Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tipping points, virtues, and knowing where you stand

I think that I have spent more time planning and thinking about the future, than actually living in the moment and enjoying the life I have as it is right now.

Thankfully, today a tipping point occurred…something subtle…I felt a shift in my thoughts and for the first time, I found myself content standing still … enjoying exactly what this day brought, instead of looking ahead without pausing to enjoy the place I found myself in today. 

For years, I’ve let stress, 24 month interest free financing, 60 month car loans, and all the other “wish away life crap" control my frame of mind, pushing me forward and past the actual part where we all get to live each day.

It started with an unexpected kindness from a friend, that forced me to take inventory of my own virtues and vices…and recognize the difference between them.

I was bouncing between pride and humility, pride clearly taking an early lead.  One simple statement resolved an inner conflict, making it possible for me to accept the kindness, without compromising anything.  What was the statement?  Nothing earth shattering…but I found meaning in it almost immediately.  “Pride is not a virtue.”  I considered this simple thought…others came to mind like “Pride goes before a fall” and when I thought about it in that context, I gained an insight about myself and where I stand in life…my inner moral compass that guides me in decision making and staying true to who I am:

1.              I acknowledge now that pride is not a virtue I should embrace too tightly. 
2.              Equally important, the true definition of humility is also a trait to be loosely held…and never at the expense of your own self confidence. 
3.              Generosity is a virtue I have embraced all my life…I now humbly accept that I don’t have a corner on the market, and accepting the generosity of someone else’s kindness does not compromise who I am, what I can do, and the confidence that I will still maintain the giving side within myself.

Knowing where you stand in life is important…but if you suddenly find yourself standing on less sure footing than before, be wise enough to admit the person standing before you has not changed…and it’s okay to accept help without compromising anything.  So long as the pendulum swings both ways, I think it’s a pretty basic example of reaping what you sow.  And I can guarantee when my bumper crops come back in, I’ll be the first to offer help to someone else. 


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