You may consider this Part One of a two-part column and also with the understanding these are my last two I will be bringing you as some changes are coming.
My father, although he declares he doesn’t remember it, once told me something which may be the best advice I have ever received where life is concerned. He may not remember, but I know I will never forget it as I have held onto it for 30 plus years to this point and, although there have been many times I chose to ignore it, I always knew it was there.
“Nine times out of 10 the hard thing to do is the right thing to do.”
The fact is I have no recollection of where the conversation took place or what the circumstances were, but having heard those words only once I never forgot them. There have been times when I was making a decision in my life and I always go back to those words.
I have passed them on to my sons. I feel it was my responsibility, especially when all around us we see people taking the easy way out time and again with no consequences, just excuses. If my sons choose to live that way, it is on them, I gave them the necessary tools and held their feet to the fire without flinching when it comes to actions and consequences.
There are no grey areas, there is what is right and what is wrong and the inner dialogue over which to choose should be a brief one.
Now, that’s not to say I am perfect and have always been able to follow my own advice. I am human and it’s human nature to take the path of least resistance. Inherently we don’t want life to be hard, don’t want decisions to be difficult, and certainly don’t want to be held accountable.
We can’t help it, it’s in our programming and it’s only through extreme and constant effort and vigilance we, as “humans beings,” are able to step outside of our comfort zone and act for change — inner change, the most important action you can take as an individual to affect the world around you.
You see, the world around us is not only comprised of the actions of others but also our own perception to the actions of others. As a society we have become far too fixed on the actions others take and less on our perception and reaction. The truth is, it’s impossible to completely control the actions of someone else, it’s only our reaction to it we have control over.
In the end, no one but you is responsible for you, your happiness, your dreams and aspirations, your relationships or your career. In the end it is you who is completely responsible for your life. Just as you can’t control the actions of others, no one else can truly control yours either.
It’s when you realize that you are indeed in control you must begin to make tough decisions, decisions you possibly don’t want to make. Most of the time this occurs when you are indeed ready to make a change, in yourself and the direction you are heading, and man, that is one uncomfortable place.
You have a routine, you have a comfort zone, and you have an established life which may not be exactly what you wanted but not bad, yet you are faced with a decision which will change those things.
“Nine times out of ten the hard thing to do is the right thing to do.”
Trust it, believe in it, and most of all, be patient. Deep down inside you’ve always had this little voice which spoke to you. Most people ignore it because it says things which make them uncomfortable. That voice is there for a reason, it is your gut instinct, women’s intuition, sixth sense, whatever you want to call it.
In the end, it doesn’t matter what you call it, only that you don’t ignore it. That voice is a gift and you should truly give it the credence it deserves.
D. C. Moody is a staff writer for The Easley Progress, The Pickens Sentinel and Powdersville Post and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.