Oops. I goofed. A few days ago, I was going to quit smoking. I had everything planned, took care of all the bumps I thought might get in the way and had all my tools ready. But guess what. I didn't even get through the first day when a bunch of unexpected "stuff" came up. I felt stress rising, and grabbed my old standby...a cigarette. I did cut back on smoking, but I didn't quit. Now I have two choices--call myself a failure and give up, or find something good in the situation and keep going.
I've decided that a setback doesn't make a failure. It just makes me take a look at what went wrong and how I can do better next time. I know that change is constant, and the unexpected is always a possibility. The world doesn't revolve around what I want. But I forgot to include this truth in my plans and got stuck in the stressful stuff. I allowed it to overshadow the larger picture. Maybe I needed a reminder that I can't always foresee what's coming, and I need to keep my goal uppermost in my mind, not letting anything sway me off my path. I'm still determined to reach my goal.
Have you ever been moving toward a goal when something you didn't expect popped up, and you're suddenly standing in mud? Something knocks on your door, and your goal is out the window. Bummer. Yeah, it happens. If something is an emergency, then yes, you may have to shelf your goal for a while. But if it's one of those day-to-day things, then deal with it, pull your feet up out of the mud and keep going. You haven't failed. You just got sidetracked, and you can still move forward. Life's lessons don't always come wrapped in pretty paper, but they are valuable.
Here's to another learning experience. May we all get smarter.