Monday, December 09, 2013

No Judgements

...when you honor ALL of the journey, and you make no judgements about yourself for anything that hasn't happened or you haven't accomplished yet, you are free.

- Wendy Braun

I've said before: Nobody Knows Anything. A retrospective is tempting as the year wraps up. Remember, the end of the year is an arbitrary marker in time. You still have opportunity to make your goals happen.

You cannot possibly know whether something is good or bad, in any objective sense. If there even is such a thing as an objective good or bad. Not fun to admit, but my judgement is imperfect. I'm guessing yours is too.

Like a "no" from an audition is really just a "not right now", any "failure" is moving you closer to "success;" whether it feels like it or not, we're making progress. Minimally, what we call a "failure" is learning another way "it" doesn't work. Maximally, what we call "failure" is just success wearing a different outfit.

Things that feel like failure aren't. Penicillin, the first antibiotic, was discovered by accident: some mold contaminated a petri dish in an experiment. Technically, such contamination is "failure" for an experiment. The millions of lives saved by antibiotics make Alexander Fleming's discovery of penicillin about as far from a failure as one can imagine. Maybe if you'd been running on time to the audition, you would've been in a horrible car wreck. Maybe booking the project would have kept you from something even better. Our judgements of "success" or "failure" are flawed, and largely not useful. If you catch yourself calling something a failure, notice your judgement and don't allow yourself to think your judgement is "right" in any empirical or absolute sense. A scientist's "failure" lead to millions of lives saved. May we fail that well.

Yes, disappointment can happen. After all, we're invested in our work and our lives, which is good (when we do it in a balanced way). If our expectations don't come to pass, it is not fun. So perhaps work to be more flexible in your expectations (he writes in the third person but really is writing to himself). Be mindful of now and let the future be something you focus on mainly once it becomes the present.

And let yourself off the hook. Worrying doesn't improve things. Worrying about the unchangeable past, regret, really doesn't change things. Great things are not only possible, they're inevitable. You or I may not always see it, but opportunities are coming to us. The universe conspires in our favor.


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this posted by David August at 11:48 AM 

comments: You are so right on David! Thanks for including me in your insightful article. Here's to loving all of the journey! ~Wendy Braun

# posted by Anonymous Wendy Braun : 9:29 AM  

@Wendy, you're welcome, thank you for reading and inspiring me.

# posted by Blogger David August : 12:02 PM  

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