I heard a Jewish rabbi describe what he calls fish love, the love of something because it serves you or satisfies some desire like loving to catch and eat fish. It’s self-serving love. True love or external love is not what one is going to get but what one is going to give. People make a serious mistake in thinking that you give to those whom you love the real answer is you love those to whom you give. Then once you’ve served and given to someone there becomes a part of you in that person.
With this thought of deeper, truer, selfless love, I was listening to Jim Rohn, another inspired mentor. He describes the simplicity of disaster and success this way. “A few errors in judgement practiced every day equals disaster.” And after several years you’ll be explaining your result rather than celebrating your results. You must find good behaviors and positive philosophy and seek truth and look at yourself and the world around you with good judgment and then take positive, upward, intentional action to fashion a good life for yourself. Practice those things for a few years and the results will be incredible.
Take the two ideas described above and mix them. How can you take positive action to improve your relationships, to increase your external love for the people most important to you? What can you do today, tomorrow and the next to fashion a better life for you and your family? Practice vitally important behaviors based in good judgment day in and day out.
I think C.S. Lewis describes an idea that fits in here. In his book Meer Christianity, he talks about the fact that we do not know what it’s like to live without sin if we give in quickly and repeatedly. A poor person does not know what it’s like to live like a millionaire, not because he is incapable but because he does not save like a wealthy person, he does not invest like a wealthy person, he does not study like a wealthy person and therefore will continue to look at money and wealth from the only perspective he has which is from the lifestyle of a poor person. The same is true for one who does not care for his marriage in the most careful and loving sense. If he maintains low expectations, encourages the same from his spouse, looks for ways to get as much as possible and give as little as possible while still maintaining the relationship intact, he will never know what it is like to have a thriving marriage. But it will only take changing behaviors, in order to change perspectives and to grow a new and thriving relationship. He will have to continue these changes for the long term in order to understand what it’s like to cultivate a deep and lasting relationship.
Fashion a good life. Find the techniques, language, strategies, emotions, habits and motivation that successful people use, and then do that. Put your own spin on it so it reflects your truest self but work on fashioning a good life for you and the people around you by practicing true external love, by treating your money the way wealthy people treat theirs, treating your body the way healthy people treat theirs, treating your mind and emotions the way intelligent and enlightened people treat theirs, and by looking for new opportunities to gain knowledge and perspective. Find those errors in judgment; replace them with goodness and practice, practice, practice.