When Albert Einstein was asked why most people live such unsuccessful lives, he reportedly answered, “Men simply don’t think.” Earl Nightengale then offered a possible explanation: it’s human nature not to value what costs us nothing. We are born with the blessing of our physical body, with all its attributes that allow us to see, hear, smell, feel, etc., and with our mind, capable of far more than we can imagine. Unless we lose them, we tend to take for granted all these gifts from our Creator, which have cost us nothing.
Instead we focus on the physical things that cost us in time and money — like our cars, homes, and businesses. We use them to make ourselves seem successful, to indicate to our world what we have achieved. Yet we can lose them in a moment of time. We rarely take the time or opportunity to learn how our mind works, and how much better our lives could be if we learned the Seven Laws of the Mind. As long as a person’s mind is functioning normally, and he understands these Laws, he can bring all these material things into being if he so desires.
But the marvelous thing is, he doesn’t need anything material to satisfy that desire for achievement or significance. All these outward appearances of success are meaningless if he has no peace, no joy, no meaningful relationships. When our Creator came to earth to walk among us as a man, He didn’t come with all the material trappings of a king — he had no home, he walked everywhere, he wore simple clothes. But He promised that we would do even greater miracles than He performed if we only believed — used our minds to see the possibilities, and then acted in faith as if they were already accomplished. He focused on the inner world – “the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) He gave us the specific directions on how to do it: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
In the Master Key 21:20-21, this concept is further explained:
The real battle of life is one of ideas; it is being fought out by the few against the many; on the one side is the constructive and creative thought, on the other side the destructive and negative thought; the creative thought is dominated by an ideal, the passive thought is dominated by appearances. On both sides are men of science, men of letters, and men of affairs.
On the creative side are men who spend their time in laboratories, or over microscopes and telescopes, side by side with the men who dominate the commercial, political, and scientific world; on the negative side are men who spend their time investigating law and precedent, men who mistake theology for religion, statesmen who mistake might for right, and all the millions who seem to prefer precedent to progress, who are eternally looking backward instead of forward, who see only the world without, but know nothing of the world within.
As I watched the movie “The Butler,” which showed the civil rights battles of the mid-1900’s, it was easy to see the negative side at work — the political leaders who “mistake might for right,” the millions who “prefer precedent to progress.” How easy it seems to be to fall into that trap of “we’ve never done it this way before.” Jesus fought that mindset with the religious leaders of His day. Maybe it would be a good idea to use our minds today to see which side is more appealing to us?