No kindness…

 

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We’ve all come across unkind people… some of us more than others.

And, if we’re being honest, we can all remember times when we were less than kind ourselves. Most of us look back on that with regret, wishing we had said or done things differently.

But, what about the person who’s decided that it’s justifiable to be habitually unkind to a specific person or specific people? It’s a slippery slope when someone decides that someone else is not worthy of kindness, and sets out to make their life as miserable as possible. The longer they persist in unkind words and behaviors, the more they tend to justify what they’re doing.

The result?

No remorse and a deadened conscience. They don’t consider stopping because they don’t think they’re doing anything wrong.

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The news is increasingly filled with stories of people who have exacted unkindness towards others… often in the extreme. People so hate-filled that they decided the target(s) of their hatred deserved death, and that it was ultimately worth dying for themselves.

Hatred has never made anyone see things more clearly. Or changed situations for the better. Or changed lives for the better.

Not even once.

Sometimes you have no choice but to be in close proximity to someone who’s intent on extending unkindness or hatred towards you. It’s damaging, demoralizing and demeaning. And, the longer you have to deal with it, the more negatively it affects you.

Trust me, I know.

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Hear me in this… it’s no kindness to let people continue unchecked in their unkindness or hate.

Sometimes the greatness kindness we can extend is to intervene, if it’s within our power to do so. Whether we are able to intervene directly or indirectly, our kindness will be kindness toward the one(s) being targeted, and kindness toward the one doing the targeting… even if they can’t see it as being such in the moment.

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The one caveat is that, while unkind or hateful people need to be dealt with firmly, they don’t need unkindness and hatred lobbied back at them.

Don’t confuse kindness with weakness. Those who refuse to retaliate or to respond in kind demonstrate strength, not weakness. So, be that person… not just an extension of the behavior you didn’t find acceptable in the first place.

How?

It never hurts to start with prayer.

Prayer gives us the proper perspective – God’s perspective – and guides us in the right things to do and say.

Pray for yourself, pray for the hurting, pray for those who do the hurting, pray for change, and pray for healing.

It’s hard to hate someone that you pray for. In fact, try praying every day for a month for someone you hate… or simply don’t like… and see what happens.

Even if they don’t change, you will.

The moral of the story?

Act kind, not in kind

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Kindly consider…

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Kindness is something that’s not easy to define, yet somehow everyone knows when someone is being kind… or unkind.

As Christians, we’re called to do two things… love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love our neighbour as ourselves. According to the Bible, “There are no commands more important than these” (Mark 12:30-31 NCV).

Kindness is at the very heart of love, perhaps emphasized by the fact that there’s an actual word that ties the two together… loving-kindness.

The extent to which we are kind conveys the extent to which we love.

Being kind comes at a price. It requires going out of our way for someone else, and that will always cost our time, energy, or resources… sometimes all three.

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This past week, my husband and I went out of our way to do something we really didn’t want to do but something that we felt was important to do for someone close to us. Quite honestly, it didn’t feel the greatest… or even very comfortable. We don’t know if it made a difference, and we may never know. But regardless, it was the right thing to do. The kind thing to do.

The thing about kindness is that it’s what you do whether anyone notices or not. Whether it’s appreciated or not. Whether you’re given recognition for it or not. Because true kindness is never self-serving or self-important.

An act of kindness can be something as small as sending someone an encouraging note. Or helping someone carry their groceries. Or holding a door open for a senior. The options are limitless. We just need eyes to see opportunities because they’re literally all around us.

What’s the payoff?

Kind people are happier. People who focus on others are always much happier than people who focus on themselves.

The bottom line is that kindness is a necessary stop on the road to joy.

Seriously?

Yeah, kinda…

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Have patience…

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Patience is foundational to navigating life. But, patience doesn’t come easily to most of us, perhaps because it gets tested so many times in any given day.
Last week, I was driving in the middle of three lanes of northbound traffic during rush hour traffic through an intersection where they’re constructing the first diverging diamond interchange in Canada. As I started to pass under the recently laid spans of the bridge deck, a heavy piece of bolted metal dropped onto the hood of my car, leaving distinct indentations and damage to the paint.
Have patience…
Two days later, we took our 21 month old British bulldog on a rare drive only to have him pee on the seat between us shortly after we had stopped to give him an outdoor pee break.
Have patience…
The day after that, I wrote an entire blog post that disappeared forever just as I was about to publish it (even though I had saved it numerous times throughout the process).
Have patience…
A couple of days after that, life threw me an unexpected – and unpleasant – curveball that I didn’t see coming, and that I’m continuing to have to deal with.
Have patience…
Several months ago, I had received a recall notice in the mail for my car, which I took to the dealership only to discover that the notice was for my last Nissan vehicle. The one I had traded in 3 1/2 years earlier. I phoned Nissan Canada to have the error corrected, and then promptly forgot about it until today, when I received a second recall notice in the mail for the same vehicle.
Have patience…
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I did reasonably well with 4 of the 5 instances I’ve described above but I assure you that’s not always the case. Patience is something I grapple with circumstance by circumstance, and I’m reasonably certain I’m not the only one.
Just this past week in the news… Justin Bieber got decked after punching a guy in the face in Cleveland. Twin sisters got in a physical altercation while driving in Maui, and one lost her life when the car subsequently plunged off a cliff. A disagreement in a Costco parking lot in Toronto turned into a brawl between two middle aged couples, prompting one news source to say that we’re living in an age of rage.
This is what the Bible has to say about patience…
“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” Proverbs 14:29
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32
It’s easy to be impatient and hard to be patient. But patience is worth it. Impatient people are rarely happy people and usually not that fun to be around, not to mention that others tend to notice when you do things that go against the tide of human nature.
Sometimes you even get featured on Oprah.
But, God always notices even if no one else does.
My goal, my prayer, and my hope is that I will get patience right far more often than I don’t. That the times I demonstrate patience will point others to the One who is able to do in me exceedingly abundantly above all I could ever ask or think.
The patience of Job?
I’m aiming for the patience of Joy
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Perfect peace…

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Peace is an interesting topic because many people want it, few have it, and most don’t know how to get it or keep it.

Peace has been around since the beginning of time, starting in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve never had a single argument, no one was at war, and even the animals all got along. Peace never crossed their minds because they didn’t know a time where they didn’t have it. For one brief time in history, there was peace.

Perfect peace.

But, then sin entered the world when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and mankind has struggled to keep a grasp on peace ever since, starting when Cain murdered his brother Abel, and quite possibly when Adam and Eve had an argument or two over whose fault it was that God had banished them from the Garden of Eden.

One of the earliest words signifying peace was the Hebrew word ‘shalom’. To this day, it’s spoken by many Jewish people around the world, and even by many non-Jewish people. It’s often used interchangeably with ‘hello’ and ‘good bye’, which reminds me of John 14:27 when Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.”

Shalom.

At the church we regularly attend, after the praise and worship part of each service, it’s customary to shake hands with those around you and speak the blessing, “May the peace of Christ be with you.” To which the reply is, “And also with you.”

I confess it felt weird to do that the first one hundred times or so but I’ve come to appreciate that it’s one of the nicest things we can say to each other. There’s power in speaking peace into someone else’s life, as well as having peace spoken into your own life.

Words aren’t the only way peace is conveyed. For centuries, the dove has been a universal symbol of peace, as has been the olive branch. And, in 1958, a British designer and artist, by the name of Gerald Holtom, designed an actual peace symbol.

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Peace must be important to our well being for there to be so many different ways to communicate it. After all, consider that wars rage, terrorists terrorize, people feud, families divide, and it can be easier to hate than to love. Some people are even at war with themselves, as evidenced by self-harming behaviours and self-hatred.

You don’t have to look very far to find people needing peace.

Peace is elusive but the peace from Christ is perfect. Isaiah 26:3 puts it this way:

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on You,
because he trusts in You.”

Sounds straightforward, eh? Well, in practice, we’re imperfect people trying to perfectly trust God, and that affects our peace. Oh, we can have moments of peace… and maybe even stretches of peace… but then something happens to cause inner turmoil or external turmoil in our lives, and our peace goes out the window, just like that.

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It’s like riding a bike. It’s easiest to ride on level plain, with no obstacles in sight. But, add some rough terrain, a few obstacles, and a couple of steep hills, and it’s another story entirely. You find yourself having to stand up to pedal or maybe you have to get off your bike and start pushing. Sometimes you need someone to come alongside you… either to help push or simply to encourage you.

Someone to help you bear your load.

“Two people are better than one,
    because they get more done by working together.
If one falls down,
    the other can help him up.
But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls,
    because no one is there to help.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

But, then there are the sweet moments when you find yourself at the top of a hill. The bigger the hill, the better. And you can just soar to the bottom without having to hardly touch the pedals.

It’s in those moments when you can just enjoy the ride, and revel in the joy of the journey.

Ahhhh… perfect peace…

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Anti-peace

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True confessions…

I’m stressed out. Tired and stressed out, to be precise.

Earlier today, I looked up the definition of stress, and this is what I found:

“A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

So, I looked up the definition of peace (seeing as it’s the topic for May), and it gave two definitions, both of which started with the words:

“Freedom from…”

Freedom from…

Those two words stopped me in my tracks and highlighted the fact that I’ve been feeling the opposite of peace.

The truth is I haven’t been feeling freedom from anything.

But, I’ve started taking steps to figure out how I can keep stress from dominating my life. Especially since the “adverse and demanding circumstances” that contributed to me becoming so stressed are probably not going to go away anytime soon.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, my hubby and I are going on vacation just 4 short days from now, and I’m pretty sure that 8 days in Puerto Vallarta will go a long way to helping my stress. But, that will only be a brief respite, after which life will resume and, no doubt, my stressful circumstances.

It was recently suggested that I need to regularly spend time with a trusted friend or two who I can confide in, and who appreciates me for the person I am. I do have those people in my life but they mostly live somewhere else, which is the downside of having moved around a lot. But, there are a couple of friends where I live who have the potential to become close relationships. So, one of my goals is to become more intentional about deepening those friendships.

The closer your support system, the better.

It was also suggested that I be kinder to myself, and regularly indulge in some of the things I most enjoy. Things like going for a massage, taking a brisk walk, baking, reading, blogging, having date nights with my hubby, getting together with a friend for coffee, watching a movie, etc. These ideas seem somewhat simplistic on the surface but I do enjoy them, and they’ve been falling through the cracks in direct proportion to how stressed I’ve been feeling. Basically, I need to work smarter, not harder.

The goal is to manage my stress rather than have my stress manage me.

I’ve done a few of the things I enjoy this week but, to be honest, I still don’t feel much better. I do think our vacation will help jumpstart the process, and I’m very thankful for the timing. From the moment we leave the driveway until we return 8 days later, nothing but rest and relaxation will be on the agenda. I plan on taking full advantage of being out of the country… spending lots of quality time with my hubby, sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, eating, reading, sightseeing, and sleeping.

I just need to remember that I didn’t get this stressed overnight so I won’t get unstressed overnight either. But, simply having a plan makes me think that peace is at least possible.

I especially need to remember that God is bigger than anyone or anything that’s been causing me stress. It’s easier said that done but committing my circumstances to Him, and trusting that He will intervene in the right way and at the right time will go a long way to being able to feel peace in the midst of the storm. I’ve been praying a lot but maybe I need to be still and listen more too.

It’s hard to hear that still small voice when I’m doing all the talking.

I decided to combine the definitions of peace and stress to come up with a new definition for peace that goes like this…

Freedom from a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.”

I like it.

I’m actively in pursuit of peace… my own version of “freedom from”, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it increases my joy.

But, it’s a journey, not a destination. So it’s to be continued…

Peace out.

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The Joy Journey

I recently took an 18 month hiatus from writing to consider the direction I wanted to take with my blog, after finding myself with a serious case of writer’s block. I was at a perpetual loss to think of a subject that inspired me, which inevitably led to the conclusion that perhaps my blogging days were behind me.

The answer presented itself out of the blue (as answers are prone to do). For a full year, the book “The Happiness Project” had languished in my nightstand. While it had captured my interest from the very first page, I had never made it past the first two chapters. Reading took a backseat to life… which included getting married, becoming a stepmother to two teens, becoming ‘Mom’ to a purebred English bulldog puppy, becoming out of work, going into business for myself, having two dental surgeries, and being diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma (a fancy term for skin cancer).

It was my recent diagnosis of skin cancer that prompted me to dust off “The Happiness Project”. I wanted to make a commitment to happiness, and thought it would be beneficial to consider someone else’s experience with the same commitment.

(I highly recommend this book, by the way. Gretchen Rubin approaches her experiment with candor, aplomb, and humor, and it’s a compelling and captivating read.)

Inspired by Gretchen, I decided to undertake my own experiment but to personalize it to fit me. I confess that having the name “Joy” influenced my decision to choose “joy” as a goal over “happiness”. But, the tipping point was when I considered the fundamental differences between the two.  Happiness tends to be fleeting, and depends upon temporal factors like circumstances or other people, while joy is true contentment that comes from internal factors like faith in God. In fact, the Bible uses “happy” or “happiness” approximately 30 times while “joy” or “rejoice” are referred to more than 300 times!

Hence… “The Joy Journey”.

How then to map out my journey? I narrowed it down to thirteen internal qualities that I want to focus on… one each month for the next twelve months. Using the Bible as my reference, I chose the fruit of the Spirit (from Galatians 5:22-23a) – love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, and added to those… wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and discernment. I’ll dedicate the thirteen month to examining “joy” (the remaining fruit of the Spirit), both as a distinct virtue but also from the standpoint that the preceding twelve virtues lead directly to its door.

All these qualities are ones I’ve wanted to more consistently reflect for a long time but this will be the first time I’ll have made them a concerted focus. My theory is that by making them an intentional and ongoing practice, they’ll become a solid foundation for a life that radiates joy. After all, practice makes permanent.

Beginning in April, my blog will chronicle my journey, complete with successes, challenges, and failures. I hope you’ll join me on “The Joy Journey”!

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Happy now?

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Everyone wants to be happy. It’s a universal desire. People wish for happiness, think about it, strive for it, read about it, talk about it, and even try to buy it but rarely, if ever, experience it on any sort of regular basis.

How can so many people be on the quest for the same thing but still miss out on it… or experience it only in fleeting moments? Sometimes it’s because of a misguided wish for things that don’t actually bring happiness while other times it’s an unrealistic expectation of what happiness is.

What if I told you that happiness is within your reach? That there are a few things you can do today to start increasing your happiness?

Well, in no particular order, here are some happiness boosters for you to consider:

1. Change your attitude.

It might surprise you to hear that happiness is a choice. If you tend to see the glass as being half empty, make the decision today to start choosing to see it as being half full. Your happiness largely depends on your attitude (even more than it does on your circumstances).

2. Work less.

No one ever gets to the end of their life and wish they had worked more. The better your work-life balance, the happier you’ll be. And, while we’re on the subject of work… as much as it’s within your ability to do so, do something you love or enjoy. So, if your job is making you miserable, it might be worthwhile to either look for another job or to go back to school to train for a different career.

3. Focus on experiences, not things.

Things will never bring you more than fleeting happiness. When people reminisce about happy times, they’re almost always referring to intangible things. Spending time with others, cultivating relationships, giving their time and talents to make a difference in other people’s lives. All things that money can’t buy. It’s also worth remembering that the quest for tangible things tends to make people work more, not less, and often brings the added stress of debt. Two big happiness busters that everyone can do without.

4. Be social (and I’m not talking about social media…).

Loneliness leads to higher rates of depression, health problems and stress. Having just one close friend tends to boost happiness. But, you don’t have to rely on friends and family in order to be social. Smile at people. Say hello. Make small talk with strangers. Take a genuine interest in others. Life is meant to be shared.

5. Volunteer.

Denmark is one of the happiest nations in the world largely due to their high volunteer rates (43% of the population volunteer). Giving of your time, possessions, or money can boost your happiness like few things can. Volunteering makes a difference, improves your community, and helps you keep a healthy and balanced perspective.

6. Laugh!

Science has proven that laughing decreases your stress hormones and increases your endorphins (the same brain chemicals associated with the “runner’s high” you get from exercise). Laughing is also good for your heart. A study found that only 8% of heart patients who laughed daily had a second heart attack within a year, compared with 42% of the people who rarely laughed. What if you don’t feel like laughing? Consider faking it ’til you make it. Just like your attitude, laughing is a choice.

7. Have faith.

Faith in God boosts happiness because it brings purpose to life. Resting in the certainty that God is in control, and that your eternity is sure,  bring happiness like nothing else can.

8. Count your blessings.

Focusing on what’s going wrong, what we think we’re missing, or what we wish were different are all happiness busters. Making a conscious choice every day to count our blessings is a big happiness booster. Even the days that are largely a write-off – just think about the fact that each day only has 24 hours, and that tomorrow is a new day. That thought should bring you happiness. It does to me!

Ok… enough talk about happiness. Time to start doing. Go and live a happy life… NOW!!!

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The Art of BIY

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Lots of people have gotten into DIY… doing it yourself… in recent years. But, what about BIY… believing in yourself? You don’t hear about that nearly as often… if at all.

Believing in yourself is a lifelong process. A delicate balancing act that can change from day to day. Sometimes even moment by moment. But, it’s possible. And important.

After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, even if everyone else believed in you, it would never be enough. It’s something no one else can do for you. You have to do it for yourself.

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Believing in yourself doesn’t mean being unrealistic about what about what you can and can’t do. It doesn’t mean you won’t have doubts or fear. Or that you’ll never fail. Or make mistakes.

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What believing in yourself does mean is focusing on your successes while learning from your drawbacks and shortcomings. Being realistic but hopeful. Surrounding yourself with people you trust to give you honest but loving feedback and encouragement. Having a spirit of optimism.

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It’s so easy to get down on yourself. It can happen to the best of us. But it’s one thing to get down on yourself from time to time, and quite another to stay there.

Believing in yourself is like walking. You may stumble and even fall but the main thing is that you get back up, dust yourself off, and keep walking.

blog 4It’s important to believe in yourself for you but it’s almost as important to believe in yourself for the people who look up to you. Your children, spouse, friends, relatives, siblings, co-workers… the list is endless. More people look up to you than you realize.

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Personally, I want to live as though I have the potential to positively affect everyone I come in contact with because, quite honestly, every single one of us has that potential.

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If anyone learned to believe in themselves because they watched me believe in myself, that would be amazing. If anyone learned the importance of believing in themselves in spite of their failures or mistakes because they saw me believe in myself in spite of my own, that would be equally amazing.

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What better way to inspire others than to lead by example?

blog 7If you can’t imagine being someone who believes in themself, consider this…

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So, just do it… start believing in you! You’re worth it!!blog 6

Less for 2014…

blogTomorrow is New Year’s Eve.  Just 2 days until 2014.

It’s emotional for me to look back at where I was this time last year and where I am today.

At the end of 2012, I was unemployed and had no fixed address or social life to speak of.  In fact, from just before Christmas until the first of March 2013, I wasn’t even living in Calgary but staying with a friend 90 minutes away.  I was also single.

But, now, at the end of 2013, I have a great new job, and rent a basement suite in a good location in the heart of Calgary.  I go to a great church, and have a social life and friends.  And, one week from today, I’ll have been dating a terrific guy for a year.

What a difference a year makes.

Christmas 2013

I looked back at my blog post this time last year to see what I’d written about resolutions for 2013.  My focus at the time was on things I wanted to do more of.  When I re-read the post, I was struck by how important it is to carry those resolutions through to each and every year.

https://thejoyjourney61.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/life-resolutions-for-2013/

For 2014, I’m decided I’m going to focus on the things I want to do less.

Things like:

1. Drink Diet Coke less.  I don’t drink coffee or tea so my caffeine of choice every morning has been Diet Coke.  I’ve justified it by saying it’s only one a day since, at one time in my life, I drank it almost compulsively.  But, I think it’s time for me to stop drinking it every morning and to not even keep it in the house.  A Diet Coke now and then would not be the end of the world but I don’t want it to control my life any more than it has already.  Less control… more freedom…

blog2. Worry less.  I’ve been working on this one a lot this year.  I’ve struggled with worrying about the financial shortfalls that came from jobs that either paid too little and/or from gaps in pay from leaving one job and starting another.  Now that I have a great new job, in another month or so, I should be able to finally start working to get back on track but, with losing three weeks pay in December/January, I’m continuing to cope with expenses that are greater than my income.  But, I am determined that worry will not control my life now or in 2014.  I want this to be a life change.  I’m aiming to be a prayer warrior, not a prayer worrier.  Less fear, more faith…

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3. Be less “self” focused. I did some volunteer work throughout 2013 but not nearly as much as I hope to in 2014.  There is great merit in giving time, energy, and resources to come alongside others and to let them know that someone cares.  I want to be a blessing in other people’s lives, to give them a hand up, to stand alongside them, to listen, to encourage, and to care.  Most importantly, when I’m focused on others, I tend to forget about myself, and heaven only knows that I think about myself far too much already.  Less of me, more of others…

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4.  Say less.  No one ever learned from anything they said themselves.  We learn more from listening than we do from speaking, not to mention that, the more we say, the more apt we are to say something that we’ll regret.  Or become “that person” who always talks too much.  When I do speak, I want what I say to be intentional.  I’ve made some strides in this area but there’s always room for improvement.  My goal is to ascribe to TLSThink more. Listen more. Say less.  ‘Nough said…

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5. Judge less. There are endless reasons to judge people and, boy, do we ever.  I’ve been judged a lot in my life, and it never gets easier.  It’s easy for people to pass judgement.  Point your finger.  Gossip.  Cast aspersions.  Be sanctimonious.

We may think we’re not judgmental but just because we don’t speak judgement doesn’t mean we don’t think judgement.

As much as I know the pain of being judged, judgmental thoughts pop into my head from time to time. I don’t want to be that person, even a little bit.  Whenever I’m tempted to judge, I remind myself that I don’t know the whole story but, the rare times that I do, it’s still not my place.  That doesn’t mean I agree with everything – far from it.  But, ultimately, I am only responsible for how I live my own life, and answerable to God about that.  Our lives, choices, decisions, mistakes, and regrets are ours and ours alone.

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It’s been a privilege to ring in 52 new years so far in my life.  I am so thankful and grateful for all the blessings in my life in 2013.  And I appreciate the blessings all the more for all the struggles I’ve had to overcome.

But, above all else, my hope and prayer is that somehow, someway, the world will be a better place in 2014 because of me.  Even the smallest of stones can make beautiful ripples in the water.  Less judging… more loving…

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I hope 2014 will be your best year yet.  Dare to hope and don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

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No mistake about it…

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Mistakes.

I don’t know about you but I make them all too regularly, and often while consciously trying not to.

The dictionary defines a mistake as “an error or fault resulting from defective judgement, deficient knowledge, or carelessness”.

Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

I’ve made more than my fair share.  And far too many this past week alone.  Quite honestly, it gets a bit discouraging.

I’ve never once started my day thinking wow, I hope I only make a dozen mistakes today.  In fact, I usually don’t start the day thinking about any of the mistakes I’ll probably make.  I tend to assume the best of myself… at least while the day’s still young.  Until reality hits.

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So, what kind of mistakes am I talking about?  Well, things like I’ll realize I’m driving over the speed limit (either because I’m daydreaming or distracted) or I”ll inadvertently call somebody by the wrong name (it doesn’t help if they both start with a “G” and have 4 letters…) or I’ll miss an important detail at work (which is full of important details) or I’ll let things get to me that turn out to be much ado about nothing.  You know what I’m talking about.

I tend to be far too hard on myself about making mistakes when the fact is I’m going to make mistakes whether I like it or not.  I’m human and I can’t change that.  Of course, I’d like to make as few mistakes as possible but I’m learning they can be a catalyst for growth and for change.

I tend to learn a lot more from what I do wrong than what I do right.

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Mistakes can also be encouraging, oddly enough.  When I realize I’m making the same mistakes far less often than I used to, it makes me feel like I’m at least moving in the right direction.  But, before I can even potentially be encouraged, I have to stop and put my mistakes in perspective, not just automatically beat myself up about them.

I find it interesting that, in the film industry, they don’t call multiple takes mistakes.  They call them, take one, take two, take three… take forty four.  Basically, however many takes that it takes is what they take.

I like that.

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It’s not that I want to minimize my mistakes.  But, putting a more positive spin on them will hopefully help me keep a balanced perspective.

You may be thinking that I’m mistaken about this whole thing.  You could be right.  But, if so, no worries… I’ll just take two.  Or take three. Basically, however many takes that it takes to get it right.

Make no mistake about it…

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