Do you speak in absolutes?
I’ve caught myself saying things like “I don’t do this” “this doesn’t work for me”
Why am I speaking in absolutes? We all know that our taste buds change over time right?
Is the same not true for us as entire people? I’d say it is.
How can we say that we would never do something?
It’s pretty difficult to do that.
Nearly impossible actually.
What we can say is something along the lines of, “I hope that I don’t ever do that again.” or, “I will get better and better and avoid that behavior or action in the future.”
But, to promise that we will never do something?
How can we do that?
There was a story I heard about the surgeon general when he gave notice that cigarettes are dangerous and harmful. He was asked when the last time he smoked was and responded, 20 minutes ago.
Now, he might have had his last cigarette just then. But, he was preparing for that moment. He did not spontaneously say that he would never smoke again.
There are a few examples that I think of. The first being bachelor/bachelorette parties. The second being people’s vocation, future, destiny, or calling.
I’ll start with the bachelor and bachelorette parties as I think that is easier.
I want to make it clear, I am not like most guys and I do not expect most guys, or even most girls, to think as I do.
Since I was a young boy, I have always thought about becoming a husband, and being a partner for my future wife.
I cannot recall a time where a bachelor’s party at a strip club has appealed to me. It does not make sense to me.
People say, “oh that is the last time I’ll do that.” But, I think that misses the point. The point of marriage is not to avoid something that you desire to do, but, is rather to commit yourself fully to one person and not have the desire for things that go against the partnership that a husband and wife create.
Now, I didn’t say this for the surgeon general and the example with him quitting smoking, but, why did he need that last smoke? To me, it does not seem like he was ready to give up something that he desired.
“If you still desire to do something that you aren’t doing, is it enough to forego that action?”
We want to become better. We do not want to simply be more, we want to become more.
Let’s talk about our vocation, our future, our destiny, and our calling.
What do we want out of this life?
It is going to be different for everyone. I have written previously about constantly changing and always changing in a specific direction. Are the actions that we are undertaking today contributing to our future?
I love what Amy Cuddy says in her popular book, “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges” when she states, “Don’t fake it until you make it, fake it until you become it.”
Really, what she means there is that you must create who you want to be. You cannot just fake it and ultimately be there. You must visualize yourself there, you must do things that lead you there, you must spend time with people that are already there.
But, power posing, as she explains, makes you believe it.
We cannot get where we want to go if we do not do the things now that we expect to do when we get where we want to go.
Thinking about the future, we must fake it, act as if we are already there until we become it, only THEN do we truly MAKE IT.
“How you do anything is how you do everything”
Is that an absolute? Maybe.
However, I think that it is quite different, here’s why.
It brings it back to the opposite of an absolute, that you can change or affect anything.
God empowers, we choose to act on that empowerment or not.
If we want to wake up an hour earlier each day to go to the gym, God empowers that. He gives us the ability to decide for ourselves if we go to the gym or not. He may influence us, but, He will not choose for us, that’s the basis of free will.
With that in mind, just because we are who we are today, does not mean that we will be this person tomorrow too.
I am working through the book, the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg right now and he features the example of a family that goes to McDonald’s on occasion. Now, they might think that is just a one-time thing. Or maybe, they don’t go that often but they go on occasion. However, soon enough, a habit is formed and it is not just fast food, but, it may be something else also.
“How you do anything is how you do everything.”
The little things impact the big things. But, there is NEVER a reason to say that we will ALWAYS or NEVER do something or be something. We can change.
By saying, “This is the way I’ve always been,” we constrict ourselves. We box ourselves in. Why would we ever want to do that when we can be and do anything?
But, I will write on Tuesday, the value of identifying our strengths and establishing that as part of our life’s mission.