Building The Good or Fixing The Bad

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We've all got our good sides and our bad sides. And we are sometimes torn between making the most of our good side and fixing our bad side. But for people like me, it's not sometimes but almost always. When your good side is uncommon and your bad side is also uncommon, your daily life can be a constant dilemma. One part wins you friends and the other part ensures they don't stick. It drives my friends nuts. I have the rare qualities they seek in a friend and lack the ones almost everyone has.

At first, I thought it was because of the way I grew up. That I could easily fix my bad side if I just put in some effort. And so I tried to pick every phone call, and call friends and family more often. Afterall, I was already doing much tougher things -- doing push-ups everyday (then), keeping daily track of my expenses, reading 3 chapters of the bible daily and reading several books a month. Making two or three 5mins call a day should be a piece of cake and using a postpaid line meant I needed not hunt for recharge cards. So I tried and was initially successful. I called people I hadn't spoke to in years. The funny thing is I have everyone's number; if you give me your phone number today you can be sure I will still have it 20 years from now. I used to have a book I backed up people's phone numbers on. I have a friend whom I still have all the phone numbers he has used since 2004, and he has used a lot. Then to make me more determined to improve, I told everyone I called that I have reformed and will now call them more often. I made several people's day. And was happy the first week, and drained too.

Fast forward 3 weeks, the project failed. Everyday, I had to force myself to make 2 or 3 calls. Then I changed it to every other day. Then to one call. Yet the discomfort I encountered in making each phone call only increased rather than decrease. After 3 weeks I was sure I wanted to live with the consequences of not making and picking phone calls than with the trouble of fixing it. The same way people are amazed by how consistently I write daily is the same way I'm amazed at how easy they find it to pick and make phone calls. And it has been my biggest reason for trying not to find faults in others. Maybe that fault is their own making phone calls. That thing they fail at, and that I feel even a 5 year old could do well, is their own making a phone call.

I still try to fix every new thing people complain to me about me. But I avoid paying too much for success. If fixing it is breaking me, I simply leave it. Instead, I'll expend the efforts on building the good I have. 


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