How often do we look back at our day and decide that we messed up because we missed this goal, that meeting, exercise, whatever. Iíll bet you a nickel, though, that not a single one of us did anything thatís not fixable, and nothing we did means the end of the world, or life as we know it.
This point was brought home to me over the weekend, in the form of one of my godchildren, a new college graduate living in NYC. During our visit, he looked at me and said that Iíd certainly accomplished a lot that day. I disagreed, and gave him the list of what I hadnít done!
He very gently, and sweetly, pointed out that thereís no point in looking at the negative. Even the tiny things added up, and sometimes just staying in place is progress.
Do you mean that I donít have to chastise myself because I only hiked for 30 minutes? And I donít have to feel guilty that the Alzheimerís mom had a couple of slices of pizza delivered for dinner rather than a meal?
He also said that when he looks at his day this way, with every little accomplishment noted, it inspires him to do more.
How often do we simply say that we ate too much of this, or exercised too little, or lost our tempers, and then throw up our hands and keep going off track because we figure that weíve lost the battle, perhaps even the war. But really and truly, the only thing weíve done is step off the trail. Not the end of the world. A detour, even, and we often learn valuable lessons from detours.
But interestingly, this attitude doesnít really give us permission that Ďanything goes.í Quite the contrary. It actually requires that we pay attention to ourselves [that theme again!], and that we be honest as well. In order to make this work, we have to have a goal or two, and a strategy to get there. And we need to give ourselves permission to be human, to pick ourselves up and kiss our own boo-boos when we fall, and to be gentle with ourselves as we keep going.
When did these children get to be so wise?