Saturday, December 10, 2011


It's so bothersome how reality never seems to match up with ideals.

"That went more smoothly in my head" seems to be my life's motto. Perhaps my problem is that I am too much of an idealist; a day-dreamer. Not that being a romantic is a bad thing--this trait just needs to be balanced with a healthy understanding of reality; the way things really are.

Unfortunately, practicality is not my strong suit. In school, I'd read the prompt for a long-term project and my mind would run wild with creative ideas. Then, I would put off actually starting on the assignment until the night before, at which point I would be forced to do a hasty job that resulted in a product nowhere nearly matching my original vision. I'll confess that a big part of this is laziness--historically, my work-ethic has lacked fire. However, this is merely a bad choice, a poor response to a more basic issue: I simply do not know where to start, or what steps to take to achieve what I envision.

As time has gone on, I've improved at taking the time to think through concrete steps for reaching my goals well in advance. It takes a lot of effort, and certainly it does not come naturally to me, but it has enabled me to truly do my best (and not simply "my best, given the last-minute circumstances"). The trouble is, I've really only figured out how to apply this to my job, and even then I'm still very much a work-in-progress.

There are many other areas of my life where the gap between ideal and reality is just as wide as ever. Making new friends, investing more in other people, learning how to take care of myself, not being awkward around girls my age... these are gaps that I've yet to bridge.

As a teacher, I occasionally point out "transfer of learning" to my kids, when they take a skill they learned in one setting and use it in another. It seems like I need to work on my own transfer of learning...

As I've increasingly learned to do, I now turn outward, recognizing my limitations, and I look to God for the strength and wisdom to put this idea into practice.

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