisions, we can begin to reverse negative attitudes and purposefully choose positive choices that will change our outcomes. We become better thinking people. God tells us to come, “reason together.” If we want to seek justice, help the oppressed, defend the fatherless, and assist the widow, we will need to understand that we are all guilty of thinking selfishly and sinning at some time. Yet if we turn from our ways, choose to be obedient to God’s thinking, He will bless us and allow us to “eat the good things of the land.” Isaiah 1:18

You can win the mind battle.