Since writing these weekly posts often makes me feel like I’m getting on my soapbox, I’ve made a point to notice how I feel when other people around me get on their soapbox. (In other words, when people share an opinion that they think would change the world if only everyone else learned about it or saw it as they did.) In all honesty, when people start talking that way, I tune out almost every time. The only times when I don’t tune out are when the speaker is sharing information that I had already been actively searching for. Then their words are a key instead of a cave.
So I realize that no matter how much thought, energy, and care I put into my writing, only the searchers who are on an extremely specific search will take it to heart, and the chances of that happening are incredibly slim. (Like with my last post, “Words You Live By,” I doubt anyone woke up on the morning before they read the post and said to themselves, “You know, what my life is missing right now are some good quotes and life mottos to memorize.”)
Obviously, I can’t ask you to start searching for the things I’m going to write about. But what I can ask of you is to make sure you’re on a search!
What kind of thing might you “search” for? It could be knowledge in a certain area. It could be an understanding of how to improve a relationship. It could be an attribute like patience, confidence, or time-management. It could be a number of things. (But I’m sure it goes without saying that this search needs to be something more than just the literal search for your glasses, which are on your forehead.)
Maybe you already know what you’re searching for. Or maybe you only subconsciously know what you’re searching for, so what you need to do now is identify it and write it down.
Whatever you’re searching for, it doesn’t have to be incredibly profound. Honestly, it doesn’t matter what you start searching for as long as it’s something good and as long as it’s something you’re willing to pursue thoroughly. Because a sincere, deliberate, and persistent search for something good is guaranteed to eventually lead you to ALL things that are good.
I learned from Leslie Householder’s podcasts that when we’re searching for a key to unlock the door to a solution, what we often find ourselves faced with is actually a combination lock. We’re led from one good thing to another because each good thing is like one more number in the combination. (Or, if that metaphor doesn’t help, think of the picture above and remember that even if your lock does involve just one keyhole, you may find that before you even start to search for the key you need to search for a way to grow in many areas so that you can reach the keyhole.)
For example, my own search at the moment is to learn how to learn. (This search came about because I’m dissatisfied by how little I’m retaining from my college education.) First, my search led me analyze my learning style, and I realized that since I’m a people person I should utilize study groups more often. I saw improvement, but I didn’t feel like I had the whole picture, so I kept searching. Next, my search led me to read books about strategies for improving memory, and I started figuring out how to organize my thoughts like a computer filing system. After that, my search led me to look at my life from a psychological standpoint, and I learned techniques that helped me identify some subconscious limiting beliefs about myself that had been blocking me from learning certain subjects. Eventually, my search led me to look at my eating and sleeping habits and realize that improving those habits would give me more energy and thereby increase my capacity to learn.
My search so far has been a delight—truly a journey in the joy—but I’m still just getting started.
So while the things I blog about may not apply to your search right now, I can promise that as long as you’re searching for something—and you stick to it!—then my posts will be exactly what you’re looking for in a week or in a month or in a year or in fifty years.
In any case, that day is probably not today, and that’s okay. So the only other thing I can ask is that if any of my posts make you think of someone you know, please share it with them, because maybe they’re the ones who are at this point in their search.