The thin line between arrogance and insecurity teeters on foolishly thinking everyone else believes you’re great and greatly overthinking that everyone else believes you’re a fool.
If someone approaches you starving and dehydrated, there’s likely something you can do in the moment to help assuage their deprivation. However, if someone approaches you deprived of truth, even if you provide it objectively, they may still walk away unsated. Our stomachs require nourishment, our minds seek truth, but our egos and ignorance only seek validation. Seeking validation over truth is fasting with the expectation of fulfillment.
Priorities for Immortality
Before we long to live forever, we should first focus on whether or not we’d be pleased to live with our current selves for the rest of time.
The Paradox of Ownership
Wanting something owns you far before you own what you desire.
The Perspective of Certainty
To tell a toddler that their heart only possesses so many beats, and it’s best not to waste more energy than necessary on tantrums would not land with any recognition of reason. Sadly, the same message is lost on most adults, even when we know better. We bear the burden of reason having dawned on us and yet routinely make it worse by missing the point of what that means, and choosing not to live by means that will better change what we know is certain.
Enter at Your Own Purpose
Before you go all-in, make sure what you’re entering into is wanting for the energy you are about to give. If not, disappointment awaits. Matching energy is sometimes what’s required. It’s not weak to pull-back when there are obvious signs that’s the right move. Sometimes our purpose is to be what a situation needs, not what we want it to be.
Word Hard, Fail Hard
If you intend to have pride in yourself for working hard, you must also prepare your pride for the times when you will fail hard. It’s inevitable. Embrace it!
The Education of You
Education has a purpose. Equally important when learning all the important facts about history, math, science, literature, music and art, is learning where you stand in relation to everything that has happened, is happening and will happen around you. Educating yourself about what is in your control to change, and learning how priceless the value of your reasoned choice, will be your most powerful allies in learning how to live well.
Assessment is a necessary part of being a teacher, parent, leader, etc. There’s a trick to discovering whether or not your approach is working. Formal and informal assessments work in a classroom, but don’t go over as well in other areas of life. However, if we learn enough about human behavior, we can dangle hunches about how we feel people will react to situations based on the learning environments we’ve nurtured and cultivated. When situations arise, instead of reacting – we can pause to see what happens – pause to see how others will react. It follows more of a martial arts philosophy, to see if our pupils know without knowing.
Three things to know about this approach: 1) Brace for disappointment (as expectation is the root of disappointment). 2) Accept you will be the villain in someone else’s story as the saying goes. The right path is not paved; it’s more akin to a high speed, foggy descent down a mountain on a winding road that’s endless, pothole-filled, there are no railings and your brakes don’t work. 3) Learn to love the ride, because fearing it will only make it worse. Focus on keeping your spirit strong as that the antiseptic for all the scrapes and bruises you’ll endure along the way.
Eke – Thriving by Surviving
The definition of eke is “managing to support oneself or make a living with difficulty.” For some of us, the addendum to that definition might be: See also, 2019.
Perhaps it’s what comes with aging, but the years as of late have felt to me to be thriving by surviving. Upon reflection, it feels like the past several years would have to go into the loss column. It also feels that this is a universal feeling; the state of the world seems to be racking up losing seasons.
I will be taking a few weeks off from writing to celebrate my family and connecting with what matters most to me. Although I feel the losses, I equally understand the growth that I am not yet fully appreciating and truly realize that waking up in the morning means the day is already won. I just need to get better at appreciating the simplicity and beauty of that gift.
For anyone that has stumbled upon this blog over the past year and has taken the time to read it, thank you! If at any point you happened to take the extra step to like and/or follow, I am truly humbled and thank you!
Happy/Merry and see you in 2020!