I want people to know my friend Carolyn is amazing at her job, but more than that, I want people to know the stuff inside her that makes her a great friend. The stuff that makes you want to stand by her at a party, in hopes that her thoughtful observations and quick wit rub might off on you. Let’s stop introducing the people we love based solely on what they do, who they cash their checks from, or what’s on their twitter profiles. Let’s instead start reminding them of who they are.
I don’t know about you, but I find myself saying horrible things about people that perhaps I disagree with, or believe things opposite of me, or maybe have slip-ups in character. They are comments that if repeated in their presence would ruin all credibility I ever built as a “loving” human. We know the feeling of our heart on one shoulder saying: don’t do it, remember what you said about her last week and how you felt when you saw her? And our mouth on the other saying: Get it out! It feels great—and added bonus: you will feel better about yourself after, too!
I meet writers all the time who have talent. They can turn a phrase and reel the reader in. Their use of words is almost magical. And yet, as the years go by, they fail to produce. What’s the problem? I know it well, because I deal with it myself. And it’s a challenge I […]
You can seek and receive advice, read up and listen in, pray for guidance—and all these things surely help. But your choices are uniquely yours. And spoiler alert: even when you avoid making a choice, you are making a choice. Probably a bad one. So in order to really develop our true identities and giftings, we have to learn to face the unknown and make choices that don’t fit inside the formulas and “right-or-wrong” mentality we’re taught to cling to as children.
Life, if we’re honest, is a parade of mixed bags. Your friendships, your time in college, your marriage, your career — they all feature ups and downs, highlights and lowlights, wins and losses. When we think solely in terms of success or failure, we fall into the trap of a false dichotomy. Most of life isn’t success OR failure, it’s success AND failure.
Every story is about one thing, the arc of the character. What I mean by that is unless the hero changes, you’ve got no story. They have to be cowardly at the beginning and brave at the end, or selfish at the beginning and altruistic at the end. Something in the character has to change or the audience loses interest.
Finally, he stopped. “Whew,” I thought. “He must have figured that I was at the limit of what I could do.” But before I could move, I heard him say this: “If you want me to help you, you gotta let me have your shoulder.” In other words, I wasn’t cooperating in my own healing. I was resisting, and didn’t even know it.
I like the idea that, at least experientially, we can stretch time out a bit, slow it down, fit more of life into it’s cracks and crevasses. Life will resist, of course. And we can’t all live in the timeless every hour of the day. But we can find those cracks. And we can slip into them from time to time.
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How Playing It Safe Keeps You from Finishing Strong
What to Do When You Can’t Make a Decision
Make the Most of the Path You’re On