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Music and the Spoken Word: Don't believe everything you think
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Weve all heard the wise advice Dont believe everything you hear. But theres also wisdom in a similar idea: Dont believe everything you think, because some false information may come from our own thoughts. - photo by Deseret Connect
Editor's note: The Spoken Word is shared by Lloyd Newell each Sunday during the weekly Mormon Tabernacle Choir broadcast.

Weve all heard the wise advice Dont believe everything you hear. But theres also wisdom in a similar idea: Dont believe everything you think, because some false information may come from our own thoughts. We may think things about ourselves and others that simply are not true thoughts like I can never change or I cant forgive this person or Im not good enough or She doesnt like me.

The danger of such thoughts is that they dont stay thoughts for long. They can quickly harden into beliefs that affect the way we see the world. Soon those beliefs become actions that can limit our progress, damage our relationships and hinder our happiness.

So how do we prevent this? One approach is to treat our thoughts the way we would treat other information we might encounter. We can ask ourselves, Is it true? What evidence do I have? Does it square with other things I already know? Is there another explanation? We can listen to our conscience and to trusted loved ones. It takes courage and humility to evaluate our thoughts in this way, because it might mean admitting that we were wrong!

Not long ago, some teenagers decided that a beautiful young woman at their school didnt like them. She hardly ever looked at them, and whenever she did, she squinted at them. They concluded that she was vain and conceited. What they didnt know was that she had poor vision. Even with contacts, she had to squint to see people. Once people actually got to know her, they realized that she was very kind and wonderful. But for too long, people who could have been her friends avoided her because they believed their incorrect thoughts.

Is it time to debunk some myths in your own mind? A good place to start might be those negative or degrading thoughts about yourself and about others. You can change, and so can others. You can forgive, and so can others. People might like you more than you think. And you might like them more than you think. Give your beliefs and actions the firm foundation of true, uplifting, charitable thoughts, and remember, dont believe everything you think.
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