The good in the bad
My daughter had me beaming again this week....
Due to our newly found time in isolation last week and the upturn in the weather, we’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the garden. I set up the balance beam for the kids, made last year using some old cupboard doors and a bit of wood I had lying around the garage.
My son (3 years old) was trying to cross the beam on his own and was becoming increasingly frustrated that he kept falling off. My daughter tried to help him and just when he was about to give up, she came out with a wonderful line:
“it’s ok, I like it when it goes wrong because it means I’m learning”
It reminded me of Jocko Willink’s “GOOD".
Or, how I would watch my first mentor, Dr Speechley, placing implants twelve years ago. He’d often be working in a quite relaxed manner, putting his patients at ease, telling them bad anecdotes, but when he was really concentrating, or when things weren’t going precisely to plan, he’d mutter “good, good, good” under his breath repeatedly. I’m not sure whether he was doing this to reassure the patient, himself the team around him or whether this was his way of processing his thoughts, accepting what was happening and keeping a positive mindset so he could find the best possible solution.
We can’t always stop ourselves from falling off the balance beam. When we wobble, when it feels like we can’t continue, by returning to that place of acceptance of the situation and positivity, we can get back on the beam and try again.
If we only ever do the things we find easy, we’ll never get any better.
If we try to do the things that are hard and meaningful, we may start to learn and by consistently getting back on the beam, we can start to grow.
When we found out we all had COVID last week, we could have descended into a depression about how unfair it all is, how inconvenient the timing is and how I couldn't possibly take any time off as I was just trying to start my new business.
The reality is, I think I needed that mini break more than ever. Yes it was inconvenient, yes we all felt unwell but fortunately, none of us had it particularly bad and we've all come out the other side and ready to go again.
It's not about ignoring the negatives, but accepting them and learning. Instead of focusing on the negatives, the ground that can seem to be pulling us off the balance beam; the narrowness of the beam beneath our feet; our inexperience, we can focus on the path ahead, the journey to the other side.
When we fall off, we learn, we climb back on the beam and we come back stronger.