The Picture Isn’t Always Perfect

Nothing is Picture Perfect 2

Oftentimes we like to paint a picture for people that things in our world are running smoothly. We like to put a smile on to pretend that things are perfect even if they aren’t. We like to highlight the things that are going well and leave out all of the mistakes that we have been making as we go. It’s the whole fake it until you make it syndrome. It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have positive self-talk and to tell yourself that you can do this or that, even if deep down you are unsure of your capabilities. But to leave out the things that went wrong in your journey sometimes does a disservice, not only to you but to the people that you hope to inspire along the way.

If you think about it, there are no real mistakes in life. Everything that happens to us or even for us is by design and has already been mapped out by God. Even the slight detours we take are to teach us something, to show us what we are made of when we start to lose sight of the true depth of our purpose. It is in the failures that we truly triumph because we learn perseverance and it forces us to get back up again even when we don’t feel like we can.

I’ll admit that it feels good when you are presenting yourself to people as if you have everything all together and figured out. Particularly in the instances where you want to impress someone who impresses you, you want to seem like you can make all the pieces to the puzzle fit perfectly. Sometimes you fake it so well that you may even start to believe it yourself and it kind of gets you motivated in a way you may not have been otherwise.

The problem with faking it is that in leaving out the mistakes that you have made you also tend to leave out the lessons that you have learned from those mistakes as well. The people that you want to inspire and who may be looking to you for guidance are being mislead by this false perception of what success looks like and that really isn’t fair to them or you. There is no such thing as a flawless road to success and trying to pretend that there is only makes things look pretty on the outside, but it doesn’t change the reality of how messy the journey really is.

Stop trying to make everything look easy to everyone else because by doing that you diminish all of the hard work that you have likely put into your journey. Your path has more substance because of the obstacles and failures that you have had as you have walked along it. All those times you fell that you would like to instantly forget are important because they taught you that you are not a quitter and that you can get back up again. The detours on that straight and narrow road that you had planned to take likely gave you something that you needed at those particular times. Don’t leave out what you believe are the bad parts of your journey because odds are the good that came out of it wouldn’t have happened any other way.

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

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The Questions We Ask Ourselves, and God (Part 4): How Do I Know I’m On the Right Path?

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

–Jeremiah 29:11 

It’s hard to know if the direction you are headed in is the right one.  It is even harder to know if the path you are on is the one you are destined for when it seems you continue to make so many mistakes (some mistakes repeatedly).  You want there to be some way to know if that dream that you are chasing, and have been for years now, is the right one for you.  You want to make sure that when you get to the destination that you are seeking, that you won’t regret the choice you made in picking that particular location.  The thing is that you already know, deep down inside of you, if you are on the right path or not.  

For a long time I questioned whether being a writer was really my destiny.  I still question it sometimes when things seem to be hopeless.  But what lets me know that this is my purpose and that I am on the right path is the fact the no matter how many mistakes I have made, they have somehow still all led me right to where I was always meant to be.  I am making a living (admittedly lower then what I would like it to be at the time) doing what I love to do more then anything in this world.  I am doing what calms me and what heals me.  I am doing what God put me on this earth to do, and I am doing it with all of the mistakes I have made included.  

Along your journey sometimes you get diverted, redirected, and turned completely around.  You go in different directions then you originally saw yourself going in.  But are those diversions really unplanned or were they just not a part of your plan.  We make plans but our plans always get rerouted when they are not the same as God’s plans.  This doesn’t mean that your destiny isn’t what you thought it was.  It just means that the mistakes you think you made along the way were God’s way of getting you back on the right track.  

The path you take isn’t going to be all on the straight and narrow, nor will it be without experiencing some bumps (and bruises) along the way.  That doesn’t mean it’s not the right path for you, just that the right path is not going to be an easy one.  You have to remember that you are on the path that God has chosen for you, for whatever reason.  Don’t try to reroute God’s path with your own.     

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

No Excuses Allowed (Anymore)

“Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure.” 

~Don Wilder 

I was in the gym this morning and one of the guys in there (who hadn’t been there for about two weeks) strolled in to a barrage of questions from everyone else in the weight room.  In our gym we look after one another and we definitely hold everyone accountable to what they say they want to accomplish by coming there.  So this particular person constantly comes in the gym speaking about how he plans on being more consistent and then he will disappear for about a week.  When he comes back in he talks about all of the things that threw him off of his plan to be consistent and the mistakes that he made in his diet that made him feel too guilty to come back to the gym on a regular basis.  We tell him the same thing time after time.  That it doesn’t matter the mistakes he made in his own plan, or that he got off track.  What matters is that he corrects the mistakes and gets it together.  In one ear and out the other our words go every time.  

Today, for every excuse he gave me, I simply said to him “this is the year for no excuses”.  He responded by saying “but I fell off, I messed up”.  I told him that it doesn’t matter that you ‘fell off’ or that you made mistakes in your own plan, what will make those mistakes matter is if you give those mistakes power by never correcting them.  He asked me “well haven’t you ever made mistakes in your diet and messed up and then felt guilty about it?” and I said ‘sure I mess up in my diet because I’m an emotional eater, and I’ve missed more than one or two days at the gym but I don’t feel guilty about it because I know that I am going to correct it and eventually I do’.  

Now this conversation may just be in reference to going to the gym and maintaining a healthy regimen but the message applies to everyday life as well.  We all make mistakes that we feel guilty about and we sometimes think that we can’t come back from whatever mistake it is but the reality is that we can and using those mistakes then becomes more of an excuse.  Not one person walking this earth is perfect or goes without making one single mistake.  Sometimes what makes the mistakes worse than what they really are is the fact that we keep repeating them and never do what needs to be done to correct them.  

I think that sometimes we should celebrate the fact that we are imperfect beings because it will be those imperfections that strengthen our character and our determination to do the things that we were put here to do.  Those imperfections allow us to realize that while we may fall down, we most certainly have the strength to get back up.  So for the year of 2012, let’s try to take the attitude that we won’t make any excuses, nor will we accept any.  If we make a mistake, don’t let that very mistake be a reason that we don’t correct our actions.  So you fell down, so what.  Sit up, get your bearings together, dust yourself off, and get back up again.  It will only stay a mistake if you don’t do anything to correct it.  Until tomorrow…Rejoice in your imperfections, they are apart of what makes you who you are!

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

The Importance of Finishing

“Winning isn’t always finishing first.  Sometimes winning is just finishing.”

~Manuel Diotte 

Earlier today I was reflecting on how good I felt about completing National Novel Writing Month yesterday (50,002 words) and I began to think about the fact that if I finished everything as strong and with as much determination and staying power as I did those 50,000 words I might be further along in my journey to being successful.  Looking at my list of what I was supposed to accomplish in this entire year I ran over the things I started and just didn’t finish.  For whatever reason, be it frustration of it not working fast enough (I admit I need to work on my patience), or just pure self-doubt that I wasn’t good enough to have the success I was trying to carve out.  There is something to be said for finishing what you start and not giving up halfway through the mission.  

I was listening to the news earlier this morning and they were discussing the whole Herman Cain controversy and there were claims that he was “reassessing” his campaign, which of course people automatically took as him contemplating dropping out of the race.  Now before I say this I want to make it clear that I am not a Herman Cain fan, neither of his politics nor how he chooses to govern his personal life, however, having said that, if he is in fact considering dropping out of the race, I do NOT think that he should.  Yes he is struggling right now on so many fronts but no person is perfect and the person running for the President of theUnited Statesis not going to be an exception.  He started something, and I believe that he should finish what he started.  If he doesn’t I am almost certain he will forever wonder what would have been and what could have been if he had just finished. 

Now no one likes to lose or have that feeling of defeat.  But isn’t it defeat if you have a continuous pattern of starting these grand missions and then never finishing them and seeing them through?  I have a notebook full of a lot of things that I got really excited about and jotted down all of these notes and ideas for projects and how I was going to put those ideas and plans into action and then I would hit a snag and it would seem impossible to envision me being able to complete that project.  I got it in my head that because I hit that snag, there was no use wasting time on an idea that could never really go anywhere.  I just wouldn’t finish.  

When I look back on several moments of my life that is where the majority of my mistakes have been.  That I didn’t finish.  Here’s what I’ve learned from all of those unfinished mistakes.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve started something if it never gets completed and put into action.  Even if you finish and find it not to be a success, at least you’ve finished.  This month I will be making my lists for what I want to accomplish next year.  I can tell you that no matter what, I intend to finish whatever it is I start from now on.  No more unfinished business for me. 

Until next time…Always, Always, Always, finish! 

 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress

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