“Take out the garbage!” was a command my mother shouted at me when I was a kid. Today I stuff much of it down the garbage disposal; hit the “on” switch for a few seconds and it all goes down the drain. The rest I wrap tightly in a Walmart grocery bag, place it in the garbage can out back, and once a week a big truck comes by and hauls it all away.

Why take out the garbage? Because it is not worth keeping and I don’t want it to rot, stink and spoil everything else in my refrigerator. Oh that we would do the same thing for our minds: take out the garbage, and for the same reasons.

Mind-garbage is any negative, nasty thought you need to take out of your mind. It is anything that is not worth keeping and anything that spoils everything else in your mind and heart. There are many kinds of garbage that find entrance into your mind; here are three that, if not taken out, will rot and spoil the rest of your life: The garbage of past failures, the garbage of blame, and the garbage of unforgiveness.

There is nothing easier to recall than past failures. It is as if they are frequent billboards on the road of life that pop-up repeatedly to remind you of what an idiot you are. Here is one way to deal with the garbage of past failures: Turn every failure into a lesson. When you suddenly recall a past failure convert that thought of failure into a lesson for life. Say, “Yes, I made a mistake back then and the lesson I learned was… Now I am smarter, stronger and more successful than ever!” With one easy thought you “take out the garbage” and replace it with fresh thoughts of success.

The garbage of blaming others for your situation is another way to stink up your mind. When you blame your parents, teachers, friends, boss, business partner, mate, the weather, the government or anything else for your misery, all progress ceases. Stop blaming others and take full responsibility for everything that happened in your past. You and only you are responsible for where you are today and where you will be tomorrow. You are powerless when you blame others but powerful when you accept personal responsibility.

The garbage of unforgiveness can also rot your mind and stink up your future. When you harbor resentment for what someone has said or done to you in the past, you clog your brain with emotional garbage that hurts only you. Refuse to fantasize revenge, instead, forgive. Forgive everyone for anything they have done to you, everyone and anything without reservation whether they deserve it or not, and watch peace of mind, joy of heart and love of others make you a much happier and more successful person.

Take out the garbage in your mind and STORE-UP THE GOOD instead. Your mind is a marvelous creation of God. He has designed it so you can determine what you think about. Think about good things, positive ideas, blessings and benefits instead of blunders and burdens. What you think about will determine the person you become. The writer James Allen said, “A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses.” Choose wisely.

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