Today I discovered that the best wisdom can come from the other side of the fence.
I spent my morning hanging over the fence that separates me from my elderly neighbor and found myself hanging on his every word. Every day that is not raining, I watch him and his wife dutifully working in the yard. They are in their late 70s and every bit more spry than I. People who know that hard work produces results and living is for the strong.
This morning the bright skies and warm temperatures had the kids and I outside. I had been picking through one of the large landscaped areas trying to figure out what was blooming and what was a weed. I heard my name and looked over to find my neighbor taking off his work gloves and leaning on the fence. I know him well enough to know he is wanting to chat for a while. So I walked over and started expressing my lack of knowledge of the flower bed and being unsure what to do. He had some advice for me and although we were talking about landscaping; it was more advice for life.
*Don’t be afraid to make a mistake:
If I cut a bush wrong, plant the wrong thing or dig something up. It is part of learning and I can fix it if I choose.
Having the courage to make a mistake in life is the only way we are going to learn what works for us and what doesn’t. You don’t set out to fail, but don’t be afraid to. Now that you have made a mistake you can choose to fix it. The mistake is your message; not your mess. Learn from it, fix it and move on.
They get out everyday that they can and put all of themselves into the work of keeping up the yard. Neatly trimmed grass, flowering bushes and perfectly designed landscape. They have it because they do the work.
You want it. You desire it. You need it. The only way to make any of it a reality is to just be active. Sitting back and wanting it doesn’t achieve it. You have to be willing to put yourself out there and do the actions it takes to have the things you want.
As soon as the weather permits, the couple comes out with their gloves, wheelbarrows, shovels and rakes. They have plants ready to be put in the ground and all the tools needed for yard work. They are prepared as soon as the opportunity is there.
Is there a job position you want? A relationship? A financial decision? Be ready for it, by preparing. Arm yourself with the knowledge and the mindset that as soon as the opportunity rises for you to be in action; you are ready for it. Having the right “tools” makes the difference in success and failure.
*Ask for help
When the wife loads the wheelbarrow up, she calls for her husband to help her get it moved. When the husband is backing the tractor up into the shed, he calls for his wife to watch for him. They have no issue in saying that they need help to get something accomplished and have learned that sometimes having help leads to better results.
So you have your goal in mind but you are unsure of where to start, the next step or how to even accomplish it. Asking for help from someone who has been there before can be your greatest strength. Getting help doesn’t mean you are weak or inferior; it means you are willing to do what needs to be done to get what you want accomplished. Finding someone who has done what you want to do is drawing on their experience and using their education to propel you towards your dream.
*Notice the small blessings that pop up
As we were leaning over the fence and talking about the flower bed, he reached towards the limb of a tree and pointed at the small flowering bud. He gently touched it and brought it to his nose to smell it. He remarked that he loves those trees because those first blooms are bringing in Spring and he didn’t have anything to do with it.
Taking note of the small blessings around us that are given to us while we are working towards our goal. The blessings that surround us that sometimes we lose sight of because we are so focused on our bigger picture.