Thursday, September 2, 2010
“If it looks like a dog and barks like a dog, it’s a dog.”As we go through our lives, there have been times where what we see doesn’t match with what our minds or instincts tell us. We go through an internal struggle questioning ourselves and wondering whether or not it could be possible that our instincts are just flat out wrong.
Two simple examples that we can all relate to are the following: We see people buying expensive cars, beautiful homes, going out to fancy dinners, wearing designer clothes and traveling the world vacationing. We question ourselves as to what we might be doing wrong that does not allow us the same opportunities. We ask ourselves, “Should I be working harder?" or "Am I not smart enough?" "Did I pick the wrong profession?" We wonder, "What did the others do to make them so much money?" and "How is it that they make it look so effortless?" They seem to have the perfect life. It just doesn’t make sense. I am not saying that there are not those who have worked extremely hard and sacrificed other areas of their lives to obtain wealth, but everyone in Miami? As life unfolds, so too the truth oftern unfolds. Credit card debt, bankruptcy, foreclosures and many other financial secrets unfold and our instincts are proven to be right.
My daughter Elle spent her first semester at the University, struggling to balance her academic life with her social life. She would struggle wondering how it was possible that her friends were going to parties every night and able to make the grades. She, herself, would ask if there was something she was doing wrong. She questioned her own decisions and abilities. I would tell her, “If it looks like a dog and barks like a dog, it’s a dog. Wait until the end of the semester before you beat yourself up. Just keep doing what you know to be right.” As life unfolds so too the truth will unfold. Many of those very same girls were forced to drop their classes while others failed.
We all question ourselves but we need to go with our instincts using our internal compass to guide us. Our entire life is filled with examples like the two above. If we allow what we perceive others to be doing to guide us, we will spend everyday at the end of a social leash being yanked around in the direction that others choose to go. Remove yourself from the leash and be free to roam the park as you see fit. When you see something that doesn’t make sense remember, “If it looks like a dog and barks like a dog, it’s a dog.”
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
When it comes to raising my kids this has absolutely been the case. When we have kept them constantly busy with schooling, sports and personal activities, they have stayed positive and happy. On the other hand when there has been the least bit of inactivity, they complain about being tired more, they lack motivation, they seem almost bored with life and at times just lay around waiting for something to happen to them. This is no different for me. When I am constantly moving and busy, I am fulfilled and happy. I sometimes hear a voice that tries to tell me I need a break or that I wish I could just lie around and do nothing for a day. I’ve come to learn that that is the voice of death (figuratively speaking). That it is the devil in, “Idle time is the devil’s tool.” If I feed that idea, it will grow out of control and I will find myself wanting more and more time to rest. It has an insatiable appetite. On the other hand if I push forward and ignore it, I become present in what I am doing and a natural flow or tempo is created. The rest and down time, is self dictated and when it arrives, I am present in that moment as well.
It took me 30 years to get it. Idle time truly is the Devil's tool and therefore Work and activity can only be God’s gift.