Friday, May 13, 2011

DAY ELEVEN: 30 Days to a No-Regrets Life

DAY 11: In this chapter, the authors compare the study with mountains; like climbing Mt. Everest, persistence and different types of “mountains” in life. I am on the fence regarding how I feel about the perspective. Of course, I am influenced by personal experiences.
I know they are not wanting us to miss the point and focus on mountain climbers, but it brings a turd to the table. I am all about determination but I think sometimes people can go overboard. However, I cannot hear another person’s calling, so who am I to say that one should NOT try and accomplish a personal goal even if it causes pain to another or others?
The author speaks of his admiration for one who climbs Mt. Everest and “risks it all.” That’s the part where I get a little lost. If the climber is a single person with no family, then I agree. However, if he has a family at home … I’m not so sure I do. I see that in a different light. Since we are talking about what matters in life, I see this as a topic that matters. (Had a little personal experience to validate my argument, just give me a moment.)
Example: If a man or woman is in the military, then gets married, it was an understood situation that the other spouse will be on his/her own and the soldier will be leaving, risking his/her life and may not come back. That person has a commitment to the country and its safety. In the case of climbing a mountain (or something similar … pursuing other careers/personal goals) and all of the time the climber must invest, I am not following the big picture other than a self goal. Yes, I admire someone’s commitment and endurance, but somehow I see sadness in the family at home. The way I see it, is if you place something like that in front of your family, at the end of the day, what do you have? So many people sacrifice time with people who matter to accomplish goals that will not sustain them in later years. In other words, one must be happy with a title of success in the eyes of the world. If it was at the expense of his/her family, then that person will have to be fulfilled with holding awards, newspaper articles and such for the remainder of his/her days. Living off fumes of what he/she did. It has to be looked at closely to make sure it is “success” in the big picture. As I once heard the wife of an avid golfer (AKA: golfing widow) say, “He’s a very good golfer and he loves it … but we never see him. Sometimes, failure can be succeeding at something that does not matter.”
The wife and kids quietly smile and bite their tongues as the golfing world brags on what a good golfer the husband/father is. The silently think, “We are glad he is good at that …” (That can apply to countless things, not trying to pick on the golfers.) Perspective changes a lot.
Anyway, on to the lesson …
It says that there are 3 mountains in life that generally prevent unity in relationships.
1.       The mountain of misunderstanding. In the beginning of most relationships everything seems so positive … UNTIL we disagree. We THINK we share an entire view with a person because we had connected on something else. After conflict surfaces, we realize we don’t think alike AT ALL. We cannot read minds, but must expect differences of opinions.
2.     The “me 1st” attitude mountain. This leaves the other person in the dust of us. A prime example is a child calling ‘shotgun’ when its time to get in the car.
3.     The mountain of mistakes is the most deadly. We stack up all of the mistakes until they become a mountain that cannot be torn down or climbed.
Look at these mountains, know they exist and be ready to ascend even though it is a climb. We have to have willingness to pour ourselves into those we love, motivate them to stay on the trail with us and empower them to persevere after we are no longer with them.
“Relationships are not for wimps.”

The next parallel is about the rope a climber uses to secure him if he slips so he does not crash to the ground. We have to connect to the rope of acceptance. (**Personal struggle alert here for Kasi**)
“Accept one another as Christ accepted you in order to bring praise to God.” Romans 15:7
We are always trying to change people and make them agree with us or see things as we do. To accept others means stop trying to change them and start trying to understand them. We have to accept people the way they are, work on our own issues and trust God to deal with the other people.
The question my girls and I discussed was. “Do you tell others how you feel more than you show them, or do you show them more than you tell?” Psychologists say we tend to favor one over the other. We are challenged to try and do the opposite.
19 more days,

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