Chances are that you are struggling in one or more of these pillars of life.
Beating yourself up for problems that, as you’ll come to find out, aren’t entirely your fault. It sucks. It’s painful. And it seems that it will never end, but there is hope. There is a difference to be made.
I have, over a lifetime of being a perfectionist, developed the unfortunate problem of beating myself up for my mistakes. When I do this, the central focus of my problems is that they are all completely my fault.
But just recently, I realized that it’s not so simple.
Accountability is important, yes. We cannot go around blaming everyone and everything and “the system” for our problems and faults, to the point of inaction. Unfortunately, we see far too much of this thinking in our world today.
We get farther in life when we come to a sound realization of where we are. Then make the conscious decision to live intentionally, without spending too much time worrying about who or what is to blame for our circumstances.
This principle I’ve learned just might help you stop worrying about the blame and start doing something to improve your situation. In the simplest terms, it’s this:
You are not to blame for struggling emotionally, financially, physically, mentally, or even spiritually.
The struggles we experience are a natural part of being human. But they are also, in part, a result the human race being at a place of imperfection in our journey of progression towards perfection here on Earth.
Part of our imperfect journey is where we are at with our current education system, which is, unfortunately, suffering due to neglect.
Now, I again want to reiterate the need to be careful with this kind of thinking. There are a couple of caveats.
Recognizing that your problems are not your fault does not grant you the right to go around being angry at everyone and everything, blaming them for your problems. This kind of thinking will only make things worse, and only for yourself.
Additionally, your focus must remain on what you are going to do about your current situation. If you want your situation to change, you have to admit that you are the only one with the capability to change it.
And lastly, as the son of a school teacher, I know that this is not their fault. They are doing the very best they can, and still touching so many lives for the better, even amid all the frustrating policies and programs that are far from meeting students needs. Teachers are on our side.
Now, back to the truth that your problems are not entirely your fault.
You never learned how to properly manage your finances. Or how to have deep and lasting relationships. Not to mention caring for yourself physically and mentally, other than a physical education class that maybe just taught you to “eat your fruits and vegetables” and “exercise regularly.”
The truth is, our problems are far more complex than anything we ever learned in school. While it’s tempting to look into the reasons why our education system hasn’t caught up to these fundamental needs, it's far more important to ask ourselves what we’re going to do about it.
“I don’t care much for this, pretending we’re back where we started. I want to know where we are, where we’re going.” — Cooper, Interstellar
So what are you going to do about it?
Well, this very topic is one reason that Life Coaching is a growing industry. People are recognizing the deficit of learning from school and turning to one-on-one coaches to get help with their problems.
And what do life coaches primarily help people with?
We are turning to other sources of education and coaching because the current school system just isn’t cutting it. We’re not progressing to learn what we really need to learn.
Now, I believe in education, I really do. And I’ll be the first to tell you that I am extraordinarily grateful that I learned reading, writing, and mathematical skills.
But I never use long division. Or the exact date that such and such war happened. Or cursive. And the list goes on and on.
Our education system is broken, and it’s causing us a lot of trouble and pain. It’s not meeting our needs.
Let alone the fact that so many of us graduate under mountains of debt that our entry-level jobs can barely make a dent in. And we still have to end up learning how to do our jobs on the job rather than relying on what college taught us.
What I do use frequently in life I learned by my own study.
I learned more in the first year of my full-time engineering job than in the 5 years it took me to get my bachelor’s degree combined. And, ironically, the moment I was done with that degree I found myself actually wanting to learn more than I ever had when I was in school.
Isn’t it odd, also, that school seems to discourage deep learning, rather than encourage it?
Now, I do not want to be negative. I am, by nature and by much learning on my own, a positive person. The big question that we all want to ask ourselves is this:
What can we each do to improve ourselves and the current state of the education system?
Here are some ideas.
Become involved in your community
We can do a lot of good in our world if we will work to become positive forces politically. In fact, I believe that this is much of what the world needs right now.
Rather than working so tirelessly to fight against the evil and corruption that we see in the political sphere, why don’t we channel all that energy into following positive political leaders?
We can and must support such leaders who have positive views about how to improve our education system. We need reform. We can become involved and make a difference. It starts with each of us within our own communities.
Nations are changed not all at once, but little by little, as the lives of the individual people are improved.
Learn as much as you can on your own
It’s been said that you can become more knowledgeable than the majority of people on any subject by reading just 3 books on that subject.
Your success in relationships, financially, and with your physical and mental health is directly proportional to how much you read.
Here are just 4 books that if you read immediately will significantly increase your capacity in each of these pillars of life:
Relationships- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Finances- You Are a Bada** at Making Money by Jen Sincero
Physical Health- Brain-Powered Weight Loss by Eliza Kingsford
Mental Health- Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
Read, read, read, and read some more. The more you read, or listen to audiobooks, which I prefer, the better your life will become.
I highly recommend using Scribd to read more books on whatever subject you might be struggling with the most. Also, I just got myself some air-pod style headphones from Amazon and they make it so much easier to listen more.
Teach your children in the home
I’ve had some family members and coworkers look at me funny when I tell them I’m considering home-schooling my kids.
I have to continue by explaining that I’m just planning on making their learning home-centered rather than school-centered. Possibly taking them out of school for an hour or two each day to incorporate my desired learning outcomes for them.
Yet in every single case, I hear them explain the same thing to me. It often goes something like this:
“Well, I just want to keep my kids in public schools so they can learn social skills”
Wait, what? You’re telling me that the single most important reason that you want your children to stay in public schools is for the social skills they will learn from interacting with other students??
That is wrong, and we need a change.
My church recently has made some incredible changes to be more focused on learning at home and letting what we do at church support that, instead of the other way around.
I am now much more responsible to teach my children in the home. And my mentality is to teach them everything I can as if my home were the only place they would receive that information.
What if we all had this same mentality with relationships, finances, and health? What if you were the only resource that your children would have to learn about these vital components of a happy, abundant life?
Truthfully, you and I must teach our children as if we are all they have because, in a lot of ways, we are.
We don’t have to keep our children out of public schools, but we can teach them about relationships, finances, and health on our own in ways the current broken school system can’t.
It is not your fault that you are suffering emotionally, financially, physically, and mentally, but there is great hope in the many things that you can do about it.
You can learn.
Hire a life coach.
You can work hard to make a difference in your home and community so that we all, as a human race, can improve together.
Let’s make it happen, together.