I just finished the book (previously mentioned) Perfectly Yourself by Matthew Kelly which I received at church as part of Dynamic Catholics Christmas book program. I enjoyed this book a lot. Matthew Kelly says similar stuff in his books but the messages continue to hit home. Because I’ve read some of his books, some points are just reminders. Here are three topics that jumped out at me.
Don’t make excuses for yourself
I hate this excuse from people. “That’s just who I am!” “If somebody doesn’t like me, then that’s too bad!” They use this barricade to be ignorant, critical, rude, selfish, overindulgent………This book reminds us that “perfectly imperfect” means that we all have weaknesses. Maybe you aren’t a good leader, or a good writer. Maybe you aren’t good with details. Maybe you use the word good too much. That’s because God calls us to use our own skills and talents to do jobs that are uniquely for us, and not to worry about jobs that aren’t for us. The qualities I listed above are not who we are made to be. We can’t cower behind them. They’re facades, constructs of the ego, and we’re better than that. If you are truly being yourself, you don’t feel the need to defend your bad qualities.
Work on your virtues
Your entire life will improve. It goes without saying that two patient people will have a better relationship than two impatient people. Two caring people will have a better relationship than two selfish people. The book mentions a few examples, and while this is a given, I think we forget about this in our own lives. A virtuous person is also more attractive to others. People like honest, trustworthy, loving people. We have stories in our heads about why we act the way we do but at the end of the day, working on these qualities will improve your life tremendously. The book encourages us to work on one virtue at a time. I chose patience with situations. I won’t fulfill my endless desires in one day so I have to relax and trust that God has his own timing.
We work 86,400 hours in our lifetime!
For goodness sake we gotta find something we like to do! I’ve always been focused on work, even the jobs I didn’t like. I have this mysteriously good work ethic and I don’t like to give up on endeavors, even if I dislike them. Now, I have a new idea. If you’re lucky to have options in your life, it is important to chase something you are passionate about. I always felt uncomfortable with the “follow your dreams!” mindset. It seems unrealistic, a little fruity, a little first world, spoiled, and possibly lacking in character. I value the mindset of our grandparents who put their nose to the grindstone, developed their willpower, and were survivors. But I am blessed with opportunity, and this mentality won’t serve me anymore. If God gives you choices and passion, then do yourself a favor and drop the things you hate to pursue the things you love. Most people in the world and in history would give anything to have those blessings.
As a side note, my good friend Christa and I always say “much is given, much is expected.” Meaning that if you live a life of opportunity, you are called to give back in a big way, and you are called to make the world a better place. This is where you can build your character.
Other Matthew Kellyesque points
While these messages jumped out at me, his books all bring important messages, such as the value of silence, being in the present moment, not giving into our every whim and impulse, and creating good habits.
Now that I’m in this high minded cheerful mood with a choir singing the hymn “We are Called” in my head which will keep me up all night I hope you enjoyed my little review and have a great night. Namaste. God bless, etc.
Currently reading: Mere Christianity- C.S. Lewis
Seriously it’s so stuck in my head. don’t laugh.