Living your life in your own way
I was asked by an old school friend that I used to play soccer and other activities with. This will not be a technical blog like others but a "life blog article" where I look at who I am as a person, husband, and a person on this planet we call Earth. Like most we've grown apart due to distance, time, and having different lives. This doesn't mean that we can't help each other. This past week a core value that I call "Rule #1" came into full affect that made me angry, upset, and ready to do things I did as an adolescent when I lived back in Chesterton Indiana. This wouldn't be a big deal for most as it wouldn't be a truly big deal but when one makes a life altering change you don't want to revert back to that. One item I've always done is sleep on every decision before acting. This time, like every other time, has helped me. Let's see what I wrote to my friend as well as a bit more detail on it.
First, I am nowhere near perfect, far from it, and I know I will lie (not intentionally though). I know as a kid I did but that was to get out of trouble I put myself in (still not a good excuse). My focus which started around seven years ago was when I noticed several lies happening around me. I won't get into them as they are not worth my time to talk about and not worth your brain cells to use. Just know they were pure lies and caused a person (me) to re-think everything about life. This one lie which was a culmination of several taught me there are people that will do anything to get ahead in life rather than working and putting all their energy in it for it. I just had to change the way my life was and it came to a personal decision. I wanted my life to be better than what it was at the time (circa 2010). It was a slow destruction of who I was at my core and I realized at that exact moment the only person that could fix my life was myself.
Knowing I am not perfect I can still strive for perfection. I always tell people that "I am perfect"... "at being imperfect". So, I created what I call "Rule #1" which consists of "No lying". That's it. So simple yet so hard at the same time. My first year I never realized how much un-truth I spoke on daily. Much of it being to try not to hurt another's feelings, covering up for something I shouldn't be covering up, etc. By not lying everything that is not the truth falls into it.
What is rule #1 in a nutshell?
- Any type of cheating is a lie
- Not volunteering all information for an informed decision is a lie
- Not doing your personal best is a lie (to yourself)
- Lying flat out is obviously a lie
Basically, the way I look at it is I took all ten commandments (waiting for lightning to strike) and simplified it to two words (four if you count Rule #1 No Lying). Everyone I know strives to be better. I made my own rule to try and make my life the way I wanted it to be.
Every week I look back at the previous week I just lived through and see where I can improve my interactions with others. This past week after I slept on the most grievous lie I have had in the past seven years hurt hard. It felt like a heart attack and reached in and sucked out my soul. It taught me several key items that after sleeping on it made me realize how important this one rule is to my life. It's a personal challenge to make myself better each day which is what many of us try to do without truly realizing it. I am just making a very conscious effort to achieve it. I personally push to be 100% committed to improve each day and knowing I will fail at times means I am only human and must constantly improve. By going in knowing I will falter I am better prepared to fix it when I do. Some say I break my own rule #1 at times and it is true that I do. Not because I meant to but because I made a mistake. The key for me is to acknowledge and own the failure, fix it, and move forward.
A key to all of this was a conversation I had with Holly, my wife, about this situation months before. Her guidance is always important, and is a core part of what I do daily. This time though I listened but still went where I thought the better choice was. This hindsight as you can most certainly have guessed from the writing was incorrect on my part. I should have put more weight on it than I did. That was one of the lessons I learned from this. Those that are in your "inner circle" know a lot about you, more than you might realize, and their guidance needs to hold a lot higher value than what you might normally give.
Everything I have done is just a personal decision for myself. I have the constant realization that I am not perfect (which I truly hate as I do strive for it). I also know that I will not be on this planet forever (I do keep trying though to achieve it). By living my life, the best that I can I hope to make others' lives better due to my making my life better. I can only control my own destiny and no matter how much I might see of other individuals making a mistake (in my opinion) those are choices they make within their lives.
Out of all I learned this week I have realized I still am nowhere close to where I need to be. I need to double down, listen more to those around me, and continue to live my life the best that I possibly can knowing that my efforts will make my life better, and those around me better just by my living my life in an honest way.