Getting out of my own way


I have a wonderful education. I have a bachelor’s degree from one of the best state schools in the country and a master’s degree in business from a school where I was able to get excellent one-to-one attention from experts in the field.

You would think with all that education I would have the analytical and decision-making skills needed to make any decision known to man or at least your average suburban father. You would think . . . but you would be wrong.

Those wonderful skills, the same skills that should serve me so well . . . in actuality, they get in the way. I came across a quote the other day that sums up my predicament. The quote read:

“One day when I wasn’t paying attention, when I was just letting myself be, and forgot to judge . . . I became a writer. It’s amazing what you can become if you get out of your own way.”

How so?

—When I forgot about finding someone to love, put others first and just responded to the card and call from a concerned friend of my brothers, I found the love of my life.

—When I stopped trying to be “Dad of the Year” and got on the ground at eye-level and played and talked with my kids, I became a dad.

—When I stop worrying about money and our debt for five minutes, I stop and realize that I’m rich with things that money can never buy, including true love, the love of a close-knit family, health, integrity, trust, peace of mind, appreciation, respect, common sense, perspective, and happiness.

—When I stop lecturing and trying to solve everyone’s problems and just listened over dinner, I became the husband Kathy wants and the father Erin, Sean, and Stephen need me to be.

—When I stop worrying and simply let my mind wander, it goes on a wild, wonderful journey full of new ideas and specific phrases that I just need to get down on paper before they magically slip away.

—When I stop being jealous and envious of everyone else and work hard and not become concerned about anyone else, I become grateful for everything I already have. I see too that the other side of the fence isn’t so perfect.

—When I’m forgiving of other’s flaws, I’m lucky to find that they’re more forgiving of my too-many-to-count foibles.

—When I’m disciplined, hard-working, trusting, patient, forgiving, brave, committed, cooperative, empathetic, flexible, focused, honest, joyful, hopeful, sincere, reliable, selfless, tough, and thankful, I’m rewarded many times over.

So yes, I have a wonderful education and keen mind, but when it comes right down to it, my best course of action, more often than not, is to follow my heart.  My point: God has a plan for me. I’m certain of it. I just need to get out of the way.

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