September 1    

Today's quotation:

Do not be discouraged if your plans do not succeed the first time.  No one learns to walk by taking only one step.

Catherine Pulsifer

Today's Meditation:

I've always suffered from what some would call low frustration tolerance.  When I planned for something to happen or planned to do something and the plans went awry, I used to get extremely frustrated and often very discouraged.  I usually felt that I had failed at something, that it was my fault that things hadn't worked out.  It's taken me a long time to learn that when plans fall through a first time, there's almost always something there for me to learn so that the second time the chances will be stronger that I'll meet with success.

When I look at unsuccessful plans as learning experiences, they change significantly.  They're very different in that they're now situations that I can learn from, and as I learn, I make myself stronger in many ways.  When I learn, I can take new information and ideas and turn them into future successes simply because I tried something and learned from the effort-- whether I actually achieved what I was trying or not.

When we're little kids, we try things all the time and fail at them, and we have no problems with that.  We're supposed to fail at things that we've never done before until we learn enough through our failure to learn how to walk, how to talk, how to use the toilet. . . and on and on.  But as adults we put the pressure on ourselves and somehow expect ourselves to succeed the first time, no matter what.  And sometimes we can-- if I were to try to build a bookcase that I've never built before tomorrow, I'd be able to do so because of previous experience.  On the other hand, though, if I were to try to fix my car's fuel injection system, I'm sure I'd make quite a few mistakes before I was successful.

We will fail, but that's no reason to become discouraged.  It is, in fact, a reason to tell ourselves that we're now better off than we were before because now, we know more than we knew before we tried something and didn't quite succeed at it.  How we react most definitely is our choice to make.

Questions to consider:

How many people succeed at everything they try for the first time?

Why do we tend to be so hard on ourselves when we don't succeed immediately at something new?

What choices other than discouragement do we have when we face disappointment?

For further thought:

Disappointments will come and go, but discouragement is a choice that you make.

Charles Stanley

more on discouragement



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