They had arrived. Two large parcels from the mail order company and now we had the job of putting the flat-pack coat rails together. My husband, Steve, took one, my daughter, Niki, the other. And I looked on.
Steve got all the pieces out, looked at the picture of the finished article and then, head down, got stuck in. Niki, however, laid all the pieces out in sequence and size, and checked that everything was there. She used the instructions; she followed the steps one by one; she systematically used both the last picture and the instructions to enable her to complete the coat rail. And she finished first.
Many people will probably feel that they have not been provided with an instruction manual to tell them how to live, let alone how to develop themselves and their character. Those who belong to faith groups will believe that their holy scriptures are their instruction manual on how to live. The 10 Commandments found in the Jewish Torah, the Christian Old Testament of the Bible and the Koran all give us a blueprint for living. Many of our societies hinge on these 10 principles.
Whatever you decide is your own personal guidebook, we are still tempted to take a detour when navigating life. The same can be said of a personal development journey. Because effort is required, we sometimes look for the short-cuts. If we opt for these detours we run the risk of not learning a lesson thoroughly. We don’t read the instructions we have been given but set our sights on the finished article, without taking into account the necessary steps needed to get us to the end.
I would strongly encourage you to avoid the detour. Taking time over every step, referring to the “manual” will take effort but you have more chance of learning the lesson first time around. And you could reach your intended finishing point more quickly because you haven’t had to go over “old ground” again.
Can you recall any detour in your life? What was the outcome? Looking forward to learning from you.