Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why I love the Snow

One thing I love about new snow is that it’s so... clean! I love to watch it falling, and I love to look out over my yard and the street and see everything covered in a blanket of clean white. That’s one of the coolest things about winter.

And part of why I love it is that it’s symbolic, to me, of an important concept, both in life and in business: Forgiveness.

We all make mistakes. We all have weaknesses, we all do things wrong. How we deal with those determines, in a large part how we succeed. They’re all different, each one. Let’s look at them

A “mistake” is, for my purposes here, something you do that doesn’t work. And in this case, I’m thinking of the things that we do that we’re not fully aware of. You don’t notice a stop sign, you misplace a file your boss handed you… These are examples of mistakes. They can have consequences, and sometimes those can be pretty dire. Still, we can fix them, and once we’re aware that we’re doing them, it’s not so tough to get proactive and even prevent some of them from happening again. Sometimes it takes the natural consequences of a mistake to make us aware and keep us from doing them again.

A “weakness” is something more personal, and more ongoing. It’s something that we do over and over again. It’s like a bad habit we have. It could be a bad temper, or one of your insecurities that keeps you from more aggressively promoting your business. Maybe one of your weaknesses could be simple ignorance. I’m talking about not doing something for your business or your life simply because you’d never learned about it before.

Weaknesses can be much harder to change, and often they’re the point of our New Year’s resolutions. “I’m going to quit smoking”, or “I’m going to lose weight”, or whatever we’re tackling that week. They often take long-term focus to overcome.

“Doing something wrong” implies that you know at the moment you’re doing it that it’s wrong. You can tell it’s gonna mess you up, but for some reason you do it anyway. Telling a friend a little lie to cover one of your other mistakes, or neglecting a task that you think is going to be unpleasant, but has to be done.

Well, there are lots of ways that you can make things go wrong, right? And I don’t mean to dwell so much on the negative. The cool thing about seeing the snow this morning is that it reminds me that no matter what I’ve done, I can move on. The snow reminds me that I can forgive myself, and not beat myself up over my mistakes, my weaknesses, or my wrongdoing, and I can start with a clean, white, path to walk.

Now, that doesn’t mean simply forgetting whatever small or big thing you’ve done wrong. It means learning from it. For example, if you’ve been working your business for a while, and you suddenly learn something that your ignorance or weakness didn’t allow you to do before, are you going to curse yourself and say, “Why didn’t I do this sooner?!” Or, are you going to say, “Wow! Now I can really move ahead!”

Maybe you did something that really messed your business up. It would be easy to blame it on someone else, or deny it, or just shut yourself down. Or, you could forgive yourself, clean it up, learn from it, and move on.

The point is that the fresh show falls, and gives you a new, clean, and white opportunity to move forward. Start from a clean slate and move ahead.

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