Tag Archives: Motivation

A Thought on Missing One Now and Then…

Over the last month, I’ve been taking some time to recharge, but it’s been more than that.  Actually, it’s been more of a reset.  I’ve had to take some time away in order to reset my priorities, and to regain a proper perspective.  In what way, you may be asking, and the truth is in almost every way. Somehow I let my priorities get out of whack, and I didn’t even realize how out of whack they really were at first.  I hate admitting this but it is what it is.  Sometimes it’s not the “what” that gets you in trouble, but the “why.”

I don’t know about you, but if there’s a way I can get into trouble, I’m going to.  I can only imagine where I’d be if I was intentional about getting into trouble, and it’s only by the grace of God that I’ve never gotten what I fully deserve.  What’s so frustrating for me is that I have a rare talent in that even when I’m trying to do the right thing, I can still mess up.  I can’t remember where I saw it, or maybe I heard it….but it goes something like this, “It’s not enough to say or do the right thing, you’ve got to say and do it for the right reason.”  And, that’s even if you get the right result, or even a good result.

On a good day, I can maybe hit two out of three, or even three out of five, but as sure as I’m writing this, I’m going to miss something somewhere.  Now in case, you’re wondering where I’m going with this, it’s here, and I mean this in the kindest way: what I just said about me is equally true for you.  Nobody gets it right each and every time.  Even the highest, most professional of people, miss one every now and then.

And like them, when I miss as I sometimes do, grace is there to bridge the gap… No amount of human effort or skill can build a perfect bridge, can close every gap….I don’t know much, but I know that….and I also know the one who can.

Finding my Motivation

     I left off with saying I’ll try not to make the next post so long, so here goes, but remember, you’ve already experienced one digression.  Anyway, I left off saying I’d lived the first half of my life pretty much for myself, but that I wanted to spend the second half trying to do something good with it.  Sharing my experiences on a blog may be a small thing to a lot of people, but when I said it’s a beginning, it is.  A new beginning, one in which I do have a direction, a purpose, and a strong and sincere desire to make my life mean something to somebody besides myself.

     How does that translate to writing a blog?  It does so in the hope that what I write here might make a difference in somebody’s life. A poem by the poet Emily Dickinson entitled  Not In Vain may seem a little hokey, but I like it’s sentiment.  I know what it is to live for oneself, to think only of oneself, to want only what brings me enjoyment, and makes me feel good.  What I don’t have as much experience with is putting myself last instead of first.  That’s not to say I don’t have any, but I certainly feel like the balance scale in my life is weighed down more by the weight of me instead of others.  I’d like at the conclusion of my life for it to be more balanced.

     So now you know what the motivation is.  The desire to maybe help someone.  I’m sure for a lot of people the desire to help people is nothing new, and even expected, but for a majority of the years I’ve lived, I’ve known a greater number of people who looked out for themselves rather than others.  Over the last 12 years I’ve changed a great deal; consequently, that’s the same amout of time I’ve been married to my wife.  It’s possible there’s some revelance in that, and I’ll let you determine for yourself just how much you think there is.  I can tell you that marriage and children, and growing older does tend to change one’s perspective, and one’s priorities. 

     I’ll tell you something else, too.  My beliefs have changed over the years.  It’s funny, and sometimes not so funny, how much life can change not only how one thinks, but in what one thinks about.   Something else that has affected my view is the world around me, and I don’t like what I see.  I can’t deny that I was part of what I see now as a problem, but those days are over.  Mahatma Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  I can see some truth in that, but I think there’s more to it.   I know I don’t have the power to change other people, and to be honest, I don’t really think that people are truly capable of changing everything in their lives by themselves. 

      For years I tried to change the way I lived; notice the word years.  To go into all that I did and was into is just more than I want to go into right now.  Remember, I said I’d make this blog shorter than the first one.  Just suffice it to say I knew more about vice than virtue, and so did a lot of my friends.  Most of those people are long gone, and yet I’m still here.  I tried to change, tried to quit, and I did, over and over again.  It was like putting on a different set of clothes everyday, my appearance changed, but what was on the inside didn’t.  My life was like a kid trying to set a record for the most times riding the same roller-coaster; I’d be on top every once in awhile, but never for very long. 

     I guess you could say I was trying to save myself.  When that didn’t work I looked for someone else to save me.  Twice I married people that I thought could save me.  I’m twice divorced.  You don’t have to work for NASA to figure it out.   Simply put, even the best people, get tired of lies, manipulation, and being used.  Don’t expect to stay in a relationship long if you do this to people because you won’t.  In short, I did everything I could, and the people around me did everything they could, and it wasn’t enough.  I knew I wanted to change, had to change,  if I wanted to live. 

      Ever been in a place that’s totally dark, pitch black, and you’re alone?  You don’t know where to go, or which way is out, and screaming doesn’t help?  That’s as close as I can come to what it feels like to live without hope.  You think there’s anything worse than death?  Try living without hope.  You’ve seen the title for my blog.  You’ll have to keep reading to find out how I got from there to here, and I believe that’s what fiction writer’s call a tease.

Life Of The Believer

     I’ve debated about what to call my blog, and tossed around some different ideas, but I keep coming back to this one.  Mainly because it’s what I want to write about, that is my life and what I believe.  You may be asking yourself what is it that I believe, and as you read these pages you’ll find out, but first I’d like to tell you why I’ve decided to write this blog.  You know that motivation is everything, and too often, I think that people fail to look at a person’s motivation when evaluating what someone does.  People, I think, tend to take things at face value rather than looking deeper, and I think that’s one of the reasons why people are so easily deceived.

     There comes a time in everyone’s life, especially when they’re older, and perhaps wiser, that they start looking back at their lives and evaluating what they’ve done with them, and, for me, that time is now.  I’m a little dismayed that it’s taken me so long  to start that process but nonetheless it’s started.  One thing that’s remained a constant in my life is the fact that I’ve always been a late bloomer, always coming to things a little late.  That goes for the rate of my maturity and my realizations concerning the life I live.  Better late than never though, right?  If nothing else, at least, you can take comfort in knowing that there’s someone else in this world like you, if you happen to be like me, and feel like you’re always a little behind.

     If you’ve read my profile, you know that I’m 49 years old, and if statistics are any kind of measurement at all, that means I’ve already lived over half of my life.  Fine time to start having revelations about one’s life, huh?  Could be worse, I could be 59 or 69, and I won’t go any further because then I think I’d be forced to admit that I’m not just slow, but perhaps something else.  I’ll let you fill in the blank.  Judging from what I’ve read on the internet and who you are that could be a wide range of things, but I’ve learned that one thing I can’t control in life is what people think of me, and how they respond to me.  Hopefully, you learned that before I did.

     Anyway, in looking back, and having a lot to look back upon, I have come to a few conclusions.  It’s rare that I ever come to one because I have a tendency to overthink things, and, more often than not, I’m the guy in Wal-Mart walking through the store holding an item for 30 to 45 minutes debating on whether I want to purchase it or not.  You guessed it, didn’t you?  9 out of 10 times I leave the store without it.  It drives my wife crazy as you can imagine.  She has helped me with this though in her own unique way by making it harder for me by simply grabbing whatever it is I’m debating about, and taking it away from me and not letting me put it back.  Being forced to pay for stuff I’m not sure of has simplified my life by giving me two options which are either being more decisive or shopping by myself.   I’m sorry to have made you read through this, but it was such a wonderful opportunity to score points with my wife that I couldn’t pass it up.  If you’re married you understand why I mentioned the benefit of being married to this awesome woman.  If you’re not, and you get married some day in the future, you will.

     Sorry for the digression, but you may as well find out now that I do this from time to time.   This, too, drives my wife crazy, but after twelve years of happy married life I’ve quit worrying about her sanity.  I still worry about mine, but not hers which leads me to one of the conclusions I’ve come to, and it’s this; married life to the right woman is about as close to heaven as I’m ever going to experience here on earth.  Another conclusion is that a bad marriage is the same thing only it’s in the opposite direction, and I know this, as I know everything else, by experience.  Another conclusion, and by far the most painful, is that at 49 I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot of distance between the man I envisioned myself being as a young boy and the man I am today. 

     As in most things, the failures and successes of my life have been a mixture of bad decision making, and circumstances of over which I had no control.  In other words, life happened.  Ready for another conclusion; if you lead life without any kind of direction it’s a certainity that you won’t get anywhere.  Even for those who do it’s not easy but, as anyone who’s ever driven to an unknown destination knows, it’s a little easier when you know where you’re going.  Still, there’s always hope, and never is life all bad or good, at least it’s been that way for me.  Seldom does anyone’s life ever turn out to be everything one may have dreamed, but neither is it the nightmare it could always be.  All the above is to say simply this, though my life hasn’t been all that I wanted it to be, it’s been good in many ways. 

     Still, there are things I regret, periods of time in which I failed myself, and others miserably.  I made serious mistakes which impacted my life, and the lives of others.  It’s one thing to pay for one’s mistakes, but it’s a terrible thing when the ones you love most are the ones who pay.  It’s my hope that you won’t ever experience this, but if you have you’re not alone.  I’d like to tell you that I’ve made amends for all those things I did, and that there’s been reconciliation and forgiveness, and in some cases there has been, but not in all.  I can’t go back, and you can’t either, and it’s a fact that we can only go forward in life.  Well, that’s not wholly true; you can live in the past in your mind and heart.  You can even stand still, refuse to move forward, but I don’t recommend either one.

     By now you’re probably wondering what all this is leading to, and it’s this.  My motivation for writing.  I’ve spent the better part of my life living for myself, but I’ve concluded I don’t want to spend the rest of it the same way.  I want to know that at least with a part of my life I did something good with it.  Maybe sharing experiences in this way isn’t the best way, but it’s a beginning.  If you’ve read this far perhaps you’ll go a little further, and I’ll try not to make the  next one so long.