Encouraging Words: The Times They Are A-Changin’

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By Joe Williams, Special to The Shopper

In 1964, a 25-year-old Bob Dylan wrote the iconic anti-war/civil rights song, “The times they are a-changin’.”  

Fifty-six years later, the “Times” seem to be changing at a rapid and uncomfortable rate again.  And that will probably never change.   Society “is” divided; some are angry, others are hurting financially and physically, students, churches and businesses are “Zooming” from home.  And to top it off, we can’t even see our favorite team in person, for crying out loud!

In order to prosper in these times, we could consider changing the way we think – certainly not our core values and beliefs,  but changing the way we respond to what seems to be the new normal in our thoughts and ideas, adding value to ourselves and others.  As Leo Tolstoy put it, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself!”

In John Maxwell’s book, “Thinking for a Change”, he lists six good reasons for changing the way we THINK (and respond to situations).

Changing your thinking changes your beliefs. Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results – bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results.

Changing your beliefs changes your expectations.   The first and most important step toward success is the expectation that we “can” succeed.

Changing your expectations changes your attitude.  Ben Franklin wrote, “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall receive it.”

Changing your attitude changes your behavior.   According to clergyman Earl Riney, our attitude is a thing that draws people to us or repels them.

Changing your behavior changes your performance.   Doing the same old things will always get us the same old results.  Try a new behavior!

Changing your performance changes your life.   When we change what we do (our performance) on a consistent basis, we have the power to change our lives!

“Everything begins with a thought!”    . . . . Emerson

And finally, as Paul the Apostle wrote, “Whatever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report –  if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, THINK ON THESE THINGS.”

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