People who recognize me when I’m out and about usually like to stop me to ask a question or two about a concern of theirs. Typically the first thing to come out of their mouths is a brief resume on who they are and what they’ve done. Well, one young man was telling me about how he is going to start eating right and taking care of his body. He spoke about what another person told him about vegetables and the benefits of eating them on a daily basis. So, he said, “I’m killing myself with my bad eating habits.” Then he said, “I have to go outside and have a cigarette.”
I was not shocked by his statement because people often speak contradictorily. Their actions affirm the opposite of their words. My wife often says, “People just like to hear themselves speak, even if they know they aren’t saying anything important.”
I believe the foundation for wisdom is reading the Good Book, and there are two things it tells us to study. One, study to be quiet, and the other is to study God’s word. If we study to be quiet, we will know when not to speak. If we study God’s word, we will know what to say when it is time to speak.
Saying one thing and doing another is very difficult to achieve. People often give themselves leniency when it comes to their mediocre attempts to follow through on what they say, rather than acknowledging the truth that they really do not believe they are capable of doing what they say. People say they want to be rich, but they work a 9 to 5 job. This is a contradiction of terms. I have never seen anyone, nor heard of anyone ever getting rich working a job. Just think about the people who claim they are working hard to lose weight, but they go on subsequent fast food eating binges. Sounds to me, the only thing these people are working hard at, is finding the nearest burger joint.
Some people claim they want success but they are afraid of failure. People want to be happy and live a life of significance, but they avoid placing themselves in vulnerable relationships where there may be a possibility of being emotionally hurt. These people have never heard that the deeper sorrow carves into your being, the more joy and significance you can contain. Or, that failure is simply an incubator keeping a premature success baby in a protective and controlled environment, until it is ready to be birthed.
Many people become despondent about their life and what things are occurring in it; but they rarely give themselves a fair chance of accomplishing their goals because they will not acknowledge their frail attempts to achieve them. Then, here comes the ‘woe is me’ victim of society mentality. It is not fair for you to have such a mentality when you know your efforts are mediocre at best, and you believe in your heart of hearts, that you really cannot achieve what you are attempting. It’s not that you believe these things can’t be done; you just don’t believe ‘you’ can do the things you desire to do.
What happens when your actions collide with your expectations? The answer is nothing! The reason nothing happens is your actions negates what you have spoken. The reality is, once you speak out from the depths of your beliefs, your physical response is called a ‘reaction.’ This reaction is not a response to what you say; it is a consequent effect of your belief in what you say.
So, here is what I want you to do. I want you to dive deeper. I want you to leave your ordinary and break through the serene surface of your safe place. Allow yourself to be alone with the true you. You may initially be amazed, but also confused. The reason is, you will be able to see all the talents and gifts hiding inside you, yet become bewildered, because although this great awesome potential resides in you, you can’t fully comprehend why your life is presently where it is. This is where I come in. My whole aim is to get you to acknowledge the contradictory speech pattern woven together which makes your life move in the direction its moving. This will help you move to the next phase of destroying those negative patterns, and produce new ones which will lead you to a place of fulfillment and significance.
There are four things you should follow to change your contradictory patterns:
1. Success should be lived not sought after.
I’m sure you’ve heard the common term, “success is a journey, not a destination.” Well, it is true. However, what comes at the end of living successfully is having no regrets.
2. Stop watching from the sidelines and get into the game.
If we allow fear to take root, we begin to doubt and sink into despair. By facing these fears head on, we open ourselves to experiencing our real intrinsic potential, and we enable ourselves to accomplish things which can only be accomplished while in the game.
3. Take full responsibility of your life.
You must, not should, take ownership of every moment of your life…not allowing a second to slip by without placing in it, the potential and creativeness to produce something for the next moment. Pack a punch so you are ready for every opposition that challenges you during the course of your day.
4. Connect with a community of like-minded individuals.
You cannot grow spiritually unless you are willing to connect relationally. A tree cannot grow until a seed is connected to the dirt. A light bulb can’t shine until it is connected to a power source. To stand alone and live only to oneself is not only incomprehensible, but self-destructive as well.
The most dangerous lies are the ones you never notice. A contradiction is a lie trying to become a reality. Spend the rest of your life alive and not struggling to live.
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