Ten Things “Don’t Do”

Ten Things “Don’t Do” (1,233)

August 9th, 2011

I’m often amused when I read the titles of books written in today’s market on self-improvement. They are riddled with positive notions on how we can pursue simple principles to enhance our success. Am I the only person that understands that we are human beings—incapable of simple principles? I am not going to learn “Seven Habits of Successful People.” I can understand my need to do that—I can appreciate the value of such a maneuver. I may even be able to muster a 24-hour-period where I can emulate the goals of the book. But eventually I will come back to being me—which is what created the problem in the first place.

Candidly, we as a people are much better at implementing the “don’t do’s” in life than we are at pursuing a more intensive list of “do’s.” Why? Because it’s just easier to avoid calamity than it is to motivate success. Fortunately, in the process of escaping stupidity, we often garner some personal satisfaction.

This became apparent to me yesterday when we arrived in Albany, NY, to inhabit our lodging for the week. The facility possessed the right location, price and elements—but it ended up being an absolute dump. We were cast on a journey to spontaneously locate what we previously had been able to acquire only through careful planning.

Honestly, we sucked at it.

And it is from that experience that I would like to present a list of ten things—Don’t Do’s—which, if you faithfully execute them, will put you in the neighborhood of better environs:

1. Don’t do “fast.” There is a prideful arrogance in believing we are going to be able to quickly resolve a problem that has side-swiped us like a hit-and-run driver. Speed is not important when we’re trying to recover from a punch in the nose. The best thing you can do is:

2. Don’t keep moving. Yes—here is a great suggestion for anyone who’s had a left hook hit them in the jaw. Lie on the mat and take eight of your ten-count. Don’t keep moving to try to impress those around you that you are still in control and everything is all right. You need time to get your head—and your head does not recover from surprise by being asked to think about what is the best way to react to it. Actually find a chair. Actually stop. And actually cease to react.

3. Don’t do “regret.” Most people are already in the midst of making an excuse for why they are in the middle of a problem instead of allowing themselves time to recover from the problem, regain their spirit and then consider what could have been done. Don’t regret in the midst of transformation and don’t hang around people who do. Here are three deadly statements that will cause you to NEVER change:

· “If I had just done this …”

· “Why didn’t you do that?”

· “It just doesn’t seem fair …”

Any one of those little regressions will paralyze you and actually worsen your situation instead of neutralizing it, sending you in the direction of solution.

4. Don’t argue. Ninety per cent of human arguments are merely an exercise in assessing blame. If we can blame someone, we don’t have to take responsibility for it, and don’t have to change anything. Arguing is the child of regret—an attempt to rationalize our presence in a project which we are pretending we are not involved in at all.

5. Don’t do “desperate.” And don’t be fooled by things that try to imitate desperation. Most of the time quick solutions ARE merely desperation. Most of the time, simulating the “light bulb going off in your brain” is actually an attempt to disengage yourself from the pain of your mistake. You can avoid desperation by refusing to seek an answer until you really understand what the problem is in the first place. Don’t be pushed into success that is not of your own choosing or you’ll wear it like a cheap suit.

6. Don’t do starvation or fail to hydrate. This might sound odd, but how many times have you been in the middle of a fiasco and said, “I can’t eat anything. No, thanks, I’m not thirsty.” Do you think your brain runs on spiritual ideas, or is it nourished by food? Matter of fact, when you do stop moving, a great reprieve is to sit down, have a cup of coffee and eat a sandwich. The brain needs nourishment—and honestly, folks, that isn’t prayer and fasting.

7. Don’t do “frightened.” Sounds trivial, doesn’t it? Of course you’re frightened. This failure could breed other failures. Wait a second … that’s what I’m talking about. Being frightened is the dastardly assumption that this dilemma that has beset you is just the beginning of sorrows. That’s why Jesus said, “Sufficient unto today is the evil thereof.” Don’t compound your present quandary by wondering if it means that the next bus that comes along is going to hit you, too. Being frightened is beginning to think about what might happen next instead of sitting down and taking some control over the selection.

8. Don’t do the first one. The first thing that comes to your head is usually spawned from anxiety. I guess you can pursue it if you want to, just to have something to keep you busy, but it probably won’t work. If it took you fifteen minutes to get into the problem, be prepared to take an hour to get out. Don’t do the quickest thing that seems to take away the pain—because after all, a toothache could be relieved by sticking a pair of pliers in your mouth and vigorously yanking. It doesn’t mean it’s a preferred resolution.

9. Don’t forget your gifts. Gifts are not taken away because we failed to make a good plan. We still have them. They may have been a bit “scared off”–into the corner of our mind—but they are accessible. What will prevent them from being available is either frantic energy or fear of inadequacy. Access your gifts before you access God OR your mind. Be prepared to offer your “five loaves and two fishes as a possibility for the problem of five thousand.

10. And finally, don’t do “picky.” Because after you calm yourself down, access your gifts and stop being frightened, some self-righteousness may come in because you feel very supported and wise by your selections, so you pass over a possibility to relieve your situation, waiting for the next train of thought. God will send an answer. It never resembles the original plan, nor does it always seem to meet all the needs—because my dear fellow-traveler, God has no intention of solving your problems without your involvement. He also has no intention of solving your problems based solely on your stubbornness. It is when we stop being cranky and self-sufficient that we open the door to a new way of thinking, which we should immediately embrace, and then let time provide more enlightened pathways.

I am neither intelligent nor spiritually sound enough to discover an inventive road to success by following printed material—no matter how inspired. What I can do is cease and desist from self-destruction long enough to garner the assistance of Father God and Mother Nature.

Don’t do the ten things above. You see? It feels a little clunky—just like the title of this piece.

But honest to God, it got me through a paradox in Albany, NY, so I can testify that it is not only workable, it is human friendly.

Published in: on August 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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