What if thought IS first cause?

Challenge Question #1 for leaders and teachers.

What if thought IS first cause?

As I walked through the door, the story I would tell started to play though my thoughts. “I tried to avoid the temptation this time. I did everything I could. You know I would never hurt you like this if there was any way I could help it. I love you and I don’t want anyone else. I don’t want you to leave. I wish I had power over this addiction, but I don’t. I really can’t tell you why those pictures own my imagination. Its like they seek me out, hunt me down and beat my imagination into submission. I try to resist, but I just can’t win.”

Over and over excuses flood the conversation. The reasons and justification for failure pour forth like the endless cascade of water from Niagara Falls. The key word in denying responsibility and opportunity for change is  only two syllables yet has countless implications and consequences. “Because” seems to be the easy way out for those failing to find freedom from addictions, circumstances, bad choices, and even horrible relationships. “I can’t quit because…” “I can’t leave because…” “I can’t find a new job because…” “I can’t start over because…”

When will we ask the question: “What started because?” I mean what happened that started this fateful ball rolling that seems determined to roll over us with no thought? Are we on this path to destruction without recourse? Are we all caught up in a nightmarish version of Raiders of the Lost Ark? Do we have any control at all? Any authority for change? Any hope for a better future? Can we undo the done deal?

I offer this notion for you to ponder. As a leader, a teacher, a parent, a boss, you have not only significant influence, but also significant responsibility to lead others to THINK! When we stop thinking for ourselves, we become puppets, victims, slaves, robots of those who will gladly think for us, with their own best interest at heart and not our own.

No matter the issue or instance of failure, what are the odds victory is within your grasp? What IF the power to choose your path to victory was a single thought away? Would you believe me if I said that changing your mind is really the first step to freedom? Would you be willing to fight with all you are worth for a single thought? Watch the answer to a Ridiculous question here.

Here is a fact that only significant research can prove to be true: THOUGHT IS FIRST CAUSE!

I know, we almost instantly react to the idea as heresy. The knee jerk reaction is to blame some outside source as “planting in our imagination” some notion which if we truly considered all of the ramifications, we would without hesitation deny, reject or even be repulsed by merely pondering. And yet, we find ourselves not only pondering these notions, but meditating on them and in many instances actually living them out.

“If I so much as smell a chocolate cake, I gain five pounds.” “If the scent of xyz perfume is on the air, I go weak in the knees.” “When I hear his accent, I am powerless to resist.” All of these are predetermined selections of choice. We have already pondered the temptation and chosen to react in a specific way. St. James tells us that we cannot even be tempted if we don’t want that something to begin with, but NOT ONLY but also, all of the fighting and striving and straining in our lives begin with the things we “want but cannot have.”

Here is my challenge to you. When you are faced with a tough circumstance I want you to ask yourself a few questions and genuinely think through the answers and implications.

  1. What thoughts have I allowed in my imagination to lead to this moment?
  2. What thoughts could I alter to change my focus or perspective regarding this circumstance?
  3. What changes do I desire for this circumstance? (Imagine the ideal outcome, picture it as a scene in your mind and feel it.)
  4. What actions will change if I change my thoughts?
  5. What will change in my circumstances if I change my actions?

When you apply this thinking exercise to every challenging moment in life, you will find that you can truly alter your circumstances by changing the way you think about them. From blood pressure, to diet, from relationships to study habits, when you choose the right way of thinking, you will improve the quality of your life. Your brain does what your mind tells it to do. Instruct it well.

thought life, thought leadership, relationships, willpower, discipline J Loren Norris, blog



J Loren Norris is available to speak and train on leadership and communication skills, for corporate America, Associations, Conventions, churches, and non profit organizations. Click here to learn more.



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Compassionate, real and humorous, Loren impacts the lives of everyone he meets. He inspires audiences with wisdom, motivation, and hope. His story is transparent and transforming … His life is a refreshing “victim to victor story” … one that will encourage the heart of any audience. Loren frequently reminds audiences, “Regardless of your past; the mistakes you have made and what has been ‘done to you’, how you see you and the attitude you carry through life will determine your future.”

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