Sanity. Ah, the Joys!

1 09 2013

Sanity EinsteinAlbert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Well.

The year is two-thirds over.  Autumn starts in three weeks.  Many of us laid out goals at the top of this year.  How are you doing in the attainment of yours?

One of the most important things one can do is take an honest inventory of one’s life and determine what works and what doesn’t.  What sorts of things are you doing, what kind of company are you keeping, what kinds of attitudes do you wear like clothes that may be bringing you closer to your goals in life?  Or are steering you farther away from hitting your potential as a human being, created in God’s image with a purpose?

Doing this takes courage because it usually means making adjustments, sometimes radical changes to keep the ship from the shoals.

It’s quite easy to let habit turn into routine.  Fair enough.  But often, routine can create a rut or even lead us into the ditch.  We get so accustomed to the bland, gray sameness of each day.  Our lives mirror the storyline of the motion picture Groundhog Day.  It is like a broken record and we are as stuck as the stylus.  Our potentials and abilities largely stymied.

Time for a change.  Change of job.  Change of location.  Change of peer groups.  Anything to break out of the black hole of stagnation.  It will take an effort to overcome the seductive and paralyzing narcotic of your comfort zone and its inertia.

Here are some tough and practical questions you must wrestle with if you desire sanity and growth:

  • With whom do you spend your discretionary time?  Companions can either make or mar a life.  We cannot stress strongly enough the importance of choosing friends carefully.  The best friends you have are those who have the effect of bringing you to a higher level by their presence.  Cultivate these.  And you must limit your involvements with pessimists, dream-killers and critics.  Their influence is hurting you.  It just is.
  • Are you using your gifts and abilities to their full potential?  This may be the time for a career change.  Some of us are bound by the “golden handcuffs” of a large salary and benefits package.  You really need to ask yourself if the pay and benefits outweigh that uneasy sense of not doing what you are best prepared to do.  Is earning a lot of money worth the feeling that you may be falling short of your ultimate design and purpose?  Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, when courting PepsiCo chairman John Sculley in 1983 asked the famous question “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want to change the world?”
  • Are you a lifelong learner?  My wife gave me a Kindle Fire® reader a few Christmases ago.  Along with a sizeable library that I recently downsized, I am using it to my advantage in this important area.  There are so many free books out there!  Are you seeking to learn something new every single day, to advance and to grow?  Or will you settle for mediocrity, falling short of the great call upon your life.

Here’s to growth, to change, to doing things differently going forward.  To sanity.  Ah, the joys!

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