I may not be perfect, but I’m making progress.

August 27, 2016

“Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.”  (Julia Cameron) – as seen on a recent post at the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Many people get down on themselves when they make a mistake; beating themselves up about it, rather than focusing upon learning from the mistake and trying to make progress in their lives. We have to accept the fact that none of us is perfect and that we will makebored2 mistakes or have failures in our lives. What we shouldn’t accept is that those failures or mistakes define us. What defines us is what we do with and about those mistakes and failures. Do we learn from them and turn that knowledge into the wisdom to not make the same mistakes again; or, do let those mistakes take us into dark holes of self-loathing or depression?

Every day is a good day if you have the right attitude. Even if it is a day filled with mistakes or failures, it was also a day of learning; it was a day when you discovered things not to do in the future and paths not to take again. Sure there might have been some pain; but as dinosaurlong as there is learning from that pain it was a day well spent. Perhaps it was even more valuable than the day might have been had you made no mistakes, had no set-backs or suffered no failures; but , from which you learned nothing new.

So, at the end of the day or the week, you should reflect on the things than may not have gone as you thought they would, the mistakes that you realize now that you made or the failures that you had and se what you can learn from those misadventures. You might even find that you can laugh about them now. It’s OK to say out loud to yourself, “That was pretty dumb”; so long as you are also seeing the things to learn from in those events.

The automaker Lexus used to use the tag line – “The relentless pursuit of perfection” – which they replaced with the new tag line – “Engineering the impossible”. I liked their old tag line and it is perhaps a great mantra to repeat to yourself as you reflect on and learn Perfectionfrom your own mistakes; that your life is a relentless pursuit of perfection. Think of it this way; if you’ve never relented from that pursuit; then you’ve not yet failed. You may have hit some bumps in the road, but the road is still ahead and you are still traveling it. The good news is that you have a great guide along that road to help you, if you let Him. Just keep this little verse in mind from Philippians 3:12 –

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.”

It doesn’t get any more perfect than that.

Keep striving and learning my friends.

The five “P’s” of success in life…

September 22, 2014

There are, is seems to me, five things that are important to achieving success in life. Two of them I saw recently as I visited one of the blogs of a follower of my blog –

“Purpose is the reason you journey. Passion is the fire that lights your way.” – as seen on the KSFINBLOG

I would add to those two essential ingredients Persistence, Perseverance and Patience, which are what ultimately lead to success.

woman carrying torchPurpose is what turns life from just wandering through into a journey. Purpose defines the goal or destination that you want to achieve. Passion supplies the drive to get to that destination or goal. If you have that passion lighting the way, then Persistence means getting up every day and taking a few more steps towards the goal. Perseverance means being able to bounce back from set-backs or disappointments and refocusing upon the goal; and Patience means understand that most journeys take a while and are not accomplished all in a day.

We have become a society used to instant gratification; to getting things right now; and, quite honestly, many times used to not having to work too hard to achieve our goals. Purpose-driven lives tend to take a longer view; maybe because they focus upon bigger goals or maybe because they start further away from the final destination. Purpose-gymnastdriven athletes tend to have train for years before they even get to the level where they have a shot at achieving their goal. Some, like Olympians have four years of training between attempts. It takes a lot of passion, persistence, perseverance, and patience to train for four years in order to get one shot at the gold. Imagine setting your sights on a goal that is four years out. Maybe you have evenlonger term goals.

So, as you set your goals and define the journey that your passion is leading you upon, make sure that you are ready for the long run. Make sure that you have the persistence, perseverance and patience for the journey. Otherwise you will just experience many short trips into failure and frustration. We’ve all met someone like that who keep making half-hearted efforts into “the next big thing” in their life, whether it be a relationship or a new job or some new hobby or sport that they dabble in for a while. They mistake an interest for purpose and an attraction for passion; but they really have none of the other things that they need to make things work. Many of us do take false starts at things that we reaching goalinitially believe to be worthwhile goals, only to discover that we really don’t have the passion to persist and overcome obstacles or maybe the patience to stay the course.

What purposes (goals) do you have in your life? What passions? Are you persistent in pursuing them with patience and perseverance? Where are you on those journeys? Have you taken time to feel rewarded by the progress that you’ve made? Have you made your goals know to others? If not, why not? If so, are they cheering you on? Think about these things in the week ahead. Just thinking about what the important goals are in your life will help reinforce your passin for achieving them. Have a great and purposeful week.

Three little words that can change your life… Don’t give up.

April 8, 2014

It’s back to basics and three little words. I just needed yesterday’s break. Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world. I decided to stop numbering these posts, because who care how many there are.

dispairToday’s three little word – Don’t give up – has a corollary from the opposite perspective – “I won’t quit”. When one encourages someone else with the phrase, “ Don’t give up”, the hope is that their retort will be, I won’t quit. Most of us have family or friend to help with this; maybe a wife or BFF. It is important for us to have a support system of some sort, someone to cheer us on and push us with applause and cheers and to yell – Don’t give up.

In the health and fitness world that is a role often filled by a personal trainer, a person to be there during workouts to hold you accountable, to encourage and cajole you to do that next sit-up or lift that barbell one more time and whatever. The basis for success in personal training is personal accountability, having that tainer there to tell you – Don’t give up.

In many of life’s day-to-day trails or challenges we don’t necessarily have personal trainers, but we
eventsmay have life partners or even best friends to who we can turn for support and encouragement. Maybe it’s a bad situation at work or even a personal conflict. Our support team seldom recommends that you quit and wallow in self-pity; instead they buck you up, cheer for you and  tell you that they still love you and say or whisper to you – Don’t give up.

Sometimes the unthinkable happens and you lose that loved one that you had depended upon for encouragement in your life. Things can be overwhelming and confusing. In times like that you may be helped by a clergyman who will encourage you to find comfort and hope in your faith. If you turn to that faith you will find the peace of knowing that you will be reunited in eternal life and that will give you the strength that you need to endure even this tragedy. Don’t give up.

pushing uphillSo the message today is one of perseverance and persistence. You can withstand much more than you give yourself credit for and you can be successful in the face of any adversity by continuing the struggle. Do not turn away. Do not fear failure. Do not allow yourself to be swayed by what others may do or say. Don’t give up.

At the end of the day or at the end of life, there is no comfort to be found in a life filled with coulda, woulda, shoulda’s. Remember this –

“Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.”― John Greenleaf Whittier

Don’t put yourself in that position – Don’t give up.