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will it matter in a year…

Many of the things that today are stressing you out and that you think are urgent issues to be solved or addressed, likely won’t be so important in a year.

It’s highly likely you won’t even remember what you thought was so urgent today.

Most of the “emergencies” of today are no longer important in a week, a month, and for sure not in a year.

The “urgerts” of today don’t last.  They fade.  They go away.

How can knowing that, change how you respond?  You logically know you will outlast them; you will survive this urgent thing; “this too shall pass”?   They are a task for the day, not a problem or a reason to panic.

Remind yourself, that it might matter in a year if you did whatever the urgent thing was, but it won’t matter in a year if you stressed out or not.  In fact it’s likely better for your overall health if you can figure out a way to not stress.

We outlast today’s emergencies and urgent things.  And will it matter in a year?


wishing people would change

It’s easy to get caught up spending a lot of time wishing people would change.  You know at work when people frustrate you.  Or in the grocery line. Or on the highway.  There are lots of places and moments when we see the other people as the problem.  The thing is, that these other people “outnumber” you, and in most cases they have no interest in changing just to make your life better.

Wishing other people would change is a losing battle.  And likely the wrong battle to be fighting and outcome to be wishing for.  It would likely be much more effective to gain skills in feeling empathy and showing grace.  Becuase we never really know why another person does what they do.  In most cases, their logic and reasons for doing what they are doing (which is frustrating us), works great for them and reflects what they are experiencing and their life at that moment.  People are not frustrating us on purpose.

We can’t possibly know what it’s like to be someone else and to know what they are going through.  But it’s also true that no one knows that it’s like to be you and to be in your life at this minute and on this day. It’s that all the more reason to put effort into feeling empathy and showing grace.  When we put grace and understanding out into the world, it grows and the world becomes a kinder place for all.

Stop wishing people would change, there are far to many of them.  Instead find empathy, grace, and kindness, and see what changes happen.

changing your values will change your life

About a week ago I wrote a post about values : 

That post was only half of my thoughts that day.  But I kind of thought that this idea was kind of big and might be better absorbed if presented in more than one post.  You will notice I also have provided you with a few days of posts on ideas not about values between the previous post and this one, I also did that on purpose.  Again I feel strongly that some times in easier to absorb, ponder, and apply ideas in smaller pieces.


So once you have identified the values that are currently guiding your decisions and actions and choices.  You can then consider if those are the values you want to be your guide.  In some cases, your current values likely serve you well and you will keep them.  In other cases, perhaps you want to incorporate some different values into what influences you.  This is just part of growing and becoming more of the person you want to and are meant to be.

But here’s the thing: If you change the values that are influencing your decisions, actions and choices, your life is going to change.  And the truth is there were be positive and negative consequences as a result of that change.  It’s quite possible that not everyone around is going to like or fit with those changes.  It’s quite possible that you might not like all the impacts either, as something that was comfortable and known, is suddenly new and unknown.

Making decisions and choices based on new and different values will bring change to your life.  And while these changes will be the direct result of a choice you made (i.e., to be guided by new values), the ripple effect may not always be pleasant.

And so before you latch onto this ‘new values’ idea, here are a few questions to consider: Are you ready for the changes that will come?  Does what you will gain, out-weigh what you will lose?  Does that matter?  Can you know for sure?  Do you need to know for sure?  If not now, when?

over anticipation

I tend to over anticipate (aka stress out) about schedules and activities and fitting everything in.  I easily get overwhelmed and feel a lot of anxiety when there are lots of things being added to my calendar and/or task list.  This is somewhat ironic, as compared to most other people I know, I am considerably less busy, have fewer commitments, and a shorter to list.

There are many unfortunate things about this pattern in my life.  People around me have to cope with my expressions of anxiety.  During the moments when I’m over anticipating the tasks of the next month, I generally don’t do a great of job of dealing with the tasks for that day.  I make decisions to not participate in future activities based on how I’m feeling at the moment, even though by the time they would happen I’m not so busy.  I put off connecting with others in any way, out of fear they will suggest something that will add to my calendar or to do list.  Lots of not so great responses.

But here is the truth: what I over anticipate as being too busy or too much or too whatever, seldom turns out to be such a problem when the day (or week or month) finally comes.  Sometimes something gets cancelled.  Or sometimes I choose to not do something on the to do list.  Or sometimes I just use a variety of my coping skills and it all gets done and it all goes great.

The over anticipation and related anxiety (and all the related impacts) are unnecessary, as in the end it all works out.  So why do I keep doing it?  How do I stop?

I share this for a couple of reasons: 1. Maybe some of you also over anticipate and stress about a busy schedule.  And it’s always nice to know we aren’t alone.  2. Maybe some of you see similar patterns in your life, some thing you do that makes no logical sense and serves no positive purpose.  And maybe some of you have already figured out how to stop.  If so, hurray for you!  For the rest of us, I just hope some day I too can figure that out in my life.  But in the mean time, let’s all show ourselves (and each other) kindness and grace.

song snippet #2

“and the next time I fall, I’m going to have to recall, it isn’t love, it’s only something new.”  – Indigo Girls

In this case, I know the song from which this snippet comes from much better and listen to it much more frequently.  It’s a great line, both from a lyric and musical perspective.

And while in the context of the song, the line is about romantic love, these days I’m more aware of how it applies to so many situations.  How easy it is to get caught up by something new and think it’s the solution.  And “so the next time I XXX, I’m going to have to recall, it isn’t XXX (better, perfect, ….), it’s only something new”.   How about you?

identifying our values

I’ve written about values frequently over the past few years.  Before starting to write this blog post, I did a quick search of my posts to see if there were some I should link back to as part of this post, and there were.  So check out those links at the bottom if you are interested.  The ideas in today’s post are part of my ever evolving (and ideally improving) thoughts and understanding about values and how they shape our actions.

For the second time in the past year, I was recently exposed to someone else’s thoughts and ideas on how our personal values shape our lives.  What’s interesting is that in both cases, the person spoke or wrote about the importance of deciding which values we want to be guiding out actions.  As you may have guessed the idea that our values shape our choices and actions is one I fully agree with.  But I’ve never been able to come up with my personal list of 3 or 5 values (or 10) that I was going to use to guide my life.

And then a couple of days ago, I had an aha moment.  It’s it funny how sometimes it’s the simplest things that can come to us like turning on a light in a dim room and all of a sudden the way we have been thinking turns in a new direct, and that new direction seems like the right direction (at least for the time being).  My ah moment was this: I’ve been trying to make a list of values I want to have guiding my life (which is a great thing to think about), but for me personally, what I need to do before I can make that list, is spend some time making the list of the values that currently shape my actions.  The aha moment was that I’m not ready (or perhaps not the kind of person) who can make a sudden turn and drastically change who I am and how I make decisions (aka what I value).  Rather I need to spend some time understanding the deep down values that currently guide me, and why they do, and the purpose they serve for me, before I can make the shift to being guided by different values.

My aha moment was that maybe the question isn’t: “What values to do you want to guide your choices and actions?” but rather: “What values currently guide your choices and actions?”.



song snippets – #1

“Because we all have wings, but some of us don’t know why”.


The line above is a snippet from a song.  It’s not even a song I would say I know particularly well or is one of my favourites.  I just googled to confirm the name of the band that sings it (it’s INXS for those of you who weren’t sure either).  But is a song that has had frequent radio play since it came out in the early 90s.  And that line always jumps out at me.  I heard the song it’s from on the radio a couple of weeks ago, and once again, that line is all I remember hearing.  And it’s been in my head off and on since I heard it.

Maybe it’s just me, but there a lot of snippets from songs that have sticktoitiveness for me.  They seem to get into my brain.  Some are snippets of songs I love and listen to over and over.  Some, like this one, are just a random line from a random song that was popular once and so still gets played on the radio.  I’m sure what’s on our personal song snippet list says something about us and/or could lead to deeper analysis and insight.  But today I’m not going to go there.  I’m just going to share the snippet, and leave it to you to decide what is says to you.

“cause we all have wings, but some of us don’t know why”