Every weekday morning, my kids and I wake up, get dressed, and walk a half-mile to their school. It’s a routine that makes me feel an incredible sense of gratitude.
The kids and I talk about the amazing day ahead. We observe different things like animals, flowers, and the sun rising, and then we get to the end of our quiet neighborhood.
The same crosswalk assistant stands at that corner every day. The individual’s in these positions are volunteers and they really love kids.
This particular man is very kind, always has a smile on his face, and we chat for a few minutes each day. Every once in a while, we talk about the past because he loves hearing my stories of New Orleans, while I love hearing his stories of Chicago. I like talking to him because I always feel like he has a deep sense of intuition and empathy.
Today, as my kids crossed their path to school, he turned to me and said, “I love seeing you every morning because you have a very natural state of joy that surrounds you. When I see your kids and you, and I see hundreds of family’s each day, I sense a true feeling of completion.”
It was such a kind observation from a near-stranger.
But, as I walked away, my mind started racing.
It was an ironic word to choose.
I don’t do New Years resolutions. I do “word of the year.” If you are not familiar with this practice, it’s essentially one word that you choose to guide your decisions and actions for the year.
For 2017, my word is “completion.”
I have an unfortunate tendency to get 90% of a project complete. From work to new program ideas, from crafts to laundry, I get right up to the point of completion (success) and then walk away and start something new.
It’s a TERRIBLE trait and this year I vowed to end it.
So imagine when a near-stranger casually observed a different aspect of my life (family) and complimented the level of completion he sensed there.
In reality, this is not very unusual.
Most of us are very hard on ourselves. Some of us, incredibly so.
We can highlight all the ways that we fell short, but are unlikely to point out all of the positive things we accomplished along the way.
The fact is there’s a balance in life. A yin & a yang to everything. The challenge is for you to find it.
In every success, there is something you can still improve upon further. In every failure, there is some positive step of progress made.
As you may know, I am a runner. I have many playlists for my runs. One of them includes Dierks Bientley’s song “Every Mile A Memory.” In it, he sings:
“Funny how no matter where I run, around every bend I only see just how far I haven’t come”
How many of us can say the same in our lives??
I know I can.
This past August, I reached out to a life coach to help me deal with the end of my relationship. Ultimately, she ended up being the one who helped empower me to work through my fear of success. (After all, allowing ourselves to remain stuck in toxic relationships is really just another way of sabotaging ourselves from being truly successful.)
After she listened to me “dive deep” and rattle off a list of all of my failures, the phone line fell silent for a bit.
Finally, she said, “I don’t know, Ali. All I heard was a long list of huge victories and successes.”
This experience was an eye-opening one.
Today, I challenge you to question yourself when your inner critic starts telling you how you fell short, what you messed up, where you need to improve, what you should have done better and differently.
Instead, look at all of the progress that you made in that area of your life and feel a sense of pride in yourself. I guarantee you that you will discover you have come a long way!
Here's To OUR Success,