It's How (Not If) We Live That CountsWritten by Thom Rutledge
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of last month’s terrorist attacks on United States, we hear story after story of courage in face of great danger and not-so-good odds. I have asked myself, “Would I have acted as admirably as these good people?” Of course I want to think I would, but I cannot predict future, and I think it would be a mistake to underestimate power of self-preservation reflex given imminent danger. I do believe that to not act as these otherwise ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances have acted would certainly be a classic case of missing point. And I believe that regardless of how I might or might not have acted on September 11, 2001 had I been aboard Flight 93, speeding across Pennsylvania air space, aimed at a Washington D.C. target, for instance, likelihood of my acting with that level of courage at some future time has been significantly increased thanks to their example.
How I might (or you might) act in some future extreme circumstance is very likely never to be known. But how we act today will be known, maybe to other people, but most definitely to myself and God. The displays of courage in our day to day lives will for most part not be dramatic or flashy --- not remarkable at all --- but these are choices of behavior that will determine whether or not we ultimately “get it,” or miss point.
And I’m pretty sure it ain’t about money and cars.
Thom Rutledge is a psychotherapist and author of several books. His new book, Embracing Fear, will be available June 2002. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or www.webpowers.com/thomrutledge.
Invest in Positive PossibilitiesWritten by Thom Rutledge
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It takes a lot less effort to believe that I am due a windfall soon --- that God surely has some success waiting just around corner for me --- than it takes to invest in believing in myself in nitty-gritty real world. Don’t get me wrong. I know that “somebody has to win lottery,” and I see no harm in believing that it will be you. That is, I see no harm in expecting long shots as long as you are also investing your valuable energy in believing in yourself in course of your daily life.
If you identify with any of this, try this: Imagine that you are visited by a human-energy-efficiency expert who can evaluate how you invest your valuable daily allowance of energy. (This consultant is of course just a new member to your ever expanding inner-committee.) Like a good consultant, follow yourself around for a day or two, observing and making some notes. Then, from perspective of consultant, make a list of recommendations for how you might use your daily allowance of mental energy more efficiently and constructively.
In my experience, most people hire consultants, get their recommendations, then ignore them. I suggest that you listen to this one.
Thom Rutledge is a psychotherapist and author of several books. His new book, Embracing Fear, will be available June 2002. Contact: email@example.com www.webpowers.com/thomrutledge