Monday, March 21

Persistence, Patience, Practice and Perseverance: Progress 3/21/11

The Angel Oak on Johns Island in So. Carolina.  The oldest oak tree east of Mississippi.  It is certainly one of the most beautiful. It's 1500 years old. It's 65 feet tall, over 6 stories. The crown covers 17,000 sq. feet. It's longest limb is 89 feet long. It's maintained by the city of Charleston. This tree grew from one acorn. Here's to our growth
 Patience With Our Progress

         Today, I'm leaving several quotes. May they help us maintain an Attitude of Gratitude. Availing ourselves to God on a daily basis, seeking  His will, helps our patience grow.  Immediate results are no longer our focus.

         I've discovered that life, like the growing oak tree referred to in the quote below---and pictured above---is a matter of many, mini successes.  Like stalactites, found hanging from cave tops, successes build-up over time.  Little victories demonstrate growth developing within.

        Progress doesn't look like much on any given day; growth is slow.  However, over time, it happens.  Continued victories are assured when we practice discipline in areas where we desire success.
"Success depends not merely in how well we do the things we enjoy, but in how consci-entiously we perform those duties that we don't."  
        John Maxwell, Developing the Leader                          Within You
Placing Principles Over Unhealthy Habits
         Exercising regu-larly, refraining from seductive junk food and rejecting ration-alizations that justify harmful behavior and saving our mon-ey may not be fun, for many.  Eating unhealthily is tempt-ing.  Many of us love indulging in greasy hamburgers, french fries, ice cream, pizza and potato chips.

         We know it's best not eating them, if we want better health and longevity.  It's better choosing health and vitality over the temporary pleasure of unhealthy appetites. That's why I exercise and ride my bike as much as I do.

           In the same way, placing principles above self-damaging habits promotes growth. Our character gets better, we experience the beginnings of thriving. Yes, we'll slip on occasion.  Developing and maintaining healthy pattern of living requires patience.
I need not judge the rate at which I change old habits or ways of thinking.  If  I'm uncomfortable with old behavior,  then on some level some level I am already mov-ing toward changing it.  Change will not be effective unless I am ready for it.   
I need only trust that, when the time comes to  move  forward, I will know it.    
               Courage to Change, p 221  
"Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift; that there is more to life than increasing its speed. Let me look upward unto the towering oak and remember it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well."            Oren Crane
Gentleness Helps
        Being gentle towards ourselves helps. When we engage in less than best habits, we simply forgive ourselves.  It doesn't help to kick ourselves:
"Condemning my imper-fections has never enhanced my appreci-ation of life nor has it allowed me to love my-self more."  Courage to Change, p. 19
Re-engaging healthy principles is preferred. (It's time to put those kicking boots away. For more on that, please click here.)  They allow us to become our better selves and move on.

      Have a great, gracious, patient-with-yourself, characterologically growing, grateful day,
How About You?
1. What helps you to be patient with your progress?  

      For me, in addition to what I wrote above, it helps me to remember that the voices that would want to condemn me are liars. Yep, liars. Also, it helps me to know that God, my Higher Power does not cheapen himself by using shame, guilt or judgment to motivate me. He uses love, balanced with non-condemning truth. 

2. Focusing on the positive, where is an area that you have seen progress with your life? 

      I continue to be amazed at the equanimity I have, even when in very stressful situations. It boggles my mind and is very comforting to my body---stress, without recovery can kill serenity, tranquility and my emotional safety. 
Another related post:
Perseverance click here.


ScooterSim said...

Great quote. One could use the passage from the Bible as well where it says to perform all that you do as if you were working for the Lord and not for man, because it is the Lord God whom you serve.

Thag Jones said...

Those are great quotes - nice reminders. :)

Paul NorthernCal said...

Paul, thanks for your coment. It's great to see you here. I'm praying for your opportunity with John Maxwell. I'd like to know more about it. I'd like to provide his training here, in the SF Bay Area.

Paul NorthernCal said...

Dear Thag,

I find inspirational quotes empowering. I find I can always grow as a person. Life is exciting when I immerse myself in truths that allow me become a better and happier person. Sometimes my maturing process involves being more patient and gracious towards myself.

Anonymous said...

Great insights altogether an excellent essay. Thanks for all the helpful insight and education. It pays off to LISTEN. Muse

Pablo said...

Thank you for your kind words, Muse!

I find meditation and prayer allows me to listen to what life wants to tell me.

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.