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  • Melinda K. Bowens

Keeping It Simple: Definition

Keeping It Simple: Definition

Hey y’all! Let’s get this party started for today!

As of no surprise to anyone, we know I like talking to people I don’t know. Some call them strangers, I call them people who aren’t my friends yet. While I know that is the mentality of someone voting themselves “most likely to get kidnapped,” as least I’m aware. Consider it one of my hobbies. But a big reason I talk to strangers is for the story…theirs and mine.

Without fail, every person has a story (an important topic later in this series). It may be a story of joy, hurt, laughter, pain, or overcoming, but we all have a story. Typically, that story involves all of the elements I just mentioned. But another big piece of our story tends to be what we hope to accomplish moving forward in life. We set goals, ponder ideas, and even daydream a bit about how everything could come together. As an avid daydreamer, I’m a fan of getting lost in my thoughts (most of the time that’s a good thing)! However, I notice some common themes when we want things to be different. We say statements like:

-I need to get my life together.

-I want to be better.

-I just need to be more organized.

None of these points are bad goals, I just have a question…what does it all mean? What does a together life look like? What is better? Whose meaning of organized are we working with here? I really want to know…What does all this mean to us?


In my journey as a professional student (because I’ve honestly been a student of some sort since like 1992), I have come across this term “operationalized definitions.” Which means, that before I proceed in a research paper, I must define certain words, so the reader of my paper has a clear understanding of what I am trying to convey. Short version: I need to explain my idea (or ideas) before we get too deep in the real stuff!

You probably see where I’m going here but hang on for the rest of the ride.

I believe it would serve us well in life to get our own “operationalized definitions.”

When we aren’t sure of the goal ahead of us, the ambiguity in the middle will crush us.


Can you imagine working for a boss that sets a new year goal of increasing profits, but never says by how much? Then when the end-of-the-year arrives, the same boss is extremely upset with you because profits increased by $1,000, but she/he wanted an increase of $100,000. How incredibly frustrating!

How-and-thee-ever, often times we are just like this boss in our own lives. We have fantastic goals with the best intentions, but we sometimes lack definition. Without that definition and clarity, we become frustrated with our progress (or lack thereof) because we really don’t know where we stand. It is almost impossible to arrive at a destination we never had an address for in the first place.

Today, dismantle ambiguity by adding clarity. Develop your own “operationalized definitions.”


Pen and paper time!

1. What goals or thoughts lack clarity in your life?

2. How can you add your “operationalized definitions” to those goals and thoughts?

3. Remember, perfection is not necessary.

Helpful Verse:

But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

1 Corinthian 13:10 NLT

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