Posts tagged words of wisdom
Posts tagged words of wisdom
It has recently been suggested that I should work on the way I present myself. I come across as, well, negative. Because one rarely gets constructive criticism presented directly to their face, especially the kind you know is being imparted from a well-meaning source, it is important to seriously consider.
As the wise words on the paperweight above suggest, you should always be yourself. One should really focus on finding success as themselves because, as the Oscar Wilde saying goes, everyone else is taken. But is there a place between being your authentic self and presenting that self in a way which is palatable to others, as a means to an end?
In thinking about my alleged negativity, I returned to my childhood dinner table where in order to stand out you needed to share one heck of a story. I recall crafting my news of the day as the tale of an underdog success. After a challenging time studying for a Spanish test, tons of other work (who assigns three chapters of Moby Dick in one night?!) and spending hours at an away basketball game we didn’t even win, I still achieved a C+ on that evil Spanish test: my best grade yet that semester. My C+ news would never compete with the achievements of my siblings sharing the table, so I spun a truth highlighting my triumph against adversity. This was hardly necessary all the time (I had my own successes), but wasn’t good news that much better when it came after an explanation of obstacles overcome?!
I wonder if it was then that I got in the bad habit of making my actions look better by contrasting them against the potential disaster that might have been. Over time maybe I felt my successes, which did not come as a result of pulling off a feat as amazing as leaping tall buildings while being chased by Godzilla, but rather genuine skills I acquired from hard work and practice, still could not stand on it’s own. I wanted the situation to almost fall apart only to rise again from the ashes to great success - giving chapters of my life the arc of a movie. It makes sense that someone as obsessed with movies as I am would unconsciously link her own life to a typical film structure.
Or maybe I’m over thinking it all. Maybe I just need to learn to read the room better and not be so jibber-jabbery (as my husband accurately describes me sometimes). Maybe there’s a way to focus on the positive and let the negative go, releasing the qualifiers. Maybe in doing that I will reveal a more authentic me.
It’s funny, just last night I was saying that I feel like I’m getting my bearings in my new job and can see how it all works out where I have a nice work/life balance. And then 24 hours later I feel overwhelmed with new information, more responsibilities and additional challenges. Am I back at square one? No, not at all, but I do lose that sense I’m getting to the edge of the pool or back to shore.
I’m not sure this is a bad thing though. I’ve never been great at “the journey” and tended to focus on “the destination”. Perhaps now with this new job that, especially at the beginning as I examine the trees and occasionally see the forest they create, I can learn to embrace the process rather than just the end result. I guess we shall see, but in the meantime I am learning so much, experiencing a satisfied exhaustion.
Today on Facebook this image was posted on the page for The Color Run. As I am about to finish my first week of a new job it is time to really think about how to manage the hours in the day, the priorities in life, the stress that comes with it all and remaining both mentally and physically healthy. Running seems like the obvious solution so I am working to get back into it after a two week hiatus. I’ve got my first 10k race in more than a year on the books for May. Here’s to running off the Friday donuts and insanity!
Plans are very orderly. They are logical and perfect. Straight as an arrow. Flawless. As human beings, we like to make plans, and then follow them to reach a goal or a destination.
Nature, however, is not so orderly. It is chaotic and unpredictable. Sometimes it is calm; other times it is wild. Sometimes it’s safe; other times it’s dangerous.
Plans take place in our heads, but nature is the law of the world outside our thinking.
And so, I realized then, that there is no point in getting upset when something doesn’t go according to plan. Because for a plan to unfold, it has to take place in nature. And nature, to twist a familiar saying, abhors a good plan.
Thus, my lesson that afternoon was to never curse or be frustrated
by obstacles that appear out of nowhere and block my path, but to
expect them. Because the obstacles are part of the journey.
Whatever you do or plan, there will be obstacles that you won’t be able to predict. And the bigger and more important the undertaking, the more likely the odds of encountering them will be. However, every obstacle is not actually an impediment, nuisance, or disaster: it is an opportunity for success.
Because it is by overcoming those obstacles that you learn and grow, and even find a sense of meaning and accomplishment. Clearing the path in front of us, building bridges to get somewhere, moving the seemingly unmoveable—that is what we’re here for. And rather than feeling stress or getting anxiety or saying “why me” when things get in your way or don’t go your way, you can think instead, “This is great. I’m going to get to learn something and grow from this.”
I am ready to wrap it up and move on.
I am living these words. And they are so very true.
I want to get this and frame it for our bedroom so we can always remember that the love we share with one another makes us who we are.