Men and rivers both become crooked by taking the path of least resistance – Napoleon Hill.
I end every message with a statement about taking the hard path to mental wellness. The truth about the easy path is it always leads back to the same place every time. That place is where we need to make the decision to get on the hard path to mental wellness.
Resistance, challenges, issues are all words that I have replaced the word problems with. It does not matter which path you are on, easy or hard, there will be issues that come up. On the easy path we whine, cry, blame others, run away and never really deal with the issue. On the hard path we learn to deal with the issues as they come up.
Brian Tracy says that we are either coming into a crisis, in a crisis or just leaving a crisis and he is talking to audiences of so called normal, successful people. We all want to be content and have peace of mind, the way to achieve this is to become mentally stable and to learn to deal with the resistance, challenges and issues as they come. The key word in this statement is the word “Learn”, we can learn new ways. That has been the constant miracle to me, I can learn new ways to handle life’s situations that used to leave me totally baffled.
When I learned that I can take some time with the issues that come up in my life, that I was allowed to take a breath and think things changed for the better. Nothing requires immediate action except fires, floods and other real disasters. In our shared illness we see all issues as immediate and life threatening disasters. It takes time to convince ourselves that they are not and we have time to deal with the challenges placed before us.
What struck me when I took the time to look at the challenges that came up in my life, it was mostly some past inaction that caused the issue in the first place. Something that I did not do like, apologize, pay a bill, ask a question or straight out ignored something. My inaction caused most of my grief in this world. There were very few challenges that were not caused by my personal inaction.
When I meet resistance in my personal relationships it is because usually I did not do something or did something that hurt them and failed to make amends.
When I meet challenges at my work place it is again mostly due to a failure to act in some way.
When other issues crop up in my life, they usually showed up because I forgot to do some little thing in the recent or distant past. There is an issue that I am dealing with today that is the direct result of not asking a question four years ago.
I can reduce the number of resistances, challenges and issues in my life by simply doing my best to do everything that I am supposed to do each day.
There are other issues and challenges that come up in my life that are not caused by my neglect. Those issues are there for me to learn from and are the best teachers I will ever have.
When I look at the things that challenge my life and realize that they are there because I did not act at some time in the past, or they are teaching me something I need to know, these issues do not seem to be such a big deal anymore. I can deal with them and move on to the next challenge. I learned that these so called “bad things” in my life were as James Allen said, “a passing phase of my human experience.” They are like the waves of the sea on a rock, slowly molding me into a better man.
Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere