Quite Continental Charm School: Day 1 – Be Better
01/02/2013 § 4 Comments
The Quite Continental Charm School
A modern guide to creating a charmed life
“And he writhed inside at what seemed the cruelty and unfairness of the demand. He had not yet learned that if you do one good deed your reward usually is to do another and harder and better one.”
Day 1: Be Better
Our premiere Charm School entry is a bit late, and I must apologize. Life has a way of getting in the way of the best laid plans, and today was no exception, but I think that thought segueways nicely into the lesson I planned to discuss with you today: the concept of being better.
One month ago on the first of the year, per usual I found myself contemplating various New Year’s resolutions, specific changes and goals to focus on for the next 12 months. When I took a step back, I had an epiphany. Over the years, making discrete goals about how many miles I was going to run, or books I was going to read, had tended to set me up for disappointment. Usually November hits and I start to fret over the fact that I haven’t “done enough” on my list of aspirational to-dos, that then culminates in a rather pitiful giving up and a concurrent rotten feeling — not the best way to start a new year.
So on 1 January, I tried something different — I decided to make only one resolution, but apply it universally. Instead of fixating on quotas or things left undone, I embraced a theme: to do better in all things. Elegant in its simplicity but difficult to achieve, it takes constant effort to be better — and it’s a bar that is continuously raised. Holding myself accountable on everything from making my best effort at work to remembering to take my contacts out before I go to bed, has required me to focus a little closer on my actions, realize where I take short cuts and make small corrections. The attendant sense of accomplishment has been very rewarding, indeed.
This month, as we work on creating our most charming life, let us agree to try to be better — with the understanding that there will be days when we don’t quite get there (case in point: the tardiness of today’s post). As long as we remember to pick ourselves up and try again tomorrow, we are more than halfway to our best ever.