King Solomon, probably the wisest king throughout history, left us with these words, “don’t eat with people who are stingy; don’t desire their delicacies. They are always thinking about how much it costs. “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.”
Our mind is the basic element of life, causing us to act or feel in a certain way. If one constantly think about the cost, no matter how much of an outward appearance we try to put up, it is hypocrisy at best. Yet, we know many who live life in a similar way, having their speech and actions inconsistent with their thoughts.
In our pursuit for a more wholesome life with a character worth telling our children about, we need to cultivate positive thinking habits. As the Chinese saying goes, it is easy to learn bad habits, but it is very difficult to learn good ones. Cultivating positive thinking requires toil and effort before we can reap the fruit of fulfillment and integrity.
Similar to cultivation in the field, the first step is to toil the soil, removing the rocks and the loosening the soil. In order to do that, we have to:
1) Get rid of prejudices
2) Break out from set thinking patterns
3) Challenge and control twisted thoughts
It is only with loosening the soil, which we can then go further to thought renewal processes.