There are No Shortcuts in Freemasonry
If you want to do something worthwhile, whether it is in Freemasonry, a relationship, a business or life in general, it is so important to see it through and never give up, no matter what obstacles come up. Of course you can look at ways to make it more efficient and create avenues to get you to where you want to be. However, you’ll find that most success stories that appear to have taken off overnight will have taken years of dedication and commitment to get it to that point. It’s the blood, sweat and tears that make anything of any real importance worth it in the end. In other words you must put in the work.
Settling for an arranged life.
Who wants a boring, mediocre life? This is what happens if you settle for just about anything, like your job, your relationship and your life. We’re all here for a pretty short period of time, so why waste it doing things just because that’s how it is. This applies to Freemasonry as well. Who wants to hear mediocre ritual or boringly routine meetings about the same bills meeting after meeting.
I’m guessing you don’t want to look back at your life and wish you’d done it differently; hopefully you’ll want to glance back in wonder and amazement over what you have achieved. You’ll realize that the best things in life, the worthwhile things, took guts, determination and hard work. Volunteering to do a part of the ritual that you have never attempted before is one way to challenge yourself and improve yourself in Masonry.
It’s not about fixing something; it could be about creating something new and starting fresh. Sadly life can become a bit of a habit, doing the same old thing, day after day and until one day it dawns on you that you’re not really living at all–you’re existing. As the great man Anthony Robbins once said “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” So grab life NOW and don’t settle.
Are you a Tiger or a Sheep?
At school, you’re taught a certain way in life, to go to college, university, get a job, get married, have kids and live happily ever after. There’s nothing wrong with that, but try looking at it differently. Why do what everyone else is doing? Why do what’s expected of you just because there’s some unwritten manual in life that everyone else seems to be following? Again reach out, find out what your Lodge needs and get involved. Sometimes a great thing just needs a Brother to pick up the ball and run with it. As a leader in the craft you need to know your members and their strengths. Set them up for success and assure nobody is benched, find a project or something they can dig into. Make sure they have the support they need. There will always be leaders and followers, sometimes a leader is just in follower’s clothing and just needs that one motivation to take a lead role in something they are passionate about.
Each of us was born unique. We were all created to be who we were and that’s being YOU. There’s no one else like you on this planet, so why are you trying to be like everyone else? Find the courage to be yourself and follow your heart. Don’t be ashamed of how you feel. Go out and do it, and you’ll inspire others to do the same. And remember, “a tiger doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep”–so what are you, a tiger or a sheep? Leaders will emerge at the time an place required. The tiger/sheep mindset must always be tempered with the ability to work with others and lead by example, “who can best work and best agree”. We cannot supplant the Lodge’s needs with our own ambitions.
Taking the “easy route.”
Life can be a struggle, but if you are settling because you are afraid of what it might throw at you, then don’t! It’ll throw stuff at you anyway! If you give up on yourself and your dreams, you are giving up on life, and what a waste that would be. It’s so easy to take the “easy route,” except aren’t you worth more than that? Don’t you think you’ve got something more powerful inside of you, more capable at beating all the odds if it came to it?
Each struggle is a chance to learn and provide you with a great new experience. If you want an awesome life, adversity will be around every corner, but that’s what makes it so wonderful. Remember sometimes you’ll have to take a step backwards to take 100 steps forward; it’s that journey that makes it all the more worthwhile. Never give up on yourself.
Belief in oneself is key to making our Masonic ‘career’ a success or at least just not mediocre. We all work in the “quarries” and its imperative we work as a group. Every group needs leaders and workers. Its not set in stone (no pun intended), that the roles could change and often do.
Forgiving people instead of ignoring their existence.
Forgiveness isn’t about letting the other person “off the hook.” It’s more about ending the suffering for yourself. Forgiveness provides you with peace of mind, a way to move forward and provide yourself the gift of freedom. Without it, happiness can be limited. When you forgive someone else, you are giving yourself permission to forgive yourself, which makes healing your own life that much easier to do.
People come and go in our lives. They each teach us something about ourselves. Whether someone hurt, betrayed or loved us, each provide a valuable lesson to learn from.
Lessons learned from every experience and every task or place or station in the Lodge has something within it and an opportunity for young and old alike to learn and grow from. Don’t put aside menial tasks as pointless, learn from them. Always look for ways to improve them and yourself.
Putting things off until tomorrow.
This is something most of us can relate to and let’s be honest, when we say, “I’ll do it tomorrow” we usually mean, “I can’t do that” or “I don’t want to do that” and it rarely ever happens. But if you want to make an immediate impact on your life, this is where you need to pull your socks up and take some action. Choose one thing that you’ve been putting off for months and do it today. Roll those sleeves up and really dive in. You will feel wonderful once you’ve started, and imagine how you’ll feel once it’s completed!
“Actions speak louder than words” which is absolutely true here, if you put things off they’ll only come back to bite you later on, so why not just get it done today. It’s a choice you have to make, the choice to live by your word, and you’ll be amazed at how those around you will follow suite. If you start each day being intentional, you’ll become a lot more productive and heaps happier!
Leaving everything to chance.
When you get up every morning, what do you dedicate your life to that makes a difference to the world? If you’ve no idea what that is, then you need to work out what it is you want. Once you work out your true feelings and desires, and take action in line with that, you’ll end up getting more from life than you ever expected. Opportunities and possibilities will start flowing your way, as long as you’ve known what it is you want.
You’ve got to have some kind of plan for your life or a purpose. Then you’ll know that what you do every day is aimed towards that. Don’t just wait for life to happen to you; make it count, because once it’s gone it’s gone, and you’ll want to leave some kind of legacy for the world to aspire to. Make sure every moment counts!
Its and unwritten rule that if the Master asks you to do something and your cable tow allows for it, you should not refuse. Every thing you do in life prepares you for leadership in the Craft and if asked to take a leadership role, take it!
Keeping quiet instead of speaking up.
If you’ve ever experience unrequited love, you’ll understand why sometimes the fear of rejection will stop you from saying those three important words. In life, there are no guarantees, and if the fear of saying “I love you” outweighs the fear of not saying it, then you could be in for one of the biggest regrets of your life.
You know people will come and go from your life, some quickly taken from you and some because you realized they were worth your time. Try not to take important people for granted; you’ll never know how long you have got them here for. The best gift you can give is your full attention. Be present at all times and always say how you feel. There is nothing worse than wishing you’d said something when you could, so always remember to speak up.
We are admonished to demand respectful treatment from your neighbor, but first command your own self respect. Let nothing be more intolerable in your sight than the letting down of yourself to a lower level. Bid men come up to you, but refuse to descend a single step to them. Do not measure your importance by your titles or your money, but by the texture of your character and the cleanliness of your speech.