“With the pace and frenzy of our lives – with family, work, community, and other obligations – it’s often hard to be still and just reflect.” – Dave, Mike, Jennifer, and Massiel, Holstee Team
Being still is incredibly hard to do with so much asking for our attention and time. Yet, to reflect and just be in the space of beautiful things that are happening all around us through our teams/peers at work, to our family waiting for us to get home, and in our community is incredibly enriching. We need to consider what we might have picked up, good and bad. Potentially even hit the reboot button when we don’t like what the mirror reflects back.
This past week was very busy, especially in the field I work and play in. It and the people around me demand a lot. I found one way to be still and take a time out to reflect was just to simply be grateful. Simple. But, incredibly challenging to do when all you can see in front of you is what’s next or what needs to be next. Yet, with great self-control and removing the non-essential from my path I found a way. I’m very confident you will too.
One of the simplest starts was to just check in and appreciate what I have. The team in front of me at work, the leaders that protect me so I can do my best work, and the family/friends/community I’ve surrounded myself with or chosen to follow where all great indicators of what to be thankful for. With out them in my life, I’d be alone and probably lost. I found peace in that. I found peace in not being alone in the mission I had ahead of me. It allowed me to really be present, be in the moment.
A second simple step I found to take was really going after a positive mindset. Not everything is doom and gloom. But, today’s news or social media or results you got yesterday from your efforts at work can make you think there is nothing you can appreciate from the day. There probably is just as much good as bad if we can take a pulse check or breather to see it. Most of the time, the day goes by with out any time out to appreciate it. Like a film that finished shooting, I needed to go back and do some post-production work on the day.
The challenge I had to face was rewinding the day and really move through it in slo-mo. This does require a time out at the end of your day, a timer (I like timers), and no Netflix or YouTube. I found no mater what happened negatively there was something positive that happened. I just wasn’t still enough to realize it and instead I let the negative carry me away. These were sometimes small things like a smile from the barista at my favorite Starbucks and them remembering my name. Or, it was someone that let me into a jam packed lane of traffic so I could turn at the corner that was coming up. Or, someone from work that appreciated me for what I do.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
What if you did miss a big thing because it looked so small you just went by it? Like your kids trying to show you something they were proud of and it just didn’t sync in because you had the weight of the universe on your shoulders during that time. The bad news is you can’t rewind and change it, but you can build better future awareness as you continue. The little things all to often are really big things we miss out on because we gave something else the real estate in our minds that doesn’t deserve it.
Lastly, I got myself out of the comparison trap.
“Social Comparison Theory states that we make comparisons as a way of evaluating and understanding ourselves better.”
Sounds okay and fine to do. It’s how we get better at whatever it is we’re trying to do right? It is easy to think that way. I was so wrong so many years ago as I compared myself upwards or downwards to others around me. Until I started to compare myself to myself, only then did I get better. The hardest goals to beat in life are the ones that are against yourself. Until I started focusing on myself to beat for running races and stop worrying about others PRs or paces did I truly see myself accelerate in my running efforts. Once I began to measure my own progress on myself more than measuring it against others, I really got excited about my growth. That lead to more interest in running more and more mileage. More courage and confidence. More excitement about living a healthier life style.
I hope that helps you think about the next couple of days and months ahead. November and December are great reflection months and great gratitude months for me typically. I hope you’ll join me in the habit of exploring your year, so you can really get what you want out of the next year! The best time to start is now!