I Talk to Myself

Posted: March 5, 2014 in Christian, Leadership
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I talk to myself. Yeah, that’s right.  I’ll admit it. I talk to myself.

I find talking to myself helps me organize my activities.  It helps me plan my day.  It helps me prioritize my tasks.  It helps me evaluate my options.  It helps me analyze my productivity.  It helps me define my purpose.  It helps me insure my integrity.

Talking to myself is a key part of my life, leadership and productivity.  There are times I find the most intelligent and profitable conversation of the day is the one I have with myself.

Most often, the conversation I have with myself is the most challenging.  Sometimes, it’s the most encouraging.  It is always the most defining conversation I have during any given day.

I find the most important aspect of the conversation I have with myself is how I feed it.

Before you tune me out for being crazy.  Before you start believing “Tim needs a therapist” or some other form of mental evaluation, let me say one more thing.  YOU talk to yourself, too.  (Uh ho, this blog just went from confessing to meddling.)  YES, YOU DO!  You may as well admit it.  You talk to yourself too.

You probably call your self conversations my some more sophisticated name.  Something like… “THINKING.”

What is thinking besides an internal conversation we have with ourself?

Like I said, the most important part of any conversation I have with myself is how I feed it.

Paul gives us some great advice on training and feeding our thinking.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) – “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

In this one short verse, Paul gives us a great formula for improving our thinking.  Improving our thinking improves the quality of our self conversation.  Improving the quality of our self conversation… You get the picture.

First, Paul tells us HOW to think:

  1. Think Intentionally – “think…” Paul gives us an imperative command to think. Thinking intentionally means thinking proactively.  One of the best ways I have found to think intentionally is a morning quiet time.  A quiet time, for me, is a specific time for specific thinking.  Specific thinking brings optimal focus toward maximizing results.
  2. Think Specifically – “think about such things.”  It is not enough to think intentionally.  Paul also tells us to think specifically.  Thinking specifically brings strategy to intention.  Thinking is of little benefit, if it always an accumulation of random thoughts.  Thinking specifically means devoting specific time and energy into thinking about specific topics that bring us the most benefit.  Thinking specifically means evaluating our thoughts and weeding out those that are not beneficial or healthy.

Second, Paul tells us WHAT to think:

  1. Think True – Paul tells us to think about things that are true.  Let’s face it.  When it comes to talking to ourselves, we want to hear the best about ourselves.  We all can have the tendency to dramatize, romanticize, fantasize and even rationalize our thinking to tell ourselves what we want to hear.  Thinking truthfully means being honest in how we communicate with ourself.  It means thinking intentionally, specifically and being honest with ourself and where we need the most focus and the things we need to do.
  2. Think Noble – Noble means exalted in moral, mental character or excellence.  Paul encourages us to purposefully think on things that encourage high moral character.  Thinking toward high moral character encourages mental excellence.  When we think on noble things actions soon follow.
  3. Think Right – Wrong thinking requires very little energy.  Right thinking requires attention to method as well as subject.  Right thinking occurs when we ensure conditions to encourage our thinking are in order for the best results.  For some it is a place for specific thinking.  For others it is a time of specific thinking.  Whatever encourages your best thinking of intentional, specific, truthful and noble thoughts foster those conditions for best results.
  4. Think Pure – Noble thoughts speak to character.  Right thoughts speak to intent.  Pure thoughts speak to purpose.  Thinking pure thoughts means thinking with purpose on purpose.
  5. Think Lovely – Lovely means having beauty that appeals to the heart and mind, not just the eye.  Thinking on lovely things means thinking on things not just noble, right, pure but also appealing.  Thinking lovely means controlling lust and greed.  It requires evaluating our thoughts and thought process to achieve greater results.
  6. Think Admirable – Think thoughts that are admirable.  The best way I have found to assess how admirable any subject is to think about is asking: “Would I be willing to share this thought with the person I admire most?” Think on things you would be proud for others to know about.  Think on things that bring honor to you and those you love most.

Finally, Paul tells us WHY to think:

  1. Think Excellent – Finally, Paul wraps it all together with two more qualifiers.  While thinking intentionally, while thinking specifically, while thinking truthfully, while thinking noblely, while thinking rightly, while thinking purely, while thinking lovely and with thinking admirably, in every thought and manner think on things that are excellent.  Paul encourages us to think with excellence about excellent things for excellent purposes and excellent results.  This is another admonition to evaluate our thoughts to keep and follow the best.
  2. Think Praiseworthy – Paul encouraging us to think in a manner that bring glory to Christ and honors our testimony.  This is the final and most important of all the evaluators Paul give us.  Paul encourages us to evaluate every thought in light of what God’s word teaches us.  Paul is not telling us to think religious thoughts.  Paul is tell us to evaluate our thoughts through the filter of what God’s word tells us to do about work, life, relationships, stewardship, whatever area your thoughts carry you.

In a few brief words, Paul gives us a great formula for thinking intentionally and strategically.

I wish I could honestly tell you I have it all figured out.  I’m still learning, practicing and endeavoring to improve.  What I have found is when I follow Paul’s model, my internal conversations are:

  • More Productive
  • More Motivating
  • More Challenging
  • More Settling
  • More Exciting
  • More Confident
  • More Pleasing
  • More Organizing
  • More Creative
  • More Comprehensive
  • More Rewarding

Basically, I find more of everything I need to be the leader, partner, coworker and friend God has designed me to be.  The real benefit of having great conversations with myself is I am better prepared for beneficial conversations with other leaders, mentors and encouragers.  And, I am more open to growth opportunities around me.

What ways do you find beneficial in improving your self conversations?

What do you find is the best way to improve the quality of your thinking?

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Comments
  1. Mike Martens says:

    This is a fantastic list of the only ways that we should be putting our minds to use.

    Otherwise, turn it off and get down to the matter of whatever it is you are doing right now.

    I really enjoyed this article!

    Like

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