I really love philosophical conversations. This is probably because of my feelings about how philosophy shapes our lives & certainly because of how it has shaped my career. About a decade ago I was talking with my manager about productivity. It was probably about my productivity and ways to improve it, even if she wasn’t coming right out and saying so. However, something she said has stuck with me all these years. She said that even if you do your best each & every day, one should realize your best varies from day to day. Some days your best effort is notably a poorer effort than on other days. And, on other days your best effort might be astounding. Either way, it’s important not to judge yourself too harshly or to be too arrogant about just how good you think you may be.
I’ll admit, I’ve been an overly critical person for most of my life. Critical of others. Critical of myself. I always felt as long as I was as critical of myself as I was of others it was ok to be critical. I felt it was ok to be harsh, hiding it behind the word honesty. Sometimes I would call it brutal honestly. Of course, it was really just brutal with a dash of honesty.
I now look for understanding in situations instead of criticism. There will always be enough judgment to go around. We can always find flaws in ourselves & others. That’s not really a challenge. The challenge is finding the good, the silver lining. Striving to see things from another’s point of view on their journey. This helps us to understand. This helps us to see the big picture.
An important part of the big picture is to accept the reality that some days mediocrity is our best, and other days it is our worst. Knowing when to give ourselves a break, or when to push ourselves further is the key. As they would say on G.I. Joe during my Saturday morning cartoon watching, “Now you know. And knowing is half the battle”
Dragons, be good to yourselves and those around you, it makes life so much more enjoyable!