May 30th

Who are you? What are you? Why are you? Are you what you do or are you something apart from what you do? A hammer is an object of a particular shape, design, and construction. A hammer is a tool. A hammer, when wielded by a skilled craftsman, can accomplish many things. A hammer untouched is an object. A hammer skillfully wielded is a useful tool. Hammers are not identical. Some hammers are better than others for certain jobs. Hammers come in many sizes, shapes, and preferred applications.

You are not a hammer. You are a perfect child of God—one of his unique creations that has the capacity to grow, mature, reproduce, interact, and accomplish an astonishing catalogue of undertakings. Many of us become confused about ourselves. We come to believe that what we do is who we are. Therefore the teacher believes that he is a teacher; the painter believes that he is a painter; the doctor believes that he is a doctor. The true warrior, however, knows that a mechanic is simply a child of God who has acquired mechanical skills, and that those skills have not changed the true nature of the man or woman in that role. Demonstrating effective skill is not a reflection on you. It is a reflection of how much effort you have put into acquiring that particular skill. Should you be willing to acknowledge the fact that you did not try particularly hard to acquire a certain skill, and the evidence in your skills demonstration confirms that fact, why would you decide that was a criticism of you as human being, rather than confirmation of a lesson indicating that the effort you expend on skills acquisition is typically proportional to the level of skill you can demonstrate?

The true warrior understands that many of us would like to be skillful without paying the price to properly acquire that skill … so the true warrior knows you must not blame yourself. What you should blame is your plan. What do you want to be able to demonstrate? Are you sure? Then put together a plan to acquire that skill, and then validate your progress. Don’t blame yourself for unsatisfactory progress. Just change your attitude and dump your expectation. Pay attention to what you do accomplish and tweak your plan. You will get there if you persevere, stick to the plan, and expend the required amount of effort.

Take nothing personally. You are never being attacked. You only turn in on yourself when you have been unable to separate who you are from what you do. Comments, compliments, criticisms, accolades, or denigrations are all about what you do. They are not about who you are. Therefore, you should step back and look at what is coming your way. Embrace it for the truth that it may contain about what you do. You give everything in your mind the meaning and value that it holds. You are in charge (even if you don’t believe it). You are not what you do. You are a perfect child of God and God doesn’t make junk!

You are warriors in your soul. Warriors strive as all life strives. Warrior is just another word for child of God (COG), a cog in the universe with the opportunity to play an elemental role. You choose and you do, but it is not who you are. Who you are cannot be changed by you. You can only polish and care for your soul. You can damage your soul. You can paint your soul black. The good news is that the care and feeding of your soul is your right. Do not abdicate this God-given right. Get a plan for you and a plan for what you do … and with great plans, you will really matter. So it has been written.