On this day, I have spent time thinking about my personal vision statement. It is my personal thermostat, as in this is where I "set" my vision for myself. I am more than likely not there, but I am moving toward it with each passing day and each passing year.
It is about 7 or 6 years old. But I set it, and just like the thermostat at home, I set it and stop messing with it. Eventually I will get there.
Here it is.
I am 100% healthy in my body, soul, and spirit. I acknowledge God in all my ways, and I seek Him before I make any decisions, big or small. I am a blessing to my family and to those that God sends across my path. I am an incredible asset to my friends. I am a good listener. I am an excellent employee, and I not only work hard, but I work smart. I take time to periodically evaluate myself, and I make changes accordingly. I stick and hold fast to the path God has charted out for my life. I accept and openly welcome constructive criticism, as I know it will help me become "a better me". I am a good steward, a fine manager over the finances He has blessed me with, to the point that God knows He can trust me.
Simple enough. Or is it?
I think about it all periodically. I have done well and progressed in some areas, and in others, I am moving along a bit slower. A few years ago, I wrote detailed blog posts on each and every sentence. So let's just say, I think and meditate on this. Deeply.
But when pondering this vision statement, I have realized that I have been thinking about something else these past several months in the latter part of the year. So much so that I have spoken it several times in discussion with people. It is an answer to a specific question I get a little more often these days.
Why do you do the things you do?
I get this question because some notice how generous I am with people. Heck, I am generous with people around me that I don't particularly like. To me, it is essential as breathing or something. It is just me. And it's nothing major or anything. I have been generous with giveaways on this blog. I find that it is just a matter of establishing a habit, a matter of doing something over and over and over day after day after day.
What is my answer to such a question?
The answer is something that is added to the vision statement above:
I am well developed, well matured, and well seasoned in the areas of gratitude and generosity.
This generates interesting conversations.
Here's my thing: I like to be different from people around me. I like to be able to tell the difference between myself and others. It has gotten to the point that I can't tell one person from the next. We're all breastfed by all the negativity that's going on in the world... Everything from the elections to racism to any and every other injustice. I am around much murmuring and complaining. Constant.
And I want to be able to step away from that. I don't want to constantly judge someone else's life and actions with a magnifying glass while judging my own through rose colored glasses. No indeed.
For surely there has to be something in life to be thankful for.
For surely there must be a way to drown the self-centeredness and grow in generosity towards others.
And I spent much time thinking about that. And I know it is on my mind when it comes up in conversations.
As the Bible says... For out of the heart, the mouth speaks.
And that's where I am in my meditation and quiet time. I spend time thinking about that. I think about if and how I complained that day and why. I ask God to catch me at thought level in these matters. I wonder and anticipate every morning about my day... and how and who will cross my path so that I have opportunities to be a blessing.
I've seen that turned up a notch in my life. And I notice a few things.
You'll never have to worry about me backbiting and gossiping about you.
You'll never have to worry about me bringing you down.
I get joy out of giving a leg up and an arm up. Period.
But I have found a caveat here. A most unexpected caveat.
I probably won't really be bothered for you if it don't involve me being useful in some manner. And I am VERY uncomfortable around complainers, and find I have a tendency to excuse myself to pity parties.
Harsh statement, I know. It bothers me to no end. Because I find that I tend to be to myself a little bit more, if that makes any sense. I have to find a balance of learning to deal with people... for any reason or for no reason at all.
Hence... that's what I am thinking about on the last day of the year 2015.
Oh I wonder, I just wonder what 2016 will bring.
My prayer is for safety and soundness. And to move a few more steps in the direction of my vision statement.
And for that vision statement to grow and deepen, as it did this past year.
To go on...
Not by default, but by design...
And on purpose.