What Is…? Things you should know but maybe don’t.
So often in life, we assume that grown people know - or should know - better.
I think this is completely mad. My theory has played out innumerable times in my and other people’s lives that I know.
Unless someone teaches you, how do you know? And how can we possibly know what someone was or wasn’t taught?
But when we become adults, we often forget the cautionary reason why we should not assume.
It's alarmingly clear that many grown folks have not been taught how to learn, think, and manage their own lives, and that's not what family life or school typically produces.
And with the dangerous preoccupation and dependence on technology, seeking answers to life's most essential questions from Google, things will only worsen.
We don’t need Google; We need wisdom.
My mother used to say, “if you don't listen, you’ll feel!” and boy, did I ever.
“Ouch!” was often my later-in-life response to not listening, which seemed to be my Modus Operandi for too many years.
Another bankable piece of advice a friend gave me is, “if you don’t deal with something first - it will deal with you later.”
In other words, get ahead of the ball, stop coming from behind and take care of the things that matter most. Or you will find yourself dealing with a mess.
This presupposition works like a charm; I can attest to it. I spent much of my life digging my way out of messes and beseeching God. “Is this all my life will be God, a mop-up story?”
You may nod an “I feel you” agreement with my common refrains, “if only I had time, could catch a breath, or, when I get out from under this, I will… “
The school of hard knocks is a fantastic teacher. It has taught me an invaluable secret;
Time never presents the perfect moment for you, and you must make it.
If you don’t, you will never be able to catch a breath, get out from under, or find the time to become the person you were made to be and live life on purpose.
Seven years ago, I sat in my chock-full garage on the eve of my big Everything But the House Sale and announced that after seven weeks of sorting and purging, the light had come on - and I finally got it -
you have to make room in your life to live on purpose.
You would think that was a turning point for me, and I would do life differently.
Did it happen that way? Of course not.
And you know why?
Knowing something and applying the principle to your life are very different things.
Sure, habits, skills, and motivation play a part, and numerous leadership and personal development courses and neuroscience advocate their importance.
But it's not the whole story.
I just read an article in Psychology Today that confirms what the heart and soul of every person inherently knows; We need purpose and meaning to feel fulfilled.
Having more - including more knowledge and even better skills - doesn’t cut it.
None of this surprises God, who made it that way; Purpose is His homing device placed in each of us.
But how do we know what to do, when, and how to nurture a greater sense of purpose?
To attend to the things we are expected to know but might never have been taught.
That’s an essential lifelong question.
I’m still ‘Growing Up Again,’ and the principles I am learning to build my life upon are pieces in the foundation of a purpose-driven well-lived life that was missing for me.
Perhaps some of them are missing for you too?
I invite you to join me on the weekly blog, where I will share some of the What Is principles I have learned along the way.
Because as four famous lads from my hometown Liverpool said, we all need a little help from our friends.
It makes getting by so much sweeter.