Is it better to start something and not continue or start late?
There are a lot of things I’ve started and dropped. In hobbies alone I have amassed quite a list: piano, tennis, golf, volleyball, and jewelry making are the ones that came to mind easily. Perhaps we regret having credit cards or school loans and getting into debt. This doesn’t mean we can’t start acquiring better habits toward spending money and saving money at this point in time.
Maybe at some point in our lives we were closer to God-went to church more, read the bible, read inspirational websites and we wished we still had that. We can consider changing how we did it before, maybe there was something in the environment that didn’t work with our personality and a change- small or large- might help. The change could take many forms like trying to find a new place, getting ideas from friends, or perhaps after some time has passed we are just better able to continue where we left off and don’t even have to change anything.
I have been pondering this idea of starting late for the past few days and have found it liberating. I don’t have to regret what I didn’t do well, I just have to decide what I want to do and figure out how to incorporate it in my life.
How do you like to organize what you have to do? Do you keep a list or multiple lists? In an organizer, on a piece of paper, on your phone?
I like to keep lists. I have a system that has served me well at work. I have a spiral-bound weekly organizer. In the morning I write down what I need to do on the left side of the page and throughout the day or at the end of the day I write down what I’ve accomplished. If there is anything I didn’t get to or something new that I know I will have to do, I write it on the left side for the next day.
This was something I started doing a few years ago because it helped me keep track of what I accomplished when I had to write quarterly reports of my achievements for my boss. It also made me feel better to see what I had accomplished each day when I felt like I had been running around and not getting anything done.
I never thought to do this in my personal life, but recently on the Happier Podcast, they discussed Ta-Da Lists, which is what I was doing all along but didn’t have a snappy title for. One of the benefits is if you’re not accomplishing what you want to be doing- like in my case writing more- I can see what I was actually doing and in some cases, I’m doing things that are pretty important. For example, in the past week, I have been getting reorganized after evacuating for hurricane Irma.
So I started doing personal Ta-Da lists a few days ago and so far it has been motivating to me to write (almost) daily so I can add it to my list before I got to bed that I accomplished writing.
Below you will see an example a senior director at work gave when I asked how he organizes what he has to do. I was curious how someone at a senior level organized himself. He didn’t give me a method as much as a decision-making tool which also important to consider. Is what I’m doing the most important thing from the list? Can someone else do it for me? Is it important that it is done today? If not, it can be deferred so something more pressing is taken care of sooner.
I would love to know your methods so please share.
Have you ever wondered why something has happened or why something doesn’t stop happening? If so, the conversation Gideon is having with God included below will resonate.
In the passage, Gideon reminds me of conversations I have when things around me aren’t going the way I think they should go. It’s like the conversations we have with God wondering why he hasn’t answered prayers we have been making for what seems like forever.
It also can apply to current events, when we wonder how anything can improve in the world with all of the violence we see or hear about daily.
We can be reminded of what God tells Gideon…”I shall be with you.” God doesn’t really ramble on and on like Gideon. There’s just a firm, I will be with you.
With Gideon we also see that it’s ok to express our doubts to God, maybe that’s the first time we become conscious of our doubts ourselves. It’s possible that makes us better able to recognize the answer when the answer reaches us. God answers us, but often not as blatantly as Gideon. Wouldn’t that be nice?
The answer may come from a family member or a friend. It may come in a snippet of a conversation we hear when changing channels, or it may just be a feeling of peace like we have arrived at a destination– where once we felt uncertainty and chaos, we now feel the calmness of a resolution. If we haven’t arrived there yet we can take comfort knowing “The Lord is with you, O champion!”
“The LORD is with you, O champion!”
Gideon said to him, “My Lord, if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?
Where are his wondrous deeds of which our fathers told us when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt?’ For now the LORD has abandoned us and has delivered us into the power of Midian.”
The LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have and save Israel from the power of Midian. It is I who send you.”
But Gideon answered him, “Please, my lord, how can I save Israel? My family is the lowliest in Manasseh, and I am the most insignificant in my father’s house.”
“I shall be with you,” the LORD said to him, “and you will cut down Midian to the last man.”
Isn’t it strange how when you’re reading a book you really like it’s so hard to put down and when you are away from the book, you just can’t get back to it. But the faster you read, the faster you’re done and then you don’t get to be in that world anymore? And then you’re a little sad that it’s over. You knew that would happen but you couldn’t stop yourself.
And then when there’s an author you really like, you can’t wait to read their next book. You don’t need to know what it’s about. You just know they wrote it so you will like it. But then when you’re browsing in the library, bookstore, or reading a book summary online you probably decide to read the book based on the description. But really want matters is how well the author tells the story and not so much the circumstances.
What are some books you’ve raced through? What authors do you love?
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In the Old Testament reading today God reveals his name to Moses. He calls himself “Lord” and says he is slow to anger and rich in kindness. Moses asks the Lord to receive him and his people as their own. He says they are stiff-necked (stubborn), and asks for pardon for their wickedness and sins.
In the second reading, Paul tells us how to live, “Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the love of God and peace will be with you. It is like a response to what Moses has explained to God about their limitations.
In the third reading, the Gospel, the answer to Moses request, is the promise of Paul that God is with you is revealed: God so loved the world that he gave his only son…”
I recently heard a podcast that explained how this was a new concept for the early Christians, who were actually made up of Jewish people and also the other people living at that time. It’s easy for many of us to take that statement and belief for granted now, but there are probably still lots of people who have never heard that in our present day. That God is providing us with help, for things we can’t do on our own. A way out of our stubborn habits that are keeping us from living in peace the help is revealed to us in Jesus’ encounters with the people he meets sharing about the kingdom of God. With Jesus there are concrete examples of how God is slow to anger and rich in kindness, like being forgiving of a tax collector who was taking advantage of the people he collected taxes from when he confessed to Jesus and promised to rectify his actions and by healing people of their illnesses.
Is there something you need help with that you can find solace from in reading the Word of the Lord?
Have you ever considered the connections between people and things across small and great distances? Are there things that don’t seem connected but really are? And what impact do we have on each other that we aren’t even conscious of most of the time?
It turns out there are light particles inside an atom called photons which can be in more than one place at a time and the photons share an invisible connection with other photons. When something happens to one, the other one can feel it even if they are far apart–like twins.
An article called Quantum Leaps, published in the Economist discusses how this knowledge can be put to use in our lives in the near future. This concept could allow atomic clocks to make self-driving cars more reliable and could be used for other purposes such as finding things underground or underwater.
I attempted to research atomic clocks to learn more about what they are and how they could do that but to understand that would take a little more time than I’d like to take to do so now and goes beyond the scope of this post (but please feel free to share the answer with me if you know 😊).
I thought that this was an interesting idea and it ties in with my goal for this blog to take interesting things I discover and add my own spin to it to make us think differently about what’s going on and improve our lives. Here is another way to use our imagination to consider the possibilities.
It’s so easy to get distracted. I often grab my phone with a goal in mind, let’s say I’m going to check my email as an example. I discover I’ve received a text and after I reply I go on Facebook for a minute. Then I put my phone down and go off and do something completely different. But I was going to check my email because there was something I was supposed to be doing based on that email. I might remember an hour later and then the same thing happens all over again.
Lately, I’ve been trying to keep a helpful acronym for the word FOCUS in mind. “Follow
one course until successful”. While there are obvious big goals that can be applied to, I’ve found it helpful to apply to everyday situations where it’s very easy to go off and do something else instead of finishing what I’m doing.
There once was a couple, they had a very good relationship except for one thing. The
wife liked to plan activities and the husband was always late.
She thought about how things were going and decided to change how she did things. She decided to expect that her husband would be late and depending on the situation when she made plans she would either tell her husband to meet a half hour early or just expect him to be a little late. Once the wife stopped expecting the husband to stop acting how she wanted and allowed her husband to be himself, the wife relaxed and didn’t get bothered by her husband’s actions.
On the other side of things, the husband, though he wasn’t much of a planner and liked to be spontaneous, recognized his wife’s personality and in wanting to please her he learned how to compromise. In time, he realized they were able to take part in events and experience interesting things like local art and music events, trips, and even save money traveling because she took the time to do research and find deals.
When they went out, the wife was somewhat reserved and the husband was more outgoing. He engaged people they encountered in conversations and learned interesting things making their outing even more special. The wife realized they had come to make a lot of friends because of her husband’s personality and both became enriched by focusing on each other’s strengths instead of weaknesses.
I’m cheating a little here, Taoism begins with a T but it is pronounced with a D :). The ideas of Taoism are illustrated in a book I love called the Tao of Pooh. In the book, we see how Pooh lives in the moment and doesn’t complicate his life like his friends Eeyore, Piglet, Rabbit, and Owl do in their particular ways. Pooh pays attention to what is going on and uses circumstances in his favor to solve problems and achieve his goal. He doesn’t place blame or even complain. He just stops and thinks.
Another idea that complements this idea is following very short story on Gretchen Rubin’s website about not being able to tell the difference off what is good and bad.
When bad things happen, if we look around we may be able to find some good come from it. I had a very annoying and costly situation occur last year that I could have done without, but in that time I had a friend that was very supportive put a lot of time into helping me with the situation. If that had not happened, I wouldn’t have known I could depend on her they way and it made me value our friendship in a new way.
So the next time you are frustrated, be like Pooh and remember what the true goal is and don’t get caught up in the wrong things.