No one uses the word “rad” anymore. In fact, even though I was born in the eighties (the raddest decade), it’s become somewhat extinct in my vocabulary. Well, I guess that’s not completely true. I use its non-abbreviated self, radical, occasionally. Most of the time I use it in a negative way… but this isn’t the case with “rad”. Before I was born, it was a term that was used to describe something completely awesome, bodacious, or anything that was totally tubular (having to channel my inner Ninja Turtle). Nowadays you just don’t hear it… until today that is.
My talented wife is usually the one who brings you some sort of inspirational message or a post with great advice for your day-to- day lives. This week it’s me, her husband. She was busy working on other things, so I offered to fill in this week. To be honest with you, I have no clue what I am doing. I’m surprised my wife agreed to this, because I’m pretty sure she will be barred from all the well-respected blog communities after this is posted to her website. My point is… don’t expect much. To prove my point, I came up with my topic by thinking out loud and saying the first words that came to mind…“How… to… be… RAD!” So, with a slight change…
How to live a rad life.
1. Be real.
Most of us struggle with comparing ourselves with others. It’s way too easy to get on social media and see all of the photos of someone else’s seemingly happy life. We all know that there are “ups” and “downs” to life, but people usually only post the “ups” to their Instagram profiles. If we aren’t careful, it’s really easy to get caught up in the idea that everyone else’s life is so much better than our own. Don’t do that! It’s a parasite that keeps you from enjoying the life you do have. We often overlook all the great people and moments we have in life because we can’t afford to fly to Paris for the week like Steve and his family. Let’s get back to reality. Sure, maybe you can’t afford a trip across the globe, but you can enjoy a quiet dinner at home followed by a board game with the wife and kids. Want to be rad? Be happy with yourself and with your life. There are probably plenty of bodacious things about your life, try and be mindful of those from time to time. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to improve things a bit, just don’t get caught up with what everyone else has. “Give thanks in all circumstances.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
2. Be honest.
I was a carpenter for about 6 years. One of the most important things I learned during that time was that you should always be willing to put your name on anything you do. It keeps you honest. You see, if we really wanted to, we could just skate through life without trying very hard. I had a teacher in high school who wouldn’t grade a paper I turned in because she could tell I did the very minimum amount of work. She sent it home with me and gave me the weekend to do it properly. She knew I was capable and gave me a second chance. At 15 years old I didn’t appreciate what she did then, but I do now. You see, as I’ve gotten older, I have come to realize that people expect us to be honest and do what we claim we will. If we do the least we can get away with, we can find ourselves taking advantage of someone’s good nature. Imagine if everyone in life was that way. Let’s say you get sick and require surgery, I sure hope you don’t get the doctor who isn’t thorough and careful during all of his procedures. Maybe your tub has been leaking and is rotting out the floor and the framing underneath. The carpenter could very easily take shortcuts that could leave you hurting several years from now. Don’t be that person. Be the person someone can trust. You’ll find that your life will be much better because of it. You’ll grow deeper, more meaningful relationships with people because they will be based off your honesty and integrity. Those around you will know who you really are and what you stand for. “Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.” Proverbs 10:9
3. Be patient.
“Wise man say: ‘forgiveness is divine’ but never pay full price for late pizza” – Michelangelo (the turtle)
It probably makes more sense to make this point about forgiveness, but the quote reminds me of how impatient we can be. In the age of two-day shipping and instant tax refunds, we find ourselves living in an “on-demand” world. We all have our own individual triggers for impatience. When something or someone takes longer than we expect, we increasingly get more frustrated and annoyed. Even to the point of dwelling on it and letting it ruin our day. It’s embarrassing to say this, but I find myself getting aggravated when a webpage takes a few seconds longer to load while using my phone. Just a few seconds. That’s what I choose to be impatient about. It may sound silly, but I bet there are a few more people who struggle with that as well. In those moments, we feel like we’ve lost control. That whatever it is we are waiting on hasn’t happened on the timeline we fully expected it to. The truth is, we rarely have control to begin with. We get so bent out of shape over things we can’t do anything about. We end up spending our time and energy being anxious and complaining about whatever situation we are in. When instead, we could be re-focusing ourselves and using our time more productively. Being impatient and complaining is the best way to lose time during our day. It’s also the best way to increase your stress level, which, you guessed it, causes you to be more impatient. Relax and try and channel that energy into something productive. You’ll be glad you did.
Rad. Today, you might hear someone say “lit”, but that someone won’t be me. I turn 30 this year, so it’s safe to say that the only time you’ll hear “lit” in my house is when referring to the gas water heater. Maybe I’ll have to “turn up” the television because I can’t hear as well anymore. That’s the closest I’ll get to using modern slang. Just old, boring and using dated slang. Anyways, I hope this helps you have a rad life.
So there it is, my first (and probably last) post. It’s not earth shattering advice, but I do believe those are three things we struggle with from time to time. I could have written more points… and maybe I should have taken my own advice (point 2), but it’s almost 1:00 AM and I am tired.