Hardening of the Attitudes
“We all need to perform a daily check from the neck up to avoid stinkin’-thinkin’, which ultimately leads to hardening of the attitudes…” — Zig Ziglar
It is common for us humans to float through life believing the thoughts we allow to dominate our thinking as well as the way we respond to what happens to us, is OK and will not be the cause of any adverse consequences. In other words, it is common to believe this type of thinking is not affecting us one way or another. It is also common to believe it will not lead us toward a major catastrophe down the road. However, what ultimately happens is one day we suffer a heart attack. Of course there are those that are fortunate or lucky enough to make it through this catastrophic event while others are not. Afterwards, as one begins to examine their life for why this could have happened, they often take the stance that it shouldn’t have happened to me or it was simply hereditary. More often than not the reason for this belief is they usually exercise at least once per week and they usually think they eat well. They are not usually over weight, but if they are it is only by a few pounds. Unfortunately for them, the real truth is usually staring them in the face or back at them in the mirror.
When we are young our veins and arteries are pliable, free of obstructions as there is no atherosclerosis or arteriosclerosis. Often as we age, this condition changes with the forming of plaque, which then becomes hardening of the arteries. Medical science believes this condition is partially or wholly caused by our life style: what we eat and how we exercise. Since it is believed our diet plays a big part in the onset of this condition, doctors tell us to monitor what we eat; limit the amount of saturated fats; limit the amount of red meat; limit the amount of starchy foods; limit the amount of simple sugars; eat more fiber; more fruits, more vegetables, maintain a daily exercise regimen, and above all, do not smoke.
Unfortunately, there are usually a few other key elements missing in their diagnosis of the reasons for the cause of this condition. The first overlooked condition is one’s predominant thoughts. What one thinks of most of the time will definitely have a negative or positive effect, one’s physical body. Your thinking can and does have a negative or positive effect on the nervous system, which in turn will have an effect on your entire body especially your cardiovascular system. Allow me to paint a picture. Let’s say, you don’t smoke, drink, eat much red meat, starches or refined sugars; on the other hand you do eat lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken and exercise daily even once in a while participating in mountain bike competitions and 5K runs. The next thing you know you are forty eight years old and playing softball running from second to third base and fall flat on your face. The paramedics arrive, but only to pronounce you DEAD on the scene. Such happened to a friend of mine in the upper Midwest in the late nineties. Everyone was shocked. Although he wasn’t thin, he definitely wasn’t fat. He seemed to have it altogether, yet there he was laying face down in the dirt never to enjoy another sunrise.
The autopsy revealed he had severe atherosclerosis. He had several severe blockages to his heart and, as stated above, he was forty eight. My Dad was fifty six when his first heart attack came along. He did eat red meat and lots of it; he also ate bacon, eggs, refined sugars, starches, didn’t exercise and he smoked until he was fifty seven (until his second heart attack). What’s wrong with this picture? If one had looked closer into my younger friend’s life they would have seen he was quite the heart attack candidate. He was full of anger, hatred, bitterness and the like, which made him constantly uptight about everything. This changed his entire demeanor as it had him in a constant state of nervous tension as well as anxiety.
The nervous tension caused a change to his internal chemical composition thereby contributing to the issues in his blood vessels. The nervous tension caused the blood vessels to be restricted pushing his blood pressure up causing further damage to his blood vessels as well as his heart. He was a walking time bomb. My Dad, although he yelled and screamed never carried this anger with him. He “yelled” it out of his system then got on with life, unlike my friend who carried it around with him. I am not advocating dumping your anger and frustration on others, but I am simply stating that my father’s way of dealing with things and letting them go kept him from making his situation much worse.
My friend had a stinkin’-thinkin’ problem. He had more than hardening of the arteries he had hardening of the attitudes. Because of his inability to let go of the past, his thoughts were basically instructing his brain (unbeknownst to him) to sabotage his own life by the long term introduction of chemicals, which contributed to the cardio vascular issues eventually causing his death.
Medical science has proven the chemical composition of our blood is different when angry and bitter than when we are happy and content. They have also proven long term introduction of these chemicals are highly contributory, not only to one’s outlook on life, but one’s health as well. Seeing as how it all starts in the brain, it seems logical we need to be attentive of that for which we allow our thoughts to dwell or we will wind up with stinkin’ thinkin’ causing hardening of our attitudes as well.
The second issue is to be aware of the way you respond to that which happens to you, for how you respond will determine how your tomorrows turn out, bad or good. You can help yourself respond better by monitoring that to which you are listening, reading and watching. Ask yourself what direction your action habits have you heading? Then ask yourself is this direction one that will get you where you want to be tomorrow? If not, then change it?
Hardening of the arteries and hardening of the attitudes are similar in that they develop over a long period and take a long period to treat. When it comes to hardening of the arteries, medical Science has discovered there is something, which one can do to help reduce atherosclerotic plaque causing hardening of the arteries. They use an IV to introduce into the blood stream a chemical that will attach to and remove those damaging chemicals such as mercury, lead, other harmful metals, and toxins etc, which are all contributory to this harmful condition. Because it took years for this to happen it is not an overnight removal process. This removal process can take several months.
Likewise, there is a way to reduce hardening of the attitudes, but it also takes time to treat. One must begin to retrain themselves to think and act differently than they have been of late. A few thousand years ago when writing to some people with hardening of attitudes Paul the apostle wrote, “Whatsoever things are honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things – and the God of peace shall be with you.” Notice Paul told them what to think on because he knew it was necessary if they were going to keep their attitudes right and overcome the anxieties they faced.
I am fairly certain it is not humanly possible to go through life without being upset or angry, or without being sad, or having a devious or hateful thought, but it is possible ‘to shoo those thoughts away’ thereby, not allowing them to take roost. When they come along, and they will, be quick to force yourself to think about that which is positive, that which is good, that which is lovely, and that which is of good report for in doing so you will have peace in your heart and life. When you make the decision to do this, you will find others enjoy being around you because you are pleasant to be around. Having the right attitude in life, about life, and towards life will cause that which you want to come to you for it will have no choice.
Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…