from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Archive for the category “Life Lessons”

Life Lesson: If It Ain’t Broke, You Can Still Make It Better

English: A bored person

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” bears a lot of truth, but we shouldn’t use it to remain in the status quo. Just because something is still working doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon – made more efficient, more durable, more economical, or more interesting. It’s the only way to stay on top and ahead of the game.

 

I’m not advocating change for the sake of change…but then again I am in some situations. Take a church service for example. It’s probably the most predictable program format ever. While one church may slightly differ from another, it’s very easy to get stuck in a routine week after week. That goes for our daily lives too.

 

At the very least, change can bring an element of freshness to anything that has become routine. This is even more important today with our easily bored culture. So don’t wait til it breaks.

 

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Life Lesson: Busyness Does Not Have to be Chaotic

There are some people who just walk into a room and chaos erupts. This tends to happen because of the way they approach life and/or business. Being organized, having a plan, methodology, and workflow goes a long way toward a smooth running day, office, life.

Of course this is also a personality thing.  Some people just aren’t organized. Some people try to please everyone. Some people don’t think realistically when making promises or commitments. Some people thrive on chaos. Not me.

I’m a huge realist. I shoot straight about what I can do and how long it typically takes. I’m not going to purposely mislead you or promise you something that I haven’t thought through just to win your favor or business. That’s how I prefer to be treated by others. Don’t book me in an appointment that is already double or triple booked. Don’t tell me you’ll be able to do something in a few minutes when historically it takes an hour or longer.

Busy is good. Chaos is not. They are not one in the same. One does not have to result from the other. Understand I’m not talking about stretching yourself, learning new things, and taking on new challenges. Those things are necessary for growth. But be honest about it.

Before you make your next commitment, consider realistically your capability to fulfill that commitment. Don’t over-obligate yourself, your team, or your family and end up sending the situation into a tailspin and stressing everybody out.

 

Life Lesson: Rest is one of the most important things you can do

I’m not aware of scripture specifically telling us to get plenty of sleep, but we are told to:
“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
“keep alert with all perseverance,” – Ephesians 6:18
“Be sober-minded; be watchful.” – 1Peter 5:8
And there are others. It’s hard to hear God when you’re busy, busy, busy. It’s hard to be alert and watchful when you’re tired. Even Jesus slipped away for quiet time and rest.
It is a common practice of Satan to wear us out and wear us down in order to slip us up. Cult leaders know this well. It has long been a brainwashing tactic to deprive people of sleep and rest in order to fill their heads with the leader’s ideas.
Here”s a recent example from an article I just read by a middle-aged woman visiting a zen monastery  She described a schedule that allowed for much less sleep than she was accustomed to.
“I was so sleepy I was dizzy. I asked one of the practice leaders what was the point of the sleep deprivation. What was the wisdom in not being able to keep my eyes open when Zen practice is about endeavoring to wake up? He said that tiredness can help us to soften and let go where we might harden and grip if we were well-rested and comfortable, and thus ready with our usual defenses. Instead of falling asleep, we fall awake — opening to all that we experience because we’re too crazy tired to fight for our preferences.”
Don’t miss those key words and phrases. In other words, they wear you down through sleep deprivation until you can no longer think straight and hold on to your morals, convictions. You are too tired to fight for what you know to be true.
You don’t have to be taken in by a cult or go to a monastery to start compromising your beliefs. Life can do it to you before you know it.

Life Lesson: if you don’t stay on top of messes, they will stay on top of you

18/365 - Messy Bed

There’s a lot to be said for organization and processes. It may sound boring, but it sure can save you some grief down the road and leave more time for fun stuff.

I had this thought one morning while straightening our bed covers. I say straightening because the only time I fully make up the bed is when I change the covers. This particular morning I was straightening my husband’s mess because I had moved to couch during the night. My husband could care less about what the bed looks like, and I don’t believe he would bother straightening it up even if all the covers where on the floor. Let’s just say he destroys the bed during sleep.

So I’m re-tucking sheets, etc. thinking, “you know when he’s gone and I sleep by myself, I barely have to do anything. I sleep in the middle and hardly disrupt the bedding. Then for some reason I thought about work and offices and messy desks versus neat ones. A government regulator had been in the office that week for an inspection and commented on how neat and organized we were compared to competitors.

I have long had a reputation for a neat desk. Some people said it was because I didn’t do anything, but we’ll dismiss that misnomer. I have hectic times when the desk gets cluttered, but at the first opportunity (sometimes you have to make those opportunities) the desk gets cleared and everything put in its place.

Do things neat and orderly every day, and you won’t have a mess to straighten out later. Once you get under a mess, you may get lost there.

Life Lesson: sometimes God puts a slow vehicle in front of you for a reason

English: Slow moving morning traffic Crossing ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While driving to work this morning in the fog and rain, I ended up behind a van that I knew was not going to be moving at the speed I normally travel. I sighed rather strongly and then thought about the weather. “It’s probably best I don’t drive my normal speed today,” I said to myself.

It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last that I get behind a slow vehicle “for a reason.” The temptation is always there to pass them when one of those rare opportunities comes along on the winding, twisting roads I have to maneuver.

Sometimes I am smart enough to realize God probably put that slow poke in front of me to protect me from myself and my rush to get to my destination. Such is life. We may be headed in the right direction, doing all the right things, but moving just a little too fast for our own good. Danger along the way, or our inability to properly control things, or maybe the destination itself just isn’t ready for us.

Next time something slows you down and makes you go slower than you want, think twice before you try to bypass it. Maybe God is at work looking out for you.

Life Lesson: violently shaking things rarely untangles them

kitty vs clothes hanger

I was in a dressing room over the weekend trying to remove a hanger, covered with foam padding, from a turtle neck sweater. At one point I began to shake the two items (not violently in this case) to release them from each other’s custody. My thoughts quickly turned to all those times I have gotten frustrated with clothes hangers, cables, and such that just didn’t want to cooperate. I have a tendency to shake and sling at that point.

So I asked myself, does this ever work? Honestly it has, but only on rare occasions. Acting out of frustration and anger usually doesn’t offer favorable results. Only when I stop and look do I see that I need to move the item in the opposite direction to set it free. It’s only when we calm down and look at the situation rationally that the problem untangles.

Life Lesson: Heated seats don’t heat up until after you sit in them.

The last several vehicles I’ve had have had heated seats. It’s one of my requirements. One thing I’ve always noticed about them is, even when I crank my car and let it warm up, the heated seats are still cold. The heat can be blowing warm already, but nothing on the seats…until I sit in them. After that, they start heating up nicely.
I’ve often wondered why this is and have even researched it. I still don’t know the actual reason. I’ve read everything from a sensor in the seats, to idle voltage, or it just takes them longer to heat up. I just know no matter how long the car warms up, the seats don’t warm up until a few moments after I sit in them.
Why is this a life lesson? Much of life is like those heated car seats. Nothing effective happens until we sit down and take the wheel. What are you waiting on to start happening without taking the wheel?

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