This past week has been a tough one for me.
I try to observe patterns and trends in life. If there are any irregularities or things that are out of line, then I take note and see what I need to adjust.
Over the last week, there have been three negative events which I want to share with you.
This blog is about personal development and how you can improve over time to achieve your goals. Sharing my successes and failures are important because no one only has successes (and rarely will someone have all failures).
No one is perfect, and I’m far from it (as evidenced by what I’m going to share in the coming sections here).
I’m ready to move on, but have to be accountable for my actions, accept them, and move on to the next thing with wisdom.
I’m Far From Perfect and That’s Okay
One of my favorite books is The Slight Edge. I read it back in February of 2017 and it’s been my guide for applying the thoughts of consistency and discipline.
The Slight Edge is a philosophy on life. It is your driving force; your philosophy creates your attitudes, which creates your actions, which creates your results, which create your life. You should live your philosophy each day. By performing tasks which will are located on the path to your goals, you can achieve anything.
Simply put, The Slight Edge is applying the concept of compounding to your daily actions. If you are consistently making positive efforts and improving a little bit each day, then over a longer period of time, you will experience wild growth. Likewise, if you aren’t focused and not making positive efforts, your development won’t be positive.
Visually, the Slight Edge looks like the following:
I try to live a life of actions which have a positive effect.
Unfortunately, things don’t always work out and negative things will happen.
I’m going to stop here for a second and make a comment. I’m taking COMPLETE OWNERSHIP of these events, because they were my fault.
I could say they were bad luck and I’m the victim… but with that mentality, I won’t improve and become the person I want to be.
What were the three events?
- My girlfriend and I broke up
- I broke my woodworking mallet
- I received my first ticket driving
I’ll give a quick run down of these events and after, I’ll share my lessons learned.
The past 16 months, I’ve had the pleasure spending time with an amazing woman. We had a lot of fun doing different events, taking vacations, and enjoying each other’s company.
Unfortunately though, we’ve decided it was time to move on due to some differences of opinion, personality and mindset.
Over the last few years, I’ve worked a lot on communication and emotional intelligence. With this communication work, I’ve seen an increase in my salary at work and improved relationships, but I didn’t do my best with this relationship.
If I really wanted it to work out, then I should’ve done more early on. If I didn’t think it was going to work early on, I should’ve raised those red flags and dealt with it.
While breaking up with someone special is always rough, I’m feeling fine and looking forward to the next chapter of my life.
Breaking My Woodworking Mallet
This past weekend, I went to a friend’s cabin and brought some woodworking tools to play with in the north woods of Minnesota.
On Saturday morning, I woke up a little bit early, and since the friends I was with are late sleepers, I decided to go out and mess around in the surrounding woods with my woodworking tools.
A few weeks ago, I had bought an axe, and put it to good use. I chopped a few fallen branches and got a few nice looking logs. I wanted to make a box with my chisels from a log (I was inspired by a YouTube video).
After getting the log, I needed to split it down the middle.
Using my axe as a wedge, I split the log by using my mallet to pound the axe down.
About 15 minutes later, and all of a sudden, my mallet head broke (the handle is still good though).
I guess wood doesn’t hold up when pounding metal… (duh?)
I should have thought about this ahead of time, but instead now I’ll be gluing my mallet back together and seeing what’s next (and if that doesn’t work, I’ll make another one.)
My First Ticket
For our cabin trip, since we had 5 people and a dog, we ended up taking 2 cars and I volunteered to be one of the drivers.
Yesterday, we headed out on the muddy road for home. It was raining a little bit and I was looking forward to getting home. I was also a little bit irritated because some of my friends were dragging their feet packing up, and with a 5 hour trip ahead of us, I didn’t want to wait too long.
After 30 minutes, we got off the dirt road and on to the highway.
I was following my other friend, and was trying to keep pace with him.
Being a little bit irritated, I definitely was a little bit heavy with my foot initially there, but that’s no excuse.
The speed limit was 55, and we were both sitting around 70.
Unfortunately, I was the trailing car on the one lane highway and got pulled over.
I’ve only been pulled over 1 other time in my life and have a clean driving record. With this, the officer was gracious enough to drop the offense down to 65 in a 55, but I still have a fine to pay.
It sucks, but I’m not the victim here… I was speeding. It was my fault.
I just want to share with you this event because it leads me to the lesson for today.
Slow Down, Breathe and Act Wisely
In all three events from above, slowing down (literally and figuratively) would have helped.
Taking a breath before acting, I could have navigated the scenarios above to be positive instead of negative.
With my relationship, I could have asked better questions up front to get on the right page for a successful relationship. Looking at it another way, I could have asked other questions to understand what might go wrong later and adjust.
With my mallet, I could have taken a second to think about using wood on metal. The quote, “Everything looks like a nail when you have a hammer” comes to mind…
Finally, with the ticket, I could have taken a deep breath when I was irritated. I could have driven at the speed limit and not sped. I could have not broken the law.
In each of the situations above, I could have avoided the negative outcome with slowing down, breathing, thinking and acting wisely.
I believe affirmations are very important and have written one for myself today to right my wrongs and get back on the right path:
“I’m a positive person. I am the owner of my life. I am determined to succeed. I’m patient and when new information comes, I take a deep breath and think about my next actions. I am capable of achieving anything I put my mind to.”
These mistakes and failures will not consume me. I’ve accepted them and will be moving on to do what matters. I’m turning these into positives. It’s time to get to the chapter in my life.
What you do today matters. What you do every day matters. Successful people are those who understand that the little choices they make matter and because of that they choose to do things that seem to make no difference at all in the act of doing them, and they do them over and over and over until the compound effect kicks in.
This Week will be a Great One
As we talked above in the opening, you can either work with the Slight Edge, or work against it. Performing daily disciplines towards your goals will lead to success. Not doing these actions will not lead to success.
I’ve had a few failures this past week, but after reflecting on these, I have some lessons and action items to apply in my life.
Mistakes and failures WILL happen in life, but it’s important to NOT let those things do more damage by letting them affect you mentally. Compounding works in both ways…
Here’s how I’m going to turn it into a positive. I know this week is going to be great. I’m not going to be a victim. I’m going to be a VICTOR. This week is going to be great.
Thing will be okay, but I need to focus in on what I believe in and do what’s right.
Breaking up, having your projects go sour, and getting a ticket are not things I want to have keep happening. With focus and effort, I will get back to where I want to be shortly and continue on the path to my goals.
I’m looking forward to what this week will bring.
Thank you for reading! Positive vibes are flowing and this week will be crushed!
Readers: how do you stay positive in the face of adversity? Have you had any negative moments you turned positive recently?