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New Day, New You

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Nothing really wrong, per say, but you don’t feel like you’re moving forward? I’ve been feeling a little like that lately. Sorta like I’m just spinning my wheels. There are a lot of reasons for this. Some are easy to see and take action on – like the facts that I haven’t been working out enough or eating as well as I should recently – and some are a little more challenging.

I’m the kind of person who feels like I should be perfect at something the first time I try it and every time after. So I set these unreasonably high bars for myself which I can’t possible meet and, sure enough, end up constantly being disappointed that I didn’t live up to those lofty expectations and blew my one chance. And I beat myself up over my perceived failings – over and over again. I’ve struggled with this my whole life and it effects me on a daily basis.

But here’s the cool part. Over the past few years, as I’ve made great strides in closing the gap between who I am and who I want to be, I’ve run across a few concepts that totally blow this mindset away.

The first, Emerson mentions above. Each new day (even each minute!) is an opportunity for us to completely change who we are and what we do. Yesterday is gone. What happened, happened. For better or worse, there is no changing it. And the future is full of infinite possibility, nothing set in stone. But right now, we can choose to take action and make a change that will move us closer to what we want. Each day begins a clean slate. It truly is a NEW day and it’s up to us to make of it what we will. We can decide to throw away old bad habits and form new productive ones.

So if that’s the case, then stewing in regret for something we can’t change not only doesn’t do us any good, it continues to harm us by stealing even more time and keeping us from making the contribution we could make. I try to remember the power that I have (that we ALL have), that I can make the choice at any time to start moving forward again.

The  second concept is of failure. That is, that failure actually isn’t failure. In my first job out of college, my manager gave me a sheet of paper that I still have. Right now, its hanging in my cube at work. This paper contains what he called the “Champion’s Creed”.  It contains several statements like “Failure is not failure, but a chance to practice my sense of humor” and culminates in (and I’m paraphrasing) “I am not judged by the number of times that I fall down, but by the number of times and I fall down and can get back up again”. The quotes on this paper have been hugely inspiring to me.

Thinking of failure in this context is a complete 180. Not only isn’t failure something to be loathed, its something to be encouraged! Failing helps me to develop areas of myself that are weak and builds resilience. There is a freedom in this mindset that opens up every option. A failure isn’t the end, its just an indication to change the approach or try something new.

The third and last concept is abundance. Thinking that I blew my single shot is thinking of the world in terms of scarcity. This mindset causes me to constantly be on edge because I may screw up the only change I get. But really, there will be other opportunities. It may take more, harder work the second time around, but there will be a second time (or we may even be presented with something even better!).  This is abundance. We live in a bountiful world, full of opportunity.

Each of these ideas has immense power. Combine all three and – look out world – here we come!!!

Food for thought – what if tomorrow you could choose to do anything you wanted and failure wasn’t an issue? I say you CAN and its NOT.

Carpe diem, friends. Seize today!

  • EXCELLENT blog! I must say I so relate to this. I get an idea, the motivation to do something, give it a try and when I’m less than perfect the first few times, I get discouraged and eventually give up. I’m hoping to break that pattern and taking steps to create an environment that will foster my future goals. Looking forward to watching you reach yours too!

  • Thanks Mrs! I’m learning that everything is on a continuum, it takes time and effort to move towards better. But that journey is where the fun is!

    jeff

    January 23, 2012

  • I was just thinking about how you can’t build muscle without first having the muscle fail and it’s pretty much like that in life if you think about it. When you have a great workout and your muscles have failed you normally see that as a good thing because you know you did your best and you’ll be able to do more next time. If only it were this easy to see every failure in life this way as well. We really should learn to feel good about failing and the fact that we can learn and grow from that experience. Sure it feels great to win but isn’t it just as much fun trying sometimes?

    The Mr.

    January 15, 2012

  • I really like the muscle comparison Mr! Failure only makes us stronger.

    jeff

    January 23, 2012

  • I’ve give up very easily on things. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal….

    Great blog….I’m going to work on being weaker….but in a strong way :)

    Jessica

    January 16, 2012

  • Thanks Jessica! I like that :)

    jeff

    January 23, 2012

  • Awesome post, where is the rss? I cant find it!
    Nikon Camera Reviews

    Nikon Camera Reviews

    January 18, 2012

  • Just added! You can now subscribe through feedburner in the sidebar on the right!

    jeff

    January 23, 2012

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