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Sunday, November 10, 2013

"Just a Thought" column continues in La Prensa of SA, 11-10

Just a Thought: The Missing Ingredient
By Steve Walker

Ever wonder why some well thought out plans for the starting of a business or a career change or pending details of an anticipated marriage/relationship falls shorts of the mark? Could there be a missing ingredient in the equation that makes the difference between success and failure?

Have you ever sat down and put pencil to paper to devise a marketing strategy that will make your life’s financial or personal aspirations come to fruition only to realize again that something is missing to ensure your success?

What about that steak you cooked but miscalculated by not putting the right seasoning on it to make it taste just like you liked it? Missing an ingredient?

As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I have posed the question, “What is missing in my life?” I know I am not alone as there are many others even my age who ask the same question. At 67 one would think by now I would have figured out life’s missing ingredient for a successful and productive life.

But then again some of us are slower than others when it comes to decisions that can be life changing for the better rather than the worse. For a few of us who are oblivious to our surroundings due to an apparent bout of attention deficit or an inability to concentrate on one thing at a time, we fail.

Obviously many of us are unable to deal with the challenges we face in this life or interpret them correctly for our benefit as we progress in life. The English Playwright William Shakespeare once wrote in one of his plays, “To Thine Own Self Be True.” There are days when I still attempt to fully embrace that one. I contemplate the true part and sometimes get confused as I search for what is actually “true,” as compared to the alternative. Again it is about the missing ingredient.

As a trained journalist who claims to be able to know the difference, it is still difficult for me to get it right.

Growing up I was bombarded with comments like, “one of these days you will hopefully figure it out and make something of your self before it is too late.” My father’s prognostications were not too positive as I struggled to survive my formative years and especially the teenage years and even into young adulthood. Apparently it is a lifelong process. (Or so I have heard)

In past columns I have touched on how my father, the nuns in Catholic school and others seemingly placed bets on the eventual outcome of my future success in life or lack thereof. Fortunately for me in most cases their conclusions were off the mark. I chalk it up to being a late bloomer vs. their take. I forgive them.

All those years I felt there was a missing ingredient. Others apparently thought so too as I was labeled on occasion as “one brick shy” “my elevator didn’t go all the way to the top,” and “the lights are on but nobody is at home.”

But at the ripe old age of 67 I believe I have finally discovered the missing ingredient I have been looking for all these years and it was right in front of me, inspired by divine revelation. It can be summarized in one simple word. The missing ingredient is ‘faith.”

And as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist

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