Someone said that death is never a great tragedy as much as what dies in you while you are yet alive.
In my reflective moments when I look into the future and back, seeking to align my present actions with the future I desire, I see the great pictures of success as well as possibilities of abysmal failures.
Thinking about reaching a later date in my life and feeling like a failure is something that makes me cringe with fear.
It is what I consider the great tragedy of life. It’s a grieve that wraps itself around your soul when your life plays out before you and you realize the compromises, the comfort zone we chose not to stretch beyond and what would have happened if only we strived a bit more.
The ability to develop long term perspective is a blessing in disguise because you begin to see that every day matters, every action counts, that life operates the law of compound effect and that you should live everyday like it’s going to be the last.
Sincerely it hasn’t all been a success streak, living the ideal life I know I should be living. It’s a daily war. But when I think about the future, avoiding these 7 kind of days helps me to maintain perspective.
1. The day I stop thirsting for more
Life is a never ending process of becoming. There is no touch point where we can consider that we have arrived, relax and then coast along hereafter.
Whether in your academics, walk with God, career, business or relationships, ensure your desire for more never dies. You must do all you can to keep burning, the fire of hunger, purity, ambition, desire, intimacy.
Have you stop dreaming, setting new goals, challenging yourself to develop more depth spiritually and character-wise? Then today is the day to strengthen your weak knees and give life all you have got again. Never forget, you were made for more, don’t settle for less.
2. The day I stop pursuing virtue
Of all the aspirations we set our hearts upon in life, none holds a candle to the maturity of our soul. You must consider it important because it actually is.
What profits a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Of what gain is wealth when there is no fulfilment and inner peace.
The recent death of Robin Williams has forced me to see the limitations of fame and fortune to produce inner peace and fulfilment in a man’s soul. The man who labored to make others laugh took his own life. Truth is that it can happen to the best of us. The lesson is that we must learn to care for our soul.
Genuine prosperity is a prosperity of the soul and it begins with the pursuit of virtue no matter how challenging it is to attain it.
C S Lewis wrote,
“For any happiness, even in this world, quite a lot of restraint is going to be necessary; so the claim made by every desire, when it is strong, to be healthy and reasonable, counts for nothing. Every sane and civilized man must have some set of principles by which he chooses to reject some of his desires and to permit others.”
3. The day I look upon adversity as a curse
How wise to always understand that our afflictions are momentary and if we allow them, they can do in us a far greater work than the pain we have to endure. Good work such as perseverance, steadfastness, courage is usually developed in the soul through adversity.
You are never guaranteed that the sun will always be bright but you can carry your own weather around you.
Adversity is never a curse when our attitude is right. It is not what happens to you but your interpretation of it that defines your destiny. Two men looked out of a prison bar, while one saw the mud, the other saw the stars.
We will all face the test of adversity and its goal is to make you better and stronger. Even if you are currently crumbling under its weight, focus on the victory for your situation is temporary. Say to yourself – this too shall pass and it must leave me better not worse.
Keep this in mind – someone, someday will need your story of victory. Hang in there. Don’t give up.
4. The day I start creating problems in people’s lives
You must consciously choose to be remembered for your contribution and not your consumption or destruction. Some people leave people worse than they found them, some leave them better. Be of the latter kind.
It will be a sad day for someone to remember you in their sober moments and wish they never met you. Beyond that, there is no reward in passivity where you are not adding value. Always seek to be a blessing, an asset and a reference point in people’s destinies.
5. The day I start trivializing correction and discipline
Our generation is witnessing the worst that can come from a lack of accountability, where people refuse to be governed by principles. Our passions are never a reliable compass to navigate life. They usually set us at tangent from our destined course.
I often have to remind myself that there is no holiday in character growth and that yesterday’s virtue is never an excuse for today’s indulgence.
We must be humble enough to embrace correction and discipline. Becoming a law unto ourselves, choosing to live according to our whims is a flagrant display of pride.
6. The day I see failure as fatal and final
Zig Ziglar said,
“Failure is an event and not a person.”
The only guarantee that you will not fail is to attempt nothing and that in itself, is the greatest form of failure.
The Bible says, “A righteous man may fall seven times and rise again.” It means that in your pursuit of anything worthwhile in life, you will have your fair share of failures but your virtue lies in rising again.
Even in your pursuit of virtue, you will often fall short of your standards before you make significant progress. The real failure is when we use a fall as an opportunity to wallow in the mud. See your failures as a slip – short lapse in progress. Then rise again with greater commitment for failure does nurture perseverance in the soul depending on your interpretation.
As long as you are willing to fight again, you will make it. Stop wallowing in self-pity.
7. The day I stop acknowledging my source
I have seen the limitation of my humanity and I’m learning to lean on the arms of God in my moments of strength and especially in my moments of weakness.
I fear the day I stop recognizing his sovereignty and that it is at his discretion that men are made great and given strength.
Humility will always make you realize that you have been helped and that there is nothing that you have that you have not been given. You can make things happen because you have breath and your maker gives that to you. Always be grateful to him for all that you were, are and will be.
He brings all who acknowledge him into the realization of his good plans them.