Advice is so easy to give, but harder to actually follow. Take the overweight, smoking, alcoholic doctor who admonishes us for not living a healthy lifestyle. There are so many things we should and want to be doing for ourselves. We know to stay away from sugar, processed and packaged foods. We know we should exercise, meditate, stay in touch with family and friends and be mindful through all of it. Honestly, writing out this list makes me feel guilty and a little stressed.
It’s noon and the most I’ve accomplished was to eat a healthy breakfast and talk myself out of having a chocolate chip cookie. I spoke to a friend yesterday who told me she can’t let herself sit and relax for too long because she feels it’s a slippery slope to never being productive ever again. It makes sense to constantly feel that we are never doing enough; enough for ourselves, our family, our friends, and our business.
I research everything I can to understand how our mind and body work together. I feel like a fraud if I give suggestions or advice to people that I’m not following myself. I try to follow my own recommendations because I know in the long run, I do feel better. I’m more mindful, more optimistic and more content. I also know that when I get off track and not do everything I need to do for myself that it doesn’t help to beat myself up over it. It’s also something I’ve been able to tell other people: it’s okay to not be perfect.
Life gets in the way of our best laid out plans. It doesn’t mean we have to abandon the path we are working on, it just means we may have to take a different route. Our best stories come from our experiences with the challenges that we faced. Our own sense of inspiration comes from recognizing just how far we have come.
I can appreciate hearing other people’s stories of how they found success through their persistence. I understand that they want to share their knowledge and give advice to others. I think we all want to encourage and support each other. I just don’t believe that we can give anyone a shortcut to their own accomplishment. We all have to undertake our own journey. We learn from our failures. We all have to go through trial and error to find what works for us.
I do have a strong sense of resentment when I hear someone say: “If I can do it, so can you.” Everyone has their own set of circumstances and experiences. What works for one person will not work for another. I think a better statement would be “let me encourage and support you through your journey to success.”
The one piece of advice I have is to ask for help when you need it. It’s amazing how people seem to come out of the woodwork when you accept the fact that you can’t do it all by yourself. We do need each other. We need to be able to bounce ideas off of people; the wall we are staring at, simply will not offer feedback. Taking your thoughts out of your head, putting it down on paper and sharing it with others is how we begin to take action.
When we help others, we end up helping ourselves. We start to recognize that we want more from our lives and we start to find the time to make it happen. Some days will be more productive than others. We will have setbacks and it will be frustrating. If we can embrace the pitfalls and recognize them as part of the learning process, we will stay motivated to keep going.
The reality is the process is never-ending. We will always strive to be better. I will take my own advice to take care of myself and not push and pull on my life today. We’ll see about tomorrow.