As we enter a new year, many of us are thinking about a resolution, or three. About 20 years ago, I too, made a vow to better balance my life. I keep renewing that commitment! One thing I know: Life’s best experiences, hopes, and better decisions, come with chosen meanings that make life as good as it should be. You will not just fall into, no one is born into, nor will luck alone bequest, a good life. Living life, as life is meant to be lived, comes through combinations of effort, and training, confidence and love.
Understanding your needs, and how you meet your needs within the limits you see as “your limitations”, all have opportunity for expansion. Often, we just need a little help seeing the forest through the trees. I have made many mistakes before finding some fine tuning toward right direction.
You see, I really had much of the right direction. But what I lacked, in some areas, not in all, was that “edge” to put my situation over the top. That extremely important nuance that makes the difference between the “Do-Gooder” that I was, and the counselor/consultant that I was meant to be. Reading advice from a book is not experiencing it. And the school of hard knocks takes way too much time to develop your best personification. Life takes a balance of learning methods and experiences.
Take leadership for one example. As a leader of life, you commit to learning many directions, from many sources, for better understanding of your possibilities.
You would not want to have surgery performed on your brain by a Dr who only watched a lot of medical shows on TV, and if he never went to med school, or never did an internship under the watchful eye of experienced brain surgeons. Likewise, we all need direction to learn from our sometimes unexpected, along with our planned opportunities.
Learn from the experiences and educations of the mentors available to you. Absorb the information. Process and merge this newfound thought into your life experiences, and reach a resolution of which parts we should choose to move, in which direction, for a better life.
Most often, the Epiphany we find comes as a result of emotional discussions, where new alternative possibilities are introduced. Our drains become unclogged. Thought is flowing from stream to river. Now, we need to capture the ideas, and put them to action.
Then teach what you have learned to others. Did you know, that sharing is the best way to reinforce your learning within yourself? Maybe you never considered yourself a leader. Maybe you have always considered yourself a leader. You lead by following through with the examples you have been taught. You lead by sharing your valued experiences with others, in a timely manner. You lead by offering your best, so that you actually work your way out of the job you have, find your replacements, delegate responsively and grow into the job of your new possibilities.
We lead our lives, our families, and our associates by example. We become better leaders by earnestly trying, growing, contributing, and with humility wisely interjected amongst our confidence. This becomes especially true when counseling a friend, a child, a parent, a spouse, through life’s challenges. So this year, let us all get real and get happy!
So many of us have heard, from so many places, to “Do as I say, not as I do”. I wish that 100 % of the time, my life were as balanced as it should be. It is not! Yet, I am on a journey to live that well balanced life that I seek. I am growing and can see the positive effects of that growth.
By admitting that there are challenges, we can benefit from Three Big A’s of challenge: Challenge
1) Allows us to be human, and more accepting of any imbalance we might receive from our turmoil, or turmoil from/with/among others. Because we have challenges, we can become more empathetic to challenges of others. We can learn to forgive, for our sanity, for our salvation, and if necessary, still not necessarily reconcile, if reconciliation might prove unhealthy.
2) Assures us, because we are not perfected quite yet, that we do have room to grow into experiencing the better life choices we have available. To be static, or lukewarm, is to deny our souls the growth God planned for us. The journey of growing is far more rewarding than accepting where we are, as our fate forever.
3) Articulates our physical, mental, financial, and moral states into preparation for dreams we are about to experience as truth. We can warm up to the knowledge of ‘today is the first day’, a most important day, of the rest of our lives. And tomorrow is another day, if we do not finish all the projects of today! Or if we should suddenly have revealed to us, a more valued path, bring where we have been into our more valued way, to move forward.
Now, that said, a big key to understanding the “Three Big A’s” of helping us all to achieve balance in life’s many endeavors, is to remember to ENJOY life. Have fun. Get off of, get away from, being so serious about being serious.
To have wealth, but no time or fun, or family/friends to share with wealth, really stinks! To have time, but constant worries about finances, or relationships or health, stinks. So for your New Year’s resolution, have fun, be resolute, and be realistic. And now, with time past said New Year, this is a best time to renew.
Here are some ways to have fun with your resolves:
1) Laugh at least twice at yourself for every time you laugh at anything else. Know that nothing is more funny than the silliness you share with yourself. When we take ourselves too seriously, we deprive ourselves, and our friends, and our families the side of life that brings smiles into every day. The best comedians are those that can take a serious matter, and make us see it in different light, through laughter. Laughter is so close to crying. You can enjoy learning to flip your emotional switches into enjoyment as easily as you can flip into despair. There are methods to help! Enjoy having laughter serve you.
2) Losing 30 lbs in 30 days might be too much resolution. Whether you resolve to get fit, or read a book, accept your baby steps with joy: each step, each page read, each day you eat healthier or exercise a little more, accept as a WIN! Have some celebration every day of your journey. DO NOT wait till you meet your dream goal, to rejoice. You live life by celebrating all the little victories. If you never reward yourself along your journey, you waste life and quit your dreams because of the feelings of “can’t do it”. If you are going to take a 2 mile walk, peek at all the colors around you as you walk. Feel the breeze or heat of the season. Wave and say “Good Day” to those you pass. Sing as you walk. Training your lungs to cooperate with your feet is a joy. Listen to all that your body is telling you. Have a conversation with your Lord. Enjoy having time serve you. Do more than just go 2 miles for the sake of going 2 miles.
3) “Seek and ye shall find.” Look for at least one person, or one organization, or one cause beyond yourself, to serve. Remember Abraham Maslow from school? He came up with this hierarchy of needs. You start with fundamentals of enough food to eat and a shelter to sleep under. And continue to a point that happiness comes from understanding your giving away open invitations to relationships, to your soul. Sharing your last 2 fish and 7 loaves of bread, can bring ultimate satisfaction: Maslow’s self-actualization. Self-actualization comes from “getting beyond” yourself, once you “know” yourself. Funny thing… If you choose to do so, you can skip some of those middle tiers and jump to your higher tier.
Maybe starting small, if only for a time; or if only with sacrificial sharing of gifts you can bestow. When you do, you just sort of get happier that you made a difference in the life of another. You cannot force another to love you. But you can choose to love another, or help another. You can choose to improve your existence by helping the existence of another. And if you start with whatever point you can start, you will seem to drag across many tiers of personal need with an abandon never felt before. Your love, can lift you higher. Your generosity can lift you higher, than you have ever been lifted before! Enjoy having contribution serve you. As you do, you follow the advice and live the promise of wisdom passed through ages.
Even an avowing atheistic psychologist admitted that this sort of teaching, becoming more, rising above your SELF, for the benefit of others, because of a love for others, from the Bible, has done more for people than all other therapy combined.
Happy ReNew Life! ChuckyT
Our focus conditions our meaning; whether we see a forest or trees.