Learning to Live with Some Tension

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were easy solutions to life’s complex problems? Unfortunately, we live in a world where that is usually not possible.

The concept of easiness. Adobe RGB.

In the book The Road to Character, there’s a comparison between the message of President Eisenhower and President J.F. Kennedy. Eisenhower lived and taught that we need to learn how to live with the tension between our passions and the contrary self-restraint and discipline to keep them in check. Kennedy had a message of uninhibited action.

Kennedy emphasised limitless possibilities — Eisenhower warned against hubris (excessive pride).

Kennedy celebrated courage — Eisenhower celebrated prudence.

Kennedy exhorted the nation to venture boldly forth — Eisenhower called for balance.

I’ve witnessed in the last few years how life can be anything but neat and tidy. There’s pain and struggle while at the same time, joy and triumph. Those who hope for easy answers and quick fixes, are often disappointed by the harsh reality they end up receiving.

Eisenhower near the end of his life said, “we should never believe that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. We need to avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow.”

I’m a believer in “going for it.” But I’m also conscious that I need to learn how to “hold back” and have those restraints in my life to be my best.

I don’t know what problems or challenges you would like to see go away or fixed, but I’m sure like me, you have then. What I’m learning, however, is that the problems and challenges we face may not have quick or easy solutions but may require the ability to balance optimism and patient endurance simultaneously.

Where in your life are you needing to live with some tension?

Three Secrets on How to Turn Intentions into Reality


Statistics say, of those who make resolutions and New Year’s goals, only 8% reach them. You might be saying, “Why bother even setting goals since the chances of reaching them are so abysmal.” Good question. What’s the problem? The problem, in my experience and opinion, is that people see an area they want to change […]

Continue reading...

Crooked Timber


“Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.” — Immanuel Kant This week, I started reading a book a colleague of mine recommended called, “The Road to Character” by David Brooks. It’s a thoughtful look at what the road to character looks like. The idea of being “crooked timber” has […]

Continue reading...

Change Quotes to Fuel Your Growth II


In order to stay fresh and relevant, embracing change is essential. This week I facilitated a team development workshop for a large team of people who provide various services and programs to the immigrants in our city. To do this, however, I had to embrace change so I could deliver on the promise to make […]

Continue reading...

Change Quotes to Fuel Your Growth I


If change is my idea, I’m all over it but if change is forced on me by someone else, I resist it like there’s no tomorrow. The truth is — change is the pathway to growth. As you consider the changes you’ve made, are currently making, or would like to make, let these thoughts inspire […]

Continue reading...

3 Practical Steps for Finding What’s Worth Looking For


There are two birds with two very different pathways. One bird wakes up in the morning and all it can think about is “where is some dead meat?” The other bird wakes up and all it can think about it “where are those colorful, sweet smelling flowers where I can find some tasty nectar?” The […]

Continue reading...

Gratitude’s Pathway


There is an activity that improves health, enriches relationships, creates peace in the soul, causes greater contentment, and improves the quality of sleep. It’s an activity that is easy yet can become swallowed by life and circumstances. The activity is the act of expressing gratitude. I came to realize lately how it was way too […]

Continue reading...

Three Easy Steps to Living on Purpose Today


Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose. — Viktor Frankl There once was a rabbi living in a Russian city many years ago. Disappointed by his lack of direction and life purpose, he wandered out into the chilly evening. With his hands deep into his pockets, he […]

Continue reading...

Stop Blaming Your Circumstances


Every once in a while, words hit extremely close to home. The following quote by George Bernard Shaw were such words. When I heard them, I was caught red handed and knew I needed to make a change. I want to tell you the quote and then take you through my thinking process — line […]

Continue reading...

The Mountain Man Who Didn’t Quit


To have a dream and a plan to achieve it is not enough. You also need the effort to accomplish that dream. What idea, dream or pursuit are you trying to bring to fruition? Raising a child? Nurturing a business to viability? Developing a talent? Writing a book? Building a healthy relationship? Regaining strength after […]

Continue reading...