Hi again! It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, I’ve been kicking butt flexing my spirit muscles and am loving life to the fullest!
This post is inspired by a sixteen-year-old girl, young woman, of whom I am quite fond. In many ways she reminds me of myself at that age; and my fears and excitements and desires for her make my heart so heavy yet light. These feelings are rooted in a place in the very center of my body, somewhere between my heart and my stomach. It’s a feeling that wants every piece of her future to be paved in gold and all her dreams to come true. And the parts of me that love her also make me want to teach her that life is beautiful but you have to work. Though she is a dreamer and an artist, every woman, every person, needs to know how to navigate through life one day at a time.
I want to tell her that making good decisions is a continual process that takes diligence and constant application of effort. It’s very easy to not pay attention and make poor choices through that inattention. When we become lazy or careless or oblivious, that’s when mistakes happen. Take for example driving. There’s 1000 things you need to remember including proper spacing good timing remembering to turn your signals following the rules of the road so we do not endanger ourselves our others. Or getting ready for school or work in the morning. Wake up at 6:30. Shower. Brush teeth. Etcetera. Even school and work require diligence. With continued assiduity we stay in control of our lives and on top of the things within our power.
There are times when we might not know what we want or the direction to take. There may be times of pauses and also times of rest. In order to be healthy one must pause and breathe to get in touch with self again. Sleep and rest and spiritual recovery are all crucial to wellbeing. But pauses and breaks become destructive if we sit for too long, moving in circles and waiting idly for something to happen.
Proactive waiting looks different; it is engaging with the people and events around you. It is an active stillness or practicing presence. It is completing daily tasks with dedication and pursuit of mastery, of acquisition of skill or learning more. It is doing a pile of dishes with the understanding that chores are part of life, they are not forced upon you. It is completing homework with the understanding that you are building and laying a foundation for bigger things to come, whether you can see them right now or not makes no difference.
Conversely when we let life happen to us, it sounds like this: “why does it matter that I go to school, I’m not going to college anyway.” Or it may sound like “I’ve messed up too much, I don’t deserve good things.” It may look like being mired in desperation and drugs; or having children because there’s nothing else; or living in a car; or even working in a job because there’s nothing else to do; or being in a relationship that’s not the right fit but nothing condemning has happened. Life is happening to you, and you become a victim of your circumstances.
When you live like this, you abdicate your position of power and relinquish the gift that god/universe/spirit gave all. You give yourself away unto other people that have no real investment or conviction in your time, your future or success.
Life happens in our mistakes and life happens in our hands. The differences activity. Do you actively choose to create and build? Or do you actively let life happen?
We want to live a life that is productive and meaningful we have to put in the effort and diligence. We have to actively and consciously make repeated efforts toward that which we are seeking. If I want to be a basketball player I need to practice dribbling the ball, I need to practice my layups and running drills until I puke. Each step, each breath each placement is all connected toward an end, toward a goal; knowing this will drive motivation and continue to reconstitute actions to stay on target and in control.
Excellence is made of engagement and continual commitment to self through repeated good decisions. It is not divine gift or miracle that makes one perfect at anything, but rather constant attention. Repeated effort and repeated actions build habits for success and the repetition is why we excel. Rome was never built in one day, nor was Kobe, Gates, Dawkins, or Beyoncé. For everyone everywhere choice is always a responsibility, but you have the power to make your choices a burden or a stepping stone forward.
Do you have a technique that keeps you guided on the right track? If so, I’d love to hear your inspirations and tips for making every choice count. Leave a comment or tweet me @_y0ungin. Way to flex those spirit muscles everyone!