Sunday, September 05, 2010

Wisdom Keys: Do Something Different

Day in, day out, your life is always the same. You know you’re stuck in a rut, but you don’t know what to do to get yourself out. Whatever happened to all those big dreams you had? Where did the plans for success, fortune, and travel all disappear? Worse yet, will you be able to get them all back? And if you do, will you ever achieve any of those dreams, or will you soon find yourself right back in that same old rut?

Some people attribute the maxim, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results” to Albert Einstein. It doesn’t really matter who said it first, because the idea is still sound. Yet how often do we find ourselves doing the same thing over and over, hoping that some how things will change, our life will be different, or we will end up with a different outcome?

Unfortunately, making those changes that bring us the life we want are more difficult than we might imagine. The ruts we build are often deep, and getting out of them may take a lot of effort, more than we’ve developed the muscles to climb.

I’ve often heard my students say, Next year things will be different. Next year I’ll get straight A’s. Next year I have perfect attendance. Next year, next year, next year.” But next year comes, and guess what? Things soon slip back into being exactly the same.

Changing behaviors is work, especially those we lead us to an easy way out. Water always runs in the path of least resistance, and unless we keep a diligent watch, so do our reactions to a rocky path. Our reactions become complacent, and pretty soon, we’re right back where we started from, moving along at the bottom of that rut.

If we can’t bring ourselves up and out of the rut, what can we do about reaching those dreams? The answer is really simple, even if the work we must to do reach our goals are not: When you want something you never had, you have got to do something you have never done.

You want to be successful? Then you’ve got to look at yourself as though you were already a success. You’ve got to dress the part, believe you are, and associate with those who already are. If that means you must find new friends, change your job, or save to buy better quality clothes, you do it. If you don’t envision yourself as being who you want to be, you’ll never find yourself there, somewhere at the top.

You want to accumulate a fortune? Then you’ve got to stop spending money like a fool. Wealthy people invest in themselves, in their future, and don’t try to impress the neighbors before they have the means to do so. Learn to pay yourself first, setting aside 10% of your income in a place where it can grow and work for you. Give the second 10% to you church, returning back to God what he gave you in the first place, planting your seed for tomorrow’s harvest. Then stop thinking that the people who throw around their money, seeking pleasure in fancy cars, expensive homes, and other devices are the place you want to go. Use your money to become debt free, then learn the value of true charity. You will be wealthier in both money and spirit than you ever thought you could be.

You think you want to travel? Then travel with a purpose. Offer your knowledge to others who need to learn. Offer your muscles to those who need help. Offer your time to those who are alone. Find someone, someplace, or some cause that needs you and go there willingly. And while you’re there keep your eyes open. Opportunity abounds for those who seek. You will learn more about the people and the area by providing service to them than you ever would by spending outrageous sums of money just to travel around the world.

You’ll never find something different unless you are willing to do something different. Don’t let that rut you’ve fallen into keep you on the path to insanity. Start today to make that change, and you’ll find that all your tomorrows are incredible surprises, just waiting to be discovered.

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