As humans we’re always trying to “fix” things, aren’t we? We look in the mirror and think, “I’m out of shape… I need to fix that.” or “I hate every piece of clothing I own.. I have to fix this.”
Then we go to buy new clothes and we discover that our bank account isn’t on the same page we are. While we’re thinking a couple of new outfits is a grand idea, our saving account whispers, “No. Actually, what you have is just fine.”
I guess we’re conditioned – and possibly even designed – to be fixers, and I”m not saying that’s a bad thing.
However, sometimes life isn’t so much about FIXING something that’s wrong as it is about STARTING something that’s better. The phrase “fresh start,” alone, is just bursting with enthusiasm and promise and the thought of “starting over” lights a candle in even the darkest situations.
In a lot of ways, that’s exactly what I’m doing with Self Help Daily.
Here’s a gross understatement: My brain tends to go all over the place, like some kind of ambitious explorer cranked up on espresso. Come to think of it, my brain IS an ambitious explorer cranked up on espresso. In fact, if you could peer in at my brain, it probably looks like a giant coffee bean.
I once watched my husband play a pinball game. The ball left the starting point with a tremendous force. It then bounced wildly off of a million and one obstacles and seemed to change courses about a dozen times.
The only difference between the ball in action and my brain in action is everyplace the ball “hit” lit up as bells rang. My brain doesn’t cause such fanfare… although it’d be all kinds of cool if it did.
What does my overly-caffeinated brain have to do with Self Help Daily (SHD)? Only everything. Like the pinball, my brain went off in too many different directions – taking SHD with it. I took what started as a simple self help blog and tried to cure every disease and ill-fated condition known to man, woman, child, tree, and polar bear.
My favorite superhero is Hawkgirl and I, on occasion, have been known to try to fly off and save the world – without the beak.
Well, I’m not wearing that thing.
I just looked over all the different “categories” I’d accumulated here on SHD over the years. I had to ask myself, “Was there anyone or anything you weren’t trying to save?” I had a sarcastic answer, of course – Snails. I decided that I’d left them to fend for themselves.
Self Help Daily was originally about helping all of us get the best out of ourselves. Not about taking care of everything and everyone along the way. Rather, its intent was to always make the world a better place by making each one of us a better us. My original focus was inspiration and motivation and these are the things that still drive me.
Somewhere along the way, SHD lost its way. Each time I’d think about writing something, changing up the look, adding a quote or anything at all, I’d just get overwhelmed with a feeling of having to FIX everything that’d gotten off track.
Because I also have quite a few other websites, instead of devoting time to “FIXING” what I saw as “BROKEN,” I simply moved on to one of the websites that hadn’t gotten off track.
One that didn’t need “fixing.”
Yesterday, I grabbed a giant mug of coffee, rolled up my sleeves, and sat down at Self Help Daily with equal parts horror and determination.
When did all those comments pile up on me?
Why did I let its appearance go down the drain?
Why did I ever create a category for that?
And on and on and on…
Just when the “fight or flight” impulse hit (with a 85% swing toward flight), it occurred to me: Instead of spending all of my energy trying to find a way to STOP something bad, why not spend it trying to START something good? Instead of focusing my attention on FIXING the old, I decided to focus my attention on BUILDING something better.
It made all of the difference in the world.
This type of mental tweak can work toward anything in life simply because yesterday isn’t where the story ends. You still have today and you still have tomorrow – lots and lots of tomorrows! If there’s anything you’re unhappy with (money, weight, appearance, temper…), stop focusing on the negative. Don’t look at what needs to be fixed, look (instead) at what needs to be built.
Think of Spring. When Spring rolls around, it doesn’t fret over the barren trees and brown grass. It focuses on what comes next. It doesn’t try to round up all the leaves that’d fallen in Autumn and try to “fix” them back on the branches.
It simply brings new leaves – focusing all of its energy on building a beautiful and colorful world. I guess that’s why I’ve always been so infatuated with spring, budding trees, robins, and everything that goes with this time of year. It’s a fresh start – vivid proof that starting over can be a healing and beautiful thing.
We could learn a lot from Spring.
And pinball machines.