Three Thoughts That Hit Me Today

I read a lot. I think about what I read. And I reflect on what I read.

Reading gives me access to powerful ideas.
Thinking is the way I process and understand those ideas.
Reflection is how I make those ideas applicable to my own life.

I find good ideas everywhere. Sometimes different ideas seem to converge and together have even more impact. Here are three ideas I thought about today.

The right idea at the right time is powerful.

ONE: You are not obligated to associate with people who are making your life worse. (Jordan Peterson)
Now you may choose to associate with them, but you are not obligated to do so. And if you do choose to associate with them, you are obligated to do it in a way that is healthy for you. That usually means drawing strong boundaries, making sure expectations are clear, and having clear consequences for transgressing boundaries.

TWO: Devote the rest of your life to making progress. (Epictetus)
Epictetus was one of the ancient Stoic philosophers. I have always enjoyed this idea and when I came across it again it hit me just as strong as the first time. What a way to live! Live knowing there is more to come. Live knowing you can grow and develop. Live knowing you have not yet arrived. And don't just exist. Move. Make progress. Get better. Improve.

THREE: When a person can't find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure. (Viktor Frankl)
Frankl was a Nazi concentration camp survivor and a famous psychologist. This is a brilliant insight about the prevailing dysfunction of our age. So many people struggle with any purposeful sense of meaning; therefore, we pursue endless distractions. The 21st century excels at distraction with pleasures. New pleasures. New ways to pursue them. So much distraction that we can, for a time, forget the greater reality--there is no underlying and overarching MEANING in LIFE.

It is reflection that puts powerful ideas into motion.

The old idea of "use it or lose it" applies to IDEAS. In fact, this is what it is called a Meta-Idea, or a big picture idea, or an idea about ideas.

Every day, powerful ideas come your way. They get your attention for a moment. Many times we have a moment of awakening but we don't think about why THIS particular idea grabbed hold of us. So it disappears.

Or, if we do think about it, we don't consider its personal relevance and application to our life. And we don't put it into practice. Soon we can hardly remember the idea.

Reflection then application.

Again, use it or lose it.
How can this idea be applied?
APPLY IT and keep applying it.
That is the way of growth.
Because you are devoting the rest of your life to making progress, this is how it will happen.

Grace and Shalom,
Pastor Brian Rice
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