When to be Practical and When to Gush

Ink & Gel pen on watercolor paper- Words: Florence Nightingale

Somehow when we call things practical it seems as if we are putting them down, as if they are boring and should go without mention. And yet necessity is the mother of invention, so without practical needs we might not have all the amazing things in our lives. New ideas come from fulfilling a practical need; meet your own need, then create the ‘thing’ to fulfill that need, then sell that thing to others with that same need.

Being called practical can also be a back handed compliment. “Practical” people are often assumed to be boring, dull or small thinkers. Not true! Practical people rule the world! Someone has to pay the bills, organize the budgets, plan the projects and eliminate the basic problems of life. These practical people help keep homes, organizations, companies and countries running like clock work. Without these practical thinkers imagine the mayhem and chaos each day would bring.

One place where it does not always pay to be practical is in our relationships. I had a man tell me he thought his wife was needy, as a joke. He said he told her he loved her the day they got married, why does he have to keep telling her? People are not to do lists or one hit wonders; people need to be reminded, hugged, loved and shown that they are loved and appreciated. People are not black and white or problems to be solved, they are beings to be discovered and cherished which does not always fit into the practical borders of life. Love and friendship work best like a squeaky wheel, they need to be oiled and cared for on a regular basis to fully function.

It helps to be practical it also helps to gush over people. Knowing when to do both or either is a skill it can take years to master. Knowing what you need and what those in your life need can mean the difference between conflict and bliss. When in doubt, gush. It is better too much than too little.

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