When I opened my email account this morning, this was the message I received from Tut.com – it’s a daily email service from “The Universe”.
Whatever you’re going to do today, dena, please, do it to the best of your ability. As if it was all that mattered; as if it was all you had; and as if your very happiness depended upon it. Because these are among the very truths you came here to learn.
This one really hit home. Quite frankly, most of Tut’s little tidbits of wisdom do, but today I felt this one at my core.
I have felt at various times in my life that I’m doing the exact OPPOSITE of that. That instead of doing everything to the BEST of my ability, I’m doing them as quickly as possible, or with my mind, one eye and both ears all focused on entirely different things.
To what end?
At the end of the day, I can’t always remember WHAT I did. And half the things I did were half-assed. Good enough. Instead of being present for each and every task, I was half a world away.
I may accomplish a lot in a day: for us a typical day includes swim and/or ballet lessons, cleaning and cooking, crafts, park or lake, errands, workout/yoga, meditation/reading, hanging out with Johnny, writing, and work. That’s quite a bit to squeeze into a day and really expect to do any of it well.
Imagine the times when you have done something to the very best of your ability. Remember the feeling of accomplishment, the pride, the wonder at your own ability – even if it was a mundane task. I remember a time only about 2 weeks ago when I decided I’d had enough of my grimey shower. I HATE cleaning the shower. Always have. Something about it makes me feel clausterphobic and mine always seems to be especially grimey because I put on oil after I shower. Good for the skin. Bad for grimeyness. But this one particular day I got in there and REALLY cleaned that sucker. I soaked it TWICE. Then I got out the scrub brush and got IN the shower and scrubbed – from top to bottom – until it SPARKLED. And when I was finished, I ran and got Johnny and showed it off like a masterpiece – a great work of art that I had put YEARS into. Because really, I had. For YEARS, I’ve had this conversation in my head about how awful cleaning the shower is. I’ve spent hours, days, weeks, months, arguing with myself about doing or not doing this task. I’ve thought about it, procrastinated it, chastised myself for procrastinating it, and then justified it HUNDREDS of times. And all of that effort amounted to – a REALLY clean shower.
And you know what? I was totally PSYCHED. I was happy with the work. I felt really good while I was doing it (scrubbing showers will give you pretty shoulder muscles) and loved the results. And all I did was clean the shower – really, really WELL. My BEST.
And if we did EVERYTHING with that sort of love, attention, and focus, with that DESIRE to do our very best; we would have those same results – again and again and again.
Imagine a day where everything you accomlished you felt REALLY good about. That put you over-the-moon with GLEE! Imagine what a day like that would feel like – the bubbly joy, the giddy smile, the jumping-up-and-down like a kid. Yeah, that would feel pretty good.
One thing I’ve realized though is that if I’m really going to do everything to that level, I’ll probably have to spend more – look out, here it comes – TIME on them. Oh, yeah. Time. The one thing I hear EVERYONE complain about and wish for. So where are we going to get MORE time to do these things?
It’s called PRIORITIES my dear.
You see, we all have them, they just may not be that clear. We do so many things on auto-pilot, without really thinking. I get up, make the bed, get dressed, make coffee, work for a bit, make breakfast, clean kitchen, head out for workout/swimming lessons/errands, eat lunch, do crafts, dinner, clean-up, bedtime, hang with Johnny… you get the drift. These are my days in a nutshell. When I can I squeeze in the yoga, meditation and reading. But honestly, I tend to rush through everything, not really doing a great job of any of it. If I had a magic “Effort Measurer” I would probably say I give anywhere from 50-80% of my ability to any given task. The low end represents anything to do with cleaning and the mundane “maintenance” of life. The higher end is anything people related, and I guarantee that most things fall to the lower side of the scale. Good, but not my BEST, and I rarely have any sense of satisfaction. I just feel like I can check something off of my list. Even the things that should be fun – just check-off. Then I move on to the next task.
I know people who give their best. I’ve seen it in action. Only in a few individuals, but it is there. They have a carefully crafted existence where every single thing they do is thought out and prioritized, and they CAN give 100% of themselves to each and every task. They don’t multi-task (there’s no such thing by the way). They do one thing, they do it well, and they move on. And there’s a really deep satisfaction to their days that can only be achieved by doing your best.
So that’s my goal for today. Whatever I decide to do – I’m giving it 100%. I’m going to do it to the best of my ability. I’m going to celebrate those little mundane things with a child’s enthusiasm. I’m going to be completely present – whether it’s for folding laundry or crafting with Ivy. Or doing NOTHING. That’s something most of us are truly terrible at – really doing absolutely NOTHING.
What things do you put your whole heart and soul into? What things do you skim over? What task can you bring your best to today? And how will you Celebrate???
Life’s a Party,