When I was younger, I’ll spend time wondering why life dealt me a lousy hand. And that lousy hand would lead me down paths with many consequences I have to grapple with. I often ask God “Why things have to happen this way?”.
As I mature and grow along with time, I realised staying in the state of self-pity and wondering about the could have(s) was a complete waste of time and oh how detrimental it was to my identity. All those years struggling to find out who I am, kicking in the water frantically to keep myself afloat was tiring but very much needed.
And why do I say that? Because it instilled character in me. Whatever comes cheap, anyone would give it away easily. But when something is forge in the fire of life, this thing we will hold it dear to us. And our character, it needs to be forge in the fire of life. We don’t need to prove to anyone we can do it. But deep in our hearts, we want to know that with God, we will make it.
Muay Thai fighters develops very tough shins by kicking a bag hard. It creates microfracture the shinbone or tibia. Through ossification(bone tissues forming). The fractured bones are repaired and become denser and stronger as a result because of the new bone tissue created. Similar to developing a strong character.
Our character needs to be proven through the difficult times, to bring out the best in us. We need to go through sufferings and hardships to learn how to lean on the goodness of God. We never appreciate grace and mercy until we are in a position where we realise that we need it, if not we are doomed.
Navigating through life can be tough, but I have learn how to get slightly better at doing life in the past few years. These are the 3 things that I practise every day(almost, sometimes I still fail at it) that helped me to live life better.
- Give God the “first fruit” of my day
Time is our every day currency. Once spent, you can never take it back. You can take it from others, and others can take it from you. However, you can be sure that you will never be able to take them back. So if you take it from others, make sure it is well worth it.
Giving the first fruit of this currency to God motivates me to try and live my life well for that particular day. In small little ways it kinda reminds me that my time on earth is but temporary. This is something that I have learned to do very recently and I am very thankful to the mentor that taught me this.
- Ask myself “What is the motivation behind this action?”
I am a firm believer that before I do something, I am motivated by a certain unseen force, feelings to do that something.
Knowing what is the motivation behind a certain action keeps me in check. It helps me to think clearly before I act out what I want to do. I remember an occasion where I literally stopped before I speak because in that particular situation, I realised I was about to dishonour someone with my words. From time to time, I still fail in the department of honouring people the way God sees them but I am glad questioning my motivation helps me to keep myself in check.
Knowing the motivation behind certain of our actions is very important. It reveals the very core of who we are in that moment. Motivations does not always lead us to do something. Motivations can lead us to not do something as well. If your motivation is the fear of failing, you can be very sure that you will find yourself not stepping out most of the time.
Of course there are special cases where I do not ask myself that question. For example, walking to the fridge to get a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
- Reflection at the end of the day
At the end of the day, I will take some time to think what have happened throughout the day. What did I learn(can be something I am working on or it can something inward)? How did I win? How did I lose? Who did I spend my time with and what did I learn about that person?
This helps me to think how I want to live my tomorrow. Reflecting on what we have done in a day is very crucial to how we want to live our life. It helps us to envision what our tomorrow should look like and it definitely sets a standard for us to become a better version of ourselves.
I don’t live life alone. Living life alone has been proven to be very boring. I love surrounding myself with people(albeit sometimes I retreat so that I can binge watch certain life-enriching series on Netflix/Youtube).
The truth is, family and friends will and can contribute to your character building in life. And oh, you have the choice to choose. I never identified myself as being born in a wonderful family but I refuse to think I am handicapped by the situations of life.
And yes, I do think that I am still working out some stuff(or some people like to call it “issues”) because of the family I am in but hey, this is an opportunity for me to become better through the help of God and from people around me.
With grace and mercy on my side, I am on the winning end of every lousy hand dealt to me in life.