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Don’t be a doing

What’s the difference between “screwing up” and “being a screw up”?

One is an activity performed at a specific moment in time. The other is a state of being.

Neil T. Anderson wrote “we are human beings, not human doings.” Our value is not determined by what we have done, but by who decide to be.

Think about this the next time you “put your foot in your mouth” and say something like “I’m such an idiot.”

Why turn something you did into the definition of who you are? Instead of being an idiot because you made a mistake, can’t you be a brilliant genius (or if that’s too much of a stretch, a normal person) who simply had an out of character moment?

For those pessimists who grow weary of folks like me going on and on about the power of positive speech; for those people who are afraid of optimism because they don’t want to lie about their problems in the name of being positive, I ask you the following:

Is there a way we can talk honestly about our failures, mistakes, and setbacks without going overboard and defining ourselves as complete idiots, fools, and screwups?

If being honest and keeping it real is so important, wouldn’t it be more logical and accurate to simply describe our disappointing moments as individual events rather than as states of being?

One of the powers we have as free thinking creatures is the ability to define for ourselves who we are and what our lives mean.

The definition you give to yourself and the life you live, is the primary determining factor in your destiny. Don’t waste such an amazing power and precious opportunity as this on some past event or activity that doesn’t fully capture the entire gamut of your potential or personality.

When I was a kid, my mother caught me uttering the words “I’m stupid” because of some struggles I was having with my homework. She wasted no time in scolding me: “You are not stupid. You’re an intelligenct young man who hasn’t successfully applied his mind to that subject yet.” My mother refused to let me define who I was, as a person, based on a temporary struggle I was having.

I’m sure your mother taught you the same thing. If she didn’t, then listen to my mother on this one.

At least that’s my two cents,

T.K. Coleman

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