Everyone wants your attention.
Anyone with a message or product to sell wants your attention.
Anyone with an agenda that they want to advance wants your attention.
Anyone who wants your time, money, love, devotion, respect....wants your attention.
I, as a writer and teacher, want your attention.
No matter what you do, someone is battling for your mind, your thoughts, your attention.
There isn't really an antidote to it. Shutting down your mind to everyone leaves you alone with your own thoughts in isolation. Those aren't any better.
So asking yourself, "How do I stop the battle for my mind," isn't the right question.
A fair question would be, "How do I respond to the battle?"
On the surface, the answer appears easy: "to only let in those ideas which are good and healthy for my mind, and to reject the others."
The problem is: how do you know? How do you discern? And how do you sustain the willpower?
Everyone will appeal to what you believe is "good and healthy" for your mind. Those waging the battle for your attention aren't waving a flag saying, "I'm bad for you, but please spend your precious mind-space on me."
So while this question, on the surface, appears to be the right one to ask, it's not because it isn't really that actionable. It's a good principle that should be followed, but it's harder to actually turn into reality.
Before I suggest what I think is the right question to ask yourself, I want to share why I care so much.
As someone who does want to win the battle for you mind because I genuinely believe I have good and right intentions, I need to enter the battlefield knowing that there are many other competitors in the arena with me. And these competitors are far better funded, far more experienced, far more enticing and appealing on the surface than I will ever be.
So for me, the benefit is educating you that there is even a battle in the first place. Because if you don't let at least this small idea in, then I already lose. Better and stronger foes win be default in that case by sheer volume and social pressure.
However, if you do allow that this battle exists....and then permit the idea that the loudest and better funded doesn't necessarily have your best interest, then I have a chance to make a difference.
The question to ask is, "How do I know who in the fray is for me, truly?"
See, once you understand who is in the arena and have a good way to identify who they are, then you can whitelist judiciously those messages. In that way, it's not just about who has the most marketing spend or the sexiest headlines. It becomes based on the source.
Now, other contenders understand that same logic. So they will often. highlight their experience, their success, their credentials as a way to get onto the whitelist and win the battle.
I've taken a different approach, and I hope you follow me on this. Not because it will make me "better" in your eyes. But it will help you to discern and filter out those who don't have your best interest in mind.
First: I admit I am a liar
I'm not coming to you and saying, "Trust me." Here's what Romans 3:4 says:
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar
I don't intentionally lie to you. As you'll see, to my own detriment, I will tell you the truth.
But that truth will include my first principle: as a man, sinful in heart, in need of a savior, as a result of the Fall, am a liar.
Second: Test Everything
I actually don't want you to trust me entirely. Although I do believe that my recommendations and teaching will help and impact you, I also believe this from 1 Thessalonians 5:12:
test everything; hold fast what is good
I invite you to test what I suggest. And also invite you test the messages of conventional wisdom or competing gurus, as well.
Third: I Won't Tell You Peace, Peace When There Is No Peace
The best way to win the battle for you mind is to tell you want you want to hear.
It is proven. The way to your heart is to affirm who you think you are and to confirm your ways.
But that approach will not lead to your well-being.
Ezekiel 13:10 warns against those who say all is well when it is not, who whitewash over real issues:
"'Since they have led my people astray by saying, "Peace," when there is no peace, and since when a flimsy wall is being built, they plaster it with whitewash,
Much of what I will say is designed to pierce the comforting conventions. Many of those come from an awareness of my own sins.
But the goal is true healing, not the "superficial healing" that comes from those who say "peace, peace when there is no peace" (Jeremiah 6:14).
That healing always comes from replacing blindness with sight, pride with repentance of sin, and hope through a savior of soveriegn grace.
But "#thestruggleisreal" to win the battle with these constraints.
However, my hope is, because of the admission of this approach, you will see that I am for you in the battle for your mind.