Lessons for Living       
Lesson Nineteen: "The Box of Life"


Do you have  the "Box of Life" filled just one thing?




Welcome to Lessons for Living.

This week's lesson is on the "Box of Life."

Life is like an empty box, which must be filled to give it meaning. What do you have in your "Box of Life"?

People often limit their choices and sometimes fill the "Box" with just one thing.

What is this one thing? For some people it is work. Work is the most important aspect of life to them. All of their energy is put into the job. For others it might be a relationship. All of their attention goes to one person and how that relationship is going.

Whatever the "one thing" is, it becomes the lens through which life is viewed. It is as if there is only one window into the world and it is that window through which we look. This one lens or viewpoint determines how life is going.

Suppose you have the "Box of Life" filled with work. One day work is not good. Everything goes wrong. The project fails, the boss is mad, and your coworkers are grumpy. When you get home how does life look?

Well, it looks pretty bad if you are viewing life through the lens of work. When work is not going well, then neither is life. You come home angry and frustrated. Soon, home is not going well either. Your one lens or viewpoint colors all of your life experience.

What happens if your "Box" contains one relationship full of conflict? How does life look? Again, with only one window to the world, life looks bad. All you see is anger and frustration.

Filling the "Box of Life" with just one thing is not a good strategy. A better plan is to divide it into small compartments and fill each one with something different. For example, you might create nine compartments and then put work into one and relationship into another. What about the other seven slots? Friends might take up one. Spirituality may fit in. Your pets might be there.

With all nine boxes filled you have options. You have nine lens or windows through which to view life. When any one area is not going well then change the view. Look through another window. It may be refreshing.

When work is full of frustrations, remember it is only one-ninth of you life. The other eight areas might be fine. Focus on them and recapture your energy. If your relationship is in trouble that is unfortunate, but there is more to life than the relationship. Focus on friends for awhile. Immerse yourself in a hobby. Do some gardening. Look through another window. The view may surprise you. Life may be better than you think.

Simply stated, "Don’t put all of you eggs in one basket." Don’t depend on one thing to make life okay. Fill your "Box of Life" with many options and choose where to focus at the moment. If one area of life is not good, then focus on another. Do this to get your energy back and to invigorate yourself. Later you can return to a more difficult area refreshed and with a better attitude. It may now start to go better as well. Everyday, give yourself some variety of experience. Intentionally make this choice and life will improve.

2000 Daniel H. Johnston. All Rights Reserved.

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