“Lots of folks confuse bad management with destiny” (Kin Hubbard).
MOST OF THE POSSESSIONS, ABILITIES, AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE AVAILABLE TO US CAN BE CONSIDERED AS “RESOURCES.” These things are the “raw materials” with which we work as we seek to be productive, contributing members of society. But resources, even when they are abundant, have to be managed carefully. That is, good stewardship has to be exercised so that the resources are not wasted but used to accomplish their intended purpose.
It often happens that people blame fate or destiny for their less-than-desirable circumstances when, in reality, their circumstances would be different if they had managed their resources differently. That is not to say there aren’t some circumstances beyond our control, for there surely are many of those. But even so, most of us would have to say that our lives would be very different today if we had more carefully managed the resources that were under our control.
Management is not easy, of course, and it’s easy to excuse our failings by complaining that we just don’t have any talent in that area. Some people do seem to have a knack for good management, but for the most part, management consists of skills that anyone can learn. Whether it’s managing our finances, our time, our relationships, or anything else, we can profit from the wisdom of other managers in learning how to be better stewards of our own resources. We can’t be perfect managers, but most of us could easily find ways to improve — and continuous improvement is a major part of good management.
The more limited our resources, the more important it is to manage them well. And let’s face it: all of our resources in this world are limited. We don’t have an infinite supply of any of them. So it behooves us to get every ounce of good out of them that we can.
But if it’s hard to manage our “external” resources, it’s even harder to manage the “internal” ones. Our thoughts and our habits have to be managed just as surely as our money and our time. But here the level of difficulty is much higher. Out of any one hundred “external” managers, there might be only one or two who are good at “internal” management. But if the difficulty is greater, so are the rewards.
“The most difficult thing we have to manage is self” (Hannah Whitall Smith).