Monday, January 12, 2009
Hammer or Nail?
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-George Bernard Shaw
Imagine for a moment the life of a nail. A nail is fearful of what's to come. It knows that at some point in its life a hammer will come along and pound it into a piece of wood. Not only is the pounding a painful experience, but after the beating it will spend its remaining days in one lonely position. Unable to grasp a full breath of air with only its head barely flush with the wooden surface the nail will also have no room at all in which to move. A life sentence with the only hope being that something will come along and free him.
The life of a nail is an unfortunate life to live yet many people end up being nails in their own way. There are two types of nails. There are those who allow themselves to be a nail that is stuck in one position year after year. These are the ones who are truly unhappy with the cards they were dealt thinking that there is nothing that can be done - that fate has given them a life sentence. Then there are those that allow themselves to become a nail in daily life with circumstance and environment pounding on them resulting in stress, anxiety, anger or worse, violence.
Life is one big hammer that will beat on us relentlessly if we allow ourselves to fall into a 'nail' type mindset such as victim mentality, negative attitude and attention to problem versus solution. And I write 'allow' because it is a choice we all have. We, as humans have been given the ability to make choice in our lives. We must be conscious of the choices we make and the attitude we allow ourselves to possess. It is simple: permit yourself to think like a nail or agree to think like a hammer.
'Hammer' type mentality is visible in those who take responsibility over their own lives. They truly believe that they have control over what emotions they experience and what ultimately happens to them. They focus on the positive things in life, on solutions when they are presented with problems and they are quick to adapt themselves to challenges that others use as an excuse for being the nail. Life, like a hammer pounds us with continuous challenges and problems yet it is up to us to adapt to the ever-changing environments we experience. It is then dependent on us to have an attitude that turns our thinking into being one like a hammer that will solve problems as opposed to being the nail who is stuck and unable to breath.
The reasonable man is quick to adapt and become a hammer. This reasonable man has the freedom to move and craft a life in his likeness. It is a choice. Do you want to be a hammer or do you want to be a nail? I don't know about you but I am going to be a hammer in life.