“I gravitate towards gravitas.”
Dictionary.com defines gravitas as:
1. seriousness or sobriety, as of conduct or speech.
Are you a goof off, or do you take life a little more seriously? Is the world just a huge playground, or are you honestly waiting to play until the chores of the day are concluded? Is playtime something you have earned, or is being frivolous and reckless your M.O.?
Responsibility can be no fun at times. Those unpleasant things that must be done, and can’t seem to be avoided intrude on our lives almost daily. How do you decide to handle this?
Some, like Mr. Freeman take the sober approach to first get those things accomplished, leaving the mind clear for a short vacation before resuming.
Others work so hard at avoiding work that it would be much easier to do the actual work in the first place.
How to cope? The drudgery of everyday tasks can be dealt with in a systematic manner to reduce the unpleasantness.
If you are in an environment where it is permitted, listen to music. We’ve all heard it said that Music soothes the savage beast.
A lot of times something as simple as having a list of items of accomplishment that you can mark off as you go, gives a strong reminder of how much you are getting done and also how close you are to being finished. I use this method daily and would be lost without my little lists. I stay organized on the back of my old business cards from my photography days. It has the added benefit of recycling an otherwise unusable item.
While I don’t advocate this just to get your life in order, your partner in life can have a strong role in your responsible behavior. Both of you are good at some things and not so good at others. My wife and I, while having many similarities have special talents and aptitudes the other doesn’t possess. Without just taking each other for granted, we recognize and rely on each other to deal with those things we each are best at. 31 years later, we are still taking care of each other, and this makes us even stronger.
It’s time to take your life seriously. Fun is even (dare I say it?) FUNNER when you have earned it. Your mind is clear and there is nothing standing in the way of a little, on the spot vacation. How about a cup of tea right now? You’ve earned it!
Mother Teresa of Calcutta
“One must really have suffered oneself to help others.”
Take a moment and think of some really bad circumstances that occurred in your life in the past. Divorce, death of a child, a parent, foreclosure on your home, job loss….. These are just some suggestions, your list will probably be different.
We all have suffered at one time or the other and were forced to persevere to the end until recovery was finally possible for you. I know you are glad that time in your life is over, but there is something really amazing you can do with the lessons learned and wounds that have not quite healed.
Since you aren’t the only one to go through some of these things, your experience with them could provide some valuable insight when another person is faced with a similar circumstance. Your level of experience gives you the unique opportunity to have a positive impact on another’s life that a trained councilor may not be capable of. Councilors are told how to teach you to handle difficult times, but true empathy can only be given by someone who has experienced the same awful circumstances.
Suffering, as unpleasant as it is, has the potential to foster tremendous experience and growth in the person who is afflicted by it. When you see another suffering in a similar way as you have, you can provide a light to guide them through the darkness so their experience is easier, and they can avoid some of the permanent scarring that can come from it.
One person who suffered way beyond what a human should have to is Helen Keller. She was able to see and hear at birth, but a disease took away both at 19 months. Imagine how isolated you would be if you could neither see OR hear.
It took her teacher, Anne Sullivan (who was also visually impaired) more than a month to get the concept across to Helen that putting an object in one hand while spelling the name of it in the other constituted the naming of that object. The breakthrough came while running cool water over her hand.
From this beginning, Helen eventually became an author and lecturer, and was the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.
She was active until suffering a series of strokes in 1961, and died in her sleep in 1968 aged 87. Her accomplishments (including the Presidential Medal Of Freedom) are too numerous to recount here, but links to her life story will be included in the show notes at daggersofthemind.com.
We’ll finish with one more quote:
“All the world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming.”
Newsreel footage of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan
Daggersofthemind.com is the place to go if you want to hear past episodes of the show. Each episode has a player button so you can click and listen. You can also subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, and even email!