The Double Minded Man

“A double minded man is unstable in all his ways,” wrote the ancient apostle James (KJV, James 1:8). When part of us wants one thing and another part of us wants something else, we become double minded. And, like James taught, when we are double minded, it is nearly impossible to achieve our goals—we’re unstable.

This is perhaps the single most significant obstacle individuals encounter on the path to creating goals and realizing dreams.

I often use this physical description to explain the dilemma: Let’s say that I live in Kansas and I want to go on vacation—to both New York City and Los Angeles. I can’t decide which one (and I can’t take two vacations)! Part of me really wants to drive east to New York, while part of me wants to drive west to LA. These two destinations are on opposite ends of the United States. I’m sitting in my car, trying to decide. I know that I can go to only one city at a time, so I must pick one. I can’t vacillate between locations and expect to arrive at any destination; if I started driving, I could literally spend hours going around in circles and never get anywhere.

The same thing can happen to us when we set goals. Obviously, if we’ve set a goal, a part of us must want the thing we’re fervently attempting to manifest. But other parts of our subconscious selves may not agree with the conscious plans we’ve set. In order to complete the creation process, we must discover those subconscious parts, overcome them, and then be single-minded in our goals.

Here are a few examples. Let’s say I want to make more money. Let’s also say that I come from a lower income family. Growing up, my family spent a lot of time relaying non-verbal messages that having money is bad—people who have a lot of money are selfish and greedy, I learned. This means, that I might even be bad for seeking after money. I’ve become conflicted. Part of me wants to make money; but part of me is afraid that if I do, I may not be loved or accepted by my family. Even though making more money is a great goal and would benefit my current family—and I have the ability to accomplish the goal—if I don’t overcome my feelings about money, I’ll never be able to take the action needed to realize my dream.

Here’s another example. Let’s say that part of me wants to lose weight. But part of me feels safe when I am heavier. I feel protected and secure when I eat foods that don’t support my weight loss. In this situation, my goal to lose weight is in direct opposition to the parts of me that use food for comfort and stress relief. I can never lose weight if part of me continues to think that food is the best way to find emotional relief.

These subconscious feelings are hard to admit—and sometimes hard to discover.

I’ve learned, however, that the intentions of our hearts eventually manifest themselves, regardless of our conscious efforts. This truth can be observed in every universal aspect, including in the life of a pigeon. Did you know that pigeons can be taken from their home nests and placed half way around the world from their birth environment and, through their simple, instinctive desire to return home (one that is programmed within them), they will eventually come back to their original nests.

Our intentions are powerful! If we want something other than what we deeply intend within our hearts, we will find ourselves conflicted. If we want to find approval from our families more than we want to change our financial habits, we’ll never reach the goal of making more money. If we want to receive comfort from food more than we want to lose weight, we’ll never drop the pounds we’d like to.

As you work to achieve your goals, take some time to perform some self-exploration. Ask yourself these questions:

Am I double minded about my dreams?
Is part of me afraid to get what I want?
When I listen to my heart, what do I hear myself say I want?
Are these answers conflicting?
If so, how can they be resolved?

If you need further assistance, refer to “Healing Your Family History” (Rebecca Hintze, foreword by Stephen R. Covey, Hay House, Inc., 2006). Specifically go over chapter three, “Getting Past Ground Hog Day.”