The One Stupid Question

Picture12It has been said that there are no stupid questions–. Recently, I realized, however,  that I have made the mistake of asking, as have other people, the one stupid question out there: “How DO you DO it?” We ask the mom of multiple kids (or maybe we are the ones being asked). We ask the great cook, or the meticulous housekeeper. We ask the thin and energetic, and the joyful cancer patient. We ask the grieving mother and the successful executive. We pine after the order that is apparent in the lives of some people and want to know “How do you do it?”, as if it were some elusive secret kept only for a select few.

Maybe we want a magic pill or a formula for success. Maybe we are looking for a reason why we don’t qualify for the same level of achievement. Maybe we want an excuse.

Whatever the reason, conscious or not, the question is stupid.

Why? Because it is not a mystery. They work at it.

We ask with awe and wonder but completely miss the reality. We see only the end result of moments, weeks, months and years of effort, sacrifice, choices and grace. None of it happened overnight or accidentally. It was intentional and the product of renewed daily commitment. The qualities you see and admire are yours to be had, if you are willing to pay the price.

Instead of asking someone, “How do you do it?” ask yourself, what change can I make today that will get me closer to that place? “How should I do it?”

  • Become by doing. Become a better cook by cooking more; a better housekeeper by keeping a better house.
  • Start today–don’t wait for someday
  • Choose better. Ask yourself frequently “Does this get me where I want to be?”
  • Pray more. You can’t do it alone. Ask for the grace to overcome your shortcoming, be it procrastination, self-pity, self-indulgence, laziness, negativity, etc.
  • Do it for those you serve. If you can’t change for yourself, then do it for those around you, those who you are responsible for and to.
  • Stop complaining and blaming. It’s your life and your choice.

So the next time I am tempted to ask someone that unwarranted question, I need to really take a better look at my life and how I choose to spend my time and see what I can change to acquire the qualities I admire in another.