August 3, 2015
Exactly 11 months ago I published a blog called, “I Believe…” It was a simple list of things that I believed about the world and what matters. If you missed it, you can find it HERE. In the same spirit, I’d now like to present a new list called, “I’d Rather…” I think many of you will agree, understand and prefer the same things that I’ve put on the list.
Now, there are some things that I didn’t included on my list, because I think they are so obvious, they don’t need to be mentioned. For example, I’d rather potatoes be more humble, I’d rather Canada figure out why it matters, I wish cilantro, the spice, was a banned substance – like assault rifles, I’d rather Justin Bieber sort himself out and stop complaining about ‘first world” problems.
But my list is a little different- it includes a list of “rather’s” that insist that you wrestle with them and come to sometimes hard concussions. I believe that you can actually have many of your “rather’s” from my list. But to have those things that you’d prefer in your life – you often have to make active choices, about health, work, lifestyle, your personal standards and the people you let into your life. A lot of the things that we might “prefer” can be had, by simply making a few better (sometimes harder) choices in our own lives.
- Have a good nights sleep than experience the “big events” in life. According to Jeremy Dean, “The major events in your life are not as directly important to our well-being as the little hassles and uplifts of everyday life. What affects people most – regarding happiness is a good night’s sleep, time with the right people and family.
- Live my life in reality rather than to fantasize about it. One way people commonly motivate themselves is by using fantasies about the future. “The idea is that dreaming about a positive future helps motivate you towards that goal. Beware, though, psychologists have found that fantasizing about future success is actually bad for motivation. It seems that getting a taste of the future in the here and now reduces the drive to achieve it.”(Jeremy Dean, “Surprising Findings from Psychological Studies”)
- Someone tell me the truth, even if it’s not what I want to hear, than waste my time. Time that I will never, ever get back. Time that could be used to make better choices and invest in better people.
- Have the loyalty of one or two people than the applause and flattery of the masses. Popularity comes and goes. People are fickle. You’re the “best” thing in the world now, and forgotten tomorrow. But a true friend and supporter stays with you through all the ups and downs of life – and loves you whether you’re on the top or the bottom – or somewhere in between. And with this type of person, you KNOW It – you never have to wonder about it, worry about it or question it. It is self-evident, based on the character of the person in question. And with this gift, you build a history, stories and continuity for life.
- I’d rather do it the right way, even if it takes longer, than take short-cuts and participate in corruption. There are lots of reasons people take short-cuts. It’s faster…who’s going to notice…everyone is doing it…But taking short-cuts, participating in corruption, simply reinforces character qualities in you that will be hard to weed out later.
- Pay someone to do a job that meets my deadlines than have a “volunteer” who follows through according to his time schedule. Paying the money is so much more worth it than trying to rely on unreliable volunteers.
- Live out of a suitcase if it means the opportunity to change the way young people think about life, the world and God’s place for them in they world. Comfort, convenience and money are overrated.
- Partner with people in life who share my values rather than those who just pretend to share them. (Or those who simply share your values until until something more interesting comes along…)
- Give things away, and voluntarily be generous towards others than to waste time expecting people to be grateful or to give back into my life. This rarely works. So, I’d rather just show kindness and generosity as God gives me an opportunity and just let it go – with no expectations.
- Invest in the lives of those who need help and encouragement in places that are difficult. Like Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq and other places of conflict than to have a safe comfortable life – that was lived only for me.
- Ask tough questions about my faith – and have the freedom to doubt, study, ask and dig deeper. And to come back with a deeper faith – one that continues to shape my life. God is powerful enough to hear and understand my questions and doubts. And to reveal Himself to me through his Word and His plan for my life.
- I’d rather be so much more than what I am….
The stories that we live, the choices that we make, the extent to which we want to reach out of our comfort zones and experience truly satisfying lives is often wrapped up in understanding the things that you’d “rather” have in your life. and getting those things sorted out – sometimes through tough action. And yes, life will bruise you – let’s see what you’re capable of.