Interesting title, eh? Telling you to sweat. SWEAT!
So lately I’ve been noticing just how important it is to pay attention to the intangibles in life. What is an “intangible”? Simply defined, it is something that is unable to be actually touched, or physically interacted with. In other words, it is the stuff that you don’t get a golden painted “1st place” trophy for.
I don’t mean it in the most literal sense though, as far as this post goes, but rather the kinda of things you work on inside- the kinds of spiritual, mental, personal goals you set. They are what I want to delve into today.
In my case, whenever I usually have resolved to change something around the new year, I’d realized it was always this “spiritual” kind of stuff. This kind of stuff that only you and maybe one family member will notice a marked improvement on. Willpower, integrity, honesty, mental strength. The sort of stuff you hear when discussing morality, or sometimes religion.
A lot of people nowadays are turned off by the word religion; it has grown to become a lot less favorable than it was many years ago. And, in some aspects, I can see why. You know you’ve met that one “religious” fanatic, who is always in your face, never wants you to actually have fun, and is constantly on their high horse about their way of life. The reason I’m okay with talking trash about this sort of person right now is that this kind of person usually is fake. They say stuff, lots of stuff, preach the word, and yet don’t actually follow their own advice. It’s where you start thinking that maybe religion is just a shield to allow some people to become insufferable and avoid being criticized for their ways- a way for people to use the bible as a shield. A shield that reflects all that annoying bright light (you should be more honest!! *lies to parents immediately after lecturing you*) – yet their shield can be broken by a simple kick. A simple analyzation.
Here is where I differ on the whole “religion is toxic” debate- not all religious people are this way. Only the fake ones are. If you understand the root of religion, the reason it was spoken about in the first place, thousands of years ago, you may agree with me. What is the defining quote in christianity? Love thy neighbor. What do people of buddhism most want? Peace and serenity among all people. What do Muslims want? World peace- yes, they want peace- their religion doesn’t encourage violence just because a group of dumbasses say it does. Man, I’m TRIGGERED!
Religion exists for good, for the good of the soul. It does. And for that, I support it. I believe in Christianity personally, but I don’t mind if you believe in Mormonism. I’m just glad you’re trying to follow a moral structure- especially when you do it on your own. Church is great (I have never been)- but at times, it forces you to do something. And no one likes to be forced. If you take up religious values on your own, good for you, because you’re taking up moral structure. For no other reason than to either please others, please your God, or just be a good samaritan.
So enough on that. I’m not gonna preach anything. If you’re a good person, yet atheist, I still think you’re awesome.
Time for advice. Focus on intangible stuff. Always. Focus on values that will get you ahead- ways to treat others better.
Examples: If you’re an angry person, as in you are quick to get a bad temperament, then work on tolerating stuff. If your dog took a dump on your carpet an hour ago, and you got home from work after just cleaning yesterday, don’t flip out on the dog. Correct him/her, but try to maintain your cool. Another example. If you’re like me, a pleasure-seeking person, learn to be more stoic. I must sound ultra pretentious right now. I’m trying really hard not to, haha. Stoic is the sake of having more willpower– saying no to that McDonalds at the intersection because you want to get rid of that muffin top (“say no today for a better tomorrow”). If you’re the kind of person that takes out their frustration on a person when they’re not around (essentially behind their back. I’ve done this plenty of times- everyone has at some point), then learn to hold your tongue. Learn to live with more integrity. That word, integrity, is one of the most important words to me. I define it, as many probably do, as doing things consistently, regardless of who’s watching. It’s easier to say a person sucks when they’re not there to confront you, or to visually become upset. It’s difficult, though, to refuse to speak your mind on a disliked person- you don’t gain much from this. No one will pat you on the back for simply keeping it in your head. I’ll use an example that was in the news. Donald Trump (this won’t get political, don’t worry) tried to show what integrity was, without doing it, when he mentioned he “was gonna bring something up about Hillary’s husband Bill, but figured it would be too much”. The reason this stuck with me is that he’s giving the illusion that he had integrity here-that he held back and refused to speak ill. Yet he mentioned that he planned on it. This- this is not integrity. He was trying to give an image of caring and integrity, by “refusing” to try and get a leg up on his competition using trash talk- yet informed everyone anyway, that Bill had done some bad things. You may never get a high five for refusing to say something juicy to your friend- and that’s how it should be.
Hopping off of that long tangent, let’s refocus. I mean to say here, that doing the stuff that is intangible is very important and I felt I needed to say it. If you’re only ever doing stuff because you’ll receive a benefit, a reward, or something in return, then you’re not being who you think you are. At the risk of sounding offensive and pretentious yet again, it’s really easy to run that mile if there is a hot girl waiting at the end to lay you down. Oh man that was an extreme example. When would that even happen. “AH SWEET I just finished my 5k! COME TA PAPA!”.
Alright I’m sorry. I didn’t need to make a joke there. In all seriousness, if you can only do something good when you benefit, you aren’t doing it right. And, it’s really hard to handle situations the right way every time; it is impossible. How do you improve your chance of doing it right the next time, though? How do you raise your percentage of doing the right thing? You make an effort to practice virtues. You do the things you find yourself struggling in. You internalize your emotions, think about what you’re bad at, and then start working on it. No, it’s not for a job at Apple, no, it’s not for a 50-grand 3 series BMW.
It’s for you.
Thanks for reading
Luca DeJesu, 4:40 PM