If you told me that you hated your job, how true would that be? Is it that you really hate your job, or is it that you're afraid to enjoy it because it's not your "dream career"? Is it really because you can't stand the environment, or is it because you're afraid to be super successful in a career that you never wanted to do?
When I enjoy something, I tend to do MORE with it. If I hate something, I do as little as possible with it. But, why do I actually hate something? Why does one particular thing make me miserable? Is it not because I'm afraid to actually enjoy it?
On Wednesday nights at church, I somewhat dread going to church because I teach the elementary school children physical activity -- and sometimes, I give a personal development talk with them. Now, I'm very, VERY good at teaching kids. I'm able to discipline them with no issues. And for some of them, I'm their best teacher. One little girl even gave me a hug because she loves coming to my classes. So, why on earth do I dread teaching them??? Well...it's because I never wanted to teach children. Also, it's because I'm afraid to actually enjoy teaching them. If I enjoy it, then I'll naturally do more with it, and I'll keep being asked to teach them. I'm afraid of being too successful in this field because it was never something I wanted to do.
Sometimes, I feel like a child. There are things I really want to do, and there are things that I'm doing right now that I could be very successful in. But, the things I do now aren't the things I want to do, so instead of enjoying these activities and being more successful in them, I hold myself back. I keep myself from doing more than I could. I simply do enough to MAINTAIN, but not enough to GAIN (yep, that rhymes). Children are the same way. They have all these things they want to do, but neglect the things that are presented to them now. They would do the bare minimal of the tasks given to them, but while putting all their energy into dreaming about that one thing they want to do in the future.
You know, I could somewhat blame our society for inspiring people to chase dreams. Yes, yes, I know, that sounded bad. It's like I'm against people dreaming. I assure you that I'm not. But for a moment, just think of what you could accomplish with what you have NOW if you would only allow yourself to enjoy it. Instead of putting so much energy into dreaming about the unknown, would it not be more effective to put that same amount of energy into enjoying what you have before you? The more you enjoy it, the more effort you would put into it.
Just recently during Wednesday night church, we separated the kids into groups and did 15-minute rotations with them. So, they traveled to different classes, the same as they would do in regular school. One particular kid was put into a group of kids that were just slightly younger than him. He wanted to be with the kids that were his age or slightly older. So this kid spent his energy being miserable nearly the entire hour of these rotations. But it's not just him who does this. Kids in general would spend their energy simply being miserable for not having what they want instead of allowing themselves to enjoy what's presented to them. When this kid came to my class, he started to perk up after a while. He started to enjoy himself instead of being miserable for not being with his friends.
Not all of us have grown up. So many of us are still like kids, investing much of our energy being miserable instead of investing that energy into enjoying our present tasks. I've been very guilty of this (when I write these articles, I'm writing them basically for ME).
No, you don't like eating salads for breakfast (yes, I asked the participants of the Holistic Health Challenge to do this for 5 days). You'd much rather eat eggs, bacon, and grits -- or cereal in almond milk if you're vegan. But ALLOW yourself to actually enjoy it and see what happens. You might completely transform your health for the better!
No, you don't like coming to my core fitness classes. The entire class is just hard. It's like all I want to do is torture you. Yes, you know it's good for you, but really, you're just simply forcing yourself to come. But why not ALLOW yourself to actually enjoy it -- not so much the pain, but to enjoy knowing what you're doing for your body?
No, you don't want to volunteer for this, that, and the other. But if you do, spend your time allowing yourself to enjoy it. And listen, there is always something to enjoy in everything. We just don't see it because we don't want to see it.
Whatever position you find yourself in, don't be afraid to enjoy it. If you're on public assistance, hey, enjoy it! No, don't settle in it, but enjoy the fact that your basic needs are taken care of until you find something better. If you're not in college, enjoy the fact that you won't have any loans to pay back! If you're working as an auto mechanic, enjoy that you're learning skills that would save you from spending thousands of dollars on auto repairs.
Ask yourself this question: what if your situation NEVER changes? If that's the case, what would you do, be miserable the entire time? You'd have a happier life if you spent your energy allowing yourself to enjoy where you are now. Instead of having your head out the car window with your tongue out like a dog, admiring what everybody else has, you could sit back and relax in the beat-up car that you have.
When you spend time enjoying what you have, you'll do more with it and find yourself becoming some sort of success in it. When you're successful in something, you tend to enjoy it more and DO MORE with it. But you won't ever know what you could be successful in if you don't allow yourself to enjoy what is presented to you.
Many of us are familiar with the phrase, "Judge not," which is based on a verse in the Bible (Matthew 7:1). We usually love to use that phrase because we get tired of people telling us how to live our lives. When someone makes a comment about any lifestyle choices, we're quick to throw at them, "Judge not!"
But really, that phrase has NOTHING to do with how we like to use it. No, it has nothing to do with people making unfair judgments, telling us how to live life, or making some other sorts of judgmental assumptions. Actually, that phrase puts the burden on the person making the judgment. If you read further, you'll read the following (in the King James language): "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again (verse 2)." Then as you read further, Jesus talks about pointing out a speck or "mote" in your brother's eye when there's a plank in yours. Then he finally ends this subject by saying that if you want to help your brother, first help yourself. "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye" (verse 5).
If you want to help others get better, you FIRST need to help YOURSELF get better. In other words, lead by EXAMPLE, not by words.
So, I don't have a smoking issue. Cigarettes were never a temptation, so it's easy for me to tell someone that cigarettes are bad. But while I never had a smoking problem, does this mean that I don't have any addictions that I'm struggling with? Addiction in any form is addiction and it all works the same way. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." So before I try to help someone get rid of their smoking addiction, perhaps I need to work on ridding my own person addiction.
No, I never had a temper problem. I don't have an issue blowing up at someone. But does this mean that I don't have any issues with the lack of self-control? Losing self-control in any form is still losing self-control. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." So before I talk to you about your hot head, perhaps I need to work on my own self-control issues first.
While I was a fat kid, I didn't suffer with obesity for most of my life. I never had any period where my weight went up and down. I never lost 15 lbs, then gained it back, then lost it, then gained it, etc., etc. So it's easy for me to judge those who can't seem to stay consistent on a weight-loss program. But, does this mean that I don't have my own issues with inconsistency? It doesn't matter what you're being consistent in, because inconsistency in any form is still inconsistency. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." So before I try to motivate you to "stick with it," perhaps I need to find out what I need to stick with.
If you want to save someone, first save yourself -- if for anything, so that you could tell someone else how to do it. You got one person who struggles with pornography and another who struggles with alcohol. Both people have an addiction problem, but if the one struggling with pornography could beat that addiction, then this person could tell the alcoholic how to beat the bottle. When one person fixes himself, he could help fix somebody else. When one person finds the answer to her problems, she could share that answer with another. "First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
One question you have to ask yourself is, "Can my lifestyle in itself change another person?" Can my example convict someone else without ever saying a word? One time, I was walking by the Trader Joe's in Cary, NC, with my two kids. Just walking. My wife wasn't with me. Some random stranger came up to me being so impressed that I, a father, was walking around with my kids. She came up to me and said, "I just prayed for you." Wow! What did I do to deserve that?? It's not very often to see a father walk around with his children, because the fathers are always working...or somewhere being deadbeats. My actions in themselves convicted someone...and I wasn't even trying to impress.
People are always convicting others without even knowing it. Think about the elderly guy going for a jog. Think about the elderly woman who decided not to park in the handicap spot. Think about the young cashier showing respect to the customer. Think about a man and a woman holding hands out in the street. Think about a jogger who picks up a piece of trash on the sidewalk and throws it away. All of these actions are convicting. These people didn't have to say one word. Their lifestyles in themselves did all the talking.
I live in an apartment that's close to a main road. In fact, if you're driving to the east, you would clearly see my back porch. What's on that back porch? A garden. If you drive past my apartment and see that garden, you'd be inspired to have a garden yourself. There is NO need for me to TELL you to have a garden. My example in itself should be enough to convict. And you know what? THOUSANDS of people drive past my apartment daily and see that garden. How many people am I convicting by displaying that garden? In the same way, people are ALWAYS watching you to see what you're all about. Your actions would either convict or repulse. If they convict, no words are needed. If they repulse, there aren't enough words to justify you.
I NEVER nag my kids. NEVER. I rarely ever raise my voice at them. Instead, I become an EXAMPLE to them. My son likes to do pull ups because he sees his daddy doing them. My daughter wants to do art because she saw her daddy's art work. Whatever I want my kids to become had BETTER be something that I'm doing myself. If I want them to learn a language, they better see me learning languages. If I want them to be healthy, they better see me make my protein salads and drink my teas. If I want them to love education, they better see me read books. And if I want them to be concerned about doing house work, they better see me doing house work instead of playing on my phone.
"Judge not" is not for others. It's for YOU. It's for ME. It's for anybody who has any thought about saying something negative to or about another person. Before those condemning words come from your mouth, remember that whatever standard you use for someone else would also be used for you. "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." If someone decides to judge me, well, that's actually their problem, because now they have the burden of evaluating their own life to see if they're living up to their own standards. Trust me, it's embarrassing to have someone point out in you the same flaw that you're pointing out in someone else.
Before I judge someone, I need to evaluate my own life. Am I living up to my own standards? Is there anything in my life that would negate my words? When I point a finger, I have three pointing back at me. When I offer a hand, however, I have no fingers pointing at me because I have already fixed my issues and I want to bring you along with me. But, if my issues are still unresolved, then I need to focus on getting myself right before I could help anybody else.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.