Have you ever been around a person who is incapable of thinking and speaking positively? How about people who always put themselves down? How about people who are consumed with self-pity? Probably sounds a lot like a family reunion. Well, anyway, there is a reason why people think and speak the way they do, and these patterns of thought are determined by their mindsets.

Mindset—a mental attitude or inclination. A fixed state of mind. The established set of attitudes held by someone that influences the development of a thought.

It has been proven scientifically that two people can be exposed to the exact same circumstances and situations but have completely different responses and completely different levels of success in dealing with what they face. The deciding factor is how a person thinks, because this is ultimately going to decide how a person behaves.

I realized that my friends could be exposed to exactly the same things that I was exposed to, only they would react in a different manner.

Somehow, over time, I developed a mindset that caused me to process information in a way that always had the ability to make me vulnerable. This evolved by entertaining too many thoughts that were associated with negative outcomes.

Living by my feelings was a downfall. It drove me to speculate way too much, which caused me to overthink and analyze everything.

To obtain my freedom, I knew that I needed to live by truth, not by feelings.

If you had a friend who lied to you as much as your feelings lie to you, you would probably no longer listen to that person, and that person would probably no longer be your friend.

My feelings would lie to me because I would allow them to. I would allow my feelings to cause me to entertain thoughts of fear, disappointment, potential failure, and even death.

(Below is just one of the many analogies the author uses to explain how to obtain freedom!)

Charlie the Goat

As an illustration to help you understand this concept, I’m going to teach you about raising goats. At our restaurant and motor inn, we have a petting zoo for people to enjoy. Goats are a big attraction, and I like to raise them. They are ornery and stubborn—a lot like me. My most ornery goat was named Charlie.

Escaped again and he brought along a friend!

Goats, like people, always seem to want what they can’t have. They eat almost anything and will most likely destroy everything that is within their reach. Wow, that sounds like a lot of my friends.

So anyway, mix those two traits together, and you get a goat. Goats want what they can’t have, and goats always like to be chewing on something. Because of these two traits, goats will often challenge the fence in which they are contained. Therefore, take note that the NEW barriers you build need to be higher and stronger so that even the Charlies would not be up for the challenge, and Charlie challenged everything!

Goats are herd animals, so by nature, they like to stick together somewhat. Because of that, if you ever left a goat out of the pen, that goat would most likely destroy anything that was in its path; however, it would be unlikely to run away. Most of the time, a goat on its own will return to the area that they are familiar with, back to where other goats are.

Every once in a while, you will have a goat like Charlie who is just relentless in challenging the boundaries that are established by the fence of their pen. One way or another, that goat will find a way of escape.

Since I am as ornery as a goat, I was up for the challenge of ending Charlie’s escape. The motivation of the goat is to explore new territories to find new things to chew on and destroy. So, what needs to be done is to put a muzzle on the goat and then allow the goat to go through the gate and have its freedom.

With a muzzle, the goat can drink water but it cannot eat or chew on anything. I also want to make sure that the area that the goat has left to explore is devoid of anything that the goat might be likely to find enticing.

Not only do I want to keep the goat from eating, but I also want to restrict what the goat will perceive that it wants to get access to.

Once frustrated outside the pen, I allow time for the goat to eventually find its way back to the pen. Instead of letting the goat in, I feed the other goats on the inside of the pen while my ornery escapee, Charlie is on the outside looking in.

Aside from the regular food, I throw in some small tree branches because, for some reason, goats love gnawing on junk like that. Once my ornery wanderer has had enough of being outside the pen with no gratification, I take off the muzzle and put him back in the pen. The goat thoroughly enjoys the food and the “chew toys.” Before long, after a few repeat performances, the former escapee begins to lose his desire for the unknown. Charlie is kinda stupid like that.

When you are training a goat, the last thing that you want is to feed it while it is outside the pen.


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