Tracks In The Dust

Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Doubt”

Perfection

Life is Very ShortEasily it can be said that we will never achieve perfection. As humans it is not in our DNA. Nor should it be.

We will strive for it.

We will find ourselves constantly falling short.

We will measure ourselves by what someone else may expect us to be. Or perhaps we may measure ourselves on our own perspectives of what we think we should be.

But in the end- we will fall short.

It is what you do with that will become part of your self-realization, It will be the context in which you are able to live your life. You can choose to measure yourself to perfection, and in some ways that is a good thing. It is the motivator by which we can create our standards to live by. But if we are delusional in using that to apply to the adage that “winning is everything” we may find ourselves in a place that is hard to maintain.

We are rewarded often in our lives for working hard to strive for things. We want to avoid failure, We do not want to be seen as weak or unable to perform to the standards in which we are expected. In our families, in school, at work in our relationships we are always trying to measure up. Accepting that perfection will not happen does not make you mediocre. It makes you human.

We know that we were made imperfect. As humans God has made us that way to allow us to be – well – human. Perfection would be reserved for only one, and He left this earth centuries ago.

So a first step in making your life happier is to accept imperfection. Be sure that you strive for things, but be honest that things will get in your way and no matter how you work it…. you will fall short.

 

Paper or Plastic?

Does it all come down to that? Sometimes it feels like it. Asking the question what kind of grocery bags you want at the store.Here in the US some stores give you the option. And you have to “call it”. Paper or Plastic.

Paper or Plastic

Do you weigh out the environment and be a responsible consumer? Maybe where you live you aren’t even given the choice ( thanks Austin, Texas and other points west). Some communities have already outlawed plastic, others expect you to bring your own bags with you. ( and I have noticed a lot of them are just a different version of plastic).

But that’s not my point I guess. Paper or plastic kind of reflects on other things. Maybe how you see yourself? How you fit in the solution.

I mean those plastic bags only hold so much, a few things and on to the next bag. They are fast to peel off the stack of hundreds and are neatly stacked to be opened as you pull them off. Mass produced. Opaque and crunchy.  They often find themselves lining the next small wastepaper basket,or carrying some gross thing from your favorite pet in its afterlife. Are you a plastic? or maybe you are a paper?

Paper bags. Bags like these have been around for decades to “sack-groceries.”  Those brown containers with little chips of pulp. Many have handles to help better grasp them for even more utility. Square with room for plenty, but be careful of the weight. Of course rather than another bag you can always double bag.  And they are bio-degrade-able (which sounds so environmentally conscious).  If they get wet they can tear, if they survive they can be used for wrapping books or drawing on, making a kite or… just going in the trash or recycle bin to have another shot at life.

SO, are you a “paper” or “plastic” person when given the choice?

Wonder what the choice says about you? Or then maybe you bring your own bag… and that’s another kind of you all together?

Why Don’t We Ask More Questions

Advice I give my kids isn’t always followed, but I keep trying. Hoping they keep listening. One advice I have gave them is to “ask questions”.

Where is the Love Question-mark

Today it feels like we are always living with ‘sound bytes’. Short little sentences that say lots but really don’t mean much. Maybe that’s what really motivates a lot of people today when you get in conversations with them. When you ask for information about something, short answers. Sometimes ( maybe often) incomplete. The answer is the answer for your question, it isn’t a lie… but it is missing things. Things they know and you don’t.

Now you can accept the answer, you can decide it is all you are going to get- or it is all you need to know. Many times that’s just fine. I mean if you call an ice cream store and ask them if they have vanilla ice cream, they can answer yes or no (or maybe perhaps).  If you are good with that- now you can go to get vanilla.

What they might not tell you is that there is French vanilla, or vanilla with vanilla beans, or vanilla with chocolate sprinkles. Do you care?  Perhaps not.

But when there are important decisions to make in your life, things that could improve it, or help avoid otherwise painful situations, or take you on a new direction you may otherwise have not experienced. Then you should be prepared to ask more questions, be more clear about the opportunity or the path ahead.

But ironically, in those situations many times I find myself and those around me asking just the simple questions, getting the sound bite answers, and moving on. Often things that could be meaningful are left unsaid. It’s not that the other people are withholding information, they just aren’t thinking you need to know- or want to know.

So that’s what I have learned in my old age: Follow up questions and answers with more questions. And it pays to LISTEN to the answer. It will provide you the fodder for the next question. Without you may be  missing the opportunity, you may be missing a chance to better understand the choices, or better understand your fellow-man.

Simple as that. Yet with short 145 character sensibilities these days, with text message approaches to conversational English and people with so much input that short answers seem desirable- it feels like there is a lot things missing.

Not getting the whole answer feels like it happens a lot more often these days. It isn’t intentional. It is just “fill in the blank approach” to things.  So that’s my advice to my family. Ask the questions you need and follow-up with more questions. Be sure you know the course. A lot of times once you do  you realize there are people who want to provide more, and make your life better in the cause of it .

I like vanilla ice cream. I like to know all the flavors of vanilla, do they have toppings, can they put it in a cone, can they make it into a shake? Not sure. But always good to know the options. Of course there are more important things than that to know on our journey. Right?

Good Parent/Bad Parent

Easy to read all of the comments these days about how parents are treating their kids.

Begining and End

The Internet and media are full of news about parents who have done “bad” things to their kids. Some of them life threatening, some of them much more subtle but damaging. As a parent the obvious conclusion is to compare and be sure that you are not one of those parents who damaged their kids futures from some sort of neglect. Who put them through hell during their childhood so that they would never be good kids or worse yet good adults when they grew up?

Always seems like someone has the best idea:  ” Spare the rod spoil the child.” “Teach the kids to be independent.” “Tell them how it really is.” “Make sure they understand that everything has consequences.” Or maybe for some they teach them ” there is always a way to get out of something.”

With so many influences outside a parents control- getting that fundamental core values have to be taught earlier and earlier. There is no shelter from the influences that are available today for kids in every age level.

So what are my wife and I ? Good parents? Bad ones?

I know I have my days where I guess I am pretty good. My kids have their own problems… did I dump them on them or did they collect their situations and predicaments all by them selves?

There are regrets as a parent, but overall you have to make the best of it. Some parents have much more success, while others seem to be constantly frustrated by their children- and cannot see why they had anything to do with it.

So I am guessing that is the fate of parents in general. They didn’t come with an owners manual when they arrived. Other than medical or convictions as reasons that they may not come to be; there are very few rules stopping someone from having one, even if they have very little experience or life lessons to reflect upon.   Yup, no license to be a parent, no manuals, no permissions to be obtained.  We parents have a lot of responsibility, but that is seldom accounted for as much until the day they are born… handed to you and you become a “parent” …. then the debate begins.

I love my kids (all 4 of them) and hope that they don’t blame us too much for the way they turned out. When they are doing good, we think that we did pretty good raising them; they think they did it all themselves. When they are doing poorly, we think it must have been some other reason than us; they think that it’s all their parents fault.

Either way – most of us do the best we can it seems.

Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt

FearFear, uncertainty and doubt. The FUD factor.

It is really the basis for a lot of decisions in our life. It plays on us – chips away at the confidence of a decision. It can influence the paths we take, the things we say, the attempts we make on the important things we do and the trivial things.

Recognizing it is part of the challenge. Some times our brave selves, our fearless selves get in the way and can let us go ahead with a bad idea as well. It is a great equalizer.

Even those people who you know who seem fearless, who tread ahead without regard for the outcome. They have their own fears and doubts. Even they are uncertain at times. Quietly they may approach some things that others are amazed. But there are deep-seated fears there.

Fear, uncertainty and doubt. It can rule you or you can adjust. You can have trust where you didn’t before, You can look at things in a different way, you can step out of your comfort zone and prove something to yourself. If there are failures, looking at them as short-term set backs may be right. Taking another whack at things isn’t out of the question many times. You can convince yourself there is no 2nd chance. But that is possibly FUD happening again.

So let’s face it :) there are many obstacles in your way. Creating more isn’t a good idea. I am working on over coming my FUD factors – it is something that is going to take constant reminding – starting from ME. Remembering that HE is there for me always. Taking the time to make the time to be ready. 

Now how about you? It starts with you.

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