Thinking is an incredible activity. We do it all the time automatically. Scientists say that we never stop having the words move through our minds. Even when we are asleep a flow of words is streaming around inside of us. In fact, while human beings can speak at the rate of 150 to 200 words a minute, we think at the rate of 1300 to 1800 words a minute [and we read from 200 to 400 words a minute on average]. This helps to explain why our mind sometimes wanders when we are listening to someone [or their mind wanders when we are speaking!].
Our thoughts are the single most important physical item in determining our destiny. How we think will dictate how we feel and how we react to situations in life. That, in turn, will determine our success or failure.
What is thinking? It is basically our mind talking to ourselves. Every human being is constantly talking to themselves - they just don't usually do it out loud. Everyone has both negative and positive fleeting thoughts. You know the kind. They just seem to come into our mind from nowhere. These are not the thoughts that will effect our destiny. If it is just in and out there is no lasting impression, but if we choose to spend time dwelling or meditating about the thought then it becomes a part of who we are and will impact our lives for better or worse.
Our mind has the ability to evaluate facts and decide what is true or false. It make make a wrong decision based on incomplete or inaccurate data, but it will evaluate information. We can then decide what to think about.
Our emotions are the opposite. They cannot evaluate facts. They simply react to what the mind tells them is true. For example, imagine you are back in school. Unexpectedly you are called to the Principal's office. Your mind evaluates the information and tells your emotions - "You are in trouble now." Instantly, the butterflies in the stomach start, your legs move slower, fear wells up in your heart. When you get to the principal's office you find out he just wanted to thank you for some volunteer work you had done. What happened? Your mind fed your emotions misinformation and your emotions simply reacted.
Since our thoughts are programming our lives at the rate of 1300 to 1800 words a minute, 24 hours a day, it is extremely important what kind of thoughts we allow in our minds. It is important what kind of TV we watch, what kind of music we listen to, and what kind of friends we have. If we are constantly getting negative input, our programming is going to be largely negative, which, in turn, will hinder our ability to live happy, healthy lives.
It is especially important what kind of language we use with children. Their minds are in the process of developing the ability to evaluate facts. While they are in the process, they tend to believe everything they hear. If someone tells them they are stupid, or lazy, or will never amount to anything, they will tend to accept it as fact. Even when they mature they find it hard to overcome that kind of thinking which was programmed into them in their youth. Yes, children [and adults, too] have to be corrected when they are wrong, but it should never be in a way which devalues them as a person or introduces negative thinking into their minds.
How does this apply to reading? Many times children are labeled as having a learning disability simply because they have struggles in some areas. All of us are different. All of us struggle in some areas. In the case of reading, often the problem is more with ineffective methods of teaching reading than with the child. Because of hearing it so often, the child begins to think of himself or herself as learning disabled. They, then, don't believe that they can ever learn. What a crime!
Now, I recognize that some people have genuine physical, mental, or spiritual issues which hinder their ability to learn. In extreme cases it may prevent them from learning. But, in most cases, amazing progress is possible if a person will simply believe in themselves with the right kind of thinking.
Check out those 1300 to 1800 words that are streaming through your mind every minute. Are they building your life...or tearing it down?
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