U.0 The best version of yourself

My Dad has fallen into the habit of sharing books with me from Matthew Kelly.  I’ve subsequently fallen into the habit of reading them.  One of the major themes in his writing is developing habits that lead to becoming the best version of yourself.

It’s not about comparing yourself to others. It’s simply about finding ways to be better than you were yesterday.

I’ve come to learn that it’s all about the little things in everyday life.

Below is a replay of my day, and how I focused on little things to help strive towards being the best version of myself.  It’s a case study with a very small sample size – one dude, one day!

This is not about bragging.  I fail early and often – lose my temper, do things for the wrong reasons, make snarky comments.  You name it.  Trust me!

I share this in hopes of inspiring others to remember the small moments that we encounter each day where we can make a difference.  In the words of Matthew Kelly, look for those holy moments where you can make a decision to do the next right thing.

Got up early…

Nothing crazy here.  I’m talking about getting up 7 minutes earlier than I really needed to.  I was able to start the day quietly.  This provided the chance for a calm moment of gratitude prior to the house, and the day, being filled with noise and relentless action.

Flossed…

This is something that I hate doing.  I know it’s good for me.  Nonetheless, it’s one of those things that’s easy to skip and justify as a timesaver.  This day, I flossed.  Then, I smiled in the mirror with pride.

Took a deep breath…

What a jack&$%!  How dare she cut me off in traffic. This was the natural thought that I needed to suppress as quickly as it hit my brain.  I breathed.  Then, I forgave and empathized with her.  Who knows what she dealt with this morning or has on her plate for the rest of the day.

Gave a tip…

Awesome!  I had a Starbucks gift card.  Free coffee.  Without the exchange of tangible cash, my initial inclination was to skip the tip until next visit.  Then I glanced at the polite, kind, hardworking person behind the counter and dug into my pocket for a token of appreciation.

Offered kindness to stranger…

Our meeting time came and went.  A call back in 20 minutes did not happen as promised.  Instead of being frustrated and insulted, I didn’t sweat it.  After all, life is not an emergency.  I offered good wishes that he had a successful morning, and quickly suggested a reschedule for the next day.  Too often, I let my ego interfere in such matters.  Not today.

Complimented my kids…

As a parent, it’s so convenient to constantly criticize my kids.  You call that clean!?  Is that your best work?  Do you ever listen to me the first time?  This day, I took a moment to remember how much they each do that is right and good.  I made sure they knew that I noticed.  And that I love them immensely.

Gave my wife an extra hug and kiss…

Speaking of immense love.   I pecked her cheek and squeezed her as she dozed off late in the day.   A few minutes later, I did it again.  I’m sure she didn’t even notice my repetitive nature.   I’m so in love and so appreciative to call her my wife and best friend.

Ran more…

Time on a treadmill can be unbearable at times.  8 miles on a treadmill can be excruciating.  Today, when I hit my 8 mile goal, I ran an extra half mile.  Fast.  I cranked up the speed and gave it my all.  My run produced a physically exhausted, yet mentally energized guy – out of wind, full of sweat, and satisfied for pushing my limit.  I finished strong.

Yes, today I finished strong.  I exited this day as a better person than when it quietly arrived.

It was nothing big.  It was all about the summation of little things.  Those holy moment opportunities that we too often allow to pass us by.

Another step forward as I strive to be the best version of myself.

I can only hope that the day ahead will be the same.  Fortunately, it’s my choice!

Enjoy today.

~ Mark

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