Some of my best life advice came to me at my first full-time job out of college. It technically was work advice that I took the liberty to extend to other areas of my life. My manager, at the time, said “Listen, I know you are just getting started but at the end of the year, there will be an evaluation. Take it from me, jot down the positive accomplishments that make you smile with pride as they happen. Forcing yourself to remember at the end of year is not the most effective way.”
That first year, I took my manager’s words to heart and did exactly as told. At the year end evaluation, I reviewed the accomplishment log and picked out a handful. I was done within 20 minutes. Later that day, I overheard a colleague complaining about having done nothing good at all or worthy all year and how it was a travesty to force a positive spin on things. I could not but help interject and remind him of his critical role in at least 3 projects where our work had crossed paths. He shook his head and blinked and finally said: “I totally forgot about those.”
That following year I started the practice of a “life” accomplishment log. This notebook accompanied my journal. While my journal contained the generally negative rants, the accomplishment log became a temple for the positive. Over the course of the subsequent years, this accomplishment log became an anchor of purpose. Despite the trials and tribulations of the day to day, I was always grateful that I continued to add entries to the accomplishment log. Somehow, despite it all, desired progress took place.
I further enhanced the practice by using my birthday month to set the intention for the coming year. Intention can be tricky. It is not exactly a To Do list. It is a vector or a prevailing priority that shapes the subconscious ultimately shifting the day to day decision-making logic setting oneself on a particular trajectory. I even fashioned a bead bracelet. Each bead represents an intention element. The bracelet serves as a tangible reminder to that which is intangible.
By letting go, it all gets done.
~ Lao Tzu
This process worked splendidly for me. Like all other habits (good or bad), I let go of my discipline in the span of increasingly complex and stressful transition years. I am convinced this is a different sort of letting go than what Lao Tzu was referring to. I realize this process worked for me in the past. I do know that I have changed as a person. My next step will be to resurrect the process and improvement as I have done in the past.
Life is not static. Our tools for life should not be either. The question that seems to be directed at me by the Universe is this “How will you know when an intention needs to shift? How will you know when to correct the subconscious course?” In essence, this is the letting go Lao Tzu was referencing. I have no definitive answers for these questions. I do know that I shall be exploring many options.
The dark is but light unsparked.
~ Claudette J. Young
Whether it is “Catch a little star and put it in your pocket” or “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine” or an accomplishment log, we all need a reflection vehicle on the inevitable dark and dreary days of life. Not so much the OnStar of life but rather the Captain’s Logbook.
Author’s Note: Feature image was cropped. The original can be found here.