Before You Do

“Before you act, listen.

Before you react, think.

Before you spend, earn.

Before you criticize, wait.

Before you pray, forgive.

Before you quit, try.”

                                      -Ernest Hemingway

I love the message of that quote.  It’s such a great reminder that before we do certain things, we should first make sure that we have done our proper part first.  So often we do each of those things he lists:  we act or react and we spend or criticize before we have thought to do the proper thing in advance of those actions.  I think its human nature to jump to things without thinking our actions through first and I think it takes personal training and self-discipline to make sure that we do our proper part first.  Learning to listen, think, earn, wait, forgive and try…those don’t come quite as naturally as acting, recting, spending, criticizing, praying, and quitting do for us.  And so we have to practice doing these proper things first.

I know for me I often times have to hang signs up in my office, my bedroom, my mirror, etc, that will be reminders that help to keep me in check.  I also have found that self-talk is an incredibly powerful tool to use…I make my inner voice speak up all the time in my head, giving myself instruction on what I want to remember, what I want to work on, and so forth.  When I find myself jumping ahead on something I try and scold myself in my head, reminding myself that I committed to handle things in the right way.  After a while you find your inner voice speaking up more quickly to keep you on track and it is an incredibly powerful tool.

So today’s challenge is to remember that Before you do…..


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