The experiences of yesterday have changed me. The things that happened in my world have given me a new perspective on life. I will never be the same. Ever.
Today, I woke up a different person. Why? Because, what happened yesterday has never happened before. It changed me… or better or worse.
You may be wondering what huge thing happened. The answer is: nothing. It was “just another day” just like any other. What changed is me. I started paying attention… and learning from it all.
Here is an example… even though I don’t like sharing this… it is evidence that paying attention works. In the past, when someone was being mean and hateful, I would use mean and hateful words right back at them. I would feel justified that I had taken care of that mean person (and, I was really good at it. So, that tactic almost always made them stop being mean and hateful.) What I realized, though, is I was just being mean and hateful, too. My behavior was just as hurtful as theirs. When I started paying attention, I realized that. Although my intention was noble (stopping the hateful talk), the reality was I was just adding more hate into the world myself. THAT was not ok with me – and the opposite of what I had intended. I made a conscious choice to remove my own mean behavior in response.
The other day, a woman came up to me and was full of hate for another person. She said mean, awful things about another person. I wanted her to stop. My gut instinct was to rip into her with my own mean words to make her stop. But, I didn’t. I let her carry on for a bit. And, guess what?! She still stopped. And, I didn’t have to add any hate into the world to make it happen. [I later cried over the amount of hate inside that woman. She must be suffering greatly to be so cruel and mean about others.]
So, there is my level up.
Do I wish I would have been able to handle it differently? Yes. I can think of 10 different ways I could have handled it. And, as I continue to grow as a person, I’m sure I will handle it differently next time. We don’t go from taking our first steps as a baby to a runner overnight. But, the important thing to note here is I made a huge change in my world simply by paying attention to the little things.
Lessons and growth don’t have to come only from major life events (though those definitely teach us lessons, too, often in a big way.) But, it is the little things – in our ordinary lives – that can create the biggest impact and changes… if we would just pay attention.
Start paying attention during your day. Because, today is unique. It will never happen exactly like this again. What lessons are there just waiting for you to notice?