A friend often quotes the Karate Kid by sayig “your focus needs focus!” Preparation is a matter of discipline, focus and grounding. We have to believe it will be better because the time spent to prepare.
Many times in Family Business we only have three choices, give up, give in or give it all you’ve got!
In many Christian faiths Lent is a season of preparation. As the economy, business picks up we need to be prepared. Groundwork, training, grounding, homework are all other words for preparation. It may seem difficult to take the time to prepare as one new project new project rolls in on top of the first.
Since high school, I have always tried to do something, rather than give something up. I understand that making sacrifices is important and helps us gain strength, but sometimes depriving yourself of chocolate only makes you grumpy, and then makes you feel guilty when you eat a chocolate chip.
Although giving up their favorite snack may be very beneficial for some people, I prefer to do more, improve, or if I’m going to give up something, I want it to be a bad habit, not the ice cream cone i get once or twice a month!
I’d like to think I am constantly trying to work on myself and striving to resolve my bad habits, but it’s far to easy to settle. A friend decided she was going to make a “Ten Commandments” list of things she wanted to do more or do differently in the next 40 days, and I was inspired by the idea.
I decided I’d share my list, and maybe the inspiration will continue, so here it is.
1. Write at least twice a week: I’ve missed writing. I’ve been doing this more already, but I truly enjoy sharing my struggles and insight. It helps me, and I hope it inspires others.
2. Pray and attend mass more often: I always get a lot out of mass when I go. I always find an excuse, but one hour of my week isn’t asking much. Truth is, I waste more than that on Facebook.
3. Try new things on campus: I am lucky to attend such a wonderful school with a wide variety of cultural experiences. After attending ballroom dance last week, I want to push myself to step out of my comfort zone and get a taste of more diverse experiences (and… they’re usually fun!)
4. Start a quote journal: You may have learned by now, but I’m obsessed with quotes. I attempted to do this Freshman year, and didn’t keep up with it. I’d really like to follow through this time, and be able to share it with my children some day.
5. Stop over-apologizing: This is where giving up can be beneficial. I’m constantly apologizing for things that are either not a big deal or are not my fault.
6. Accept the good and keep moving forward: A lot has changed recently, but overall the results have been rewarding. I’ve grown stronger and I really strive to not lose my hopeless romanticism and positivity. It’s easy to fall back and wonder about those “If/Then”s, but my life is full of blessings and remembering that is incredibly important.
7. Read more: I used to be such a Book Worm! I use not having enough time as an excuse, but, as I’ve found with running, if I manage my time wisely and its important to me, I can find the time! (I’d put running on the list, but it’s not something I plan on letting go of!)
8. Speak up (literally): If you know me personally, you know that I can be not only soft-spoken, but sometimes inaudible (oops!) I share this trait with several of my sisters, and it’s mostly a confidence issue. I’ve gained a lot of confidence, thanks to clinicals, but it’s still something that I’m caught doing far too often.
9. Send letters/Reconnect: Last time I was home, I read my Kairos letters and my heart was touched by all the amazing, loving people that have been apart of my life, and how long it has been since I’ve been in contact with many of those people. When recently buying cards for my friend’s birthdays, it made me realize how easy it is to pick up a card and send some good old fashioned snail mail. Who doesn’t love getting a letter in the mail from an old friend?
10. Embrace change, both good and bad, but don’t rely on it: I will continue to believe in change and it’s amazing ability to pick us up, bring us down, and put us back together, but it’s important not to resist change while waiting for old situations to work out, or hoping for others to change. I think most of us know that although things are constantly changing, we don’t always control the direction of the wind. We can take down the sails and wait, hoping that the winds will shift, or we can set sail and enjoy life as it comes. I’ve tried taking down the sails, and now it’s time let go of the ropes.
Our focus needs to be sharpened and we need to prepare for every new opportunity, but also for every hazard.