Weekly Thought – October 7, 2014
Fred believed in organized thought. He listened to those who came to see him and quickly assessed their mental clarity. He often asked people to write down their ideas, proposals, or issues. He repeated to them what his mentor Maxey Jarman said to him, “Fred, writing burns off the fuzziness in our thinking.” On the other hand, Fred resisted writing for publication. He felt it “concretized his thoughts and gave him no room for adjustment or growth.” We at BWF are thankful he bowed to the leadership of those who encouraged him to capture his mental musings on paper.
This week’s email is a continuation of the rewards reaped through perseverance.
Rewards of Perseverance (Part 2)
Perseverance isn’t abstract, nor just a reward in itself. There are tangible beneficial results. Two previously covered are character development and maturity. The next one is extrapolating principles,
1) Extrapolating principles from experiences is extremely helpful. We all have a storage system for information, and for experiences, as well. When we learn to store them as principles and not just random happenings we are creating a knowledge base. Principles never change, but techniques do. In my speaking I told younger ones seeking advice, “Principles never change, just the illustrations.” In tough times we don’t want to just get through, but we want to turn those experiences into principle-based thinking. If we categorize our experiences into principles such as: wait to worry or never lose the good of a bad experience we can better handle the next downturn. Techniques are fleeting and change with each new school of thought.
Experience gained through perseverance teaches us the value of help, friends, and advisors. Experience is the distillation of all that happens to us. Therefore, it is important we objectively file them without romanticizing them. The unvarnished principles and truths of our experience allow us to make right decisions and avoid the wrong ones. Principles of trust building, evaluation, and personal approaches to difficulties give us a foundation for the next time.
In periods of enduring we learn what works – and what doesn’t. For example, one of the benefits of tough times is learning how we respond to pressure. Knowing our tensile strength is critical for self-knowledge and development. We can’t find our melting point if we are never in the fire. Understanding the principles of the furnace enable us to build a strategy for any and all hot spots.
May I say a word about principles versus formulas? In our fast food world we want the seven keys to this and the six secrets to that – all packaged success in quick bites. It takes longer to understand the fundamental principles of business or relationships, but it is an approach that is longer lasting. One basic principle is the understanding of the nature of man and the nature of God. Once captured, it provides a template for comprehending how life works. Principles are the building blocks.
This week think about: 1) Do I have a foundational principle by which I live? 2) How have my tough times refined my thinking? 3) What helps me most when I am in the furnace?
Words of Wisdom: “Experience is the distillation of all that happens to us.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong.” (1 Corinthians 16:13 NET Bible)