Imagine having a dream about attending your own funeral. You see the people come in. You hear the music. Then you see someone get up to speak. The speaker says, “I can sum up this person’s life in just one sentence.” You lean in, anxious to her what they’re going to say about you. After a long pause, the speaker says, “They were…” But before they finish the sentence you wake up. As you sit up in bed, the one thing you want to know is…How did they finish the sentence? How did they fill in the blank?
Remember when you were a kid and your parents told you to do something you didn’t want to do? Maybe it was to clean up your room, or to take a bath, or to do your homework. Whatever it was, you just didn’t want to do it.
So what would you do? You would stall. You would “forget.” You would try to get around it. Maybe you would even feel a surge of independence and say, “I don’t want to!” To which your parent would say something like, “I don’t care if you don’t want to. Do it anyway!” And you would wind up having to do it, but you would tell yourself, “When I become an adult, I won’t do things I don’t want to do!”
It’s true that some people seem more naturally thankful than others. But giving thanks is something at which you can practice and get better.
When I got back home, I took off my shoes and socks and headed for the shower. Then it happened…
I stepped in cat puke. In my bare feet! I was stunned. I remember thinking, “This can’t be what I think it is!” I stood there like a statute with one foot in the air, wondering, “How do I get to the paper towels in the kitchen without tracking this from room to room?” Then I thought, “This isn’t even my cat!” (We were cat sitting at the time.)
Maybe you have some hooks in your home. They may be on a door or on a wall. They may be in a bathroom or a utility room. But wherever they are, they’re a place to hang things that you don’t want to put away, because you’re going to need them.
I know life is too complex to be reduced to a few bullet points of simple advice. That kind of thing usually bothers me. But sometimes you just need something quick and simple to hold on to. So here are a few bullet points for life that will help you change your thinking and take some pressure off…
Discontentment is a powerful motivator. JFK used discontentment to help our country put a man on the moon. Advertising uses discontentment to convince us that what we have is not good enough. Spouses use discontentment to either improve their marriage or end their marriage.
We all want to be successful, whether it’s in business, raising kids, or marriage. We often hesitate to do something if we’re not sure it’s the “right” thing to do, because we equate unsuccessful attempts with failure.
When you equate unsuccessful attempts with failure, then you play it safe. You shy way from trying new and different things so as to not fail. The end result is that your life and your options become more constricted and you become less free.