Christian Living, Young Adult Life

When Your Hardest Doesn’t Go Highest (Society’s Secret Scandal)

One of the most frustrating experiences for an ambitious youth is to pour all their heart into any sort of project and its ends up fruitless and overlooked. It’s disheartening when you try so hard—harder than all those around you, it seems—and you still end up at the bottom! No one likes to be that one mountain climber who has all the rocks crumbling beneath them.

You keep trying to scale the ladder, but everyone else is either shooting past you, pulling you down, or kicking you back. The whole reason people want to climb high to the top is, simply put, to get that ‘high’ feeling. “So what’s the solution? How can I ever feel truly accomplished if that high only lasts a moment?”

Stop climbing the ladder. Let go and let Jesus carry you.

Maybe that sounds like one of those cute, cliche quotes you’ll find on Social Media that are inspirational… but completely unhelpful. So let me explain further.

Society’s Secret Scandal

Society, today’s popular culture, sees the world as a ladder. A mountain we’re all meant to spend our whole lives climbing. The best future envisioned in society’s eyes is having a good education, spending your youthful days enjoying your physical prime and having as much fun as possible, then spending the rest of your life pursuing what career and person you love, and getting rich and famous off your job—thus making the whole focus of life power and love.

It’s really a hopeless reality.

This is why people who have real relationships with Jesus tend to have better mental, emotional, and physical health. Even if they still deal with depression, sickness, weakness, and other struggles, they know where they’re going, they know they have a purpose, and they know they are loved! If purpose is power (maybe a mental power), then the real Christian has power, love, and destiny. That’s a one-up to society. 😎

All this to say, society’s secret scandal is the sly lie it spreads to every teenager and young adult: if you can’t climb high, you don’t deserve the high, or happiness.

Jesus’ Generous Gift

Your hardest climbing might not always bring you to the top. Your fastest running might not always bring you farthest. That’s when society’s lie kicks in. You feel hopeless, undeserving, and good-for-nothing.

So when your hardest doesn’t go highest, doesn’t take you higher, don’t believe the society’s sneaky lie—instead, remember Jesus’ generous gift! Salvation from hopelessness. Peace during the storms. Eternal paradise in Heaven when you die. Never-ending forgiveness through repentance.

Never give up on what God is calling you to do! Also, remember that hard work doesn’t do it all—knowledge of what you’re pursuing, wisdom on how to pursue it, and support from those more experienced are all vital!

Let me rephrase: Stop climbing the ladder. Let go and let Christ carry you—even if he takes you off the wide ladder to the narrow pathway on the side. After all, Jesus’ plans do seem sideways to the popular culture. 😉

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador

Young Adult Life

Change of Environment = Increased Productivity

Maybe you are sitting at the living room table doing homework, and you’ve been working for an hour but have hardly gotten anything done. Are you procrastinating? Getting distracted? Maybe you’re getting the icky feeling that comes from being behind in schoolwork and being in a noisy environment. If so, you need a solution to this problem of procrastination and getting distracted.

I may have one. I may want to procrastinate giving it to you for the fun of it. I may not. I won’t. I will now tell you.

If all that I said in the first paragraph relates to you, there’s a good possibility you need a…

Change of environment.

Think about it. It’s easier to get distracted when there are more distractions around you. Possibly your talking siblings. The movie your other siblings are watching. The sizzling of the food your parents are cooking. You might be hearing this and thinking, “Isn’t it a bit obvious that that person should move somewhere else?” Likely. But sometimes people don’t realize something obvious until it’s pointed out to them… and a solution is provided. I’ve pointed out the obvious. Now for a solution. Multiple solutions, actually.

  1. Go to a cafe. Whenever I go to a cafe, I can concentrate much better. Cafes are nice, fancy, and offer yummy stuff too (for a price, of course). For me, whenever I tell friends that I can’t concentrate, they always suggest a cafe.
  2. Just move to another room. If there is another quieter room you can go to, go there! The quieter, the better. For me, that’s my parents’ room. It’s cozy, warm, isolated, and quiet.
  3. Build a desk, or buy one. “What do you mean?” you might be asking. Well, this is a solution I went with. My brother, dad, and I have been renovating mine and my brother’s room. A cool feature we thought we’d add was a desk *“ooh”s and “aah”s are heard from the crowd*. Concentrating there is easier here than in my living room, where all family members living in this house (6 of my siblings and my parents) work, pass through, and just be. (Being honest, I didn’t actually do too much for the desk… mostly my dad and brother. They like carpentry and are much better at it than me.)
  4. Clean up! From what I observed, the cleaner your surroundings are the better you can concentrate, because the cleaner it is, the more comfortable you feel, the more productive you become. If you’re like me and you share a room with someone else, and while you are always very tidy they are not, just have a conversation with them. Try to get them to understand. Figure out a resolution.
  5. Talk to those you live with. This goes beyond the person you share a room with, to everyone in your household. Explain to them the problem, offer a solution, and come to an agreement. Don’t be too nit-picky or impatient, though. The kinder you are, the more likely it is that they will listen.
  6. Spruce things up a bit. If you work in your living room and your table is always dirty, your chair is chipped, the painting on the wall is ripped, there’s toilet paper on the floor left by the dog, the picture frame is crooked, the plant in the corner is dying, and so on, your going to get the icky feeling that comes from being uncomfortable, and comfort can help you concentrate. Clean the table. Get a new chair. Trash or mend the painting. Sweep the floor. Straighten the picture frame. Get a new plant (and don’t let it die!). Buy a nice candle. Then take a moment to admire the nice vibe.

And there are 6 tips and suggestions! I hope they helped, and increased your productivity. If you have any other suggestions, comment them below, and I might add them to this post!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional nor have I put significant time into studying these things. The above are simply advice from one teen to another (even if you are not a teen, this post can still apply to you).

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador