Gandalf

The Wisdom of Tolkien .. Again..

From time to time on this blog we visit a quote from one of my favorite authors Tolkien. For many of us he is the god father of modern fantasy writing (along with Jules Verne). Tolkien gave us a lot of pearls of wisdom from his works, let’s discuss the one below.

“For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, 

What does he mean here? Simply put, those of you who have obtained wisdom or have mentors in your life cannot always rely exclusively on their view. Even those of us with a vast amount of experience cannot possibly foresee all possible outcomes. Tolkien is giving us a very important reminder here that you cannot rely exclusively on the wisdom of others.

Sometimes in life things happen that we don’t anticipate no matter how well we prepared for it. Those are often the most unforgiving and brutal of circumstances and they punish your spirit and soul. The key here is acceptance. Acceptance of the notion that life/fate is out of your hands. Things happen and it’s not always how well you are prepared for what might occur but rather how well you recover from the things you didn’t see coming.

One of the hardest things we have to deal with as humans and as humans with anxiety is picking ourselves up after a major calamity. Tolkien gives us a warning here, he is telling us that even the very wise cannot see all ends. Remember, live isn’t about how many hits you can take, it’s about how you get up and carry on after being knocked down.

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New Year’s Resolution?

“2020 worst year ever” was the mantra for most of last year. It’s over you made it. What changed exactly from 12.31.20 to 1.1.21? Not a whole hell of a lot really. Change happens when you commit to it, and change is one of those romantized notions that people cling to in the hopes of a better outcome. New leaders, new seasons, new year’s, new clothes, new jobs on and on.

How do you feel? I’m betting you feel pretty close to the same as you did in 2020. I’m not chastising you here I am trying to knock the steam out of a potential failure. So many people pin their hopes on a “new year” a “resolution” and it rarely works out. Why is that? Because the changes you seek are often desired to have immediacy. Simply put, you want big changes as fast as possible and change doesn’t work that way.

What’s going to make 2021 better for you? Have you identified that yet? Changing your life requires momentum and momentum is achieved often by small incremental steps not huge leaps. Sure some people can make massive strides fast and maybe you are one of those people I don’t know. What’s an example, okay let’s try this.

I once resolved to quit coffee…. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. Ya no.

You want to lose 40 pounds, you make large changes in your diet exercise, you go all in. in a month you are exhausted, you are binging food and it’s just “one cheat day” before you know it its march and the 40-pound goal is gone. OR you could change one part of your diet. “I am no longer going to drink soda” now which do you think will be more successful?

You may stray once and while and chug a soda, but it’s a far easier goal to attain then the mountain you wanted to climb by losing 40. Here is the point. Small Incremental changes lead to long term positive outcomes. By creating large resolutions, we place ourselves in a position to not succeed. I didn’t say fail because effort is a success. Smaller more attainable goals build momentum and create the conditions by which you can parlay them into larger success. Here are 5 small resolutions to strive for instead of one huge one.

  1. Eat less sugar
  2. Save $20 a week
  3. Turn the screens off at 10:30 PM
  4. Take 3000 steps a day
  5. Volunteer once a month

Small changes provide a great chance for successful outcomes. This in turn provides a great chance to parlay those successes into smaller changes, medium changes or eventually into large life altering changes. A new year is a great time to resolve to do better. Put yourself in a position to succeed in 2021 by making a few small changes first.

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