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Do your homework

In my grade school math classes, it always seemed as if the teacher would solve only the easy problems while we were in the classroom.

Then when it came time to do homework on my own, I had to solve these really complex problems that never appeared in any of the textbook examples.

Where was my teacher when I needed him the most?

Over the years, I’ve learned a couple of important things about this phenomenon:

1) The challenging process of figuring out how to apply “simple” solutions to complex problems is not just a grade school mathematics experience, but it’s a necessary part of growth in every area of life.

2) Everybody has to do it. There are no exceptions.

Here’s today’s two cents:

No matter how practical or profound an insight initially appears, there will always be elements that don’t easily work when we try to apply them to actual challenges.

This is the way it should be.

Wisdom and maturity aren’t developed by being told what the answers are.

Knowing the right answers may help us pass standardized tests, but having the ability to think critically and creatively will prepare us for real life.

Studying abstract concepts and memorizing general principles of success cannot, all by itself, save us.

We must be willing to do the work of wrestling with the great questions of life for ourselves.

Solutions exists. New possibilities exists. But, ultimately, they must be accessed via the path of our own individual commitment to personal evolution.

At least they tried

There is a difference between effort and success.

Effort refers to the amount of time and energy invested into a goal.

Success refers to the actual achievement of a goal.

Just because a person makes an effort doesn’t mean their efforts will pay off in the form of success.

Plainly put, sometimes we try and fail.

The best kind of constructive criticism is the kind that can be honest about the lack of success while simultaneously being respectful of the effort that was made.

When people fail, they need straightforward feedback.

Just remember that the only reason they failed in the first place is because they cared enough to try.

It’s okay to acknowledge that part too.

I think, therefore I worship

The life of the mind is not opposed to the ways of the spirit.

Thinking is, in its own unique way, a sacred ritual through which the presence of divinity can be invoked.

When man reasons, imagines, and reflects, his cognitive faculties become a means of experiencing and expressing that Infinite Intelligence which is the very source and substance of all thought.

God is known, adored, and revered not merely through the opening of our hearts to heaven, but also through the lifting up of our minds into higher spheres of contemplation.

Always ask (let the other person say “no”)

Here’s a very basic lesson my mom taught me after she observed me apologizing profusely, as I nervously uttered a request to an older gentleman:

The only guaranteed “no” is the one you give to yourself. 

You never know everything about what’s going on in another person’s world.

People may have the willingness or ability to do things for you that you can’t imagine.

Adults can handle the questions that are posed to them.

Adults know how to assess their situation for themselves.

Adults know how to speak up. If they want to say “no”, they don’t need you be their spokesperson.

It’s not your job to protect people from requests. And it’s not in your best interest to protect yourself from a “no.”

Be respectful. Be tactful. Be timely.

But if you have a sincere request, always ask.

Let the other person say “no.”

That’s today’s two cents.

Courtesy of Mom.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

Be yourself. It actually works.

The prize that appears to be waiting for you on the other side of self-compromise is an illusion.

Nothing good can come from lying to yourself.

Any treasures you procure by disparaging or denying your real self are nothing more than fool’s gold

And the trouble you think you’re avoiding by denying who you truly are is only going to find you some other way.

The best way to play it safe is to take the risk of self-acceptance.

Be yourself. It actually works.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

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