We’ve reached our conclusion of “If” by Rudyard Kipling.
As a reminder, Kipling has issued a challenge.
He has given us 16 things we must do to achieve the great payoff, which is:
“Yours in the earth and everything that’s in it And, which is more, you’ll be a man my son.”
The payoff isn’t what you get.
It’s what you become.
A fully-functioning, autonomous adult who is never a victim and creates his or her own way in life.
You become the greatest thing a human being can become.
You become free.
When I was a kid of about 9, I was rummaging through my mom’s desk and found a piece of round, flat wood.
The letters TUIT” were carved in large letters in the center.
After struggling to reason out what “TUIT” might stand for, I carried the small, coaster-like object to my parents bedroom where my mom sat sewing merit badges on my Scout uniform.
“Mom.” I said. “What’s this?”
“I don’t get it.” I said.
“Darling,” mom said. “That’s a 'round tuit' — get it? As in whenever you say you’ll do something whenever you get ‘around to it.’ Well, that’s a ‘round tuit.’ It reminds me that I can get around to anything that’s actually important because I already have a ‘round tuit.’
I think it was Napoleon Hill who said, “People who would never dream of killing themselves nevertheless commit suicide every day, little-by-little, by wasting their precious time.”
Today is your day to have your own ROUND TUIT.
"Fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds' worth of distance run."
Oh, to be so serene and secure that haters can’t hurt you, right?
Someone who is a hater, a foe, an enemy — anyone who is anti-you, can cause you pain.
BUT, you have far greater control over this pain than you may think.
A person’s hurtful action has no power without your reaction!
Have you noticed it’s actually easier to dismiss a hater because you can write them off a jerk (or worse) and ignore them.
BUT, receiving a rebuke from someone you love is FAR more painful.
EXAMPLE: If a homeless person on the street says something negative, you shrug. BUT, If your mom says the same thing, you sulk.
To be a mature and happy adult, all people must count with us (even those who don’t look, speak, act, or live as we do) but we should not give certain people too much control over our mental reaction.
Freedom comes in leveling the playing field of your mind.
Derren Brown, the Brittish mentalist recently did a documentary for Netflix where he used peer pressure in a real-life situation to convince a half-dozen people to push someone off a building to their death.
That’s how much our good nature can become at risk when we identify with crowd.
When we are too plugged into others, we run the risk of losing ourselves to them.
When we are elevated above others, we run the risk of forgetting their struggles and challenges.
"Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,"
My mother-in-law migrated to this country from Cuba after the Castro invasion during which her family’s cigar factor was seized by the Castro regime.
Titi, as we call her is a typical Cuban-American. She wanted desperately to come here and did so ultimately becoming a citizen of the U.S..
Now, she is virulently OPPOSED to more Cubans or any other migrants coming in.
That is actually a common phenomenon of “I want in,” followed by “Hooray, I’m in,” >and finally “Now, you stay out!” and it’s a perfect example of losing the common touch.
Put in simple words we must fly high and stay grounded at the same time which is difficult but doable.
You really don’t know how strong you are until life tests you. And when everything around you goes to hell you find yourself just wanting to chuck it all and run away. But you can’t. You have responsibilities, people who count on you, and so you press on — you simply endure. One of my favorite books of all time is Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. In one chapter the cowboys are moving thousands of cattle up the trail when they are beset by locusts so thick they blot out the sun. One frightened young man gallops up to the leader of the drive and cries, “Captain, whatever can we do?” “Live through it,” replied the captain. That’s life. Sometimes we just have to hold on and live through it.
Most people never attempt something because of the horror stories they’ve heard from other people.
“Careful man, women will break your heart.”
“I was in business once, I lost everything!”
“My uncle tried that line of work — no money it.”
Most people are risk averse and that aversion is reinforced by other people who have taken risks, failed, and then whined about it to anyone and everyone as a means of never getting up and trying again.
Risk and reward are the conjoined twin sisters of success.
Great reward always involves great risk and when we fail — as we all do, whining and complaining simultaneously excuses our poor performance AND removes us from the responsibility of trying again.
The secret to success is try...fail... try...fail... try...fail...try...succeed.
Whining about our failures only attaches us to them indefinitely.
The death of a loved one.
The loss of a dream.
All of these things can bring a person to their knees and leave them emotionally shell shocked.
When everything is gone, it’s hard to know where to begin and yet the answer is simply to get started.
It is only when we succumb to our failures that they become concretized.
As long as we are digging out we will ultimately find sunlight again and a new life that is sometime even brighter than before the tragedy.
Personally, I don’t think I could be a politician.
I’d probably say something like, “I believe that with the right combination of financial management and sensible tax cuts we can balance the budget.”
Invariably, one side of the media would report my words as, “Bowen encourages responsible financial management” while another might say “Bowen wants to raise your taxes!.”
All of this is done to “set a trap for fools.”
Bad news sells and when someone takes what we say and twists it into bad news for their own purposes, well, it hurts!
Let’s remember that there will always be haters, people who want to put a negative spin on what you do simply to excuse their own lack of accomplishment.
Maturity is learning to disregard the haters.
I think it was Zig Ziglar who said, "You don't know enough to be a pessimist."
Zig meant that something that goes terribly wrong today can actually be the very thing that brings about something fantastic tomorrow.
When we triumph over something or we experience a disaster, our ego tells us that the triumph is the BEST THING POSSIBLE and that a disaster is the WORST THING EVER.
Yet, in time not only do we realize benefits from our disasters but we also often experience problems and irritations from our triumphs. Consider the people who struggle so hard to become famous but then can't leave their homes without being mobbed!
There's an old saying, "nothing is ever as good or as bad as it appears."
If that's true, and if you don't know enough to be a pessimist, why not just relax and watch the twin imposters of disaster and triumph pass through your life with ease?