I recently finished Bob Merritt’s book, When Life’s Not Working. It’s a rather ominous title (and one that makes for some funny questions when you carry the book around) but it’s an overall look at how we live and the priorities that we choose to live with.
Discipline and Time Management
Much of what I thought was valuable in this book was his focus on discipline and time management. Basically, if your life isn’t working the way you’d like then often times it is one of those two factors. Here are a few of the ideas along this theme:
“A discipline can be learned, but it must be practiced, and it becomes an actual life discipline only when it becomes your natural, automatic response to any and all situations.”
“There’s nothing easy about living an undisciplined life.”
“I learned that often the only difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is perseverance. Often it’s not intelligence, talent, or strength that wins the day. Those things help, but often it’s the person who just hangs in there and outlasts the others for one more day.”
“What did you do today? Take a moment and think about all the things you did today and then ask yourself a second question: is what I did today the way I want to spend my life? Because what you did today is your life.”
“…the days are long but the years are short.”
“I find it interesting that Jesus spent thirty years preparing for three years of public ministry. That’s 90 percent of his life preparing, 10 percent performing.”
Favorite Quote of the Book
There was one quote that stood out to me above all other quotes. It isn’t anything deep or overly profound, but it is a statement about perspective that is easy for me to lose focus on.
“Spiritual progress is not measured by how much you know or how long you can pray. Spiritual progress is always measured by the quality of your relationships.”
Most Hilarious Quote of the Book
There was one quote that I read and immediately reread a few times. Read the following…
“It wasn’t until I reached my fifties that I became somewhat self-aware and actually knew a thing or two about myself and about life in general. Seriously, what do you really know when you’re in your twenties? Not much. In your thirties, you’re consumed with proving your worth and climbing the ladder. In your forties, you’ve either found your groove or you spend all your energy trying to fix whatever you wrecked in your thirties. It’s only in your fifties that you actually know anything, because you have more life behind you than you have in front of you.”
What age do you guess the author is? Maybe in his 60’s or 70’s so he is able to look back on the different decades of his life and see them objectively? Nope. 53. Right in the middle of the “enlightening” time he’s referring to. Basically, he has arrived and anyone in their 20’s to 40’s are morons. I don’t think that is what he was trying to communicate but this passage literally made me laugh out loud with it’s self serving bias.