It may come out of nowhere or we may have foreseen it when it was just starting. But no matter how they announce their arrival, problems are always unscheduled and unwelcome.
It can really, really be upsetting for someone who tries hard to do the right things, in the right way, and be responsible for every thing, only to be blindsided by a problem caused by another who seems to be and do the opposite. And it is even more frustrating when the person who brought the problem cannot do anything to solve it, but the problem's consequences affect more than that person, involving us and/or our loved ones.
We can feel trapped but forced to resolve the problem we have tried to avoid all our lives. Because some people make bad decisions, maybe because of ignorance or hardheadedness, we face unpleasant situations that could have been avoided if only people think and act like responsible people do.
At this time, it is very easy to get angry, blame people who cause and bring problems, and hold them responsible for as long as we like. However, this Lifehack article gives a very enlightening message about responsibility and blame. Losing our temper, saying hurtful things, and doing some retaliatory acts will never be good solutions.
Everyone messes up, at one time or another, including us, no matter how hard we try to do right. Five, maybe ten years from now, the problem caused by somebody else may be insignificant, and could have even resulted in some good. But broken relationships will be harder to repair. So, let us be more levelheaded, compassionate and forgiving.
But some may counter that we risk being taken advantaged of, people not really striving to be better, because they know that we will just be forgiving them, certainly there must be a limit to this! That may be true, but some things we can control, others we cannot. So, how many times will we forgive? Seven times? "No, not seven times..." (Mt 18:21) If the roles were reversed, how many times do we want another chance? Yes, every time.
When I heard about the attacks in Paris, I asked myself, "Will it ever end?" Then I found out that it was not only in France that attacks were made, but in other places in other countries as well. There are threats that more attacks will be carried on. I guess it will not be ending anytime soon.
Time. Theophrastus, the successor of Aristotle, called time an accident of motion. Events resulting from motion or movement are marked in time, so we remember them. But time, we know, is the reminder of our finiteness. Time does not care whether we are in motion or standing still. It watches us with indifference.
These threats and acts of violence are meant to instill fear in us, to make us afraid and subservient, to paralyse us. But if we become fearful, then their evil plans succeed. No.
They can and may continue with attacks, can and may hurt more people, us and our loved ones. But instead of hiding, being silent, or restricting ourselves, let us transform fear into alertness and awareness. The Tao Te Ching says, "Whoever can see through all fear will always be safe."
Time does not care whether we are in motion or standing still. Therefore, let us make our marks in time with acts of courage, bravery, gallantry in protecting our loved ones and helping those in need. Theophrastus also said, "Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend," so let us spend all of it in love of God and neighbour, in hope for justice and salvation, and in charity for our brothers and sisters in need, kin and foreigners alike. And when our time is up, we will gladly hear the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant... Come and share your master's joy!"
When life's situation gets difficult, I learned that two things can happen: it gets better or it gets worse. If it gets better, which everyone in a difficult situation hopes, then it is time for celebration. Finally.
However, it can also get worse. More difficult or about the same for a longer time. In these times, one has to dig deep, find that anchor, and hold on to it tightly. Whether things get better or get even worse, one thing is for sure: it cannot be the same forever. Change is coming. How soon or how late, no one can tell. But we should continue to do what we need to do.
In difficult times, we can get worried. Will life get more difficult? Will I be able to withstand its onslaught? Will I fail those who depend on me? But worrying is useless. "If we worry, we do not trust. If we trust, we do not worry. Worry does not empty tomorrow of its grief, but it does empty today of its joy." (James Kurtz)
So I choose to trust. I trust God and his infinite goodness and mercy. I trust the universal laws of justice. I trust the balanced cycle of nature. I trust what is good and noble in man.
I'm off to a good start and I am grateful for that. Another client, additional work, more income. But also, more hours spent working, more challenges to come up with ideas, more sacrifices to meet deadlines and obligations.
And then last week, there was silence from the clients. All at the same time. No work, no income. Now, I have more hours and less idea of what to do with them. Ah, the bitter-sweet life of a freelance writer. Still, I am thankful.
Now, I have time to work on that other e-book project I have been planning to finish. While waiting, I can also check and improve my health and fitness. And maybe start that online technical writing course until work starts coming in again. I expect more. And I will be ready for it. It's going to be a great year.
I ended the year 2014 with gratitude and thankfulness. To God, to my family, to my girlfriend, to friends, and to all others I encountered one way or another. It was a remarkable year, one that I will remember better than others.
How should I begin this 2015? With great expectations. There will always be challenges, trials and difficulties. Always. But God and the rest of His creation will also be there to make things less challenging, acceptable, and even surmountable.
So bring it on. I can't wait. And I will be blogging all about it. Sounds like a plan.
So you have visualized where you want to be a year, 2 years, or 5 years from now. But how do you go from where you are now to where you want to be? You have to start somewhere, and where you are exactly, no matter how far or remote you think it seems from your desired destination, is where you start.
Now that you have your end point and your start point, the next thing is to measure or quantify the difference. If you are striving to lose weight, for example, what is the difference in terms of inches from where you are now to where you want your waist to be. If it is in terms of debt reduction, what is the difference between your present financial state to zero debt?
And when you already have the end point, the start point, and the difference, the next thing to check is the duration or the period where you can work on the difference. Do you have a year to trim down your waist from 40 inches to 36? Then that means you should be able to lose an inch every three months or so.
So you now have an end point, a start point, a measurable difference to work on, and a period to accomplish your goal. It is better to break down goals to small achievable milestones than doing it all in one go. First, the challenge becomes more achievable, and once achieved, minor victories can boost self confidence to further fuel your passion to achieve your end goal. Sounds like a plan, doesn't it?
Not everything goes according to plan. However, having a plan can give people a sense of direction. The choices they have to make seem clearer. And in case something goes wrong, they can immediately feel and understand that they are not where they are supposed to be, and they need to get back to the right path. This somehow minimizes the panic and anxiety that can come when people encounter an unforeseen or unscheduled event.
The Bible says we should not worry about tomorrow. I do not believe this is a license for complacency or laziness. Instead it is about trust in God and the confidence that people have sincerely prepared the best they can with all the opportunities they received and the skills they have learned in the previous days leading to tomorrow.
What do you do to prepare for tomorrow?
I have read or heard somewhere that people succeed in what they do because they either like what they do, or they are good at what they do. Usually, people like enough what they do so they become good at it.
But what about the concept of improvement, discovering where you are weak and working on it until it does not affect your total output or performance? They say a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Let us say you have 100% effort that you can put everyday on what you already have. How much will you put for your strengths, making what is strong even stronger? How much will you put for your weaknesses, improving what is weak so that you become solid overall and flexible enough to take on things outside your comfort zone? What will be a good strength/weakness ratio? 80-20? 60-40? 50-50? 20-80?
So here goes. The Sounds Like A Plan (SLAP) website is finally published. I hope this will help promote the SLAP e-book. I am also including a featured e-book that I have personally chosen from Smashwords, and will feature a new one every month. I will also post an article on the Fail to :Plan: to Fail page every week that will discuss general topics about the importance of planning. Guest posts are welcome, so send me an email. Thanks!
Hi, I'm Joseph Saints. I am an engineer with 10 years combined experience in network engineering, system administration, and project management with the telecoms and IT industry. I am a fan of fantasy and science fiction books and movies. I also enjoy Japanese mecha anime, superhero comic books and movies, and martial arts films.