I am here again. Half wondering where the year went and half overwhelmed by the amount of year I have lived. A question comes to mind, something I must have heard on a movie or sitcom: How much living can I live with my life? I can’t believe a little over a year ago, I was sitting at my grandma’s place writing my birthday blog post. Very little has changed but I am also so different. It’s amazing what one can learn in 365 days. I’m doing a little bit of looking back into the mirror below.
Retrospect is only a curse if we do not use it to learn about ourselves and improve where we can. If we use it well, it is a wonderful tool that we are given every year like a Christmas gift. Whenever I think back, I struggle to stay on the positive thoughts for very long. I list one or two things that I am grateful for and then somewhere between the second and third blessing, my mind meanders off onto the path of “you could have done better”. This is a dark path and though we have all been warned about it, it’s easy to stumble into it and keep walking.
I have learned in the past year that staying focussed on the positives is a matter of practice. Training your mind not to form a ritual of hedonic adaptation but rather to actively search for and appreciate the good in everyday. I have noticed in conversation with friends that some of us are better at this than others. Some people thrive when we discuss possibilities and positive news while others are quick to poke holes in the dream and find “better news” to dim the light of the excited few. Its not a deliberate evil, but one that over time can grow to define people and relationships. If one does not put a significant effort into the practice of staying in the positive moment, then one can quickly become “that person.”
As Robin Sharma often says “Change happens in the self-awareness”, so I try to be reflective. One of my resolutions this year is to do a weekly round up as well as a weekly plan based on what I have learned in the past week. Many of us are accustomed to tracking and scheduling when it comes to fitness but not so much when it comes to personal growth. I plan to use the Nike Plus Running APP approach to my own development.
I am just thinking out loud so I beg your pardon and a pinch of salt. This is nothing expert or academic but I love to write these posts in case there’s someone out there who can relate.
Here’s what I have noted that I want to work on in the coming year:
Avoid The Savior Complex
Playing superhero. Is it me or is this simultaneously the easiest and most difficult role to assume? It is incredibly dangerous especially if you are older than those you continually play superman to. When you do this, you disempower those around you from reliazing their true potential. Like the aunt who bakes every Christmas, you do not leave room for budding bakers to step in and show us their talents. It may feel like you are helping but you are in fact harming. There is a distinct difference between supporting someone and carrying them. This has been such a hard lesson for me to learn. In fact at times I often feel guilty for stepping back. One thing that helps me, is to think about the outcome, “what will this person and I learn from this experience?”. That often soothes the sting of guilt.
What Is Not Scheduled Will Not Happen
I am the biggest culprit of “planning in the air”. This means that I make plans in my head or in conversation without committing time and duration for them. This leads to double bookings (which are incredibly rude) and missed opportunities. What I have learned is that writing things down, planning how long they will take, considering driving time and making myself aware that that time is unavailable are the secrets to a truly productive week.
Use The Momentum Of Wins
Life can be a total grudge. Although I try to stay in high spirits and count my blessing, certain days it feels like I’m a character in a movie called The Mundane Experiences Of An Average Cis Girl. I need the highlights to perk me up and carry me through the day to day tasks that make one a legend in the end. I’ve started really basking in the wins as a source of energy and affirmation. I used to note the good things for half a second and then move on to chase the next deadline. I guess this is may way of stopping to smelling the roses (or trophies).
I Don’t Have To Do Everything
Oh my goodness amiright? I just want to do and be everything all at one go. With this approach, all I will be is drowning! I have really learnt last year that things take time. When you give time to one thing, you take it away from another. It’s a really stressful realization at first but then after some consideration it becomes a totally liberating one. If I’m doing this, then I cannot do that. It’s that simple. Unless I find a way to enlist Oprah and wrinkle time, this is all I have to contend with.
Work Ethic Is Cultivated Daily
Like any other muscle, work ethic and grit must be exercised and built daily. Yes one must rest but one must train pretty hard to perform at a world class standard. If we look at it this way, we will nourish this “muscle” with the right information, we will exercise it daily and we will be working in the awareness that growth is steady and time consuming.
It Is Not My Job To Be Beautiful
My purpose is not to look good. It would be a truly bizarre reason for existence. Even flowers are not born to be admired, that is merely a by product of how gorgeously they happen to go about their day to day tasks. I have learnt not to sweat the small stuff. The sustainable goal here is to be healthy. Not skinny, not pretty, not stylish not any of that. Just healthy. If I make decisions based on that, I have a far more robust discussion to have with myself daily. Beauty standards change everyday but what is good for you remains constant. I feel that with this outlook, I can do things at a calmer more intensional pace.
The images from this post are outtakes from a commercial I starred in for Kelso beauty. Another highlight I am riding till the wheels come off!