I tell one of my students, who struggles with his motivation and consistency, “practice being the man you hope to become”. At times he finds this axiom to be hilarious. Why is that? Well he is in 7th grade, and is still very small and slight of stature. So the concept of becoming a man seems like an impossible fantasy to him. Yet, it rings true to him at other times. I remind him that consistent effort and attention to detail will be integral parts of what he must do, no matter what his academic or career choices.
William James said it this way: “Begin to be now what you will be hereafter”. It is so easy to fall into the routine of just getting by with some effort, but now pouring it all in. We are all, each one of us, on our way to becoming something. We can grow, stretch, add interests and competencies.
Is there some task, skill, area of interest that intrigues you? There are some areas of life AND academics/knowledge that have always been a struggle for me. So this summer I will chip away at at least few of those problem areas. I will practice becoming proficient. That is always a good feeling, isn’t it? To learn and grow keeps us fresh and strong. Each time we learn something, or cross something off our task list, we feel as though there are fewer things blocking our relationships with God, or people. That is how we practice being the kind of person we hope to become.
What does that mean? That means we leave NO talent buried in the back yard. We leave it all on the playing field. It means we use every ounce of strength, every bit of our mind, body, and soul to do what we can for others; and for the world. Each in our own little or big way. It means, as they say…… that we are ALL IN.
That’s my hope and goal…but you see, after a really busy couple of weeks with travel and weddings, and getting back in the groove with my summer students, I need some napping time, too. Self-care is the key this week. So I am going to put my feet up and rest a little. Even in that effort, I am all in!