Listen to episode 310 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Overcoming Your Only Enemy. Edited and adapted from Self-Investment by Orison Swett Marden.
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Today’s reading was edited and adapted from Self-Investment, by Orison Swett Marden, published in 1911.
We can make our minds art galleries of beauty or chambers of horror. We can furnish them with anything we please. We think in mental images. They always precede the physical realities. Our mental pictures are copied into life, etched upon our character. Our whole physical economy is constantly translating these images, these mental pictures, into our lives.
A thousand times better to allow thieves into your home and steal your most valuable treasures, to rob you of money or property, than to allow the enemies of your success and happiness — discordant thoughts, disease thoughts, morbid thoughts, jealous thoughts — to enter your mind and steal your comfort, rob you of that peace and serenity without which life is a living tomb.
Whatever you do or do not do for a living, resolve that no morbid, discordant, sick thoughts shall get access to your mind. Everything depends upon keeping your mental faculties clear and clean. Keep the holy shrine of your mind, God’s temple, pure and free from all your thought enemies.
A discordant thought, a morbid mood, when once harbored, breeds more discordant thoughts and more gloom. The moment you harbor the one or the other it will begin to multiply a thousandfold, and grow more formidable.
Do not have anything to do with discord or the offspring of morbid moods. They spoil everything they touch. They leave their wretched impression on everything. They rob one of hope, happiness, and efficiency. Tear down all the dark pictures from your mind, all the black images. Dispel them. They only mean mischief, failure, paralysis of ambition, and the death of hope.
We must stand on guard at the door of our thoughts; keep out all the enemies of our happiness and achievement. We have no real enemies except those which live in our own minds, which are generated by our own passion, prejudice, and selfishness.