There’s so many ways we can get advice. Sometimes it’s as simple as walking down the “self-help” aisle at the bookstore; sometimes it’s talking with a friend; sometimes it’s going to see a professional; sometimes it’s asking for some fatherly advice. And sometimes advice just comes when you don’t even expect it.
I’ve been coming to learn though that if you stay open, you can learn something from anyone at any time, without you asking or even knowing it. What I mean is that every conversation, experience, night out, or night in can offer you an opportunity to learn something. Maybe that person you met at that party talked about their life in a way that motivated you to do something awesome in your life. Or maybe watching the latest episode of Big Bang Theory taught you some cool thing that inspired you to start your own business. I know that I learn things from all these types of situations. Life lessons can come from left and right if we choose to perceive them as such. So often we go through life blind to the fact that every opportunity can be a chance to grow us up.
With that preface, I got schooled in a way that I never expected recently. It was through a sermon by Bishop T.D. Jakes. Now I’m not someone who goes to church, nor is this post about Christianity or the church at all. I have respect for all faiths and respect everybody’s beliefs. This post is about what I learned from my experience listening to him speak. You see, if I focused on the frame of how I was getting the lesson (i.e. church), then I would’ve lost sight of the full picture inside of it. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our labels that we believe this, and we don’t like that, and we only do it this way, that we forget there can be something learned from people who do it other ways and believe different things.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s easier to just label something as good or bad and move on with your life. If we had to make a conscious decision every time we wanted to judge something, we wouldn’t have time for our day-to-day lives. Just because someone doesn’t like or believe the same things you do, doesn’t negate their entire thought process. In fact, make your goal for the week to find the piece of truth that resonates with you from someone you don’t usually agree with. Take that and integrate it into your life. Then tell us any changes you experienced!
I digress though because this post is more than just seeing things with new eyes, it’s about those instances not giving up when you’re on your last leg. I got this so clearly when listening to Bishop T.D. Jakes’ sermon entitled “Don’t Drown in Shallow Waters.”
Bishop Jakes starts out saying that statistic that we’ve all heard before, which is that most accidents happen within close proximity of our homes. It may be a cliche statistic at that point, but it was put in a new light. Isn’t it interesting that we can withstand the long journey, but it can be those last couple blocks that are the most dangerous. We made it through the storm. We made it down the long, lonely stretches, but it’s those last few miles that are the hardest. Why is that?
Whenever we start something new or try to change something, we’re excited by the prospects. We’re hopeful (see The Power of Hope). We’re running on adrenaline. We have all these things that keep us going. But eventually those resources run out.
It’s the last hour of the drive that just seems to drag on. It’s those last 5 pounds that seem impossible to lose. You’ve seemingly plateaued and you’re on the last few steps that will get you to where you want to be. These are the hardest moments. You’re in the meat of your storm. This is it. You’re pushing. You’ve been pushing. You’re tired and exhausted. You don’t know if you could do it anymore. But I urge you to keep pushing.
You don’t realize how close you are to shore. You may feel like you’re fighting, but maybe all you need to do is realize that you just need to get up and walk to shore. You think that you’re still in the middle of the ocean, but you’re closer to the end than you think. You think you’re still hovering above the deep ocean, but really if you just stood up and owned where you were, you would realize that you’re in shallower waters. You just need to stand up and walk.
Replace the self-defeating thoughts with ones that uplift you. Instead of focusing on how hard the climb has been, focus on the rock you’re climbing now. Have you ever gone for a hike, looked back down and noticed how far you’ve come? It’s the same thing I’m talking about. Don’t negate how far you’ve come.
Have clear goals. Know what you want, and more importantly, know that it won’t necessarily be easy. And on your way to achieving those goals, recognize that you may start out joyous, hopeful, and gaining momentum. But that may fade, and you’re going to be left with your why. Why did you want to lose weight? Why did you want a career change? What is your why power as Darren Hardy put it in his book The Compound Effect. Your why will keep you going during the mundane, laborious, daily tasks that are necessary to create the change you want. What makes it so difficult is that you are in the heart of the change you are reaching for. It may seem difficult, but you’re closer than you think. This is not the time to give. It’s the time to rise up. You’re almost at shore.
- The Power of Hope
- 3 Things To Understand Before Starting Therapy
- Affirm how far you’ve come!
- How do you know when it’s time to make a change?
- Perception is reality: Understanding other points of view
- The Compound Effect: How Your Daily Choices Affect Your Life – Part 1!
- The Compound Effect: How Your Daily Choices Affect Your Life – Part 2!
Rubin Khoddam, Clinical Psychology PhD student at University of Southern California, founder of Psych Connection.
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Categories: Blogs by Rubin