Admiral McRaven and St. Francis
Two Similar Minds

It is interesting how famous people paraphrase things other people say. Bobby Kennedy said, “Some men see things as they are and say, why; I dream things that never were and say, why not.” That is a paraphrase of something that George Bernard Shaw wrote in Back to Methuselah. Several weeks ago, I wrote an essay about a sentence that I paraphrased from St. Francis. My version is “It is in giving that we get.”

In both cases of paraphrasing, Bobby’s and mine, we readily acknowledge our sources. Now, I haven’t been able to check with Admiral William McRaven regarding whether these two sentences are merely something he invented or whether he also was paraphrasing someone. “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day.”

Admiral McRaven

Nonetheless, I came across something else that St. Francis came up with that sounds very similar. St. Francis said, “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

St. Francis

Interestingly, both McRaven and St. Francis were making the same point about living life and doing so productively. What is essential is to move from their famous sayings to applying their truths to our own lives. In the past couple of months, I have had a long list of important things to haunt me. I have followed both McRaven and St. Francis’ advice.

Here are some of my haunting issues. I am dealing with sleep apnea. I have done two different sleep studies, had blood tests, and have been trying to get my CPAP machine. Can you imagine how long that has taken? To make matters worse, I am still waiting for the breathing device. I’ve called the supplier, and they are looking into it. It will be another week before that issue is resolved.

I need to find a new web administrator to post essays and photos to my website. That is time consuming also. I am doing that while I am writing essays for posting.

In the midst of the list of my hauntings, I’m in the process of incorporating We Are Family as a charitable not-for-profit company and beginning the fundraising endeavor all of which are very time consuming.

All this hangs over my head while I’m teaching college classes. However, breaking down the tasks and addressing them…one at a time does work. I started with the smaller tasks and moved on to the more demanding ones.

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