If you ask a math teacher, they will most assuredly tell you that there is more than way to go about doing something. Sure, it may not be the easiest or the best way to do something, but if you get there in the end, then you should be okay. (At least, this is what I️ hoped my math teacher would say to me.)
So in that vein, stop comparing yourself to everyone around you.
Sure, another person’s way may look better or get quicker results, but at the end of the day, if you got the job done, then you’re not wrong. There’s no being wrong in life – only in math. There’s a million ways to go about doing something, and the way you see the world is unique to you.
So you’re not wrong. You may be on the wrong path or walking in the wrong direction for awhile, but what you do can’t be wrong when it comes to living your life. Mistakes can only lead you to a better place and time, even if it takes awhile to get there. But you have to let yourself be human and be able to make mistakes before you can live unwrongly.
They say that if you kiss the Blarney Stone, you get the gift of gab – you can talk to anyone about anything.
But what no one tells you about the Blarney Stone is that it is on a ledge on the outside of a castle wall. So if you want to smooch it, you need to have the gift of courage too.
Why? Because in order to kiss it, you have to lay down and thrust yourself out into the open air. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll get so much momentum from the slick conditions that you’ll smash your lips and almost knock out your teeth – which has the added irony that you won’t be able to speak and have the gift of gab if you lose all your teeth.
But in the end, I️ didn’t have to worry. Because I️ never got the gift of gab. I️ have a terrible time taking to people. It takes everything in me to marshal my thoughts and to get out the word, “hi.” But other people don’t have this problem! They talk about anything they feel like. They talk to fill the silence. They talk whether you’re listening or not.
And maybe that’s why the world always has two people – talkers and listeners. But I️ can’t stop feeling like I️ got a raw deal. I️ still wish that I️ could have received the gift of gab that day – instead of a sore lip. But no one tells you that getting the gift of gab is about as hard as using it.
In case you haven’t been near a Starbucks, I’d like to officially announce:
Leaves are tumbling, being raked into piles and trees are generally shedding their weight for winter.
But you know what gets me about trees?
They spend their whole life growing. And then they deposit their seeds, their acorns, their tiny helicopter pods. Not knowing where they’re going. Not knowing if they’ll grow up to be trees too. Not knowing even if they’ll land on the ground instead of in some squirrel’s stomach.
But they do it anyway. They drop their seeds anyway. With only hope keeping them alight.
It’s hard to live with hope only. But I️ promise, that if you put some faith into your hope, you will grow no matter where you’re planted.
So drop your seeds where they may fall and reach for the sky.
I get it.
Not every day is going to be a rainbow wrapped butterfly with a cherry on top confection. I know that, and so do you.
But my motto is: if you can’t be the sun, be the moon.
That is, if you can’t radiate goodness and happiness like the sun, then the least you can do is reflect it. Be the moon, reflecting the light from the sun’s rays. Be the moon, and reflect what little good there is in the world.
So if someone is nice to you on a day where you don’t feel like the sun is shining very brightly, then pass it on. Reflect that goodness. And shine a little brighter for it. Even if that’s all you can do — hang in the sky and reflect. Even if all you can do is be the moon.
My message is very short tonight.
Live life like you’re a kid on mischief night.
When I was driving home, it was dark out. Not many cars on the road. But I drove past a group of kids walking, and lo and behold, each of them was carrying a roll of toilet paper. And I was so happy to see that this little town tradition was still holding up that I laughed out loud. For tonight is mischief night. When kids of all ages get up to no good. Throwing eggs or toilet papering trees.
And I realized that even though most Halloween traditions have their place – some can keep us connected to other generations. Because I remember laughing out loud when I woke up and saw that all the trees had been covered in tp on my street as a kid.
So live your life however you want. But remember that some traditions are just too meaningful not to repeat. Have some fun (and some mischief) out there.
Let me take you back in time to when you first got your learners permit to drive. Remember? How every trip was an exciting adventure? How you grabbed the keys immediately when anyone needed to run an errand? How you avoided highways and took backroads everywhere?
Sure, you were scared. What if you got in an accident? What if you confused the gas and the brake?!You would grip the steering wheel until your fingers were white.
…and dare I ask about now? You’re probably just shy of driving with your knees, eating yoghurt, and shaving your face. (Hopefully not texting!)
My point is that at one point, driving was terrifying. And now look. You’re fine. You could do it with your eyes closed if that was legal.
So stand up and take notice of all the amazing ways you’ve progressed. There are things you do everyday that once scared you half to death. Make sure you congratulate yourself. Your permitted to feel good about your accomplishments no matter how small.
I was the recipient of a kind word today. Out of the blue, unasked for, but very necessary.
And you know what? It completely turned my day around. It was incredibly powerful, the effect it had on me. It really did change my whole attitude, and I’m so grateful to the person who gave it to me.
So I’m passing it on to you.
Listen, today might not have been your best day, but it certainly wasn’t your worst. You can do this! I know you can! And if you ever forget, just ask me! If you have to give up today, then try again tomorrow. And keep trying. Because you’re smart, and funny, and kind and this is your life. You need to take charge of it. So get out there, and shine on.
Now pass it on!
I know it’s hard to see the good in the world right now. I know that I have to acknowledge that fact before anything else. But I also know that people are looking for ways to remind themselves of all the love we’re capable of.
And tonight, I’d like to remind you of that. By writing the 20 ways to love. Some may be obvious, but all will be loving:
- Ask someone how their day was.
- Tell someone to be safe on their drive home.
- Make dinner for someone, without being asked.
- Buy them anything, but especially a chocolate bar, just because.
5. Text them a random thought you had about them.
6. Ask them to dinner/lunch/coffee.
7. Knit them a scarf.
8. Call them out of the blue.
9. Create art for them.
10. Hug them tightly.
11. Let them pick the movie to watch.
12. Do a chore for them.
13. Ask them for their favorite things.
14. Kiss them goodnight.
15. Let them wear your clothing.
16. Plan an entire day with them.
17. Be there for them emotionally.
18. Hold their hand.
19. Laugh at their jokes.
20. But most importantly, tell them that you love them. You may not get another chance.
My bridal shower is this weekend. My friends and family have been hard at work planning the entire day (and keeping me away from it all).
And I just want to recognize how much it means to me. How lucky I am. To have loving friends and family who would put aside an entire day just to celebrate a special time in my life.
So all this week I’ll be paying special tribute to all the things I’m grateful for because it’s times like these that we should look around and be thankful for the people in our lives.
It only takes a second to recognize how grateful we are, but it can really mean the difference between a good and a bad day. Try it yourself along with me!
I know life is hard sometimes. Actually, most of the time. Ok, ok. 90% of the time.
But do you know what you need to do? No, not eat a spoonful of sugar, or sip water through a paper towel, or take a nap.
You need a good belly laugh. You need your sense of humor. You need a bright side.
If you’ve run out of options, then laugh. If you’ve taken a long look at yourself and you want to cry, try laughing. Try telling yourself a joke.
Like this one:
What do you call a wet baby owl?
A moist owlet.
Or this one:
What do you call fake spaghetti?
And so on. Until you’re laughing again. Until you’re smiling again. Until the world doesn’t seem so bad anymore.
Laughter. It’s more than the best medicine. It’s a way of life.