It’s been a milestone week for me. Not any of the big life events but those simple tasks that add up to a “Wow I did that” sort of milestones.
Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project and author of many wonderfully insightful books wrote; “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” I believe this to be true, which is why I’m writing about these minor milestones. Let me begin by explaining that I recently discovered ironically from Gretchen Rubin’s latest book The Four Tendencies that I’m an upholder. Which according to Ms. Rubin means I meet both outer and inner expectations, so things like 1000 meditation days and 300 miles on a pair of running shoes are sort of built into my tendency.
I’m very regimented I love lists, and I love to do things that make me a better person, like meditating daily and running three times a week. You see what you do every day… Yes 1000 days or 2.79 years of daily meditation earned me a tiny gold star on my Insight App this morning. According to my activity app on my Apple Watch I’ve run 300 miles since the end of August or the equivalent of running to New York City and back. Little things add up!
It’s important to recognize our mini-milestones I believe these little everyday things are a part of what I like to call the 1% better. Which is sort of a mantra of mine to be 1% better than I was yesterday – It’s something that I’ve shared with my staff and students. I believe we get too wrapped up in working on the big things which are often looked at as the BIG change that will make my life perfect, my dreams come true… (The perfect mate, home, career, family – life ) DON’T EXIST!
What does exist is the ability to be a better person; to be more centered, more compassionate, more engaged, more forgiving, more flexible, more healthy than we were yesterday and isn’t this what we should be teaching children? Just be better than yesterday is so much less stressful than being the best! In the long run the out comes are far healthier.
I do know I’m 15lbs lighter and far more centered, patient, healthier and disciplined than I was 1000 days and 300 miles ago!
Do your 1% best,
I’m on day nine of my 21 Days of Getting to Know Myself Project via Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project site. This has been an interesting journey thus far, some of the tasks have included naming my patron saints (not necessarily Catholic saints) but people past and present who’ve influenced me in someway. There where the “tough questions” to answer such as: Whom do I envy? What do I regret? I had to identify my “Broken Windows” (things that signify I’m not right in my skin) and my Spiritual guide. These are just a small sampling of my journey inward and my subsequent journaling.
Im finding this challenge or exercise intriguing and a wonderful way to reveal things that I may never thought of or wanted to admit to. Here is a brief summary of some of my answers; Patron Saints include, St. Francis of Assisi He embodied Humility and Acceptance. Ansel Adams, his work and passion for photography inspired me to find beauty and art through a view finder. Miyamoto Musashi, the legendary Samurai and author of the Book of Five Rings, (which I’ve read at least five times) inspires me with the noble truths of the art I practice and teach. Henry Beston, author of The Outermost House, a naturalist who spent a year on Cape Cod’s outer shores living alone and documenting nature. This work influenced me to seek answers in the world around me to be quiet in nature ( another book I’ve read many times). Lucille Ball and Erma Bombeck, both these woman were strong influences on my humor and how I live my life. Lucy took on the television establishment and ran her own company – Erma started writing a folksy newspaper column on suburban life which eventually lead to being carried by over 900 newspapers, and appearances on Good Morning America.
Identifying my “Broken Windows” got me to delve into some of my “tells” eating only peanut butter, not working out, sleeping past 8am, avoiding phone calls, procrastinating, buying stuff I don’t need. This was great because it gave me some insight on when I might be slipping into the abyss, oddly enough November is when it usually starts.
The difficult questions and their answers are written in my journal, I haven’t learned enough about myself to share these answers, but I’m working on it…
Before I go please look into Gretchen’s site its up lifting and you do learn something!