When I was young and foolish, every New Year I made a string of resolutions. They never worked. With time, and after making a filled-up wheelbarrow of mistakes, I learned there are better ways to keep promises to myself. Like my cat, Cleo, I learned to live in the moment. I don’t sell Cleo short. Her way, of squeezing through bad situations works well enough to keep her alive in a world of dangers for a little cat. Cleo lives in the moment as she faces those dangers, or hunger, or just wants to sleep. Addressing the feelings or needs common to small animals and large humans, she manages to keep herself safe, well, and happy. If we act without thinking about what to do, we will, usually, do the right thing… providing we’ve gathered experience by making mistakes and learning from them. Therein is the rub. Making mistakes is the only way I know to avoid those same mistakes in the future. What I am saying is this. No matter your age, if you can muster the courage to go through a new door, try a new experience, without knowing what you will find on the other side, or worry about making a mistake, not only will you learn, but other doors may open to you.
Write It Down Making a list of what I must do helps me get through my chores each day. I do as well as I can, but, unfortunately, I never complete half the items on my list and they must be left for another day. It works in the long run. Somehow, in spite of not working as hard, or as efficiently as I should, I keep plugging away and everything gets finished. To list your long-range hopes and dreams on paper, and speak of them when you have an opportunity, makes them more likely to come true. That’s because, as William James the Psychologist said, ‘Feeling follows action.” To write, or speak of your goals to another person, fools the unconscious part of your brain. Your unconscious, which always believes all it is told, makes you behave so that you work toward that goal without trying. Here, once again, is the rub. You can reach your unconscious brain by giving it commands just before falling asleep. That is when the unconscious part of your brain is most likely to hear your orders through the fog and static of the day’s activities. When you are bent on achieving something, and you hang on to your dream like a dog with a bone, you are already more than halfway to your keeping your resolutions. Go forward. Never be afraid to try something new. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s the only way to learn. No matter your age, this moment is the best time of your life to begin. Gene