Finish Each Day and Be Done With It
You just decided to take action on an issue and immediately knew it was wrong, so you made corrections, but it still wasn't good. The next day you are sure something different needs to be said or done, but you can't think of what. What do you do? Most of us will spend days agonizing over our decisions. We may ask others seeking their counsel or say nothing while worrying about the outcome. As a result, we suffer individually, our relationships with others suffer, and most frequently, our future thinking suffers.
While the quote below is from over a hundred years ago, I find it well worth our time to stop for a minute and think about how you might live this statement and what it could mean for your life. Indeed, not everything can fit into this way of thinking, or can it?
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high of a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
This concept was challenging for me to understand and thus apply to my everyday life. My difficulties were due to my inability to use this quote myself, i.e., it needed to be personal to me. But, as I discovered, this is the key. First, I had so many issues coming at me that it felt like an avalanche of failures was upon me. Then, to make matters worse, were the people who wanted to point fingers, make accusations, or in general, make me the center point of their blame.
One of our worldly sports, if you can call it that, is when something is less than perfect, or they don't agree with something, people like to search out the perpetrator, assess blame, and then criticize it. We can't seem to let go. Irrespective of public figures or in the home as spouses go, we usually have a long memory of things that have gone wrong. And much like the media, we keep score! Yes, we do; you never know when some obtuse event will come back to haunt you, or an event will occur that allows you to even the score.
Why, then, do we constantly work on remembering and issue-shaming each other? After all, keeping score is the kiss of death for love, intimacy, and relationships.
I've listed several thoughts that come to mind:
Experiences that have shaped one's life
Not knowing how to listen or talk to someone, possibly shy
Inability to speak openly and honestly without being hurtful
While this list is incomplete, it gives one an idea of possible areas to consider. For example, most people live and react to life's events based on their experiences. But unfortunately, they have never been coached or seen good examples of people listening &/or talking, leaving them unable to speak openly and honestly without being hurtful. And they do not know how to apply the principle quoted above.
Why do I think this quote is so important to put into action? It's because I have, and it works. The lion's share of us are hard-working, honest individuals. We pride ourselves in the jobs we do and how we do them. You might say we are on the "top of our game." It's not that we don't make mistakes, but that when we find them, and we do, we correct them as best and fast as we can. So let's use this thought as a baseline for applying the quote, "finish each day and be done with it."
Last week's article on happiness missed one significant thought: "finish each day and be done with it." You can't find happiness if someone is constantly second-guessing you. So stand tall, breathe deeply, and go forth, knowing you have done your best.
Imagine a world where everyone puts this concept to practice.
Ralph Waldo Emerson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Waldo_Emerson
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