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everyone is facing a battle

“Everyone you meet is facing a battle you know nothing about”.

Maybe not everyone would describe what they are facing as a “battle”, but the message of this quote is that we seldom know what is going on in the heads and hearts of the people we encounter everyday.  The person we share with everyone else, the person we are on the outside, doesn’t always reflect what we are feeling on the inside.  And similarly we can change on the inside without it always being obvious to everyone else.   And maybe sometimes all these things are okay.

FYI the end of the quote is “Be Kind. Always.”

 

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insiders & outsiders

“You can’t have insiders unless you have outsiders.”

My initial response to this idea was to think of the times and situations that I’ve felt like an outsider.  But I quickly, told my brain to stop and think instead about the times I have been on the inside and perhaps have made others feel like they were on the outside.

We all want and need to feel like we belong, to feel like we are a part of something.  The challenge for all of us is to create places and spaces and groups of belonging without creating insiders and outsiders.  I believe it’s possible.  It just might take a bit more effort, might mean doing things differently, and might mean changing our experience of belonging.

 

good enough for now…

I recently heard about a group of people that makes decisions based on the following 2 criteria: (1) is it a level of risk we can all live with (i.e., while not exactly what we might personally choose, it’s within the range of what I can live with), and (2) is it good enough for now.

I really like the “is it good enough for now” part.

It’s easy to think that we need find the perfect solution before taking action or making a decision.  Or we spend a lot of time and energy trying to make a decision we will be okay with in the long-term.  That we need to fully research all possible alternatives before we move ahead.

But the truth is that in the vast majority of situations we only need to make a decision that is good enough for now.  We can always revisit a decision.  When we get more information, or circumstances change, or we feel differently – we can change the decision.

Rarely does a decision need to be perfect for forever.  Mostly we just need to decide, set a course of action, and see how it goes.   And when needed make a new or different decision that is good enough for wherever we are then.

Obstacles – Part 2

In my last post, I shared the following quote: “Obstacles are put in your way to help you determine if what you want is really worth fighting for.”.

I did not include any commentary.

At the time I wasn’t entirely sure what to write.  The quote seemed to say it all.  And so I decided to let the quote sit with you for awhile, just as it has sat with me for the past few weeks since it first turned up in my in-box.

Encountering obstacles does help us decide how much we want something.  And working hard for something can lead us to appreciate it more.  Think back to the accomplishments you feel most proud of.  Think back to the situations you learned and grew the most from.  I’m going to guess these accomplishments and this growth didn’t come easy.

What obstacles are you encountering these days?  What do you need to keep working on or fighting for so that you can someday grow from or feel proud about?

 

 

Obstacles

“Obstacles are put in your way to help you determine if what you want is really worth fighting for.” – Source unknown.

 

 

if you don’t want to do it, don’t do it

I frequently encourage my peers to not do things they don’t want to do.  That they don’t have to do something just because they think they should (i.e., out of obligation/guilt) or because of what their social or culture norms tell them (i.e., what they family has always done).  I’ve applied this to my own life and generally do the things/participate in events that I enjoy and I tend to avoid the things/events that I don’t enjoy or what to do.

But lately I’ve been re-thinking this approach and advice.  If nobody ever does the things they don’t really want to do, the things they feel obligated to do, or participates in the events that they have always attended; what will our society look like or become?  This might not be a problem if only a few of us take this approach.  Or maybe if the end result is that if nobody wants to do those things or attend those events, the things and events weren’t that important in the first place and something more meaningful will fill that space.

In many cases, routine and tradition are good habits.  They support us to do things or participate in events even when we don’t “feel” like it.  In some cases, the traditions help us all do our part.  For example, I appreciate that for years and years, people from my church have volunteered to teach Sunday school or to do dishes after funerals; as I want live in a community where these kind of things happen.  And the routines of family reunions and holiday celebrations help keep us connected to people through good times and challenging times.

Like most things in life, it’s likely about moderation.  Finding the balance between doing or not doing certain things/participating in certain events.  It’s about thinking about all the things we think we “have to do” and ensure that there is also room in our busy lives for things we enjoy doing.  But I’m also going to re-think my default answer (don’t do it if you don’t want to), and consider the larger impact of this decision on the type of society and community I want to live in.

happiness

“We expect our happiness to come with a sign and bells, but it doesn’t…{it’s in the} small, plain thing that I mistook for something ordinary.” – Miss Queenie Hennessy (Rachel Joyce)

We hear tons of message from all kinds of places telling us we can be anything want.  But the unwritten part of those messages includes the idea that we should be and/or do something extraordinary with our lives.  We don’t hear a lot of people telling us to strive for “ordinary”.

But as the quote above reminded me, happiness rarely comes with a big announcement or sign or cheer from the crowd.  And if we think we need something extraordinary to happen to be happy, we might miss out on all the happiness that happens in the small ordinary everyday life moments.

We don’t have to wait for happiness to happen, it’s already happening all around us, we just have to notice it.