“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
This is my wish for all of you as we start a new year!
The start of a new calendar year is a great time to put past mistakes and frustrations behind you. Wipe the slate clean and begin anew. All those little things that irritated you about your work, put them aside. Take those frustrations you had with certain customers or vendors, put them behind you. Those mistakes you made that nag at you still today, forget about them.
Emerson says it very well in just a few sentences. “Finish each day and put it behind you. You have done what you could.” If you really give something your all and do your best, you should be able to go home each night and go to sleep with a clear conscience. That doesn’t mean everything has gone exactly as you’d like, but it means you gave your best effort and that’s all you can expect of yourself. If you can’t say you’ve given your work your best effort, well, then it will be more difficult to put the day behind you.
“Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.” You’re not perfect. No one is. Accept it. You’re going to make mistakes, everyone does. But the one who knows that he has given his best effort should be able to forget those mistakes he does make. There’s no sense on dwelling on your mistakes. Analyze them, figure out what you did wrong, and how you can avoid making the same mistake again, then put them behind you. Don’t let your mistakes undermine your self confidence. Don’t let doubts overcome you. They will paralyze you and suddenly you won’t take the necessary actions to be successful.
“Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.” Each day you walk into work you should be excited for the day and the opportunities that lie ahead. If you are encumbered with concerns about yesterday, mistakes made or issues that arose, you won’t be able to give your complete focus and effort to the items of the day. Your energy will be drained worrying about things you can’t change instead of being used to make a difference today.
Yes, Emerson had it right. It’s great advice for each of us as we head into 2010 and it’s my wish for you.