Recently, my wife and I went through the process of potty training our toddler. It was a challenging, humbling, and emotionally draining experience. From this, I learned or revisited many life lessons that can be applied to absolutely anything, from writing to building a house.
Patience is critical. Life is going to get very crappy sometimes, but it will get better. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Things usually don’t happen as quickly as you’d like them to. With anything meaningful it often takes EVEN longer than you think it will.
Don’t overreact. Try to keep things in perspective. Whether you have a kid who made a mess or a huge project at work to do, you will do much better realizIng the solution is several steps. There is no one cure all that completest the process.
Timing is key. Sometimes no matter what you do, the timing is not right. You must be willing to accept this and be willing to start over again later. A shift in time can also offer a new perspective which can make all the difference.
Get some help. Even the Lone Ranger had both Tonto and Silver. You can’t do things alone all the time. Call a friend who has more experience than you do. Ask a coworker for help. It is really easy to get discouraged and then it snowballs into a bad mood or even depression which permeates through all of your life. This makes your personality toxic and who wants to hang around someone like that?
The only real failure is to quit trying. It is very, very rare to be successful with something difficult on the first time. Don’t be discouraged if the results are not what you want. Failure is inevitable. Don’t look at it as failure but rather as practice.
It’s alright to not have the answers. No one has all the answers. The sooner you realize this, the wiser you are. Don’t be afraid to look dumb. It’s going to happen. Don’t fret about avoiding it. Embrace it and move forward. You are learning.
In most cases, toddler potty training does not lead toward such deep reflection. But this process was much more involved than I anticipated. It required starting over again from scratch. Next time you face a challenge, I encourage you to dig deeper and be patient, which will put you on the pathway to making the right decision.
Question: What lesson have you learned in an unexpected way?
EdiTOR’s Note: Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together – away from this blog. I’m deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!
This is a guest post by Jim Woods. He is a writer, musician and dreamer in Nashville, TN. His passion lies in helping others fulfill their dreams. You can read more of his posts at his personal blog here or find him on Twitter @unknownjim. If you would like to guest post on my blog review the guidelines here.