How do you reinforce good thinking and do what is right? Or, how can you do what is right when the temptation is strong to do wrong? Too often, the path of least resistance is toward wrong, so you need a way to do what fits your good values.
But the problem gets worse when you are in a situation where you do not have time to think about good values and weigh your options.
Good Values Pushed Aside
Unfortunately, the path of least resistance is to react and respond in those situations. And your reaction may be much worse than you think. What you think you value is easily be pushed aside depending on the temptation at hand. For example, research shows that men who select good values toward women, then look at pornographic images of women, will then select lower, even illegal actions toward women as they view those images.
Those situations let you know if your values are real or synthetic - part of who you are rather than just part of your speech. Difficult situations show your character and real values. Actions show character, not words.
Self-governance Is a Finite Resource
One of the best ways to reinforce good thinking and be a self-governing individual is to learn how NOT to use your self-governance. That sounds ridiculous, but read this and get more information. Self-control or self-governance is a finite resource, so use it wisely.
You are probably less in control of your life than you think you are. You may also think you can dabble in questionable things, and it will not hurt you. Most people believe that lie which obviously does not reinforce good thinking.
How many men and women nowadays believe that a bit of porn will not hurt them? It is an epidemic in the world now. How about drugs and alcohol? People that are now addicted did not say, "I want to be addicted to drugs, so let me find some!" They believed some lie that said, "It won't happen to me. I just want to feel different than I do right now."
Or a little lie about where you were or what you did.
The Critical Action – Pre-decide
So, how can you reinforce good thinking and good values in those tough times? Well, every wrong choice would have a better chance of not happening if you would learn to pre-decide. When you pre-decide, you stay away from the edge so that you do not slide down the slippery slope.
Do some self-examination right now. List the temptations or situations you have more trouble handling in your life. Think about those issues that more often trip you up rather than trying to deal with everything. Reflect and study wisdom related to those situations and then pre-decide right now to do what is right in that situation when it arises in the future.
Immerse yourself into good thinking; meditate on the best way to live. In fact, it is preferable to meditate on the simplicity of great values in your life like – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
And the simplest of all – would God say your pre-decided action is correct? That statement, lived out, is an excellent foundation for good actions.
Decide FOR and AGAINST
Also, reinforce good thinking when you decide what is right, not just against something wrong. When you identify something to remove from your life, it naturally creates rebellion because you will see that as removing the freedom you currently have. While stopping bad habits and wrong thinking is necessary, find ways to start living differently, focusing on adding the good values and those things that are pure, just, lovely, and true into your life.