I know, I share some of these frustrations. It’s certainly been a tough week. One thing you must realize; however, is that sometimes, the best way to deal with wrong is to do what’s right. And so, since it’s been a tough one for so many of us this
week, I’d like to use this entry to share some of the best advice I’ve received. It’s from a number of sources – family, friends, doctors, professors, and even online postings that I like to call “Twitterisms.” So read on for hope on how to weather the storm and come out better on the other end. But let me warn you ahead of time: Some people aren’t going to appreciate that you’ve been told this. Let’s just say that this advice doesn’t sit well with those that have, shall we say, less than pure motives. That being said, this advice will lead to better endings, but it might not make you the most popular person around – so the decision between what’s right and what’s popular comes into play.
And so, without further ado, here we go:
1. When I got married and moved out of my parents home (I married shortly after graduating college), Mom asked Dad to give me some advice for going “out there in the world.” His advice: Don’t do stupid things, and don’t listen to people that are doing stupid things. Mom thought that was woefully inadequate to send me out into the world with, but I’ve found that covers a lot of ground over the past 15 years. I daresay, that’s better advice than Winston Churchill’s commencement speech about never giving up. Just use your noodle, folks. It’s that simple. And as an ancillary to this advice, I’d add: If somebody prefaces a statement with “If I were you,” turn them off immediately. That’s the #1 indicator that they don’t know what they’re talking about and are about to suggest that you do something that they’d never do themselves. People with experience share what they learned with you. Troublemakers tell you to do what they wish they were bold enough to do but know darn well is extreme and would cause more trouble. And wise people listen.
2. My granddaddy passed away over 20 years ago, but he used to regularly give me advice that is the only thing I’ve found come to pass with a 100% accuracy rate. What goes around always comes around, so be very careful to do what’s right and treat people in a way you can live with later. The problem is that some people aren’t attentive to reality, and they fail to realize the “why do bad things happen to good people” whining they experience is directly tied to an earlier indiscression. Folks, I’ve said it many times over but it’s worth repeating: This is absolutely true. If you aren’t a person of faith, then consider this: The universe only has so much energy, and you can only get back what you send out. If you do bad things (reap the wind), then only bad things can come back to you (sow the whirlwind). I recently read where somebody in the ministry wrote that your duty is to do right even if everybody around you is doing wrong because in time all things are accounted for. So forget about revenge. The natural balance of life will work it out in time as long as you’re attentive to your own words, deeds and actions.
3. Many of you know I went through some major life transitions three years ago, and during that time someone gave me this invaluable advice: When people stop listening, stop talking and start doing what you can to improve the situation. A failure to listen is a failure to cooperate, and you have a right to make your life the best it can be. And God help, if they give you the “that’s not my problem” or “do what you’ve gotta do” lines, then they just annihilated their gripe rights. Strike out on your own and
get to work making the changes that are necessary for you to thrive. And as an ancillary to this: everybody doesn’t need to know everything going on in your life. Use discernment, especially on a life improvement journey. Because sadly, not all people have your best interest at heart, and they’ll fight very hard to keep you in the handy box you’re in because it serves their interests.
4. The same person that gave me that advice gave me another piece of advice that a lot of people wish I didn’t know, because it got them in trouble. That advice: Don’t listen to what people say. Watch what they do, because they lie with their mouth and live truth through actions. For all the “I’m so busy!” and “I meant to …” excuses, the truth is that people make time for the things that are really important to them. Open your eyes and I guarantee that you’ll be implementing some of the changes in #3 in many areas of your life. I did and let me tell you: It pissed a lot of people off, but the “housekeeping” from that period helped me to set my life right in order of my priorities, not on junk based on lies people were trying to sell me that were 100% to their benefit and 0% to mine.
5. A doctor once told me that a great way to beat anxiety is to mind your own business. Stop getting involved in everybody’s
affairs and trying to solve their problems and run their life. God gave you a life and attending to that is your purpose. Let other people attend to their purpose. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t help people – if you can, then you certainly should. But if it doesn’t directly involve you or have any impact on you, your home, or your life, then back off.
6. I recently read something that said “a rut is a grave without end.” I know that life goes through slow seasons and there are times when it seems you can’t get anything going, but you can’t stop pursuing change that improves your life. This quote really hit me because I went through a season of life when I did fear change, and when I was forced out of it I was surprised by
how weak I had become spiritually. It really was a slow death happening to me, and it shocked me so much that I’ve made it a point to do two things on a daily basis: Open my eyes to my reality, and boldly take advantage of every opportunity, no matter how small. Because small things lead up to big things, but it is a progression. Don’t make the mistake I did and get yourself in a place where other peoples’ decisions force you to make a change and they’re steering your ship into waters you don’t want to be in. Make sure you’re steering the ship with a destination in mind, and make appropriate course corrections along the way.
7. And in closing, a Twitterism that I read recently: Life is heavy because of all you hang on to. Life becomes lighter with the more you let go. You simply can’t hang on to every bad thing and indiscression that happens or you’ll be a bitter, miserable person. Sometimes you have to realize that some people simply don’t know how to be decent human beings. “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself (Proverbs 26:4). Don’t let people drag you down. Limit your contact with them, let it go as ignorance, and go on your way.
I know these tips aren’t a cure for all situations or ills, but with patience they can work to lead you to better days. So take heart in this knowledge and hang in there, knowing that this too shall pass – and it will pass much faster and easier if you walk in wisdom.
That’s all today. And now, enjoy this video. It's catchy! It's creepy! It sticks to your head and inspired Incursion.
Happy Friday to you tomorrow and have a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend!