Don’t Give Up!
Don’t let anyone kid you. The road to self improvement and personal growth is not a short, straight, well-marked, paved highway. Looking back on my journey, I see a road meandering over hills and through valleys, around sharp curves and over muddy trails, with occasional boulders blocking my way. I can remember taking detours that took me off the beaten path and on to cow paths that wandered seemingly forever through the puckerbrush. It’s been a long interesting journey.
My trip began over 20 years ago when I was encouraged by a close friend to leave the world of the “walking dead” and move on to a better life. Walking dead?! Holy smokes! Where did that come from? That absolutely couldn’t be me! No way! I was doing just fine. I had a great family, I held some foundation religious beliefs, I went to work every day and brought home an almost reasonable paycheck. I was doing fine. I was fulfilling my obligations to my family. I was doing what was expected of me. I was doing what husbands and fathers are supposed to do. And furthermore, I would darned well continue to do all those expected things until the day I passed from the face of the earth! I was doing just…
Ohmygod! (Sometimes it’s a bitch when reality strikes…) That was me! I was living in Zombieville! I was in a rut so deep I could only see the sun at . I was doing the same types of things day after day. Thinking the same thoughts – believing the same beliefs.
So - I started reading books – lots of books. (Remember, this was way back “when” in the dark ages before personal computers.) I listened to tapes – and read more books. And I spent lots and lots and lots of time thinking – about who and what I was and what I really wanted to do with my life. I read more… and listened to more tapes… and thought… and nothing happened! Well, wait just a danged minute. If I’m learning (and I really was) isn’t something – anything – supposed to change? Shouldn’t things be getting better?
Ohmygod! (There’s that danged reality thing again…) I really have to DO SOMETHING! I need to put all that information I’ve been accumulating to work! This personal growth stuff isn’t just about kicking back and soaking up words of wisdom. It’s about making a conscious effort to change my actions. Dang, this isn’t going to be the easy ride I had imagined. This is gonna be work!
So – I got to work. Gradually I started using the information I had gleaned from all of my reading, listening and thinking to make a few changes in my life. Small changes at first. Simple changes. Like responding to the “How are ya?” questions with “Great!” or even “Super!” I even tossed in “Fantastic!” once in awhile just to see what would happen. (Most folks didn’t believe a word of it and probably thought I was just being goofy. But it was working for me.)
And I spent more time thinking and meditating – and learning. I was starting to see more daylight now. I was moving closer to the rim of my personal rut. But the changes and improvements in my life were happening oh, so slowly. So very slowly. Sometimes it seemed that months went by without any significant improvement. More months passed…
Ohmygod! (Yep, it happened again…) There is no way for any of this to occur quickly – immediately. It takes time. I need to grow slowly. I can’t learn bigger lessons until I’ve learned the smaller ones first. It’s a logical step-by-step process. Start small – and earn the privilege of moving on to the next step. One step at a time. Whoooeee! This is gonna work!
It was about that time that the whole process of self
improvement and personal growth became
So, a little at a time, a step at a time, life was getting better – and overall, a lot more enjoyable. Now, nearly 25 years after the beginning of my journey, my life is truly “Super!” – with frequent spurts to “Fantastic!”. No, it’s not perfect and it never will be. Life’s not like that. I still have experiences to add to my life’s history and more lessons to learn. There’s always more to learn.
So when you experience the delays, detours and occasional roadblocks as you’re traveling down your personal growth highway, don’t get discouraged. It’s gonna happen. It’s all just a part of the developmental process. Hang in there. Keep on truckin’. Don’t give up! Your personal, special destiny really is waiting for you!
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