Simple Living Skill #1

Take the time to ask four questions before undertaking any project. Indeed, this works for virtually every action you could possibly undertake. First, what will happen if I do “X”? Second, what will not happen if I do “X”? Third, what will happen if I do not do “X”? Fourth, what will not happen if I do not do “X”? It sounds a little cumbersome at first, but integrating these four questions into your daily life has great merit. They allow you to see your decisions as more of a process and to get a better handle on consequences that flow from both doing and not doing certain things. The questions help you to integrate what you want to do with what needs to be done. Granted there are times when swift action is demanded, but as one becomes comfortable with this intellectual task, it gets faster and faster to utilize. Consider well all the possibilities and miraculous changes in your life are guaranteed to occur.

Thoughtful consideration of both action and inaction can lead to discovering parts of our own self that can lead to internal harmony and deeper understanding of the soul that inhabits our bodies. To many, folks who utilize this skill appear more placid, prescient, and at the very least present to the moment and can act with greater confidence and poise. This is also a sure technique for becoming more effective. Many times we work at cross purposes to our own hopes and dreams. Even though we may think we are doing everything we can to achieve our goals, the opposite is quite true, but hidden from view by old habits and beliefs. This exercise can lead to clearer vision about our choices and the future that flows from them.

A serious mistake that many new gardeners make is to till too early, when the ground is still wet. Of course, after a long winter, who doesn’t want to get out there in the soil? This ruins the tilth of the soil and may take many years to get back. Asking these four questions before digging in the garden could save many years of hardship and lost productivity. Some people jump from bad relationship to bad relationship. These questions could help to break that cycle. Asking this question about moving closer to where one works, how one shops, whether or not to recycle and what to pursue for recreation pays huge dividends as well.

I have to laugh sometimes, at folks who consistently undermine themselves. Years ago, when studying management styles and leadership issues, we talked at length about crisis management and how fraught with danger it is. Once you learn about being pro-active, many other things fall into place. Of course, it is a lot of work, and you have to give up a few things, but nothing good comes without hard work and some sacrifice. It is certainly preferable to an anti-active approach. Believe me, I have seen those scenarios played out hundreds of thousands of times. Without consideration of these four questions, the blind spot that you run into will be large enough to eclipse even a good decision or two along the way.

Try it, see if it works for you, and let me know what you think.

Appreciatively and with a deep sense of humility, Tony C. Saladino

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About otherfishwrap

One of the last of the Baby Boomers, I remember where I was when JFK was shot. Good story. Born during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my life has been spent studying, practicing skills and attitudes that reflect justice and the sanctity of Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit. Trained as an educator, my life has been devoted to cultural development and social justice.
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