We have all been through moments when we feel like we're "falling apart." But just remember: you're not.
I know, I know, I just don't know your situation. I don't understand your struggle. I don't know what you have to go through everyday. But I don't believe you're falling apart. In fact, I think you're much stronger than you think, otherwise you would have given up long ago.
Think about it. Why are you still going through your problems? Why do you put up with what life throws at you everyday? Why not just end it all and be done with everything? Well, it's because you're strong enough to handle your problems.
This is what I believe: everybody only goes through a battle that he or she has been equipped to fight in. A police officer is not equipped to fight fires, so he won't be put in that situation. A paramedic is not equipped to arrest criminals, so she won't be in that situation. We are all in situations that we have been equipped to fight in, otherwise we would have been dead long ago.
When you think about your struggles, think about how you've handled them so far. Think about what improvements you see in your character. Think about where you were and where you are NOW. How long have you struggled with your problems?You'd see that you are stronger than you think because the battle was made specifically for you.
No, we don't want to think about being made to lose a loved one, or be placed in financial hardship, or to have family problems. And no, we don't want to think that someone in heaven is purposefully ruining our lives simply to "make us better."
But remember that there is no soul on earth who has a completely peaceful life. Every person would go through his moments of fire: if not now, then sometime in the future.
But your time is coming (or is already here), my time is coming (heck, I already had my share of struggles!), everybody's time is coming. And the battle we would fight would be suited just for us.
So whatever battle you're fighting, you are strong enough to fight it. Don't talk yourself into thinking you're weak. If you were truly weak, you wouldn't even fight this battle in the first place. But you decided to stay and fight -- and that, my friend, shows a true warrior.
Don't worry, the battle is almost over. Just keep swinging that sword. You'll get your victory. You were designed to fight this battle, and you were also designed to win it.
Let's say that I've dropped you off in Kansas and told you that if you pick a direction and walk in that direction, you'll find the ocean. You would probably think I was crazy because there are NO oceans anywhere near Kansas!
But I've kept insisting that if you would just keep walking in one direction, you'll make it to some ocean: weather the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, Gulf, etc. So, you trusted me, picked a direction at random, and started walking. Eventually, you ended up at the Pacific Ocean by Northern California. It took you a few months, but you made it! You didn't take a plane, train, or even hitch-hiked! You just kept walking in ONE DIRECTION until you found an ocean.
When it comes down to it, success is simply walking in one direction until you finally make it.
When we think about success, we think about how FAST we could get there. We want to hop on a jet to get to the coast as quickly as possible. But, that's not always possible. Sometimes, certain circumstances keep us from getting to our goals as quickly as possible. And because those circumstances became obstacles, we would have to take the long, and often DREADED route to our goal. However, as long as you stay on that route, you'll get to your destination.
North America, Central America, and South America are connected (well, you would have to drive over a bridge to get to South America because of the Panama Canal). No matter where I drop you off in the Americas, you will hit the oceans as the Americas are surrounded by oceans. It's guaranteed that you will succeed as long as you keep walking in one direction.
Sometimes, we get off course and start switching directions. We think we're on the wrong road, so we turn back. But then, we second-guess ourselves and turn back to where we were going in the first place. Then we find a way that we THINK might get us there faster. Then we find plenty of other directions that look good. But guess what happens? We get NOWHERE because we keep changing course.
So whatever your goal is, pick ONE direction that would get you there and stay with it UNTIL you hit that goal. Maybe along the way you might find someone willing to drive you part of the way. Maybe you might get to your goal quicker than you think. But just stay on that road. Don't get off. Don't lose focus. Don't get distracted. Just stay on that road and you, too, would find yourself by the ocean!
Don't be deceived by overnight successes. They are far and few in between. True, everlasting success happens over time and with many obstacles. But as long as you're walking in one direction, you'll make it!
King Solomon once said, "The start of an argument is like the first break in a dam; stop it before it goes any further." (Proverbs 17:14)
One of my previous struggles was getting involved in arguments. Despite my wife's expressing her concerns for my involvements in chatroom or forum arguments, I would still find myself in an argument. When someone says something wrong, I would feel that I would have to "set him straight." I would argue and argue until you admit I was right -- or until you were just too tired to keep going.
Let me say that NOBODY has ever admitted that I was right.
Yes, I would be proud of myself! I knew I was right. I was educated, had more enriching insight than those who argued with me (or so I thought), and, well, I just loved the thrill of a good argument.
But then, I slowly realized something after being involved in many arguments in my lifetime: nobody ever wins an argument!
Nope, nobody walks away persuaded by the other person. Instead, everybody walks away more angry at each other. Even if you believe that your argument was extremely logical, you still can't win an argument.
You see, there are several reasons why a person has a certain position that includes:
Trying to win an argument isn't a matter of who's right and who's wrong. If you've ever been in an argument, you'd know that an argument is more complicated than simply finding an answer to an equation.
The main reason arguments are so dangerous to a relationship is that people don't understand that a person's position is almost that person's identity. That is to say, when you argue against a person's position, you are arguing against everything that makes that person who he or she is.
For example, let's say that you don't believe in spanking your kids. You are in an argument with someone who does believe in spanking. You tell that person that you believe spanking a child would cause him to be violent when he gets older. How does the other parent interpret your argument? "Oh, so you think I'm a bad parent?" Well, when you make the other parent think that he is raising a criminal...how else is he to interpret what you're saying?
Or let's say that you do believe in spanking and you tell the other parent who doesn't believe in it, "I spank my kids because I love them." How is the other parent to interpret that? "Oh, so you're saying that I don't love my kids?"
Let me tell you something about arguments: logic doesn't count! It doesn't count because logic is colored with our emotional investment, our upbringing, our personal involvement, our worldview, etc.
There is really one thing in this world that our logic is completely pure: math. Two plus two is four. Period! There is no way to get that answer wrong. Besides math problems, your logic is colored. We truly look at everything (besides math problems) through "rose-tinted" glasses.
When you get involved in an argument, you already have shown that you:
On Facebook, I would have friends who would look at everything I've read (or presumably have read) and respond as if I've written something else. Ever had that happen before??? I would look at the responses and think, "Why do you think I would even say that when I CLEARLY didn't say that?" But you see, it shows how logic is rose-tinted. It doesn't matter if I think what I said was clear. It's all about how the other person interprets it. Interpretation runs an argument.
And what is interpretation? Rose-tinted logic.
So, after understanding everything that goes into what a person believes, should I still continue in an argument, then I'd be a fool! An arrogant fool! Because by continuing in an argument that I know would go on and on, I would show others that I am simply arrogant and that all I care about is being right and making the other person look stupid.
Shamefully, I have been an arrogant fool in the past. It's still a bit of a struggle for me to keep away from arguments. It's hard to not respond to someone else's rebuttal! But, I am learning more and more everyday that all arguments are petty, time-wasting, energy-draining, and they would produce more enemies and friends.
Now, I know that this article isn't going to necessarily convince you to stop arguing with people. If anything, let this article be something for you to think about. It's okay to not debate someone on everything they say. Just leave it alone. Or if you absolutely MUST give your input, just give it and leave it alone. Someone would disagree with your input. And that's okay. You've already given your input and that's all you need to do. Go on to other things.
Sometimes, as cliche as it sounds, you just need to be willing to "agree to disagree."
Sometimes, you need someone to tell you that your work isn't good enough -- because that might be the only way you WILL improve.
When my daughter was very young, around 4 years old, she would color in a picture like any other child: outside the lines. Being an artist myself, this wasn't acceptable to me -- not even to my mother! Now while I didn't tell my daughter that she was a bad artist (I do have some mercy in me!), I did tell her that she needs to learn to stay in the lines. Yes, I'm telling a 4-year-old to stay in the lines! Why? Because she has shown artistic potential at a younger age by drawing pictures. I wanted her to maximize on her skills.
Today, at almost 7 years old, she could color some beautiful pictures! And she's proud of her work!
Speaking of my children, I am not ashamed to tell them when they are being bad or disrespectful and that I'm downright disappointed in them. I could be very blunt with them. But because of my frankness with them, they are VERY respectful in public, always saying Thank You, are always helpful, and are very well-behaved in church. I am confident to tell anyone who watches them that they will not give them any problems -- and they never do.
Sometimes, you need a little tough love to help you be a better person.
But in our society, we are afraid of hurting people's feelings. We don't want to hurt anyone's self-esteem. We want to say "Great Job" to everybody who gives MINIMUM effort, give awards to those who simply show up, and make everybody feel that there is nothing wrong with them.
Well, sorry to say this, but if you want to be the BEST, you need to be told that YES, it IS your fault. No, you DIDN'T try hard enough. Yes, you COULD have done better. No, you DON'T care enough.
One time, I was told by a woman that I received a B in one of my classes. I was PROUD of that B! She wasn't! She said, "Now, you know that you could do better than that." What the heck??? It wasn't as if I was slacking off in class. Hey, a "B" was a good grade.
Or so I thought.
Actually, a "B" isn't as good as you think it is. When you get a "B," what does it indicates?
Is a "B" really all that good? No, a "B" is a score you settle for when you didn't try hard enough to get an "A." Getting a "B" in class shows that your work was just a little above average, but not enough to show your true potential.
So, that woman was right: I could have done better. But I chose not to put anymore effort than I cared to. So, I was going about my life thinking that a "B" was good, when really, a "B" shows that I didn't reach my full potential.
One time, I was working in a place that was 45 minutes away from me. I would frequently arrive late or arrive right on time. My supervisor got on me for being late, but I pointed out to him that I live so far away that I'd have to wake up 2 hours early to get to work on time. What was his response? "Then wake up 2 hours early!"
Well, he was right. Hey, if I chose to work 45 minutes away, I need to be responsible and make the necessary adjustments in my life rather than making excuses.
You see, excuses keep us where we are. In order to move forward in life, we need to be told that what we're doing is no good and that we need to step up our game.
If you live your life doing "just enough," then your life would be "just enough."
You know what happens when you only do "just enough" on your job? You boss will keep you just long enough until he or she finds someone better. You won't get that promotion, because you haven't done enough to earn it.
Kids who earn full scholarships to college aren't the kids who have done just enough. They did MORE than enough.
Don't simply "get by" in life. Don't be satisfied with "just enough."
Now, am I talking about getting riches and fame? No! I'm talking about being all that you can be. Doing all that you could do. Reaching your full potential -- and even surpassing that potential. There is more in you than you realize. But you will never know how awesome you are unless you decide to get past the just-enough mindset.
So, if you're doing just enough -- then it's time to do more! There is greatness within you! But you'll only bring out that greatness by pushing yourself to do better.
I am not a fan of the "victim mentality." You are 100 percent responsible for your actions. You can't blame anyone for your poor decisions...
Or can you?
There's a blog that several of my Facebook fans are sharing concerning Dave Ramsey's position on poor Americans. In his view, our situations are based on our decisions. If we make poor decisions, we would have a poor situation. If you are poor, jobless, and on welfare, then it's your fault. Your life reflects the poor decisions you made. After all, this is America and you could choose to be rich or stay poor. It's all about the decisions you make.
But, if you think about it, why do we make certain decisions? We make our decisions based on what we've been taught.
A baby knows nothing when born, except that it's cold, hungry, tired, etc. He doesn't know how to hate, love, or what career choices he needs to make. All of those things are taught to him as he gets older. The older he gets, the more he's taught, and the more decisions he's going to make based on what his parents teach him.
Think about a child who's disrespectful to authority. He didn't learn that on his own! He saw his parents being disrespectful to authority. One time when I was a middle school teacher, I remember a kid saying that he hated the police! Who taught him to hate the police? Since he hates the police, he's going to make decisions in his life that reflects his teaching -- and his decisions might land him in jail!
Or think about an overweight child who's getting fatter and fatter. Doesn't this kid understand that his poor choices are leading him to gain weight?? Well, if both of his parents are overweight, and his other family members are overweight, and his friends and teachers are overweight, well, do you expect this kid to know any better? He's going to continue to make decisions based on his teachings -- and those decisions could lead him to many health problems.
Your decisions are based on what you've been taught. If you've been taught wrong, you'd make the wrong decisions. If you've been taught right, you'd make the right decisions.
If you grew up in a family that valued marriage "till death do you part," then you'd make decisions based on those values. You'd get married, and when you hit marital problems, you do what you can to save your marriage. Divorce wouldn't be an option for you. This is why you find SO MANY older couples who have been married for 50, 60, 70, or 80 years! They grew up in a culture that valued marriage.
However, if you grew up in a family where marriage is seen as joke, then you might find yourself either divorced too many times or frequently hopping from one relationship to another. This is why you find SO MANY younger couples who either aren't married but have a "partner" or who have been divorced AT LEAST once. They grew up in a culture that doesn't value marriage.
I think it's wild to hear of 20-year-olds getting divorced!
If you make plenty of good decisions, I can't give you all the credit. If you make plenty of bad decisions, I can't put all the blame on you. Whatever decisions you make only reflect what you've been taught.
Think about a woman who has 5 kids with 5 different daddies. Is she responsible for her actions? Absolutely! But what were her decisions based on? They were based on what she knows, and what she knows stem from what she has seen and heard while growing up. If the women in her family did the same thing as she did, then it's no wonder that she made some poor decisions. So, I can't completely blame her.
Think about a man who is always gambling, buying nice things, but is cheating the welfare system. Is he responsible for his actions? Yes! Now, who taught him to have poor values is the question! He probably grew up where he frequently saw his parents buying scratch off tickets, who did what they could to stay on welfare, but who also bought nice things for themselves. So, I can't completely blame him for his actions: he's only doing what he knows.
Unfortunately, if you make bad decisions, you have to take full responsibility for those decisions. You can't blame mama, papa, big bro, the school system, etc. All they do is teach you certain values. When you make decisions based on those values, then any consequences that happen based on those decisions fall completely on you!
These individuals are suffering because of their poor decisions -- decisions that were based on poor teaching.
So, think about your life. Where are you? Are you happy or miserable? How did you get to where you are now? Were you taught right or taught wrong?
If you have made bad decisions, then before you beat yourself over it, ask yourself WHY you made those decisions. You might be surprised to find that you were indirectly taught to make those poor decisions. But now is the time to be taught the RIGHT way so that you could make better decisions in life.
And if you have kids, make sure you are teaching them the right things! If you don't teach them...somebody else will.
All information in this blog are for inspirational purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all content is written and copyrighted by Aiyo A. Jones.