Think of squeezing an orange.
When you squeeze an orange, what comes out? What do you get? An orange juice, right?
Now, think of yourself being squeezed. What do you think will come out?
Everything that comes out of us is a mere product of the things that are inside of us. They are a result of the things that are we are entertaining in our hearts and minds.
Squeezing is an act of inducing pressure. It does not matter who squeezes the orange. The juice that will come out would still be orange juice. This is similar to our case as humans. It does not matter who puts pressure on us – your sibling, a relative, a fellow driver on the expressway, or even your colleague at work. What comes out as a result of the pressure being induced upon us is exactly that which is within.
Same kind of stimuli, different responses
Back in 2019, my car got scratched by a vehicle that counterflowed. We were heading in the same direction. However, it eventually hit me coming from the left as the driver was trying to get back to the proper lane where I was. I was fuming mad. And I feel embarrassed whenever I look back at how I behaved. I may have been on the proper lane but I failed to exude the proper attitude.
I realized that courage is not the ability to express our thoughts and fight for our rights in a violent manner. It is the ability to act with grace even when we are under pressure.
I knew I needed to change. And change I did attempt to do.
Instead of entertaining negative thoughts about the traffic or some other erring drivers when driving, I started making a declaration that God will fix everything. When I keep on repeating such declarations while driving, my frustration with traffic disappears having the faith that traffic will eventually get fixed and I will get to my destination safely.
Just a few months ago, a motorcycle overtaking from the left hit my car. I slowed down and pulled over to check on the other driver and whether my car got scratched. Having seen that things are okay, I proceeded to where I was going. What I found remarkable was that I did not turn mad. A very similar situation but a totally different response.
Your juice is whatever you put in
Whatever the situation, if we blurt out cuss words or exude a negative attitude, that is because deep inside, we have been entertaining negative thoughts all along. I bet most drivers can relate to this: when we utter evil words against another driver who does not give way for us especially during heavy traffic, it is because we are already feeling frustrated deep inside. We are like a loaded gun just waiting for somebody to pull the trigger.
When we respond with kindness, that is because kindness is what springs from our hearts. Train your heart to be grateful and you will always find that there are things to be thankful for no matter how undesirable a situation may be. Focus on improving yourself and you will find less time to find fault in others. Entertain holy thoughts while driving and you will gradually develop patience even when somebody cuts you in traffic.
We cannot give that which we do not have. Let us bear in mind that the human heart has a door that he alone can open. Nobody else can open that door. Therefore, each individual is solely responsible for the things that preoccupy his heart and mind. And whatever things inside his heart, that is what the human person will bring out especially when pressure surmounts him.
Guard your thoughts
The greatest gift that God gave to the human person is his ability to decide for himself. This providence is not made available to other living organisms.
Since nobody can force a person to accept something that he does not like, the entire responsibility of whatever comes into his heart is his alone. So therefore we must always guard our thoughts.
What are the things that we put attention to? It is not hard to believe that we are all geared to look for negative things. For that reason, we must be proactive in looking for things that will motivate us and inspire us to do better.
Many experts say that only about 3% of people around the world are successful. Just look at how many views motivational videos and audiobooks get on Youtube. Compare that to the number of views videos about controversies and scandals get and you will start understanding why.
In his book, Psychocybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz says that we are the sum total of our thoughts. Who we are is exactly what kind of thoughts we continue to keep inside. How we see ourselves is eventually justified by our minds by executing the actions that prove that we are correct.
Preoccupy your mind with the thought that you are inferior and your mind will find ways to prove that you are right. On the other hand, develop a self-image that you are doing well and you will develop a habit of doing well. We must start thinking of ourselves in a better way and keep ourselves positively motivated for us to flush out the negative ones.
Put in the right ingredients and you will be able to produce the right kind of juice.
Be blessed and be a blessing!