The Renewing of Your Mind

Time spent learning and renewing your mind is never wasted.

Now think of how much you would love to learn, yet how little time you spend learning. Imagine the benefits of refreshing your mind daily with new, helpful information you have never before considered.

I’m blown away by how incredible the mind really is. At least once a month. It’s amazing the things I picked up when I wasn’t even paying attention, both good and bad.

Why are those Weird Al lyrics so perfectly preserved in my brain? Yet this is the same brain that recalls who read what Mark Twain book for our book reports in 5th grade. This brain used my fear of the 2nd grade teacher — for no specific reason — to fuel excellent grades that year.

I’m slowly realizing the mind will absorb, chew on, calculate, ruminate, extrapolate, and stew about anything available.

Mine will grasp a faint few notes playing almost imperceptibly the very moment I cross the threshold of a store or restaurant, and tell me what song it is before I am three steps in. It will solve computer programming problems on the back burner while I am taking a walk, and tap me on the shoulder when the algorithm is complete.

Yours will prevent you from making a terrible decision, without you fully realizing why. It will make up for your inability to pay attention and pull answers out of thin air. It will change your mood when it decides that is what you need.

And all of these things help me to deeply appreciate my mind and take care of it.

So if the human mind is a sponge, soaking in whatever we dwell on, then we might as well give it something good to absorb… right?

If we give it the same type of material to absorb day after day after day, we teach the mind to create a mental rut, a path for our thoughts that does not change much.

This can be good and bad — just like ANY tool or habit. If we stimulate our minds with negative sources all day every day, how could it not have a negatively effect our thoughts? It’s easy to do, since it seems to be all that is in the news, talk radio, popular music, and even the weather! (I dare you to avoid these influences on your life for just one week. See if you do not feel better.)

Likewise, if we stimulate and renew our minds with positive information and educational materials, we give ourselves no choice but to experience personal growth.

By engaging in personal growth, you will benefit everyone around you. Those nearby will sense your enthusiasm and increased development and will latch on non-consciously.

My personal growth was planted when I was a child playing with Legos, as I was learning I have the ability to enhance. Not create, necessarily — but edit, modify, improve, and enhance.

It was then watered by family and music and instruments and math and intellectual friends and computers… and much later, books. Until one day it clicked deep inside my soul how much I would benefit from daily personal growth.

It was time to actively begin renewing my mind.

You know what was the final straw for me? What nudged me forever out of my comfort zone? There were two things. The first was the statistic that the average millionaire reads at least one non-fiction book a month, mentioned often by Dave Ramsey. The second was some thoughts from Dan Miller:

People often ask me how I find time to read as much as I do. (I read at least one new book a week.) The answer is that I’m afraid not to. When I crashed in business, in 1988, I made a commitment to spend two hours a day reading, listening, praying, and meditating on positive, encouraging material. The results were so obvious that now I find that when I want to jump forward in a new venture or area of success, I increase that time commitment.
— Dan Miller, No More Dreaded Mondays
(Click here to read it in context)

And it all finally shifted my perspective on learning. For good.

It’s been more than three years of active, intentional personal growth for two hours a day, and I can’t imagine going back. If you make this a habit and adopt the mindset of constant growth and renewing of your mind, you will wonder how you ever existed without it.

What is it costing you not to engage in daily personal growth?