Reality Is What You Bump Into When You Are Wrong. - Mark Sayers

Bumping Into Reality

My Dearest Daughters,

“Reality is what you bump into when you’re wrong.” – Mark Sayers

We’ve all been there… I thought I understood the situation, but then reality smacked me in the face, forcing me to see the error of my ways.

There are many roads we could go down – many circumstances where we could bump into reality and do damage to ourselves, others, and our life’s work, but today I’d like us to focus on how we can better understand the people around us.

Reality is a collection of circumstances, facts, and stories that surround us in life, and our misunderstanding of it can lead us into some not-so-great decisions based on:

  • The Logic we use – How do I make decisions?
  • The Conclusions we draw – How do I fit my facts together?
  • The Attributions we assign – Why I think someone did something?
  • The Judgments we make – Do I think something is good or bad?

THE PROBLEM

We sometimes do the exact wrong thing at precisely the worst time, because we don’t really understand the world around us.

THE SOLUTION

Well, I wish there was a clear-cut solution that worked in every situation, but there are some guidelines I can pass along that should help:

  1. BE HUMBLE: We each must accept that: one, I don’t know it all, and, two, Reality is made up of more than just my understanding of what’s going on around me. You know, an important thing I’ve learned in recent years that everyone has a story and at least one major battle going on that’s influencing their thoughts and actions, and it’s likely that I know little to nothing about either of them; therefore, I would be wise to walk softly and ease up on judging them too quickly (or at all, if I remember from where God rescued me). And there may be more to the circumstances surrounding our situations that are influencing our worlds in ways that we don’t understand, yet.
  2. BE CONCERNED: We must actually want to understand more clearly, so we can make better decisions and positively influence the lives of those around us, by:
    • Trying to Understand Why those involved see the world the way they do. Ask questions and listen to their stories. One of my favorite fictional characters, Atticus Finch, said it best,
      “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (To Kill a Mockbird)
    • Separating the Facts from the Stories. Facts are things that are observable or measurable, while stories are those judgments, conclusions, and attributions that get us into trouble when we treat them like they were concrete facts, instead of the subjective stories that they are. (Attribution: VitalSmarts – Crucial Conversations).
    • Checking for Understanding to ensure we know where they’re coming from, and, even more important, we would miss out on a great opportunity if we didn’t give them a chance to clarify or correct our perceptions and logic.

My Girls, I Hope & Pray that you will stay Humble and Concerned as you strive to understand the Reality that surrounds you, because, the better your grip of it, the more successful you’ll be as you pursue your dreams.

LIFE APPLICATION QUESTION

What do you need to better understand TODAY to keep reality from smacking you in the face tomorrow?

GOD’S WORD

James 1:19-21, 1st Corinthians 13:11-13, Proverbs 16:32, and Ecclesiastes 7:9

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