Such people go through life misunderstood, for they cannot quite adjust themselves to circumstances. The way is never quite clear. They are continually running against something. They are always causing offense without meaning to, uncovering blemishes or sore spots. They invariably appear at the wrong time and do the wrong thing. They never get hold of the right end of the thread, so that the spool does not unravel, but the more they pull, the worse they tangle the threads. Who can estimate the loss to the world which results from the lack of tact, the blundering, the stumbling, the slips, the falls, the fatal mistakes which come to people because they do not know how to do the right thing at the right time! How often we see splendid ability wasted, or not used effectively, because people lack this indefinable, exquisite quality which we call "tact."
When we assume, we often make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Assumptions are examples of lazy thinking. Assumptions are the mother of all screw ups. We simply don’t wait to get all the information we need to come to the right conclusions. There is the story of the customer at the bank who after cashing a check and turning to leave, returns and says: “Excuse me, I think you made a mistake.” The cashier responds, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do. You should have counted it. Once you walk away we are no longer responsible.” Whereupon the customer replies: “Well, okay. Thanks for the extra $20.” Tip: When you feel yourself wanting to draw conclusions, just wait until you have all the information, the facts.
You do not really know where a road will lead you until you take it. There are no guarantees. This is one of the most important things you need to realize about life. Nobody said that choosing to do the right thing all the time would always lead you to happiness. Loving someone with all your heart does not guarantee that it would be returned. Gaining fame and fortune does not guarantee happiness. Accepting a good word from an influential superior to cut your trip short up the career ladder is not always bad, especially if you are highly qualified and competent. There are too many possible outcomes, which your really cannot control. The only thing you have power over is the decisions that you will make, and how you would act and react to different situations.
My observation is that our minds tend to see the obstacles first those barriers that lie between where we are now and where we want to be or who we want to become. Just as fast as you conceive of achieving your new body, your mind begins to spout out every excuse it can come up with why you can’t attain your goal. So even before we can initiate any action, we literally paralyze ourselves.
The trouble with so many men today is that they do not stand for anything outside their vocation. They may be well educated, well experts in their specialties, and have a lot of expert knowledge, but they cannot be depended upon. There is some flaw in them which takes the edge off their virtue. They may be fairly honest, but you cannot bank on that. It is not difficult to find a lawyer or a physician who knows a good deal, who is eminent in his profession; but it is not so easy to find one who is a man before he is a lawyer or a physician; whose name is a synonym for all that is clean, reliable, solid, substantial.
It is said that man is a lazy animal. We are all more or less prone to indolence and it is the easiest and most natural thing in the world for young people to do is to accustom themselves to lying down or lounging on a sofa because they think they are tired or not well. Much of the so-called invalidism is simply laziness fostered and indulged from childhood. There is great danger that young girls who are delicate while growing up, and lounge around the house and lie down whenever they feel the least bit out of sorts, will form a habit of invalidism when they reach maturity.
The reality is that throughout our lives we are all constantly growing and developing. Circumstances make us grow and develop, even if we do not make the conscious decision to do so.
They simply drift with the tide. If you ask one of them what he is going to do, what his ambition is, he will tell you he don't exactly know yet what he will do. He is simply waiting for a chance to take up something. How can a man who lives without a idea ever expect to arrive anywhere but in chaos and confusion? A clear-cut purpose has a powerful influence upon your life. It unifies our efforts and gives direction to our work, so that every effort counts. I have never known anyone who followed an indolent inclination ever to amount to much.
Nothing else so strengthens the mind, enlarges our manhood, and widens our thoughts, as the constant effort to measure up to a high ideal, to struggle after that which is above and beyond us. No matter what your work may be, or what you may do, put your ideal into it, be sure there is an upward tendency in it, an inspiring quality, a certain indefinable something which allies it to the divine. Everybody loves an aspiring mind, a mind that looks up, never down, out, never in, no matter what difficulties confront it.