Tuesday, June 24, 2008


“I’ve learned that I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.”

I like that line. Why? Because I’ve heard it often people say that they can’t help feel a certain way (predominantly downbeat) – that they can’t do anything about it. Don’t you think that’s simply an admission of weakness and defeat -- Two things which we should never allow to set in our life?

I agree that it requires a mind of steel to veer away from feelings which grip you like a vise but if those feelings can’t provide you with a general state of calm or peace, then wouldn’t it be just right to do something about it? Why choose to remain at a place where ugly emotions such as anger, jealousy, fear, vengeance, envy, etc. gnaw at your sense of well-being? Why not try to shift gear and take it to an upbeat situation or course thereby serving a better purpose? You can’t let those ugly emotions ride or control you, especially when you know that it is hurting another person or better yet hurting you. I’ve learned that much.

You can certainly choose what to do about it. It’s been said that mainly there are two approaches to a problem – one is to solve the problem, the other is to change your attitude towards the problem. With feelings you either stay with it or decide what to do about it.

“I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

Oh how I know that! I’ve climbed lots of mountains and trekked rugged roads in this life journey. Each not bigger or larger than the other because all were HUGE! Climbing or walking them gave me bruised hands and calloused feet. I got scars from it – emotional scars.

Life’s problems don’t leave us unscathed by it all. It leaves its mark on us, no doubt about it. But you know what, where it hurts us most is where we can experience happiness and growth at its very best.

You probably may have gone through a very difficult phase or situation in life, struggled with it, put in everything you know how, gave it your best shot. And then finally succeeded with it! Remember how you felt with that? The sense of achievement, of learning how strong you can be, of seeing your stack of wisdom grow by leaps and bounds, and of having your cup of joy spill over the brim. Wonderful, isn’t it?

You wouldn’t get that at the mountain top. Rather it’s found as you journey to the top of the mountain.

“I’ve learned that the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?”

Yes, impatience ‘kills’ me. That’s what Mom would always say to me. Things have to be done in the shortest possible time with results following right at its heels. I fret when they don’t. I always believed that time is not to be wasted, that one should do-do-do or work-work-work to get things done pronto!

Impatience was a flaw, I say ‘was’ because I think that I have learned my lesson. Or maybe it has something to do with getting older too. Or maybe Mom finally got through to me. Oh boy! Anyway I have learned that impatience is not a virtue – no matter what some smart aleck says to the contrary claiming that it pushes a person to do more and better. Do more - maybe but better I doubt it. That’s not certainly the case although some genius in our midst may be the exception but rarely.

The average normal person would largely benefit with a process that is well-thought out, studied carefully, and smartly carried out. And this would take TIME, and time requires PATIENCE. Patience to sit down to paperwork or research or brainstorming or to wait for an opportune moment to invest one’s time, energy, and money or to wait till the right puzzle pieces are in place before taking the first momentous step. Don’t you think it is less risk that way?


  1. “I’ve learned that everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”

    wonderful :)


  2. Hi Ellen,
    I've read this entry yesterday.I read it again today, minutes after listening to Oprah's commencement address to the Stanford graduates. The way you write, there is something in it, call it pedagogical or the capacity to commiserate with others,that's Oprah-like in the way you simplify the human condition.The reminder on patience, i take as a dose of spiritual signpost.Keep writing and reaching out.

  3. Hi Rup,

    So nice to know that you agree to that line. :-) It's great to see you again. My best regards to you and your family. Blessings to everyone.

  4. You're a huge inspiration, Desertfish. :-) Thank you for the lovely words. Writing and reaching out -- must be God telling me through you. :-) Blessings to you and your family.


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