It Usually Costs More To Cover An Error Than To Openly Admit It.
I woke up this morning with a new resolve. I had been spending so much time at the computer working on projects, that I neglected other areas of my life. Instead of working on writing projects in moderation, I felt the need to get the “next thing” done right away. As a result, I felt off-balanced, stressed and frustrated. I must admit, somewhere in the recesses of my mind I knew this was not wise because I worked in a role of helping people take care of themselves; but because of my tunnel vision, I fell into an unhealthy trap.
This shortsightedness reminded me of an old adage, “Practice what you preach.” Sometimes it is easy for a person to give advice to others and neglect that same advice himself. Sometimes it is easy for a person to point out flaws in others when those same flaws are humungous in his own life. Sometimes a person overlooks his shortcomings and magnifies those of others.
There is nothing wrong with advising others (at times), but it would behoove us to take stock of our own lives to ensure that we are living what we are advising. Paul, a believer, said it so eloquently.
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (Taken from the KJV of the Bible.)
So, refuse to be a castaway in life. Make sure the advice you are giving is the advice you are living.
Have you ever had a job you really hated? You loathed the rings of the alarm clock because they reminded you that you had to spend eight hours or more on a job you didn’t like. You performed tasks you thought were menial, worked with coworkers you didn’t care about, had little respect for your supervisor, and even scoffed at the company’s policies. Even if you thought the work environment was adequate, the job didn’t fulfill you. You were performing tasks, feeling you were wasting your time.
In spite of these things, have you ever sat back and thought how that very job could be a training ground for your future? Have you ever thought there might be something in that place that will be of value to you when you get the job of your dreams?
Maybe you are currently sweeping floors, but in this, you are learning to pay attention to details. Maybe you are sitting in a cubicle, answering the phones, but in essence, you are learning excellent customer service skills. Maybe you are dealing with a difficult supervisor and unsavory co-workers, but in this, you are learning to excel despite having to deal with demanding customers.
How do you respond while you’re dealing with a less than perfect training ground? Do you come in late and dare anyone to confront you about it? Do you put forth as little effort as possible just to say you completed your time? Do you downgrade management and use every opportunity to discuss how bad your situation is? Do you rob the company of valuable supplies because you believe the company owes you something?
Even if you don’t reap the benefits from that company, it would behoove you to do your best. When you do your best even in the worst situation, you are sowing seeds for your future. As long as you agree to remain in your position, do what you know is right because it is right. And when the time comes to leave, leave with a clean record, a good work habit and a positive attitude. You never know, the way you respond in someone else’s company (while you’re in training for your dream job) may be the same way someone else responds in your company or under your leadership (once you made it to your dream job).
When I was growing up, I heard that money was evil. As well intentioned as my elders were, they left out one important component of that saying. The saying doesn’t state money is evil, it says the love of money is evil. Even when I captured the true saying, I still didn’t comprehend the meaning. I would ask myself, if the love of money was so evil, why do people go to work every day to get it? Don’t they go because they love money? Why do some spend excessive amounts of time performing a trade in exchange for money? Aren’t they demonstrating the love of money? Why do so many people want more of it? Doesn’t that prove they love it?
While looking for answers, I encountered those with different paradigms. One camp says get all the money you can, and can the rest; they show no shame about their love of money. Another camp says poverty is a virtue. Then there are those who say they don’t love money, but they will do anything (legal or illegal) to get it.
I’ve watched the poor despise the wealth of the rich, but at the same time, wish they possessed some of the same things their counterparts possessed. I’ve seen people fight over it. I’ve seen homes broken up because of it. Yet, I’ve seen it help people change their lives for the better.
In viewing these things, I still didn’t grasp the meaning of the love of money until I ran across this saying: you can’t serve two masters. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Money isn’t evil, but allowing it to get in the driver’s seat is. If you allow money to become your master, then it becomes the driving force in your life. You’ll make decisions based on it. You’ll compromise your values for it. You’ll lie and steal because of it. You’ll long for it, and it will become the focus of your attention. And the interesting thing about money, it can become the master of the rich or the poor. You don’t have to have a lot of it to allow it to rule. It rules when you subject yourself to it.
That being said, I invite you to take stock of your life and examine the evidence. Will you violate your values for money? Will you go after money at the expense of other important things in your life? Do you think about money more than you think about anything else? Do you despise those with money yet secretly wish you had what they have? Is money the number one motivator in your life?
Remember, you have control of whether you allow money to be your master, but once you become its slave, you don’t have control over the destination.
Advanced technology is a beautiful thing. It allows us to connect to people all over the world. It provides us with information in a matter of seconds. It gives us virtual tours of places we may never visit, and it exposes our talents for the world to see.
In spite of the wonderful advances made with technology, there are drawbacks. Technology can push a novice (somebody who is beginning or learning an activity and has acquired little skill in it) to places of grandeur before he is ready to handle it. The person may be talented in an area but is not developed to handle everything that goes along with success. Instead of learning through a process, he is jolted in the limelight, ripe for any opportunist to take advantage of him. Before he has established values and boundaries for his life, he is pushed in an arena that’s waiting to define him. This is not only true about novices, but about anyone who doesn’t operate in integrity.
Don’t get me wrong, I love success. However, with success comes responsibility, and many people rise higher than their integrity can keep them. They can handle the glitz, glamour and doting of the fans, but they fail to realize that when they step into the limelight, society labels them role models. Whether they like it or not, their actions are dissected and scrutinized.
We have seen this repeatedly. Many men and women are talented in their fields, but their personal lives are in shambles. They can magnetize the crowds with their gifts, but repeated moral failures cause them to experience shame. The masses love them, but they refuse to deal with personal issues that are destroying their lives.
We can readily see this in the famous because their lives are exposed for the world to see, but not only is this true for the famous, it is true for all. I’m not saying that anyone is perfect, but with success comes responsibility. Therefore, if you decide to put on the banner of success, remember the backside of it reads personal responsibility. If you refuse to accept both sides, a lack of integrity awaits to escort you to a place of shame and humiliation.