“We learn the lessons in life we are to learn two ways: either through obedience to natural laws or through suffering the consequences of not observing those laws…None of us consciously create the suffering we experience.”
~ Karol Truman, Feelings Buried Alive Never Die…, 1998
We had a saying in coaching. Life gives you messages. If you hear the whisper of the message and attend to it life is good. If not, life gives you a lesson. Learn the lesson and life is good once more. However, ignore the lesson and you have a problem, and ignoring the problem insures a crisis.
I have yet to find an area or life that this doesn’t prove true from changing the oil in the car to procrastinating on a project to paying attention to a relationship. In every area of life we get a message as to how to proceed. Much of the time that we miss the message it is because we are “too busy” to do anything about it. Just in case you’re wondering “too busy” is an excuse and usually a poor one considering the time it takes to clear up what follows.
You know you”should” put gas in the car when it goes below a quarter of a tank. When you do life runs smoothly and you never have to think about it. But you are too busy so you wait until its teetering on empty. You know at this point you should put gas in the car because you’ve run into problems before when you ignored this. But you are really busy. The light is on saying you are low in fuel… but you’re late for work, and you can’t be late today, and it’s only a couple more miles…
You keep forgetting to make a dentist appointment. A reminder comes in the mail but you ignore it, You are too busy this month. Later your tooth (the one the dentist said needed a filling) starts feeling funny, but you are really short on cash this month, later it starts bothering you but the family has a vacation planned… so on some exotic island, far from home, when you can’t stand the pain any more, a strange dentist with exotic prices says: “Looks like you let this go for a while, we need to do a root canal.”
Sound familiar? Where are you getting messages?
“How’s the project coming along?” (you haven’t started)
“We’re almost out of milk.”
“Have you paid that bill yet?”
“When was the last time you had a check up?”
“You never spend any time with me.”
“This job is killing me.”
“I really need to spend some time ….”
“I have to stop using my credit card.”
“What’s that funny noise?”
“Life is to stressful to diet now. I deserve this”
“I’ll start exercising next week.”
“I’m exhausted but there’s too much to do.”
Take time today (or at least by the weekend) to see where life is giving you messages or lessons. Problems and crisis are avoidable. Yes, you may have to replace your car or air conditioning unit. But it’s only a problem if you’ve been avoiding looking at the possibility or planning financially for the eventuality. If it’s not something you’ve avoided you find you get through it with much more grace and ease – that’s how you can tell the difference between life happening and what you choose not to learn.
Most importantly look at how you’re living your life. What direction are you heading?
A message -> A lesson -> A problem -> A crisis?
It’s your choice!