Here we are at Task Number 242 in the Curmudgeonly Professor's marathon 2015 Do list on the last day of August. The last day of August is the signal that the magic month of September is going to begin within the next 24 hours. As we begin the days of September, we will focus on our willingness and commitment to make the last four months of the year 2015 among the most meaningful periods of our lives by focusing on positive accomplishments we may have long postponed.
High among our human complaints and concerns is the frequently repeated assertion, "I have too much to do and too many worries." We get burdened down in many ways. Our burdens weigh us down and lead us into depression, discouragement, and some times cause us to give up and quit trying. Among some of our most typical burdens are the following:
- A guilty conscience for a misdeed or a mistake that we have not repaired.
- A mind cluttered with negative thoughts and worries.
- More work than we can possibly get done.
- Habits and addictions that we have not quit.
- Financial problems.
- Health issues.
- Dissatisfaction at work.
- Unclear or conflicting goals.
- Family and marital issues.
- Unresolved problems.
- Taking on more responsibility than we are capable of bearing.
- Failure to achieve important goals or to complete important tasks.
- Mistakes of any kind.
- Oversight on something we should have done.
You can take a moment and write down your own list of burdens and overloads that are punishing you and keeping you in a state of turmoil, confusion, and discouragement.
Our task is to simplify the burdens we have listed. Too often, burdens linger because we are hesitant to do anything about them, or we are not sure what to do and we just let the problem fester and the burden become ever larger. We take on more than we can handle and then we end up doing a miserable job on part or all of our responsibilities.
As with all of our tasks and assignments, our solution to the problem of being over burdened is to lighten the burdens. Get rid of as many burdens as possible, correct as many problems as we can, mend the fences and repair our interpersonal glitches, and take a positive and active approach to changing our perspective to a more hopeful and helpful outlook.
I have never quoted scripture in my do-list tasks yet, but I am about to quote one. Don't panic, this scripture makes as much sense to a deeply religious person as it does to someone who claims to have no religion at all. In the Book of Mormon, book of Mosiah, 4:27, it states ". . . it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength." See what I mean? And do you see how profound, uplifting, and helpful the admonition is that we should not "run faster than (we) have strength"?
Much of my life it seems as if I have been plagued with the necessity of running faster than I had strength. I worked my way through the University of Wyoming by working anywhere from 20 to 40 hours per week, mostly in the middle of the night, while trying to complete a bachelor's degree in agriculture. When I taught school, I was always taking on extra consulting assignments so I could pad my minimal teacher's salary with enough to support our five children. And somehow I always ended up taking on extra classes to teach and extra assignments to fulfill. I never figured out how I could do less and keep going.
We do not need to continue to carry around a backpack full of 200 pounds or more of extra worries and burdens. We can lighten our load, improve our dispositions and our outlook, if we will take the time and effort to resolve our conflicts, get rid of our habits, and proceed down a more cheerful and optimistic road toward our ultimate destination. If we adopt a few simple rules, such as the rule to begin a task and then proceed little by little, inch by inch, until we are well underway and then ultimately complete the task, we will have learned how to lighten our load.
Task Number 242: Lighten your load. Get rid of every worry, every unnecessary habit, every guilt feeling, and every job that you do not really need to do. The smile on your face will brighten, your life will be happier, and you will be able to cope with what seemed previously as an unconquerable pile of misery too big to deal with. Good luck, keep going. The Curmudgeonly Professor.