What we think about when we are free to think about what we will – that is what we are or will soon become. – A. W. Tozer
The idea that our thoughts shape us is only partly right. There are many involuntary thoughts that fly through our brains daily. These do not shape us.
In fact, we would be much better off if we didn’t believe everything we think. For many of these involuntary thoughts are merely modules in the brain firing off ideas. Others are scripts that have been implanted into our minds while growing up.
No, what shapes us is voluntary thoughts. It is what we focus on that influences us. These are the things that we need to be wary of.
The involuntary thoughts we need to treat like a bird flying over our head, and just ignore them. But we can certainly stop the birds from making a nest in our hair. Don’t entertain unwholesome thoughts.
This is why aphorisms and maxims are helpful. They bring us back to wholesome and helpful thoughts. By pondering on them we grow in knowledge, understanding, and practical wisdom.