Of Love & Order part 3B: Looking At Similar Differences

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Luke 6:37
Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven

Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger

Starting Matters
For as long as I can remember it has always been the popular belief that it’s not really starting that is important but finishing. Most people familiar with the Information Age (where the existence of being misinformed and disinformed increases the challenge with trust in all types of relationships), should respond to that belief in the same way as they would this one: Knowledge is Power, with Who Lied To You? You see your attitude at the beginning of a task determines its outcome more than anything else, therefore how you begin (in general) does in fact impact how you finish. Seeing that applied knowledge is power (impacting the consequences depending on how that power is used), commencing the right way in your relationship can actually greatly influence how it progresses later on. Too many times people are drawn to and seek out similarities as for hidden treasure to the point that differences are perceived as foreign objects!

Making Inadvertent Mistakes
There was a nice dating show that I watched a few years ago. It involved contestants competing in the jungle as automatically paired couples and later in the main ceremony, empowered with the choice to remain with the pair or choose someone else to be paired with. I remember a question in one of the episodes in season 2, I believe it was called Love In The Wild, a couple asked each other this very question which I know is extremely important for discussion:

What are the biggest mistakes men and women make in relationships?
Here is one for each gender that I thought was really interesting. For the men putting someone (or something) ahead of her is a recipe for disaster. I can personally relate to this. My partner (both in prayer and life), my shining light, my deputy commander, my vice captain, the wisdom of my ways and the love of my life, Nelly Sophia is the important individual I made this mistake with. The worst part was that it was an innocent (continual) action that I did not know was a mistake! She loves to talk every night for as long possible on the phone (because we only see each other once a week) and I would be engaging myself in a myriad of activities by the time she calls. From the moment I pick up the phone, part of my mind would be on the activity and the other part on her. Some friction arose every now and then as you can imagine. Sometimes I made the mistake of requesting for a “night off” so to speak completely unaware of the magnitude of what I was asking. Needless to say this created tension through the appearance of disinterest from the lack of attention given. I have learned that masculine energy is single-focused and targeted towards one purpose and goal, as such it is easy to ignore her (the women) and focus attention on somewhere else, particularly if it is work. Being sensitive to and cognizant of her feelings is not merely a habit that must be formed for creating balance, but a vital necessity.

Now for the women, the mistake they make more than any other (at least in my opinion) is being passive aggressive. Here is the thing on my part. There are times when I can pick this up with Nelly but then later take it as it is (simply because that’s what guys do) to avoid unnecessary assumptions. Having grown up with predominantly female friends I have tried to understand the concept of paradoxical terms with female logic. No means Yes, Yes means No, Maybe means No, We need to talk means I need to Complain, Sure go Ahead means I don’t want you To. This is a field I chose not to set foot on (in attempting to understand it) because I realized that life may possibly be complicated. That is definitely so in a relationship and women will do very well to acknowledge the easy-mindedness of the men and how very straightforward every word will be taken. The wisest move is to never under any circumstance be passive aggressive. Ladies say what you mean and mean what you say.

Different Is Not Wrong
To be honest I do not know why I titled the post what it is because I hate it when people use the term “same difference.” I thought I got a handle on it ever since coming across it the first time, but I wanted to really make sure that I had a good grip on it. It actually  is “an idiomatic oxymoron [Oxford Dictionary Online]. It effectively means. Whether these two choices are the same or different is immaterial to me.” There is an element of indifference in that which can spell DANGER should it ever so much as cross the minds of any individual in a relationship. The main factor to consider is that being different is not automatically a bad thing. To perceive it this way puts a whole new meaning to Opposites Attract. I personally am multicultural and I love this about myself because I get to see people appropriately differently than most would as a result of observing everything from a non ethnocentric point of view. Appreciating people for who they are just as they are and learning how they conduct themselves and honouring that by being a part of it for the sole purpose of maintaining a strong relationship is crucial. In an intimate heterosexual relationship that is standard. The key thing in moving forward in spite of differences is perspective. Get in your partners shoes, see things from their angle and learn from reflective thinking (taking the time to contemplate the situation logically [bird’s-eye view] not emotionally [stuck in traffic view]).

In her book Battlefield Of the Mind Joyce Meyer exemplifies (on overcoming  judgemental, critical and suspicious thinking) the value of my last point. She says

My husband and I are extremely different in our approach to many things. How to decorate a house would be one of those things. It isn’t that we don’t like anything the other one chooses, but if we go out to shop for household things together, it seems Dave always likes one thing and I like something else. Why? Simply because we are two different people. His opinion is just as good as mine, and mine is just as good as his; they are simply different.

If your friend/partner is from a country where they drive on the other side of the road from what you are used to, it’s not wrong! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard how Americans drive on the wrong side of the road and vice-versa towards Africans. Using chopsticks instead of regular cutlery is good. Fancy dining on the floor instead of a table? Even better.  I asked my friend if she ever had a relationship with someone who was the total opposite of her. She said that’s her best friend. Use your differences to your advantage. If you can’t get around them, jump over them or go under them, then go through them together!

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Game Of Thrones: Continue Or Game Over?

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Psalm 119:37
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Matthew 6:22
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,

Matthew 5:29
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell

Since we cannot change reality, let us change the eyes which see reality.- Nikos Kazantzakis

Men trust their ears less than their eyes.- Herodotus

Being Held Back When Moving Forward
At least that is how I feel when I see Game Of Thrones. Just like anyone else, I get hooked by the story, get a good feel of how it all works and, to some degree, get involved in it too. All goes well until one drawback occurs: The Sex Scenes. There is nothing wrong with implied scenes and ones that look like something is about to happen but does not because a cut to the next scene in the story happens instead.
I remember seeing The Pilot when it came out in 2011. At the time for some reason, it was not appealing to me, There must have been some other series that I was more fascinated with and followed. During that time until now I had seen numerous other series while being constantly bombarded with the question: have you seen Game Of Thrones? I took no regard to it and thus for each of the seasons that came out I was not phased at all. It was only in the fifth season that I chose to find out what the hype was all about, especially when it escalated over a few leaked episodes. The irony in that was me discovering the episodes before everyone else did, yet I was not following the series. 

The Adventure
I dove in and needless to say I was impressed with the way the story evolved and the clever play with the events that took place with each of the characters. What did disturb me was the number of times I saw sex scenes. Some are pure nudity only but others are just flat out porn. This took me back to the days I used to see Spartacus. For those who do not know, that is a series 50 times worse than Game Of Thrones. That one is 7/8 porn and 1/8 series. Nothing worse than finding that out the hard way. I am not sure why there are a few series that have very graphic sexual activity in them. If I wanted to see any form of sexual activity I would go watch porn.
For Game Of Thrones I saw 2 seasons. As for as story goes, they were amazing seasons. The challenge comes with thinking about the characters because some of them a partially known for their performance in bed, that becomes difficult to think about them without including that in the equation. I was shocked to discover that the series generally had at least 3 sex scenes in every episode and each episode lasts 55mins. The evil in the scenes is displayed in the dialogue that comes with them. For the sake of not losing any part of the story you would feel forced to see the whole scene. Fortunately I am skilled in catching up on missed scenes and some times episodes.

Those defending these may be of the belief that they last a short time and are therefore no big deal. That’s where the problem comes in. You compromise your beliefs long enough to justify what you see so that you can enjoy the series/movie. This begins on a small scale. The more you see it, the more you compromise, the more vulnerable you are. Next thing you know, you are completely defending it as if advocating for it! Furthermore you would be so caught in the trap that the short scenes become longer (as I discovered as season 2 was progressing), you miss that and before you realize it, you are very comfortable with an all-out porn scene!

Skip To The Point
Someone may ask, “Why not just skip those scenes and move on?” The reason is because it takes so much effort. You get sucked in the story, you pick some characters you like, you root for them, you have a preconceived idea of how the story will unfold as the events take place before you, you are overjoyed where you are correct and pleasantly surprised where you are corrected, only to have all that  broken by the fact that you also have to remember to fast-forward the scenes. That is a lot of effort! You should not have to skip anything in any movie or series in the first place.
I heard that the book has some measure of sex in it but slightly gets overdone so that the value in the novelty of the book is diminished. I also found out the HBO enjoys inserting unnecessary sex scenes in nearly all their shows in an attempt to expose a particular part of a character’s personality. I think it is just to boost ratings because sex sells. That is the sad reality.

Are You In Or Are You Out?
I am honestly torn between seeing season 3 and not seeing it. Do I endure when I know it will get so much worse, or do I guard my heart and protect my soul since the eyes are the window to the soul? I know how the game is played and I can follow it quite easily. If anyone has no problem with Inception (especially the end) and The Saw Saga, Game Of Thrones becomes a piece of cake! I do not want my life affected negatively and my subconscious changing a part of who I am because of unknown implications entering it through every drop of a sex scene placed in front of my eyes. I have no idea what message could be delivered. I do not want to be a part of whatever that may be. Prevention is better than cure after all. With all that said, it is the end of the road for me. The game was sensational while it lasted. I can peacefully state that I have no idea how the rest of the story unfolds and that is alright. Every time someone asks me, “Have you seen Game Of Thrones,” my response will simply be, “I have and while I don’t want to know, I am comfortable with forever wondering what happens since Winter is coming.”
It is officially Game Over.

The Fourth Fruit: A Chess Battleground

Galatians 5:22-23
But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint

Ecclesiastes 7:9
Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools

The Checkers Challenge
I used to love playing Checkers so many times. It is actually kind of scary thinking about it. Admittedly my ability to perceive and anticipate my opponent’s move or foresee the possible danger in the move I made was a weakness I had. Fortunately to make up for that I took my time and saw some moves that were very beneficial for me, more than I ever imagined! There is still nothing worse than the handicap of taking blind steps. I was always mentally fatigued when my opponents reacted in a way that indicated vulnerability with the move I made.

At times in life I feel like I am playing checkers. I make decisions and later wonder whether or not I made the right one. I know myself to be the kind of person who only realizes the mistakes made, afterward. This has lead me to be a bit antsy about most things. I often question the next move before making it only because I will not be in a position to fully determine the advantages and disadvantages. In this case I am then mocked by circumstance as if to be told that my move was the wrong one and there is no resolution.

A Villainous Tactic
While that does seem to appear crude in almost every form-at first glance-it really is not. One thing I have to just sit back and applaud is the common factor that most villains have,  patience. True their intentions are obviously disreputable and to their misfortune, their patience is exercised in vain, however, it is still very admirable how long their limit is! I began to ponder this factor and came to understand that it lies deep in their desire to accomplish their goal. In addition to seemingly well calculated plans, and in the case of intelligent bandits, properly and carefully calculated plans, they are so confident in what they have put in place they believe nothing will stop them. One needs to comprehend the profound aspect of this. They are so organized that backup plans are also set. Of course this is to account for the hero who is to demolish all they have taken time to build, yet it still stands to reason that regardless of how sinister the outline is, the depth of patience lies in the confidence of strategic planning motivated by the strength of the desire to achieve the goal.

A few questions one must ask himself (generically speaking) is:
1) How smart is my goal? That is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely
2) How strong is my desire to achieve it?
3) Have I made tactical plans to accomplish it?
4) Am I confident in my plans? Why or Why not?
5) Do I have a contingency plan in place as a precautionary measure?

The Individual vs Wrath
I have asked a lot of my friends who are top chess players how long a game can easily last. I was shocked to have found out that three hours is a general length to reach. They speak of this as if it were typical! I respect that, truly. I must congratulate myself in recognizing how patient I have become in the past few months. True there have been moments where I have erupted in anger unnecessarily, fortunately to grow from that, glean from such experiences the qualities I lacked, and use them to my advantage should the need arise. Strangely enough a phrase that I have recently used indirectly in reference to how I must proceed with the situation before me is: I’ll have to let this play its course. My personal favourite one is: Patience will have to be the order of the day. Saying that immediately puts me into The Zone.

I remember a scene in Evan Almighty where the words of God were so revelatory I was blown away. He was speaking to Evan Baxter:

God: Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?

For me growing in patience is like a game of chess. If I lose my cool for a few minutes then I have made the wrong move and my wrath begins to get the upper hand. If the length in time it takes for me to get angry decreases and the length in time extends while I am angry, then my wrath has put me in a corner and I am very close to receiving check-mate. If on the other hand the length in time it takes for me to be angry increases, and the time I am angry is brief, then I have trapped my wrath and have it very close to check-mate. When do I actually reach check-mate you ask? When my patience is so high that I annoy everyone around me.

Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.- Mary Pierce

He that can have patience can have what he will. Benjamin Franklin

The Heart Of An Optimist

Romans 15:13

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure- J. R. R. Tolkein: The Return Of The King

Optimist Border

Welcoming Portion
Host: Thank you, thank you. It’s so good to have you with us, Tarisai, no excuse me, I should say Tsizzles or T.O perhaps?

Me: T.O is good thank you very much.

Host: Ah, perfect. So tell us, T.O, why do you happen to have so many names?

Me: Well in boarding school I was very often called by my surname, at least at the hostel, by my guys-and to some degree-my coaches also. Names ranging from Greenbean, Coconut, Tenessee and Premises, just to name a few, were among the popular ones. These just happen to come by probably because of the way I carried myself.

Host: Really? Please do tell.

Me: I was was not always the forward, teasing or dissing-for-fun kind of person, but still held my ground and hung out with those who did gain plenty of entertainment from taking advantage of the fact that I never dissed back. This became a very admirable characteristic unique only to me.

Host: Admirable indeed. I’m very curious as to where Tsizzles came from.

Me: Yes, first I must mention what I was called in Denmark very often: T and Mr T. It was interesting because I used T.O all the time so most people called me that, but then the Danes used Mr T and the Slovaks used T. This, again, came all on its own. After being there, I briefly became a recording artist and I named myself Tsizzles because of my sizzling fresh lyrics.

Host: Hmm interesting. You never mentioned your friends having called you T.O, how did that come to be?

Me: At this point, because I was so used to being given names and following along with them, my brother one day decided to call me T.O. That then got around the family quickly. This, by the way, was in 2004 and I went to Denmark in 2006. To this day it’s still very tempting to introduce myself to everyone as T.O.

Host: Well with a name like that I can see why. I’ll bet you get this lot but, what does T.O stand for?

Me: Actually knowing that people are immediately going to be asking that, I just answer before they get the chance, with Tarisai the Optimist. A friend of mine confronted me about that with a thought that never occurred to me because I was so used to it. They said, “That doesn’t make sense. How can you be Tarisai “Tarisai the Optimist” Mzwimbi?” I just told them it was simply because I could be. Admittedly though, Optimist is something that just came from the top of my head. Having been to YWAM in 2012 where, once again, I used T.O, I was questioned about it quite often. In Denmark I mentioned that it was just a random name. In Cape Town I realized that was not going to help.

Host: What did you decide to do then?

Me: I saw that using my first name and that awesome title was not going to cut it. I really loved it though. It just made introductions easy. I then chose to define those initials as The Optimist. This means in a literal sense, anyone who calls me out, “Hey T.O!” are really saying, “Hey The Optimist,” which honestly had a nice ring to it the more I thought about it. At least this way I can rightfully be called, Tarisai “The Optimist” Mzwimbi.

The Heart Of The Matter
Host: Very nice, very nice. The Optimist. I love that. Now you obviously carried this name around for a long time, did you ever feel connected to it in some way?

Me: In fact, it’s funny you say that because being an optimist is something I discovered I lived throughout my life. Whenever I have problems that scare me, like thinking about where my life is going, or a movie I would’ve seen, or comparing where I am to where the friends I learnt with at school are, I simply think my way through that. You see, I’m a Contemplator, that I means I think first, then act and feel. I…

Host: Wait , wait, wait, sorry to cut you there. Does that mean when you get hurt, you think the pain away?

Me: Believe it or not, yes! I cannot tell you how many deep secrets or moments of regret, embarrassment or disappointment I have kind of kept in mind and briefly forgotten about then feel less negatively impacted by, after a while. It was great experiencing that. It’s always a nice way to go through anything tough that a real friend is not in a position to lend an ear at that point in time. Sadly, though, because I’m not really the chatty type, thinking about telling someone-as enormously beneficial as it is-will more often than not, be the last thing on my mind.

Host: Understable. We can all be like that sometimes. Not sure about the telling someone part. Anyways, this thinking problems away method is not something everyone can do. Can anyone, realistically speaking, become an optimist?

Me: Most definitely. You see, it’s not about the perky personality that suppresses problems. If you are the shy or very reserved kind of person, you can still be an optimist. Looking at the bright side does not mean you forget or trivialize the problems you have, no, rather it’s centered on these two factors:

1) Things can always be worse. Another person may say, “Things aren’t always what they seem.” These essentially mean things are not as bad you think they are or as they appear to be, because they can always be worse. In other words, you can at least be grateful that you still live. That’s something very easily forgotten. Someone can say, “How can losing a loved one not be the worst thing?” Simply because you could lose more than one in a short period in time or you could be the one being mourned.

2) You think the opposite of negative thoughts. It’s very natural for us to think negatively towards any kind of situation or person, this makes thinking positively very hard. It’s not built in us, therefore, thinking the opposite of every negative thought that enters our mind makes it easier for us to feel better about how we can shape our future, no matter what comes our way.

Host: That is very deep, if I say so myself. A new way of looking at optimism. I imagine this was not a walk in the park.

Me: Not at all. It took years of training. In a way, I kind of understood what it meant to be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2). It all comes down to how you perceive the situation.

Host: Well that’s all from me. Thank you for being with us today on Inside Out: the show that gives you an inside look into the lives of the great, making a huge deal out of what would normally be viewed as unimportant.

Once again T.O thank you.

Balancing Life: The Semi-Circle Of Rhythm

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The Presence Of The Pendulum
Life presents us with a lot of opportunities to achieve something meaningful, do something amazing, and change someone else’s life. The real truth is we all have a chance to do this every day in one way or another, it all comes down to how we spend our time. Whether you are the busiest bee in town or the laziest sloth or feel that way, everyone has those moments to make something happen.

The worst period in my life was what I call, “The Sloth Years,” not because things did not progress fast enough in my life but because I did not have much to do! It is one thing  having one gap year in your life, I had three! That is the effect, strength and power of a lack of purpose. I literally had none. I was completely eaten up inside. The truly terrifying part was that a side of me felt impassive to the situation while the reality of it sunk in every now and then. The weight of being unproductive increased with each passing day as it horrifically became lighter at the same time. My comfort zone was all I understood. I created a world separate and distinct from civilization. The pendulum froze in one position the whole time.

Glimmer Of Hope
Before heading to Cape Town to learn video production I was a recording artist. This provided some sense of productivity but still lay in the shadows of laziness. I put effort into writing songs and fortunately managed to record a few. The artistry was similar to that of a preschool kid’s drawing. Things did not escalate past a mixtape. You could say I that received an E for “Effort.” It really hits you hard when your mind produces nothing but a vacuum as you dig as deep into it as possible in search for understanding and knowing what you were made for. Thankfully the birth of this blog emerged from those wilderness days as well. In the end they did not turn out to be completely futile. Despite this the pendulum now remains motionless on neither side of where it ought to be.

The Pain Of Overcommitment
The real truth is brought forth from the deception of overworking. After I finished my video production and film school courses, I became part of staff. A different but amazing experience. From shooting company projects to shooting and editing training ones, it stretched me and gave me a sense of fulfilment. The problem came when I found myself doing more than I bargained for. I was in charge of production equipment, garden tools, the computer lab, guest house, the staff offices, students’ theory and practical classes and homework, and finally reporting false alarms! Numerous times my plea for aid in splitting my tasks was briefly reviewed and ultimately denied. I was exasperated often but the time that consumed me with rage was when my beauty sleep was disturbed (yes even the small amount of peace I fought so hard to obtain, was taken from me), once again because of student assignments. I had no weekend. None at all throughout that year. This time the pendulum swung to the other side, held back from progression like a broken record.

The Balancing Act
After a cold year of searching for the job that suited me, I found it, then it departed from me no thanks to shareholder challenges. This opened the door to freelancing which has provided some freedom. I am currently juggling three jobs and they make every second spent in that year with work torture worth it. The pendulum finally swings smoothly from left to right, the way it was designed to. Finding the equilibrium between work and rest can be a full day job in itself but a reward worth more than the effort required to attain it. When you discover the value of working from your rest as much as the necessity of resting from your work, you begin to see how beautifully shaped each day turns out.

2015: The Year Of Divine Grace, Rest And New Beginnings

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Reflection & Regeneration: The Battle For Rest

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End Of Year Struggles 

There comes a time when the night gets dark and becomes even darker and darker, without so much as a small glimpse of a possible sunrise. This may happen after a year of excellent progress, with things going exactly, or at least close to, the way you want it. Granted there a few slip ups here and there, but for the most part the path you walk could not be smoother. Children doing great at school, business grows from scratch to a glorious display of success, very few obstacles appear and those that do are minor and easy to deal with until, the unexpected happens: a storm. Suddenly extended family members are struck with a possible terminal illness, all the creditors you forgot about and were hoping to keep avoiding all arrive at your doorstep, you get a call from the university with a threat of student expulsion for failure of fee payments while your other child seems to be nonchalant about anything and everything regardless of its severity. You lay in your bed with eyes up to the ceiling, with hands clenched tight, breath held in, stomach tucked, body tensed hard, then eyes shut the same way and in the next few seconds you want to just explode!

A False Light
You are left wondering if the light at the end of the tunnel will get any bigger. Forget that, if it even exists at all in the first place! You almost want to subject yourself to the idea of the light feeling like centuries to get to, as better than not being there at all. You are crazy enough to believe that it is the more tolerable and logical notion. You are in December, in the year of revelation and declaration and you have been promised a double deliverance and yet all you experience is the exact opposite! You wonder if you are seeing things. If this is a dream. Maybe you blacked-out. You are unconscious. Or you somehow daydreamed and at any moment this is all going to go away. I mean, at a time where you should be resting, you find yourself fighting!

The New Year Jitters
I have heard about this “January disease” nonsense. I don’t believe it because my birthday is in January. All wonderful cool new stuff happens in January. Why a disease? I have heard it is where people go so crazy about Christmas that all their life savings goes into as many gifts and events as possible, to the point where extremely little to nothing is left in January. I still find it weird that people’s lack of self-control becomes a social phenomenon. This just adds to the battle. The way you leave a year is the same way you enter the next. That means regardless of what your resolutions may be-something that should be done at the end of November or beginning of December-will not matter because you have the same problems you were hoping to be solved, following you into the next year. No wonder a lovely, beautiful brand new year, welcomed to us by a brand new day-to some people-does not feel that way at all!

Discipline by Control of Emotions
Whenever you are in a high state of emotion your level of logic depletes tremendously. That is why fear, anxiety, anger, depression, resentment, regret among others are emotions that must not be carried in December. This month is a time of rest and nothing should take that away, however, should anything unexpected happen, you have but one choice: fight. You do it from the inside out. Guard your emotions, then guard your heart (Proverbs 4:21). Only with a mind that is at ease can wisdom reign (Romans 12:2; Phil 4:8). After you calm yourself, take action. Laziness and procrastination are no excuses. They must be put very far from you as is the case, interaction with those who inhabit such qualities. Strictly ensure that no distractions prevent you from achieving your rest. Do not stop until it is obtained. Do whatever it takes to make sure you do not enter your year without at least a small idea of practical solutions to dust off the path you are to walk.

Cognitive Impact: Learning To Think Critically 
I was reading Malcolm Gladwell’s “Blink” where he focuses on teaching and encouraging readers to understand that brief pieces of information, required to deduce any situation-as long as all the necessary elements are gathered-can be used to make vital decisions. All this without considering possibilities of any error occurring or anticipating any sort of danger with the decision made or at the very least, thought about. Then looking at Michael R LeGault’s “Think!” that strategy is completely nullified with the tactic of learning to take time to consider all possibilities, weigh all your options and gain as much info as possible before making your decision. Take note of these few things I found important as you formulate your battle plan:

a) Faulty thinking is the result of two distinct but interwoven factors: The inability to think critically and a lack of will to think clearly. Meaning people prefer to accept what they feel they cannot change because they do not have the desire to find the means to do so.

b) Quoting Vincent Ryan Rugerio, 3 things are needed to think critically:
i) Find the evidence
ii) Find out what the evidence means
iii) Make a conclusion about the evidence

For me thinking critically is about having an open mind that is partially closed, meaning that I embrace the possibility of some of my beliefs having a fallacy to them or new info that contradicts some of my beliefs as a likelihood of that truth. On the other hand I research more of that info in order to confirm the theories so that nothing is ever taken at face value but at the same time nothing is ever fully embraced, in a dogmatic manner until proven.
I believe this kind of thinking will help with the tough problems that we may carry into the new year, as solutions that are written down and double-checked, at least four times, help us start the year with a decent level of comfort.

Claiming Your Rest
Peace is something we deceive ourselves into believing is the absence of war or conflict. Peace is in fact not an experience we hope for, but a prize we fight for. Two years ago I wrote about what it took to gain that peace and as we conclude this year, it will have to be done with the discipline, desire and determination to obtain it. Patience (Gal 5:22-23) is a partner that plays her part. If you do your best to work with her, then Wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-6) will be able to show you the right direction to make absolute certain that you finish it. Take note, this path is not an easy one to walk, but is very crucial in allowing you to welcome the new year in the same way it welcomes you because it is vital that no stone is left unturned. It may mean doing the dirty work. I mean really getting down to it. Even if it means:
-Restoring an intimate relationship
-Forgiving a friend, family member, both immediate and extended, a stranger, coworker or boss (Phil 2:3-4; Matt 5:16)
-Clearing debt/s (always remember to repay the debt of love [Romans 8:13])
-Fulfilling a promise you made, even if it was a while ago
-Checking how many goals were achieved and how many are left, even those from a few years ago
-Fulfilling a pledge
-Making sure as many things as possible meet the budget or starting a budget if one does not exist
-Staying committed where you signed up to do so (Proverbs 3:27-28; Gal 6:9)
-Paying all workers & employees or discussing a reasonable payment plan if that is not possible (Col 3:22-25, 4:1; Rom 4:4; Lev 19:13; 1 Tim 5:18).  .

Get it done or at least half done and complete it in the new year. Be faithful to the best of your abilities and imitate your Father in that matter (Deut 7:9; 2 Tim 2:13). He is faithful to complete the good work He begun in you (Phil 1:6). You can still get your double salvation, double revelation, double completion, double perfection, and double deliverance. It is not over yet! Do not lose hope (Rom 4:18; Jer 29:11; Isa 54:17; Rom 8:36). You can achieve your rest!