“Are a man’s life what his thoughts make of it?

A businessman was highly critical of his competitors’ storefront windows. “Why, they are the dirtiest windows in town,” he claimed. Fellow business people grew tired of the man’s continual criticism and nitpicking comments about the windows. One day over coffee, the businessman carried the subject just too far. Before leaving, a fellow store owner suggested the man get his own windows washed. He followed the advice, and the next day at coffee, he exclaimed, “I can’t believe it. As soon as I washed my windows, my competitor must have cleaned his too. You should see them shine.”

Confucius once declared, “Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.”

Wise men and philosophers throughout the ages have disagreed on many things, but many are in unanimous agreement on one point: “We become what we think about.” Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “A man is what he thinks about all day long.” The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it this way: “A man’s life is what his thoughts make of it.” In the Bible we find: “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

One Sunday afternoon, a cranky grandfather was visiting his family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun by putting Limburger cheese on Grandfather’s mustache. Soon, grandpa awoke with a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, “This room stinks.” Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he made his way outside only to find that “the whole world stinks!”

So it is when we fill our minds with negativism. Everything we experience and everybody we encounter will carry the scent we hold in our mind.

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