We are such a results-oriented people. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing to be working for “results” in all areas of life. I do think everyone needs to make conscious decisions of what type of results we really value.
As a young Mom, I was inundated with tips for parenting. Not to mention all the ideas I had absorbed from my family of origin, as we all do. At some point I had to just stop. Stop reading, stop being afraid of screwing up, stop believing that if only I followed this or that specific parenting method, my kids would….behave, do well in school, get a good job…whatever. Now it took me a hell of a long time, but I finally realized, there are no guarantees. And if that is what we are looking for, in any area of life, disappointment is sure to follow.
How about religious activity? I was informed over the years that if I did this religious activity or went to this religious institution or fulfilled this religious vow ….all would be well! What a joke. My Bible study group, a bunch of loving outlaws, made up a sign for a real Christian church. It says, “if you want to suffer, be stoned, left for dead, shipwrecked, whipped, beaten, robbed, imprisoned, frozen, hungry, crucified upside-down, beheaded, AND experience untold Joy, come join us!” I think it would be a first.
I don’t even want to mention politics. The idea that a certain person in power, or a specific political party can guarantee a damn thing is ludicrous. I know everyone needs to vote, blah, blah, blah. But to believe in a cure-all from the halls of political power, are you kidding me?
So yes, consider the results you want out of your life and plan accordingly. But don’t expect specific outcomes. Make some plans to live for and pass on; some intellectual hallmarks, or reasoning abilities, or loving traits. You won’t even have to say much to pass it on, whether it be to kids or friends, just model it. BE your life instead of trying to DO your life.
Now I am going to take all manner of shit for adding this (from my kids and my brother, and my musical buddies), but I hear it all the time at the skating rink and the words make me think of going below the surface to find what we really believe life is about.