Trying Harder

Around the new year, I made a list of things I would like to accomplish or work a little harder on. Perhaps you did the same. With midyear upon us, it’s a great time to look back and check progress. Here is my list.

Make my life count. I have a clear purpose on what I want to accomplish and how I want to relate to other people. I recently thought about what might have happened to others if I had never existed. How would their lives have been different? Some might say, “Wow, it would have been cool not to have ‘that guy’ around.” To every place I had ever been and to everyone I had spoken, it would have been different had I not existed. So since I do exist and I understand that some of us are connected and do affect each other’s lives, make it count, keep it positive, and make it have meaning and purpose.

Winning is not the only thing. My apologies to Vince Lombardi, but I want to understand better that being competitive does not mean I have to win every time. I have come to realize that if you always need to win, you end up enjoying it less when you do win. And if you lose, you are way too disappointed with the endeavor to have enjoyed the battle.

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Value friendships. I need to work harder on rekindling past relationships and take advantage of friendship opportunities that come my way. My friends need to know that I care about them and how good it makes me feel to know they care about me.

Count my blessings. I often fall into that trap of wanting more of this and more of that. I need to sit down and remember where I started and where I am now and appreciate what I have. The wise old golf pro said, “You need to take time to smell the flowers.”

Raise my hand. Over the years I have learned how to give money to certain charities and others in need. I have not really learned how to “volunteer” my time and services. I can do better. I can find an hour a month to give of myself to a good cause.

I choose to be me. I have to remember that I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I have choices, and I want to do those things that have positive effects on me and on others.

Remember the good times. I will remember the good times that I have had with my family and friends and my work partners. And when we get together, we will reminisce about those happy times together and laugh ’til we cry.

It is what it is; so what? I have come in contact with many people who have done rather well. Most of them are smarter and have more money and stuff than I do. Bully for them. And so what? I need to shape my life on what I have accomplished.

My work is my calling. I cannot view what I do as a job but as what I want to do more than anything else. If I see it as my calling, then work is not a sacrifice but a positive experience that makes me feel good.

The best part of my life. Trust me—I had some really great times when I was younger. But today and tomorrow will be my best days. I can make that happen. Every day, I will leave myself some time to enjoy, to be a little silly, and to laugh.

I will continue working on this list and checking my progress through the rest of this year and in years to come. If you have such a list, I wish you good luck!

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