We all have our own share of failures that most times are rooted in our weakness. Maybe we lack virtues like patience, discernment, compassion or maybe it’s something more? Some are great with numbers and can effortlessly maneuver them in calculations to account, design and build. Some of us are great at saving and building plans for our futures. For many of us numbers aren’t our speciality, but we have strength in words, intuition, tact, communication and relationships.
The struggle. I’ve struggled with a few things in my life. Figuring them out has been frustrating. I think since I was 5 years old I spent many wasted and frustrated hours working out a solution on my own, when the answer was just a question away. It might have been bulding a Lego village, completing an essay in German literature or a venture to change the culture of a city. I have been known to take much of it on all myself. Sometimes, when failure feels imminent and I’ve grown frustrated I give up. We should never give up on our goals or dreams. A dream of mine has been to find someone who is running the same race as me, and wants to partner with me in this life. Yup, one of the most difficult ones for me has been a relationship. I’m 33 and I am yet to be in a one that survives a year. And to be honest I’m nervous to jump into another. I guess thats partially because the last one was a bit of a disaster, but I also knowing that I want this next one to be my last. There’s some pressure there that you could call baggage or fear. During this time I’m also sorting out my issues, fears and working to understand what it is I truly want in a partner. In the past, part of the problem for me and being in a relationship has been that I’ve looked at them like too much of an investment, rather than a bond and privilege. I’ve sought out flaws, chalked up the things that are going wrong and I don’t feel they meet up to my friends’ and families’ expectations. I look for the exit. My logic and perhaps madness is that I convince myself that there will be something better. We all know the grass is always greener on the other side though. I think in retrospect I could have stayed in many of my past relationships and would have lived a happy and fulfilling life, but fear drove me to get out and seek something else. There can always be something better out there, or at least that’s the perception. Maybe that’s why investing has been one of my other great weaknesses. It has been up and down. I stick to an investment and it plummets and the ones I get out of jump.
The help. I’m learning that being connected with community and surrounding yourself with caring, forward thinking, like minded and selfless people that all things can be made good, anew and greater than you could have ever imagined. I have friends that have laser focus when it comes to investments. They find great investments, stick with them and they end up making a lot of money. It’s a great skill of theirs and they continue to get better at it. I see them as craftsman. Like an electrician, you need their help to wire your house. You could give it a try yourself, but it’d likely end very badly for you. These days, when I struggle with something, I know that it’s not my own burden to sort out. That weight can be supported by others who can help me get through it. Those that have been there before and exceed in that area. They’re the ones who provide me with help and guidance, and might even partner on the effort in some form. Being mentored by my pastor, counsellor and a series of other mentors this year, helping me sort out my perspective on relationships, has been extremely rewarding. It’s got me on the right track, and when I’ve been slightly derailed they’ve given me advice that has gotten me back on. It’s been humbling being so vulnerable, but it’s been so worth it. The same has been for friends that excel at investing. I’ve sat down with them for hours and reviewed their strategies, success, failures and future plans. It’s helped my confidence, but also build more realistic goals. And this mentoring isn’t a one time thing. No. It’s a continual process. It’s a journey as we build relationships with more deeper meaning, not just chatting about the weather and work, but how we can support and raise each other up.
The victory. Getting to the point of asking your friends and leaders for help requires humility. To get the most of it you’ve really got to admit that you’ve failed or struggle with this area and want to be better. Like a child, we’ve got to ask for help and truly mean it when we say, “can you teach me?” More than often, granted the fit and personalities are aligned, the friend or leader will take you up on the idea. The victory can be there for both the student and the mentor. We should all be mentoring people at some point in our lives. There’s much to learn from teaching too.
Do you struggle with an area of your life and want to see improvement? Find a good and trusted friend or leader in your life that excels in that area and start talking. Be real. You’ll be amazed at how you’ll grow and improve in that area, and your friendship will develop along with many other great things benefactors. Give it a go!