14 Sep The Right Thing in the Right Way
You know, there are those moments in life that really stick to you. Some of these I remember very clearly and I want to share one with you today. It regards a phrase an old teacher of mine said to me (or in my presence) one day back in the early 1980s. I have never forgotten his words and have chewed on their significance for most of my adult life. I also share this phrase in therapy sometimes and sometimes it even seems to make some sense to my clients!
To give credit, the teacher who said this was Mr. Don Neuen. If you ever watch church on TV, you might have seen him as he was for years the choral director for that big church in California called the Crystal Cathedral. He is a college professor and musician hero of mine. I had the good fortune to work with Don on a number of occasions before he became famous and on TV; back when music was my field of study and my profession.
What he said that stuck with me beyond the music years was this. He said, “Don’t do anything right – accidently.” Read that over a time or two. Don’t do anything right accidently. The more I have thought about this little phrase, the more I see that it applies to all parts of my life. This is about living intentionally. Choosing a path and taking the steps that lead down that path versus just kind of hoping things will work out for the best.
Now I know I have preached a lot about not trying to control what you cannot control but this is about something you do control. Your intentions and the path your intentions take are yours to manage. If you want to have a healthy body, be intentional about taking care of it rather than just hoping the hypertension that got your dad and granddad will somehow miraculously skip you. If you want healthy, loving relationships, behave in a healthy and loving manner rather than waiting to respond to whether or not your loved one gets there. If you need to express your anger, choose a time and method of expressing it that has some likelihood of success rather than building up and blowing up in a way that does nothing but cause more pain. Be intentional. Don’t do anything right – accidently!