Your best is always good enough…

Your best is always good enough until you know it is not. 

I have been told that Maya Angelou once said, “Do the best you can until you know better.  Then when you know better, do better.” 
Someone said to me today that the guessed our best was not good enough for each other.  Admittedly, I did not argue with that person.  If I had I would have explained that someone’s best is always good enough. It has to be, its all you can give.  And if all someone can give is not good enough for me, well then I am kind of an ass.  Which, at least I believe, I am not.  

The reason I did not protest that person’s announcement at that time was because my issue was not with the person’s best but with their decision that this was all we have to give. That this will always be our best.  I know that is not true for me and I believe it not true for that person. Who I am now, the best I have to give in this moment, will not always be my best.  I learn everyday and with that my best changes everday.  

It has also been said that those who say that can and those that say they cannot not are both usually right.  I believe that one belongs to Ms. Ford but I could be wrong. As I mentioned, I do not believe that is this person’s best but I have learn to not argue cannots with many people.  It is a discussion that often gets twisted.  Ultimately the only voice people listen to is the one in their own head and that is the one that always gets the last word.  

I shared something on my IG account yesterday. The four agreements my Miguel Ruiz. The fourth agreement is, Always Do Your Best – Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.” 

As the agreement states your best is going to change from moment to moment.  It cannot or should not be a fixed point, I forgone conclusion, or a limited factor.  Humans are evolving creatures, or at least we should be.  As we learn we do better.  

This was the first time I have done an impromptu blog on my IPad.  Please forgive the lack of structure.  It is just a thought that needed to leave my head.  A push in the positive energy of the universe, if you will.  Or a rant from a guy with too much time on his hands on a lazy Saturday.  


Not today…

I love the saying that if you are sad you are living in the past and if you are anxious you are living in the future.  Also, “Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity.” What can I say I am fan of Buddhism and Will Smith.

Right before I retired from the Military I was going through a very trying time in my life.  I was unexpectedly (well maybe not totally unexpectedly) told that by my wife that she wanted a divorce. I assume it’s a good writing technique not to say “from me” here.  With my marriage was going my plan for… well… life.  Where I was going to live, what I was going to do, where I was going to work, etc.  Suddenly, I was faced with this huge blow and simultaneously I had to plan, well again my whole life. Although I am professional procrastinator even I was crippled with the small amount of time I had to rethink everything. While being excessively distracted by the crushing emotional blow.

I have no idea what was different about this morning but one morning I while getting ready for work I was suddenly and completely crippled by my situation.  I literally could not move, I could not finished getting ready for work, I could not even bring myself to cry.   I manage to collapse in a lump on the side of the bed with one boot on.

I have no idea how long I sat there.  I know somewhere in my mind I was processing everything.  I could hear thoughts, ideas, like you are not going to have a job, you are not going to have money, you are not going to have a place to live…

And then it happened. I am not sure if it was my voice or a voice from somewhere else but suddenly I heard the words, “not today”. Just like that I realized that yes one day I may be out of work, have no money, no place to live but that day was not today.  That day I had money in the bank, I had a job to go to, I had a place to live.

I could move again. I was lighter. I was still very heavy with worry but lighter.  I still had a lot to figure out but I did not have to figure it all out that day.  The first answer to questions like are you going to be out of money, out of a job, out of a house was well, “not today”.

I had all these to dos on this whiteboard.  In hindsight, maybe it was the sight of all those to dos that started the chaotic spiraling into despair that morning.  But anyway, I got up off the bed and erased all those to dos and wrote the words “Not Today” in big black letters.  It is a bit cliché but those words on that board got me through a lot of rough times.  Those words stayed on that board for years.  I kept it in a place I could see every morning when I woke up. After sometime it began to realize that all that worry was for a day that to present and not come to be.  I imagine it is something like death, sure we will all die someday but that day is likely not today.  And if god forbid it is would not you want live life to fullest.

I can tell you from experience that sitting on the edge of you bed with one boot on is not living life to the fullest.

Wayne (Tad) Jones

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Just one small bite everyday…

How do you eat an elephant? The same way you eat anything else, one bite at a time?

Of course, the first obstacle is deciding you want to eat an elephant. It will be tough, it will take a long time, and you will often regret even starting.  Okay, my metaphor is starting to fall apart on me but hopefully you get the idea.

In case you have not unraveled my clever play on words here the elephant stand for any large accomplishment, anything big, if you will. And in this case a bite is a day, at least for me anyway.

Some time ago I was feeling really overwhelmed by everything I wanted to do in my life, by the things I knew I needed to do. I would start thing of how to accomplish these things and this massive number of things to do would come rushing in my head. I was often left thinking, “I don’t know if I can do all that.” No matter the number of steps I have to take the first one before I can take the next.  So let me start with doing the one thing, the next thing.  In some ways my initial approach was a way out.  I would think, “Let me just do that one thing today and I can say I have done something.” Well next thing you know things were getting done.

I cannot think of many things that take 365 bites. If you do just one thing, no matter how small, a day you will have taking those 365 bites on one year.  And in the end, you will have accomplished something great in just a year.

I often ask those close to me, “what is your one thing today?”  I am especially diligent with people that say they are facing any overwhelming problem. Despite, or maybe because of, my personal challenges J people often ask me for advice.  I introduce them to this theory of one thing a day.  I warn them that I am going to ask them, and then I do… everyday.  How can you say you want things to get better if you are not willing to do at least one small things every day to make it better?

I still ask myself this question every day.  When I first adopted this practice I actually set an alarm to go off every day about 8pm.  I did that so if I forget it was not too late in the day to do something, anything, to make my life better.  At first it was anything, even the smallest gesture. Read a chapter, do some pushups, etc.  I am happy to say small things have become a way of life and I no longer can consider them my “one thing” and consequently bites have gotten bigger, and easier to chew.

As important as all this is do not fret over it.  Just do something, anything.  Watch a YouTube video, read a page, do a push up but do something.  Let us face it, some days you will forget, be too tired, or just not want to.  That is why I say do it every day so if you miss a day or two, so what.  How many people can say they even did 300 things last year to make their life better?

So, decide which elephant you want to eat and take a bite every day.  Do just one thing every day to make your life better, your dream come true, or to just be a cooler person. And who does not want that.

So, what is your one thing today?

Wayne (Tad) Jones

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My darkness…

I do not remember when you first showed up.  You have been with me for as long as I can remember.  You are certainly there in most of my memories.

For some time now I have been aware that you are always with me. Sometimes off in the background. I put as much distances as I can between you and I.  But when I stumble a bit, stay a little too still for a little too long, you catch up.  Closer sometimes than others. When you are closer I can feel you more.  When you get really close, when you catch up, you often interrupt me.

Sometimes you manage to even get in front of me.  When you do you block my vision, you block my way.  You make it hard for me to see where I am going.  You slow me down from getting to where I want to me.

When I first realized you were there I called you by a different name.  I labeled you with something different. With time I have come to realized you are me. You are my darker side, my darker memories, my darker thoughts, my darkness.  You are my other half. I am comforted by the thought that you use to be a lot bigger than my lighter side.

I use to think I could get rid of you, or at least pretend you do not exist. I have learn that when I leave you alone, ignore you, let you run around unattended you become more unruly. Like a spoiled child that does not get attention with the usual ways, you really pitch a fit to be noticed.  I think you worry that if you are left alone long enough you will vanish.  Truth is we both know if I could manage to leave you alone long enough you would grow very weak.  Because you have already.  You are weaker now than you have ever been.  You are tired.  I feel it often, sometimes I share in your tiredness.  You cannot catch up as easily.  You cannot hold on as strongly.  You cannot keep pace for as long anymore. You do not stay in front of me as long as you use to.
Maybe you are not my other half, maybe you are my reflection. Maybe I only notice you when I am stupid enough or brave enough to look in the mirror.  That mirror is, for a lack of a better word, my mind.  Maybe you are not smaller or weaker than you use to be, maybe I am brighter than I use to be.  I think maybe my reflection is better than it use to be.  I think the more I can sit quietly and look at you, the more I can stand to look at me, the more restful we become. The more I acknowledge that we do exist, that you are me, the clearer the mirror becomes.

You were given to me, given so much strength, from other’s darkness.  You grew strong before I realized what you were.  Maybe you were born from necessity. You stood guard while my light side found its way.  But I think you have done enough now and I understand you do not yet know how but I hope that one day you can rest quietly at my side while I vigilantly protect your existence. So, come sit with me, let us just breath and be.  Let us sit in the same place and acknowledge this all as it is. Embrace the truth.  I see you. I acknowledge that I need you because without darkness there is no light.  Without what was I cannot be what is.

Your but is a killer

I have heard it said that but is a dream killer. I completely agree with that.  On a much smaller level and a user level, if you will, but is a sentence killer. I have told numerous people that everything you say in a sentence before but does not count.  And if you want that sentence, that thought, to count stop before you say but.

We have all heard it. We have heard it so much that we not accept it.  We have all heard someone say, I would love it go but… I want to go out but… I would love to get a new job but… I want to help you with that but… All of those sentence basically are saying but I am not, or I can’t or I won’t.  In most cases, every sentences could be started after the but.  I am not going to go.  I am not going out.  I am not going to get a new job. I am not going to help.

There could have been a but any of the sentences, the idea, the efforts, that have literally lead to changing the world.  If there was no but in the sentences, I want to go to space, I want to be president, cure polio, etc. Why should there be in your and my sentences?

But will kill a sentence, a conversation, an idea, an effort, a life… but will kill your dream.

My YouTube rant about this 😀

Wayne (Tad) Jones

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Right versus left

First, let me say I can never remember which side of the brain represents what. I guess it does not really matter or maybe that says something about my approach on this subject.  I joke all the time that I cannot decide if I am a businessman with an artsy side or an artist with a head for business.  I blame this conflict, contradiction, whatever you will call it, on my success and failures in both my art and business world.  Sometimes is hard to decide what rabbit to chase.

You know there had to be a quote buried in here somewhere, “It you chase two rabbits they will both get away”.

However, when I manage to point both sides of my brain in the right direction very good things happen.  I am reminded of this today because the monotony of looking for work and my routine for the last couple of weeks has lead to me falling in a rut.  I went to bed last night with my head spinning with all the things I could/should be doing to get my dream on track.

I woke up this morning and literally made a list of all the things I should do today.  Things really I should be doing everyday.  I had the most productive day I have had in sometime.  I accomplished things in a few hours that have been looming for a few weeks.

My advice is really more for artist.  Although, I believe it is sad that many business people do not have a creative outlet, let us face it, they do not need to be artsy to be successful.  Conversely, I think we can all think of that one Artist that has so much talent but just cannot seem to every get a successful career going.

I am proof that your business and analytical skills can be honed, improved, or developed. It is necessary that an artist bring in a business plan to their life.  I mean you got to eat, right?  So if you do not have a mind for business, find someone that does. And maybe, even just a bit at time, apply some business sense to your artistic day.  The brain, like most things in life, must be well balanced to thrive long term.

Wayne (Tad) Jones

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