Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Practice makes perfect (or at least better)

Very few people are good at things the first time.  Most people need repetition and refinement to become good at anything.

The same is true for making days that don't seem so good . . . good days.

A key to becoming good at anything is to practice.

When I started making/recognizing good days, it wasn't as easy as it is now.  I had to work to notice all the good things that made up my life.  From the people I interacted with and how I interacted with them, to the things that made my life comfortable (like water, and shelter, and food), to the place I lived I needed to pay more attention.

The same things one day were often the same things as the day before but new things came to mind none-the-less.  Sometimes those things were more common (like my children's laughter) and sometimes they were esoteric ("How amazing it is that we humans can think! How does that even work?") but new things were always popping up.  They popped up because I was always looking. 
When asked how my day is, I do an inventory of good things that day.  As I did almost anything throughout my day I also asked myself what made it part of my good day.  

Over the years, it has become a part of who I am.  I practiced.

Look actively
Look often
Look regularly
Look harder
Look deeper


Starting - Even if imperfectly

Starting can be hard.

Waking up is hard for some people.
For others, writing that first sentence takes significant effort.
Taking that leap into a relationship . . . that can be torturous.

I think that for many people, the starting is the hardest part.  Making or recognizing that today is a good day can be the same; starting is hard.

Starting something can be scary.  You never know how it's going to end or even if it will finish.  You might not know where things are going to end up once you start.  You may upset your life or a person that matters to you.  There is a lot going on when something is started.

There are a few things to remember as you start something:
You can start small.  You can ease into whatever you are starting in little steps that are not overwhelming,  You can test the waters and make sure things are OK as you go.  You can ask for help and feedback.
Just start.

You can re-do or edit.  Most of the time, the starting is not the same as the ending; you have time to undo what you did, or do it over, or cover it up, or in some way make better any mistakes you made.  Don't become so hung up on making just right that you forget that it might be good enough for now any you can improve on it later.
Just start.

So don't worry about starting and just start.  It's OK if it's imperfect.  It's ok if it's junk.
Once the starting is started the rest can happen.  It will play out however it will . .  but at least it's started.

Starting to make today a good day or starting to recognize that it is a good day can be difficult. If you can start seeing something good about the day then, like any other thing, the rest can happen.
Just start.