Don’t forget your blueprint

Patience and perseverance are key to pushing through to the next level. Routine is important. What I do every morning and every day are key to moving forward through the forest of life. I pray and fast at least until noon. I exercise and do yoga for flexibility. But the question always remains – What things must I do to push through and hit my goals? I have been reading a lot lately about patience and how Jesus Christ taught enduring patiently through our crosses that are given to us in life. This was in the book “The Spiritual Combat”, by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli. He instructs us that enduring life with patience will bring about victories in our lives. However note the victories may not be exactly what we envisioned but they will be victories nonetheless. Sometimes it feels like we are proceeding through life blindly as in a maze with no guidance. Sometimes we feel truly lost. This is where divine providence comes in as Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange writes in his book, “Providence”,

“…it is said of Mozart that he was eventually able to hear a melody not as something continuous, in the way other listeners do, but all at once, in the law that gave it birth. In composing the opening bars of a melody, he foresaw and in some way heard its finale. To hear a melody all at once is a faint image of that divine eternity in which God possesses His infinite life of thought and love simultaneously and without any succession. In the life and thought of God it is impossible for Him to distinguish between a before and an after, a past and a future, a childhood, youth, and maturer age.”

Perhaps it was already known and pre-supposed that I would grab this quote and insert it into my article. My life, your life, are melodies and symphonies so to speak. There are times in the song when there is relative calm and quiet. The tempo of the music is slow. And there are other times when there is chaos and disorder. The music might be loud and fast.

I suppose the point is that when we become so myopic in our vision of success we lose sight of the bigger picture, or the overall song, so to speak. Perhaps we are lost in a forest and need a compass to find our way out. We need someone to enter into the forest of our lives and help us find a better path. Coming back to the music analogy, perhaps we need a conductor to bring all of the parts of our lives into harmony.

Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, has said that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There has been a lot of debate over this quote but it may be worth some time examining who these five people are in your life and the impacts they are making on your professional growth. Are you actually growing professionally or are you withering? If you are growing this is a good sign you are on the right path and are surrounded by the right people. If the harmony of your life isn’t a pleasing tune consider that some of the musicians may need some “more practice”. Or you might need to play with some different musicians. Perhaps its time for the band to go its separate ways.

Life is a learning journey. We learn something new everyday about ourselves, about others and about ultimate truth. We need to keep our minds open to these things particularly truth which many of us can be afraid to face head on as it can open up wounds that we thought had been healed. But ultimately truth will free us up to get back onto the path that leads to our most rewarding destinations. The search for truth is important because our minds can play tricks on us and show us things we only want to see. But its the things we need to see that will really break down the barriers to growth. When we get stuck in our old habits and routines that might be harming us more than benefitting us we aren’t going to reach our destination and will only frustrate that journey. If we feel a tension in our lives we must acknowledge that and determine its root cause; what is the source of the feeling?

The Doors wrote a song back in 1967 called “Break on Through”, that just came to mind. The song is very powerful. Jim Morrison sings these lyrics with a lot of passion. I would recommend a listen on YouTube.

We chased our pleasures here

Dug our treasures there

But can you still recall

The time we cried?

Break on through to the other side

Break on through to the other side

Morrison’s lyrics are very powerful. We have to ask ourselves, what exactly are we chasing; is it pleasure, happiness, health, world peace? What are we digging for; is it fame, fortune, an end to world hunger? What we should ultimately aim at depends on who we are because we are all at different places on life’s journey. But if we are looking for career satisfaction and moving into leadership roles then we need to start with building a solid foundation. After all you don’t want to build your house on sand otherwise the first storm to come along will knock it down.

Before the blueprint even takes shape we need to conceive an idea for that and that step takes place in the mind. We first need to envision the end product. This is a place where we all need to think outside of our normal limitations. We need to think big. Where, ultimately, do we want to be 30-40 years into the future? Aim big and assume that you are going to hit a bullseye – meaning 100% satisfaction. Stephen Covey has an excellent analogy from his book, “The 7 Habits

“Begin with the end in mind” is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things. Take the construction of a home, for example. You create it in every detail before you ever hammer the first nail into place… You work with ideas… Then you reduce it to blueprint and develop construction plans.”

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, by Stephen Covey

When you are in the midst of building a house or other structure you will refer to the blueprint frequently but a problem when building our lives or careers can happen when we draft a blueprint and then leave it in a drawer. We need to open the drawer and bring the blueprint front and center. We need to frequently review the blueprint to ensure that the structure is coming along as expected. If the blueprint is ignored the structure may not be what you originally intended. In some cases you might need to go back and demolish parts of it and rebuild them to get back on track.

The thing you need to ask yourself is whether you are being fully honest and truthful with yourself. Speaking truth is perhaps one of the most important things I have learned lately. I’ll speak more about truth in future posts but what I have found with many people is that they don’t want objective truth but their own version of truth otherwise known as subjective truth. And subjective truth is a dangerous place to be because it obfuscates reality. It’s like you are pulling a veil over your eyes and seeing everything from your own perspective.

Thanks for listening.

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