Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: Mistakes

A mistake is defined as “an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.” .  We have all made them from the little ones to the ones which wreck our lives or those around us.  Do you think of them as leaning lessons and are grateful for the mistake?  OR do you beat yourself up swearing to never do anything “stupid” like that again?

I will admit, depending on the mistake – I can go between the two.  No matter how you handle the mistake, you are not alone. It’s likely all of us have repeated some of our mistakes at one time or another and reacted differently each time.  The truth is if we never made mistakes, we wouldn’t learn much so it is one of those things we should be thankful for.

The good news is, you can learn from your mistakes. Then, instead of repeating them again, you’ll gain valuable wisdom to help you in the future.

1. Acknowledge Your Errors

Regardless of the size of the mistake or who it has effected,  you have to accept full responsibility for your role in what happened.  You need to ask yourself, “What role did I play in this?”.  The answer can be uncomfortable sometimes (okay, maybe most of the time), but you need to own your part.  Once you have said “I messed up,”  you can start to learn from it.  This is all part of changing and hopefully, not making the same mistake again.

2. Ask Yourself Tough Questions

You don’t want to dwell on your mistakes (this is a tough one for me) BUT reflecting on them can be productive. I don’t know about you but when I dwell on mistakes, I tend to beat myself up a little bit.  So, if you ask yourself these tough questions, it can turn a bashing session into a productive one:

  • What went wrong?
  • What could I do better next time?
  • What did I learn from this?

Write down your responses and you’ll see the situation a little more clearly. Seeing your answers on paper can help you think more logically about an irrational or emotional experience.  Let’s face it, we have all had them at one time.

3. Make A Plan

Beating yourself up for your mistakes won’t help you down the road.  It’s important to spend the bulk of your time thinking about how to do better in the future.  Make a plan to help avoid making a similar mistake. Be as detailed as possible but remain flexible since your plan may need to change  No matter how you track your progress, find a way to hold yourself accountable.  Remember what works for one person might not work with someone else.

4. Make It Harder To Mess Up

How will you be sure not to mess up again?  Does willpower alone prevent you from taking an unhealthy shortcut or from giving into immediate gratification (I want what I want when I want it). Increase your chances of success by making it harder to mess up again. Find creative ways to become more disciplined. If using credit cards is your struggle – cut up the cards or freeze them.  Yup, in a big block of ice.  Whenever you try to thaw the block of ice, you will realize how ridiculous the situation is and stop spending money you don’t have.

5. Create A List Of Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Make The Mistake Again

We all have weak moments and the next thing you know, we have made the same mistake again!  Why not create a list of all the reasons why you should stay on track and be self-disciplined,  you can refer to during tough times. Put the list some place where you can see it – if shopping is a problem, put the list in your wallet next to your debit/credit cards.  If flirting on social media is a thing, post your list on your computer so when you start scrolling or are tempted you see the list.  Is it a guarantee?  NO but it may help you to resist the temptation.  Self-discipline is like a muscle. Each time you delay gratification and make a healthy choice, you grow mentally stronger.

Mistakes aren’t always one big blunder. Sometimes, they are a series of little choices leading to failure.  So pay attention to your mistakes, no matter how big or how small they might seem. Recognize each mistake can be an opportunity to build mental muscle and become better.

Have a blessed day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Tired of Doing Good?

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Thank you AMY CARROLL for today’s message:

I felt worn-out, and I knew my perspective on giving needed a little refreshing.

Even though I’ve always admired generous people and want to be known as one, I started to feel resistance in my heart against being a truly cheerful giver in every area of my life — with my time, my gifts and my finances.

Sometimes I was reluctant to give because I felt too consumed by my every day schedule. Other times, I felt the pinch of need in my own life. And occasionally it was because I’d become jaded toward the recipients of my help.

My friend Rita told me a story that was just what I needed. Her mother, an immigrant who grew up in desperate poverty, was very committed to a relief project for her home country. She would collect gently used shoes and ship them to an organization in her homeland that had needed help.

Rita’s mother did this for years, during which her own eight children observed their mother’s work and generosity.

Surprisingly, Rita was frustrated with her mother instead of admiring her work. One day, in exasperation, she said to her mother, “Why do you continue to work on this project? You know how corrupt the system is over there. Those shoes are probably stolen, resold and used to line the pockets of some corrupt official. You are just wasting your time.”

Her mother looked at Rita compassionately and responded, “Rita, my responsibility is not in the receiving. My responsibility is in the giving.”

As I digested Rita’s story and her mother’s lesson, I realized I’d stopped giving because I wasn’t sure of the response.

I didn’t give to poor people on the street because I didn’t know how they’d spend the money.
I didn’t freely love friends because I didn’t know how they felt about me.
I withheld time from my family because I didn’t think they appreciated it.
It’s easy to find reasons not to give … Too busy. One too many scams. Believing nobody cares about giving to me in my need. Thinking that somehow, somebody else will take care of it.

I’ve used all these excuses at one point or another, but I felt a softening in the hardened places of my heart as I listened to the wisdom Rita’s mom shared.

Her reminder is one echoed in Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”

If you’re tired and full of excuses like I was, the best way to renew your commitment to doing good is to start giving.

My former stingy approach to life and love never served me well. God has given me extravagance and abundance. I want to be wise about where I give my time and resources, but I also want to do it freely and with an open heart. I want to be one who listens carefully to His voice for opportunities to give, because I know He can be trusted with the results.

Receiving refreshment comes through giving. And sometimes, it’s in the simplest of ways:

Give a smile to a weary clerk.

Give a break to a worn-out mom.

Give some time to a struggling non-profit.

Give your money to someone in need.

Give loving wisdom to a stressed friend.

Join me in the refreshing act of giving, even if you’re tired of doing good!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Unclutter Your Life

Powerful Year End Questions

goal settingChristmas is over and the New Year is knocking on the door.  I feel like the more years go by or the older I get, the faster they seem to fly.

As you look back on the past year, are you thinking “I could have done more.”?  As a result are you trying to squeeze in as much as possible and even considering rolling old goals into the New Year because you just didn’t reach them?

What if you were to take another approach, instead of racing through the end of the year, you stopped for a moment to reflect on “what’s been?”.  I know, many of us are not wired like this.  We figure the faster we move forward, the quicker we can push the reset button.images

First, let’s STOP to reflect on a year of life, wisdom and resilience. Whether you believe it or not, if you have made it to the end of December, these things are sprinkled into a chapter of your life book called 2016.

I love these three questions from Valerie Burton which helps us to honor the experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – of the last year.

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1. What was your most gratifying accomplishment this year?

No eye rolling allowed.  You need to give yourself credit for the way you handled a really tough situation. Maybe you opened your heart to love even though it’s been broken in the past. Did you learn to swim or play a sport?  Did you spend more time with your family? Maybe you worked really hard on what matters most to you. Acknowledge it. Say it out loud. How does it feel?  Pretty good, right?

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2. What is the message in your biggest challenge?

The message may take awhile to think of BUT I bet you could quickly name a mess from this past year.  What was your biggest mess? Whatever “mess” you had to deal with this year, there was a message in it. A lesson learned.  Maybe a way to handle the inevitable challenges when they pop up in the new year.  The biggest challenges in our lives are often the open door to biggest transforming opportunities.  This year’s biggest challenge for me was dealing with the symptoms and ultimate diagnosis of MS.  I have learned A LOT which has empowered me to move forward in my business reaching for my dreams no matter how scared I am. Yes, a health challenge has helped me in my business.  You never know where the message may take you.  Remember there is always a message in the mess even if we don’t see it at the moment.

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3. Who added joy to your life this year?

Ultimately, our life is rich and fulfilling because of the people in our lives. Even if all isn’t going as you’d hoped, never take for granted the souls who make you smile and the people who come through for you. Research shows happiness is contagious. Having just one happy person in your inner circle can boost your happiness – even more than a $10,000 raise, according to one Harvard study. The goal of a bigger bank account this year could actually come from the joy of your relationships.  Remember the old saying “money can’t buy happiness”?  It is so true.  And when you are joyful and happy, the positive energy will draw more positive energy… who knows how big the bank account could grow?

Take a moment to reflect on the past year and answer the three questions.  Share with us what you discover.  Let’s CELEBRATE 2016 as we get ready for 2017!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!