What’s your product?
Maybe it’s because I have been a writer by some vague definition for so many years, or maybe it’s because I’m a self-diagnosed information junkie, but no matter the reason – my email inbox is flooded with opportunities. There’s a steady stream of opportunities for me to purchase a product that will bring me instant success or purchase services that promise success if I follow a particular program paid for in advance. There is nothing wrong with selling for success and the more intimately someone identifies with a product, the more likely they are to sell it convincingly. There is much I could say about the value of marketing, the philosophy behind it, and why it’s a critical component of our economy from the smallest business to the mega enterprise, but I won’t.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this product marketing, on a totally different plane. How many times are we told that we are products of our environment? We are who we are because of our families, the schools we attend, the neighborhoods we live in, and the friends we hang out with. Those are heavy factors, especially when considering the amount of time spent immersed in any one of them. The way we act, and maybe even more importantly, the way we react becomes our product. The more intimate we are with our product, the deeper we settle into our comfort zone. And let’s face it; sometimes that comfort zone is really not all that comforting.
I’ve recently talked with friends who suffer through anxiety and others who are demoralized by depression. Because our friendships have been years in development listening and observing has given me insight into conditions that contribute to these weighty emotions. I’ve heard the analogy used before about our past being like recorded tapes that play over and over in memory, but they affect today. I can understand that analogy and can also see the detriment of allowing those tapes to circulate in endless repeat. Is there hope? Is there a way to turn off those memories of the past so they don’t affect the future? Let’s try for one moment at a time.
I have to use the off switch quite frequently because I have tapes that switch on and play in my head too. At that moment, I remember that it’s up to me to reach up there and snap that setting to OFF and take captive a new thought about something positive. God does not want me to dwell on what might have been – if only …. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Jesus Christ does not want my energies to be wasted on negative thoughts of past event. In fact, remember these words of the Apostle Paul when he encourages us to forget the past. Philippians 3:13-14 “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Does this mean our memories are completely gone? No, but it means for each negative thought that comes from the past, we need to replace it with an actionable thought that will most definitely affect right now. You see the only thing we can do with the past is learn from it. The past is gone forever – so that thing that won’t leave you alone? It’s gone. It’s in the past. It’s history. Today, in this moment, choose a new thought. And make it a right thought. Every act starts as a thought. Our minds are powerful tools. Nurture them with right thinking and the will become right doing.
Where can we start? Here are a couple thoughts. Seek God and make him Lord of your thoughts, your actions, and your life. In this way we rise above our circumstances brought on by negative thoughts from our past. Deuteronomy 4:28 “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”