Friday, September 11, 2015

You Can Do Anything

                You can do absolutely anything.  Sure there are some things in this life that require intensive study and training before you can do them.  Surgery and flying both come to mind.  But overall, that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about the millions of little things in your life.  I’m talking about all of those things that have one simple, basic requirement – a willingness to fail.

                Yup.  You read that right.  All you have to do is be willing to fail.  And that means you need to be willing to accept the consequences of your possible failure, both the good and the bad.  Are there good consequences to failure?  Of course there are.  It’s called learning.  I understand that we are all being brainwashed to believe that learning doesn’t happen anywhere outside of a structured school environment, but that just isn’t true.  The biggest lessons in my life have been learned through colossal failure brought about by incredibly bad decisions.  And yet my time in the public school system is one enormous blur where outside of reading, writing, and math not a whole lot of it has impacted my life today.
              My first recommendation to you is to skip the incredibly bad decision part, if at all possible.  I mean, we all make them, but the goal here is trying to limit them as much as we can.   The best way to do that is to have a really solid foundation in your life.  My foundation is Jesus Christ.  Does that mean I won’t make mistakes?  No.  Sometimes I will wander off the path that God has placed before me.  I will do things wrong.  I am not perfect.  In fact, some days I feel like I am a walking, talking train wreck.  But I will say this… when I finally made Jesus the foundation in my life, my incredibly bad decisions seem to have diminished by an astonishing  amount.  So, find your foundation.

                Next on my list of suggestions is to use the internet.  There is an ocean of knowledge at your fingertips.  You just need to find it hiding somewhere in the midst of all of the cat videos and gossip about reality television stars.  You can learn to do new things, or you can find terrific tips on things you already learned.  I promise you that there is always something new out there.

                Finally, you absolutely, positively have to trust yourself.  Because if you don’t trust yourself, then what on earth makes you think you should trust someone else?  Think about it.  You know everything about you – your flaws, your shortcomings, your weaknesses.  When you see something that isn’t going to work for you, you know it, right?  And you can adjust for that.  How do you know that the way someone else is doing something hasn’t already been adjusted to compensate for their own weaknesses?  You don’t.  So, when you see something that isn’t going to work for you, don’t assume that there is something wrong with you or that you can’t do it.  Maybe you just need to adjust the project a little bit so that it fits you.

                  I have tried my hand at refinishing furniture, reupholstering furniture, building furniture from scratch, appliance repair and electronics repair (both with lots of help from YouTube), sewing, quilting, cross stitch, embroidery, crocheting, knitting, spinning, gardening, canning, writing a novel (which I never finished), and probably hundreds of various small things that I can’t begin to remember or list.  

My mother is always astonished that I do these things.  She wants to know where I learned all of it.  But, you see, that’s the thing… I didn’t really learn all of it.  I just did all of it.  And when I was finished and the completed project was sitting in front of me – for better or worse – that was the point when I was able to say that I had just learned something.  And I have loved every moment of it.  Today my reupholstering is limited to simple chair seats, but knowing that I could reupholster my sofa if the need ever arose is a really great feeling.  The best thing I learned, though, is that I can do anything.  And, like I said at the beginning of this post, so can you.

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