Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas
We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. Marian Wright Edelman
Tonight I’m reflecting on my path at Toastmasters. It’s taken me 37 years but I am close to achieving my Distinguished Toastmasters designation. Someone said, “If you get everything out of Toastmasters you can get out of Toastmasters, you will never get out of Toastmasters.” I was out of Toastmasters for 27 years while my husband and I raised a family and built a business.
We can only juggle so many balls at once and Toastmasters was the ball I could put down and pick back up. We have to be careful when juggling the balls of life we know which balls are the important balls. The balls we must guard and protect, the balls which if they fall we will not be able to pick back up, or even be able to put the pieces back together again.
Life can be forgiving and not forgiving when we make mistakes, and some people will seem to get away with more mistakes than others, but Jordan Peterson tells us we never get away with anything. We always have to pay a price. I think this is true, then we must decide what price we are willing to pay. There are prices for opportunity and lost opportunity. There is a price for speaking up and a price for not speaking up about things that are important and even those that aren’t so important.
If we are asked what we want for breakfast, perhaps we could have eggs, sausages, and a delicious omelet with a side of toast and apricot jam (not bought but homemade). If we shrug our shoulders and say, “whatever” a bowl of porridge may be put in front of us, or a piece of burnt dry toast.
I think in life I’ve been a bit of a “Whatever” person and perhaps that works in marriage when the husband leads and the wife follows. Life is built on shared goals and values, and the workload is divided.
I’m becoming less of a “Whatever” person as I get older. Being a parent is such a heavy and wonderful load that it takes over our life and we don’t have a lot of time for pursuits of our own. When the heavy lifting is over we have time but often have no idea what we want to pursue with the time that is unfolding before us. We need to be careful especially as retirement nears we don’t just accept the idea that we are old and life is over, or almost over so why bother learning new things, or setting new goals? We think a drink on a beach sounds like paradise, and it probably is for a week. But then what?
Men trip not on mountains, they stumble on stones. Proverbs
There comes a time in our life when there will be few choices left to make and we might not like any we get to choose from. But if we are not at that point yet, we should think long and hard about how we want to spend our time before we get there.
We have many opportunities to do many things, learn, develop, grow, and make the best of the life ahead of us. The more decisions we make for ourselves the fewer will be made for us. Sometimes it is okay to say, “Whatever you’re having.” It might be better to develop our choosing muscles and design our days for maximum satisfaction.
I like to start my day by writing with a cup of coffee beside me and my little dog keeping me company. How do you like to start yours? There are days when the alarm rings and I turn it off and go back to sleep. I still get a bit of writing in but not the long uninterrupted time I need to get into it. On blog days I’m up at five, it’s the rest of the week I need to work on.
How we spend our days is how we spend our life, we can make better decisions to have a better life. No one will do for us the things we must do for ourselves and some of the little things we can change will make the biggest difference because it is the things we do daily that have a huge impact on our lives.
Is there a little thing we can change that will pay huge dividends in our lives?
Small changes can produce big results – but the areas of highest leverage are often the least obvious. Peter Serge
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily, the secret of your success is found in your daily routine. John C. Maxwell
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. Confucius
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