Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pep Talk

Now for your dose of Satutrday morning "conscience clearing" -

Mistakes are the "outtakes" of our lives. We all make them from time to time. It's how we handle them that counts. Think back on your life. What are the things that you wish you could go back and change. What could you have done differently? Reflect on this a moment by closing your eyes, then come back.

Now that you're back you've no doubt realized and understand there is no going back. No undoing what has been done. That doesn't mean you can't do new things, make new decisions that can change your life in a positive way. I recently met a man I'll call Willie. He's around 77 years old and just spent the last 40 years of life in prison. For a murder. But he is not hardened: he IS changed. He's an activist now for prisoners in New York, and I could tell by his "aura" that he indeed was sorry for what he had done, and wanted to spend his remaining time helping others who are now enduring what he had endured.

Okay, so you can't fix every mistake, commit the crime and you do the time. There are other mistakes men and women make. They don't seem to start out as "mistakes," but things happen and go wrong along the way. Breakups are okay, but divorce is the rough way out. Nobody wins (especially if children are involved.) How to cope? First understand that we are all just plain human. Don't enter a relationship expecting that your partner will make you happy. Happiness comes from within. Don't enter a relationship thinking your partner will "take care" of you. Take care of yourself: an old boss once told me "look out for number one." I didn't get that at first. Now I do. It wasn't meant to be taken and applied in a bad or selfish way. if you and your partner can acknowledge and accept each other for who and what you are, unconditionally, and not expect the other to "take care" or "make me happy" you'll get along.

Sometimes we err. To err is human. If you made a mistake and you didn't mean it, you didn't harm anyone, and gee whiz you feel stupid... let it go. Don't talk about it with anyone. Get over feeling bad about it. The only thing you can do is mark time. The more time that fills the space between that mistake and you, the better off you'll be. Never let them see you sweat. Cover your tracks by aspiring to do something outstandingly spectacular that will surely steal attention away from your error. (Politicians are masters of timing when it comes to this!) Should you still get called on, say something like, "oops, my bad" or "barin fart" and don't dwell on or try to justify or otherwise explain what happened. It happened, move on, get over it. Convince yourself and you'll convince others.

The biggest mistake of all is when you look in the mirror and wonder "why didn't I..." It's too easy to second-guess or play monday-morning quarterback. That's why you should always, always, always ALL-ways think before your speak, and, wait a minute, think AGAIN before you speak. Practice this and you'll find at least a few times each day you'll be delighted that you kept your mouth shut. This advice works in many situations. Don't understand how to do something at work or school? Don't blurt that out right away. The instructor may be planning to go over it again in a minute, or you may be ableto figure it out all by yourself or get a hand from a co-worker. Life is all about action, but you have to pause a moment to consider what will happen beyond the next thing you say or the next move you make.

Are other people hurting you or calling you names? If you're a family member "stuck" in a family situation, consider if it's worth sticking it out and trying to make changes. This goes back (sometimes) to what others want or expect from you. If somebody is putting you down because you're not "making them happy" the problem may not be all yours. But think back a minute: did you once promise them that you would indeed "make them happy?" Remember, words mean things. Different things to different people. Be careful what you say. Be careful what you promise. Be careful what you wish for.

Your responsibilities are these: first, to thine own self be true. To your belief system, to your gut feeling, to your conscience. To your parents and children, instructors and employers. Keep yourself clean and neat. Make sure you are properly attired for your school or job. Have a set of "dress up clothing" for those very special times. Say your prayers (whatever prayers you choose to say according to the belief system you subscribe to) and always be pleasant, patient and kind to others (no matter how much they piss you off). Not only will you perk up some poor soul's day, you'll gain a little karma. That old saying about "what comes around goes around" is pretty true. Ah well, enough sermonizing! If you have any "life lessons" you'd like to pass along, the "comments" section is your ticket...

1 comment:

Bettina Perroni said...

This is a very good post. Very objective for me specially at this moment when I cannot stop thinking about that "mistake" I made at work two days ago. :S

Yes, we have to learn from those errors. I believe that we always have a second chance and it could be the last one that is why we should think twice before to act... (I´ll try to do not forget that! haha)

Nice day dear friend!

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