I hope all is well with you! Summer is officially here—this means warm temperatures and long, lazy days! As for me, spring and summer are my favorite seasons—I happen to like hot weather and lots of sunshine. Of course, Mother Nature is always on the move. Soon, the warm temperatures will give way to crisp fall weather and the sun will set a bit earlier each day. Before we know it, winter will be here. And as the temperatures plummet, warm weather lovers like me will dream of spring. Nothing stays the same.
Well, that may not be true. Some people stay the same. That is, their thinking stays the same. They repeat old habits. They refuse to learn. They refuse to explore. They refuse to evolve. They refuse to be challenged. Day after day, they live with stagnation. Their minds are stifled. Suddenly, life means nothing more than whatever happens to be on the dinner plate or whatever happens to be on television. That, my friend, is no way to live.
As critical thinkers, we must keep our minds active and alert. Mental stagnation is the enemy. Our surroundings may remain the same and the routine of life may repeat itself, but we must not fall into mental complacency.
It is good to ask questions. Why am I doing what I am doing? Why am I feeling the way that I am? What can I do to improve my life? How can I grow? How can I serve others? We may not always be able to change our circumstances. We may have little control over our surroundings, but must we live in mental bondage? No!
Self-examination is good. We deal with this in Step Four. Many of us refer to this vigorous self-examination as our searching and fearless moral inventory. This is where we place ourselves under the microscope, so to speak, and learn about who we are. Who we are is substantially determined by the quality of our thinking.
A word of warning: we must not identify ourselves with our failures. We must not become “what we did in the past.” You are who you choose to be.
We have an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We can be more. We can be better. We can be wiser. We can be more content. We can make our lives matter—really matter—and we can make our lives more fulfilling—even while serving a prison sentence. If I did not believe this, I would stay home Tuesday evenings and watch sports rather than hanging out with you.
Just for today, let us ask, “What routines and habits and modes of thinking are holding me back? What can I change that will allow me to grow?” Focus on what you can do—not on what you cannot do. Commit to change. Commit to growth.
It is my prayer that you live a fulfilled, satisfying life!