I’ve been thinking about this phrase, specifically from a religious perspective. As a person with relatively strong religious affiliation and beliefs, God has promised that as we exercise a belief in Him, our weaknesses will be made turned to strengths.
The scripture in question here is found in the Book of Ether, in the Book of Mormon, chapter 12 verses 27 and 28.
27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.
28 Behold, I will show unto the Gentiles their weakness, and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me—the fountain of all righteousness.
Now, it may seem obvious to most but not really to me why our weak things will be made strong. Is it because God will strengthen our weaknesses because He wants us to become stronger and more able to fulfill His will? Does He want us to work on our weaknesses and thereby being able to have our weak things become strong? There is also a preclusion that if are to be made strong, we must also be humble enough to have the desire to go to God for to strengthen us. Being humble enough to seek after God to strengthen our weaknesses shows our faith and devotion to Him.
It’s hard to comprehend how we can turn our weaknesses into strengths, because we are unable to understand a lot of how God works and his many mysteries. One thing that I am sure of is that our purpose is to learn and grow in this life. We will experience hardships and find things we might not be able to do at first. Like I’ve said before many things do require work and effort, to practice and to get better at. I think that’s precisely what God wants for us, to work, improve different aspects of our live. However He wants us to always remember where our abilities, strengths and talents come from.
I think this is why I need to finish a blog in a single sitting, because I lost my train of thought from yesterday when I was blogging. Good job brain, good job! Well I guess it something does come back up I’ll amend this blog but for now, I guess that’s the end of that.
Life is pretty interesting most of the time. Everyday there will be choices we must make. The daily choices we make can have consequences both good and bad. One interesting thing about this is, we can’t ever fully see the scope of how far reaching our choices are. In an ideal world we try our best to make the choices we feel are best for us, but in all situations and circumstances we aren’t always able to choose the outcomes we’d like.
All our actions rely a lot on faith. We go to school in hopes that we can gain an education that will help us be employed. We work so that we can earn money to hopefully provide a better life for us and those around us. We follow laws in hopes that order in society will bring peace (this one is a bit of stretch). I blog in hopes that something I say will have an impact on someone out there, even if the reach of my posts are maybe a handful of people or less.
I sometimes wonder what my life would be like had a went to a different school growing up. Would I be the way I am now? Was I shaped by the friends I had at my school? If I had different friends would I be a completely different person? Or would nothing change because that’s just the way I am? These are sort of the larger ripples of life choices that we can’t really see the effects of, because they become so immersive that you just won’t know.
The ripples of choice that I was thinking about was more along the lines of random acts of kindness, that while we might not be able to see any effects from, sometimes do come back to us in some way shape or form. I have heard countless stories and accounts of individuals who have changed their lives completely because of one single act of kindness from someone in their lives. This change they enacted in their own lives prompted them to be more kind or generous to others, and the cycle goes on from there. I can’t recall a specific example of when my actions had a great and lasting impact, or rather I can’t think of times when I had a positive impact on people. I can think of a time when my negative actions towards a friend had a positive impact on his life and the lives of those he encountered. I was such a jerk as a child.
So one of my best friends growing up is an immigrant to Canada. When he first moved here, he was a portly child, and we affectionately called him fat all the time. He enjoyed eating KFC as a child in Hong Kong where he was from. He wasn’t all that athletic but enjoyed playing with us. We were friends but kids are mean creatures who don’t usually feel remorse for their actions. Over the course of several years we would pick on him, but because of my beliefs and the way we grew up we had developed a stronger friendship through religion. It was apparent when we were between the ages of 12-14 that he wasn’t as athletic as the rest of us. We would tease him about it but we accepted him for who he was. He was always strong in character and attitude, and still is to this day. He turned all the teasing we had done towards him in high school in to positive energy. He began to work out more to become stronger physically, by the middle of high school he was on his high school football team as a lineman. The habits he developed in high school made him really enjoy working out, something that he does professionally now as a physical trainer for performance athletes in a gym he co-owns. He attributes his desire to working out to us picking on him as a child. This isn’t the best example but it’s the only one that comes to mind right now, and it does illustrate how our actions can change people. We chose to be mean as children (some might think it’s inherent in children to be mean) and it caused him to change his life path and be where he is now. For the record he wanted to be a cop for the longest time even up until he was in university, and we are still best friends to this day.
While we can do our best to mitigate any extreme negative consequences, the reality of the matter is that our lives aren’t that simple. All we can do is do our best, treat others with kindness and hope that in the end all will be well, as it usually is, all it takes is time. Something that is precious and undervalued for it’s worth, but that’s another topic for another time.
So as stated in my last post, I would be continuing with my commentary on what it takes in life to be motivated and to succeed. Granted I am in no position to speak from my own experience yet, but it is something that I can speak on because of the people I know in my life who are successful through their example. So with that disclaimer, I’ll continue to share my commentary. As discouragement is like a slow burning candle surrounded by kindling and dry wood all around, if left unattended could turn into a fiery inferno of depression. It needs to be kept in check and to be monitored and taken care of in order to not let it get out of hand.
Overcoming discouragement requires one to have support, from people around them, but going just being relying on those around you is having the humility to reach out to those around for support. This is one that I struggle with a lot when I am in these situations. I bring this up because often those who are in a state of discouragement are often a few steps away from depression. Which is another entirely different beast to tackle on it’s own. Why I bring up reaching out to your support network isn’t to burden them for “support” but to acknowledge and recognize your problem through admission. Admitting to someone else that you have a problem is hard. It also shows a willingness to change and a willingness to be open to suggestions as to how to improve.
The last thing I have to say about this for now, as there still are a lot of things I can say about this is and one could write a lot and lot about this subject but I am not the expert to do as such. Anyways the last thing that I wasn’t to suggest is to try to celebrate the small successes to remain as optimistic as possible. Having a positive outlook is one of the strongest things you can do to stay motivated through discouragement. Being able to see and have an end goal can be the drive to help get over the overwhelming wall that discouragement brings. Knowing that the path isn’t easy is always hard but also knowing that there will be better things in the future can help to motivate through discouraging times.
I’m clearly rambling at this point so I think I’ll end this here. Let me know in the comments below what helps encourage and motivate you when you’re discouraged.
What do you do when you’re in a funk? When you feel your life is stagnant and you are being overcome by distractions and discouragement. I’ve been hopeful for my prospects in life but it does get discouraging if you don’t feel as if anything is really happening. In my current situation, I did put myself out of a job in hopes of pursuing something that I found meaningful. It’s been a bit over a month now and here I am blogging on a daily basis because I have yet to receive any calls back from any job opportunities. So what does one normally do to get through discouragement?
Well one thing to not do is to stay at home doing “fun things”. This includes spending hours binge watching Netflix, YouTube, anime, or your favourite TV show. Or other things like playing video games to pass the time. While I am guilty of this behaviour, I know how destructive this is. At first it’s not so bad because you think things like “I still have lots of time”, “Just one or two shows won’t hurt me”, “I need to relax so I can release my creative energies” etc. You think of it, I’ve probably thought of it before and might even have told myself that lie too. But the problem that this form of entertainment is exactly that, just entertainment that doesn’t help you develop any sort of life skills or even develop you as a person. It promotes anti-social behaviours and these activities are often done alone. Don’t get me wrong being social and watching a movie or tv show with someone else is a perfectly valid activity to do. Doing these activities alone is usually the behaviour that leads down a dark road of late nights wasted pursuing these activities. Hours at a time there is a slow descent into doing them longer and longer to feel more fulfilled. Soon you’re spending all your waking hours trying to fill the void with these things but to no avail. I can say this with confidence because several years ago I had a severe video game addiction that was so destructive I almost dropped out of university, but that’s another story for another time.
Another thing to avoid is not as obviously apparent because it can seem like a good thing at first but if pursued too long it becomes just as bad. I’m speaking of keeping yourself busy. You might wonder, “how is keeping myself busy a bad thing?” Well let me explain. We as human beings feel that being busy is a sign of productivity, while being busy CAN be a sign of productivity it is in no way inclusive of being productive. Being productive can equal being busy, but being busy does not equal being productive. So lets take my life as the example, because well it’s a good example. Over the past several weeks, I have been what I’d like to call “busy”. I put busy in quotes because it’s precisely that. I’ve been doing things over the past several weeks since my unemployment and I have had little time to say I had nothing to do, but not all that time was done pursuing things that led to improvement. I would do menial things that took up time, but really didn’t change my situation or challenged me intellectually, physically or spiritually. So while I was busy, I haven’t really been doing things to “boost my stat points” (RPG reference, because I’m a nerd).
There are several other things to avoid but for now I’ll leave this blog at this and I’ll continue with this in my next post. I’ll follow these up with what to do instead, so stay tuned for that.
I often wonder what things would be like if I were a robot. Would I have the capacity to feel? Would someone have programmed an ability to sense emotions? What kind would I be? Something like Asimo or would it be more of the stereotypical sort of cube robot? I only mention this as I was opening this post edit window, a short splash animation popped up saying “Beep Beep Boop” which amused me.
In any case,if I were a robot. I’d like to think I’d be a helpful robot that would be something to the effect of Baymax from Disney’s Big Hero 6. If I were a robot would I be autonomous or would I be one that was controlled by someone . It’s scary to think that some people would rather live their lives being controlled by others wanting someone else to make their decisions and choices for them. But it’s something that if we don’t make choices ourselves, don’t do what we need to do and work like we need to work. We’re essentially giving any power we have over our lives to other people. So that they can make choices for us by limiting our options. If we are indeed humans and not robots, then why do we make so many decisions that are based on logic but sometimes lack humanity. Maybe we aren’t really humans at all but we’re autonomous robots. Would anything change if that were the case? Would your actions change how you acted towards other people. I’m not really sure anything would change significantly for me but maybe it wouldn’t. Would I still be inclined to make morally right and wrong choices? If you were a robot what would you do differently? This is just mindless dribble at this point, so I don’t think I am a robot because it’d be irrational for a robot to make choices and decisions like I have been making thus far. Who knows….
“Beep Beep Boop”
We as individuals, I am especially guilty of this, have this fear that there will be better things in store for us. This causes what has been deemed as a “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO for short. I only learned about this acronym recently but it’s a theory that I’ve been aware of for quite a while. It’s something that’s sort of dictated a lot of how I lived my life in the past. I was always worried that the opportunities right in front of my face while they were good, weren’t the best. So because of that there were a lot of times I passed up on certain things because I felt that there was something better out there for me. Other times, because of that same fear of missing something better, I would over analyze my situation and then miss out because I took too long trying to come to a decision of what I should do.
These two situations are very general in scope because they are very much applicable to many people I know and what I assume to be the general population of people. Fear often leads to poor choices and inaction is very much something that is another result of fear. I find people who are able to overcome this very inspiring because this is such a big issue for me. Contrary to how people seem to perceive me, fear is very much a part of my life that I am still trying to overcome. I’m not saying I am unique in any way because fear to some extent is what motivates many people. Fear of failure, fear of letting others down, fear of disappointment, fear that someone bad will happen to those you love, or any number of other things can be a motivating factor in the lives of many. But that’s not how I want to live my life.
So the question then is how can one, such as myself who lives in fear or has this condition of FOMO over come it? Well for me one of the biggest things I need to work on is to stop thinking so much and just live in the moment. Now don’t get me wrong here, I’m not saying don’t think at all, but be selective in what you think and how deeply you let something affect your actions. For example, in high school around grade 11 there was this girl I had been dating for a month or two (a long time in high school), she was cute, fun, and she was really into me. There was nothing really wrong with this girl, but one of my friends mentioned once that she wasn’t the most attractive girl (I was shallow at the time… I’d like to think I’ve changed). At first this didn’t bother me because I was young and in love… but as the next few days and weeks passed, what my friend said to me really had affected how I viewed my girlfriend. Shortly afterwards I broke up with this girl, not because of anything she had done wrong but because I was afraid of missing out on something better. I know I’m a jerk but that was me in the past. Since then I’ve learned to not pass up on some opportunities, and more so to appreciate and be thankful for the things and people who are in front of me. Sometimes it still does take a little bit of time for me to realize and get over my fears but it’s a work in progress.
Even if there might be something better, if we do indeed have a fear of missing out. What seems better from the outside does not always mean it is better for you. If we always give up some things for something better then we’ll never have anything because there will always be something better. As for me, and where I am now. I’m pretty happy with my whole situation, it could be improved but I am not going to complain about what I have because on the whole. I think I’ve surrounded myself with some pretty great people who encourage and support me and things who give me the opportunity to pursue things that will ultimately help me to learn and grow. So really what more can I ask for?