Doing Less Wrong |

Doing Less Wrong

2011-03-28 | ~2 minute(s) | ~478 words
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A pot of homemade vegetable soup.

Once in a great while, I experience a moment that offers surprising perspective on my life. No, I haven’t seen any bright lights in the sky nor have I meditated extensively to arrive at some grand realization. Quite simply, enough minor changes have occurred in terms of my lifestyle, preferences, attitude and other assorted characteristics that I feel somehow a different person now than I was several months ago.

Today, I made a fantastic vegetable soup. It took hours to make, but the end product was truly rewarding. Why is this so significant? Because several months ago I would never have considered spending the time and attention required to create wholesome food for myself.

Quite frankly, I didn’t care (enough).

I was “too busy” wasting time on things of little significance. I cared more about seemingly urgent (yet unimportant) things than I did about taking care of myself.

There are many people in my life that encouraged me to take better care of myself. I’m inspired by those who think differently about self-care and live accordingly. I’m humbled by those who cared enough to confront my lifestyle with love and truth. You know who you are; I am forever grateful.

There’s more to the story than soup…

I think most people can relate to self-improvement and aspiring to be better. Consequently, most can also relate to the self-loathing and defeat that come with failing to achieve improvement. As such, I hope you can understand the cyclical torment I subjected myself to each time I failed to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

When failure seems the only possible outcome, one quickly arrives at the conclusion that efforts to change are futile. I’ve often wondered: “Why should I care about trying if failure is inevitable?” That’s a dark corner of my soul I hope to avoid discovering again soon.

Merlin Mann published a great blog entry entitled Resolved: Stop Blaming the Pancake earlier this year and I cannot stop thinking about his post. In short, he talks about how our first efforts to institute change often fail, perhaps repeatedly. For me, the one sentence that stood out was:

“Failure is the sound of beginning to suck a little less.”

Just think about that for a moment.

Giving yourself permission to fail is both encouraging and liberating at the same time. Failure is not the exception but the EXPECTATION when instituting change. I have a long and distinguished list of failures in my lifetime; who would have thought they were a prerequisite for success?

I suspect that Abraham Lincoln, The Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison and a few other significant historical figures discovered this a long time ago. Perhaps more importantly, it’s nice to know that this principle works for mere mortals like myself.

As it turns out, I can do less wrong. Now it’s your turn.

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Written by Kevan M. Sizemore.
Technologist. Educator. Storyteller. Lifelong Learner.
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