“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” Denis Waitley
I can be very clumsy at times. A few nights ago, I poured a tall refreshing glass of milk to drink with my dinner. During the process of picking up the glass of milk and getting it to my mouth, I felt the cup slipping out of my hand.
If you have ever spilled your milk or any drink, you will immediately notice that it does not neatly puddle in one spot. It will spread all over the counter, table or floor. Spilling your drink can make a big mess.
I must admit, I almost cried when I spilled the milk because that was the last glass. I had been anticipating it all afternoon. After a few minutes of heartbreak, I realized that no amount of wishing or crying was going to bring the milk back. I moved on and poured a glass of juice and ate my dinner.
That night I had a revelation. There were some spilled milk situations in my life that I was wasting time crying about that I could not change. It was time for me to get over them and move on. I was hindering my future progress because I couldn’t let go. No matter how much I cried I could not get a redo.
Don’t get me wrong it is okay to cry when bad things happen to you whether you caused it or not. But, after a while, you have to decide to stop crying and get on with life.
Here are four action steps that you can take to empower you to stop crying over your spilled milk.
1. Pay close attention to what you are doing. If I would have been paying close attention to what I was doing instead of watching television, I would never have spilled my milk.
When making important decisions you must take time to gather all the pertinent information and evaluate it. Don’t rush into anything without first checking how the decision will affect everyone involved.
I remember the instructions my father gave me when he and I were building a wall. He said, “Measure twice and cut once.” Don’t over analyze the situation, but have enough information to make an intelligent decision.
2. Immediately clean your mess. I immediately cleaned the spilled milk. If I would have waited, the milk would have gone under the refrigerator and dishwater making a bigger mess.
If there is a mess in your business, marriage or life, you don’t have to wait until tomorrow or next week to start the cleanup. You can start immediately to keep the mess from infecting other areas potentially causing more collateral damage. Whether you need to apologize, ask forgiveness or change directions an immediate clean-up will position you to move forward.
3. Pour another cup. After I cleaned my spilled milk, I poured a cup of juice to drink with my meal. I could have kept crying and complaining about the spilled milk and missed the enjoyment of my dinner. If you insist on crying and complaining about what occurred yesterday, you will squander your today and forfeit your
tomorrow. You cannot change what happened in the past, but you can learn what to do or not do and avoid another incident.
4. Enjoy the experience. After I cleaned my mess; I poured a cup of juice, ate dinner and enjoyed the evening. I was not going to let the spilled milk ruin a beautiful evening. I knew the next day I was going to buy a gallon of milk and have another cup of milk. I called that next cup of milk, another chance.
If you have made some bad decisions or things happen that is not your fault and when you get another chance, do not let a previous spill stop you from enjoying the new experience. Do not let a past mistake, others opinion or negative thoughts hinder you. Recalibrate your thoughts, restructure your plans, take action and enjoy the experience.
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