Last week I wrote about two ways we can look at life: Seeing the glass half-full vs. half-empty. We’re usually one or the other; rarely are we both.
This week I’d like to look at two other personality traits. Just as with last week, these two things are probably also mutually exclusive.
How do you handle tough situations? Like when you get that sinking feeling that it’s going to be harder than you thought it would be. Or when you’re in deep waters and problems start to show up.
What do you do? Do you panic? Do you start to back off? Or do you set your jaw, lower your head, and lean into it?
When someone (or even yourself) tells you that you can’t do it, do you immediately accept it and think “Yeah, you’re right?” Or do you immediately bristle? While you’re thinking, “You’re wrong. Yes I can!”
Years ago, I heard Dr. James Dobson talking about the strong willed child. If I understood him right, he said that kids tended to be either compliant or defiant. While they can land anywhere on the scale between those two poles, they tend to be more of one or the other.
That’s right, isn’t it? Parents reading this know exactly what we’re talking about. Some kids will pretty much do whatever you ask, with few problems. They want to please, and are ready to be led.
But other kids fight every little thing. If you say “Go” they stop. If you say “Stop,” they go. Tell them “The sky is blue,” and they say, “No it’s not!” But if it’s time to get in the bath, and you say “I’ll beat you there” (to the bathroom), they’re off and running, saying “No you won’t!”
Since we can see this huge difference in kids early on, even though they may be in the same environment, that suggests that we’re really made that way. It’s part of what makes us unique.
Once in awhile, circumstances can beat us down and shape us a certain way. Or sometimes things happen to shove us out of our comfort zone. But generally, we are how we are.
What’s interesting is that just like last week, sometimes we need both qualities. If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, you’re not going to just wander out of fatness. You have to be very intentional and proactive about it.
As adults, we might be hard chargers, but we have to learn to go along to get along. At some point, you have to answer to somebody.
Or if we’re a little laid back, compliant, or reserved, we learn we have to take some chances. You’ve got to stick your neck out to get ahead, and you can’t always please everyone.
For some challenges, you’ve just got to make the journey. As they learned in the Old Testament book of Joshua, you’ve got to go in and take the land.
But if things are way out of control, tragedy strikes, or the enemy’s at our door, we’re can’t do it alone. We have to learn how to rest in His arms, and let Him fight the battle for us.
So hard charger, or laid back? Either is OK. Chances are that you were made that way. Just know that for everything, there is a season, even how we approach life. So go get ’em Tiger!
More info about Tom: Owner of Tom’s Fitness in Paris, IL, Tom has an M.A. in Exercise Physiology, is a 6th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor, and is also Worship Leader at First Baptist Church of Paris.