It’s always fascinating to see how pronouns change from “I” to “We” when the conversational air shifts towards either acclaim or blame. Observe this accurately and you’ll know the difference between those who are strong enough to stand with someone and be willing to weather the storms more than they will earn praise, and those who are only strong enough to stand with the wind.
As adults, we are truly not afforded any second chances if we are unwilling to take the first steps ourselves.
Pain hurts. Discomfort bothers. Pain is often associated with something being wrong. Whether it be physical pain or emotionally pain, there’s something that caused us to deeply feel the hurt. Discomfort is often the result of situational bother. Emotional discomfort may be felt when need to speak in public, or physical discomfort may come after a workout. On the other side of discomfort lies some form of growth in most cases. On the other side of pain lies some form of joy we are depriving ourselves of because we are hyper-focused on all that’s wrong instead of anything that’s good or right. Pain is attached to fear. We fear things that may cause us pain. We dislike things that may cause us discomfort.
It doesn’t matter what chapter we’re on, it’s most important to know what type of story we’re in. Although we can’t control much of what happens, we do get to determine the genre of the story of our lives, because we get to choose how we live through what happens.
We learn from failing. In order to fail, we have to embrace the idea of bracing for impact. For that’s what affords us the opportunity to get back up and try again. If we choose to spend our time dodging obstacles or avoiding what we fear, we are really choosing to allow our minds and experiences to be stunted. We’ll grow old and gray while our minds remain adolescent and inexperienced. Avoidance is no fountain of youth, it simply creates mountains of ignorance that obstruct an enlightened view.
Growing up with old video game systems provided lessons that newer gaming with expansive and seemingly endless worlds and environments to explore don’t afford. If we wanted to get to Level 2, we had to first beat Level 1. They had a linear, point A to point B, design that forced players to figure out how to succeed past where they were getting stuck before moving forward. Getting stuck in life is no different. Continue anew until we get through the obstacle. There are no cheat codes to circumvent our own stucks.
To get the gist of something colloquially means to get the basic idea of it. However, gist is defined as “the substance or essence of a speech or text,” or “the real point of an action.” Synonyms include: essence, substance, quintessence, crux, nucleus and marrow. A far cry from having a basic understanding! We tend to feel that knowing a little about a lot of things somehow makes us cultured or well-rounded. But look to experts in any field and the opposite is true; they tend to know a great deal about very specific things.
Experts spend time gaining a deep understanding of the fundamentals through trial and error in form of practice, experimentation, inquiry, study, discipline, passion, curiosity, and/or experience. There’s a lesson here. Before we pride ourselves on our intellectual breadth, let’s first be sure we understand the gist of our intentions.