4 Takeaways From 2018

We are the living stars. The product of the unfathomable. The immeasurable. The electrons that manufacture consciousness. – May 20, 2018

This is what I wrote in my journal last May as I began to consider of the wonder of creation. Last May, I wrote a few things down that I had observed from 2018. While my views might have changed since then, I write this blog in an effort to dig into the past and explain my discoveries.

4 Things I Have Taken Away From 2018:

1.) Pure Evil is an Over-attributed Quality

In today’s age, It is easy and sometimes irresistable to assume the worst about people. If a person does not act in a way that alligns with our views, we assume that evil has overtaken their hearts. While people’s actions might be destructive, people generally do what they THINK is the best thing for them even if they are wrong. A thought that can terminate our bad assumptions about people is, “If I were them, I might have done the same thing.” This statement is always true because if we had a person’s genetic makeup, tendencies, childhood, and moral compass, we WOULD make the same choices as them!

2.) Enjoyment is in Small Victories and Not in the Euphoria of Accomplishment

Time and time again in life, we seem to make the mistake of going after a feeling that will only disappoint us when it comes. We think that reaching our goals is when our enjoyment of life will finally reach new heights…this is not true. One of my favorite stories is about the rise and fall of the professional tennis player, Andre Agassi. He absolutely hated tennis growing up but he stuck with it, assuming that if he became the number one tennis player in the world, his efforts would be worth it. Andre famously said that the worst day of his life was when he finally became the number one tennis player in the world….and felt nothing. When doing anything in life, it is the small micro-victories that feed our happiness and not the overestimated feeling we predict we will experience when a milestone is reached.

3.) Criticism Hardly Ever Works!

If you want to help a person, it is easy to criticize what they are doing wrong, but it is difficult to patiently inspire change in a person’s heart. I write this truth as a general statement. There are CERTAINLY times when we lovingly tell our friends that they are on a path to destruction, but these times always come out of the higher place of LOVE. If you want a person to change, telling them how taking a different approach would improve their lives always works better than telling them how their actions are effecting your life. In 2018, we need people who are firm in their morals, but we also need people to communicate out of love instead of selfishness.

4.) Your Physical State Has a Crucial Effect on Your Happiness.

Many people go their whole lives, and give little thought to excercise, prayer, or meditation. They convince themselves that they are too tired and busy to implement these things. I’ve asked many co-workers what their plans after work and I often hear, “Oh, I’m going to go home and sleep.” or “Ahh, I’ll probably go home and watch some Netlfix before bed.” Now imagine this routine going on for days, months, and years at a time. This is the life of quiet desperation that Henry David Thoreau talks so fearfully of. In 2018, I have discovered my love for running, taking long walks, and talking to the Creator of the Universe. When I take the time to breathe deeply and enjoy the moment I am currently in, there is no room for worry to take a hold. Instead of going home and sleeping or watching Netflix, imagine taking a run in the local park for a year. There is no question that a person is happier when making physical activity a consistent part of their lives.

Published by

Max Yelken

A young man looking for a sustainable life of adventure in a changing world.

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