For the last 3 weeks I have been shaving my head in order to save money. It makes no sense to pay $10 for somebody to do something so simple. What I didn’t realize is how much doing this simple task would teach me lessons about myself and life. I want to offer the thoughts to take with you into the New Year.
Believe in Yourself
For the longest time I have been contemplating shaving my head instead of going to a barber. I just didn’t get around to it because I am not the most dexterous person on the planet and imagined myself really doing a crummy job. This is something that has been a barrier to reaching other goals as well and it was only until a few weeks ago that I decided to believe that I could do it. This was such a breakthrough because I had been stuck thinking that I could not accomplish such a simple task. It was a revelation because it revealed how much I didn’t believe in myself for some of the other larger goals and tasks that I wanted to complete in life. I mean if shaving my own head created so much fear in me then what other things were being postponed through fear. I want to do a lot of big things and I never realized how much those were so far away from being done because I could not even believe in myself to do a lot of small things. Thousands of people do it every day but in this simple act I received the knowledge that allows us as humans to live out our best and brightest potential: Believe in yourself!
Take action and fear disappears
As soon as I ran the clippers across the top of my head I realized there was no turning back. The deed was done. You know what else was done. My fear. It vanished the moment I began shaving my head. The reason: Once you take action then you do not have time to be afraid. There is no space to allow fear to grip you. You have already begun executing the task and taking steps toward the goal. The fear that once held you back is now behind you. This means that the best thing we can do when it comes to seeing our goals and dreams reached is take that first step. Whatever it is. Get on the treadmill. It doesn’t matter how fast you go just get on it! Start typing. It doesn’t matter if you have 300 more pages to go and none of it makes sense. Just do it! Go without cigarettes for one day. Just take that first step and watch the fear disappear.
Always get another perspective
As I was cutting I could not see the whole of my head. There was a point where I needed to get the hair from behind my ears and on the back of my head and I had no help. I tried my hardest to just go with it and shave blindly hoping that if I went over it enough times then I would have done a pristine job. After a while I thought I should just go to bed I’m sure I shaved it off and made it even with the other parts (laziness!). Then I stopped and said what is making you not just ask Yvette for help. So I thought about it and I realized that underneath it all: I wanted to live in denial. I wanted to choose to believe in something that I did not have any evidence for when I could have received the necessary feedback from someone right near me. Sometimes this can happen with larger goals. We can choose to believe we are doing a great job but never get feedback from those closest to us. It is always good to get another perspective. So go see a trainer, a counselor, a respected friend or mentor and get the necessary feedback you need to reach your goals.
Some mistakes are easy to fix and some aren’t
As with all of life some mistakes are easy to fix and some aren’t. The first few times I shaved my head I did an excellent job. I always had to go to Yvette to figure out if I missed some spots or if it was even. These mistakes were easy to fix and I just needed to go over them with the clippers a few more times. On the other hand the third time I shaved my head I actually shaved my skin off and had a sore in the front of my head. It is still there right now and I have had to endure looking like I have a patch of hair in the front of my head. This is a mistake that is not easy to fix. I have to wait until my skin heals and it has been painful just looking at it every morning
Sometimes in life there are easy course corrections we can make: I have been eating a few too many sweets. Cut back. I spent a little more than I should have this Christmas. Ok save up in January. Work a second job for a few months. There are other mistakes that cannot be easily fixed: I have been eating a few too many sweets for years and now I have diabetes. I have loads of credit card debt and school debt. I have been smoking for years and I have to get checked out for lung cancer. These aren’t easy fixes. That’s not to say that these things can’t be fixed it just means that it will take a longer and a greater amount of money and labor to fix them if they can be fixed at all. Right now is the best time to concentrate on doing the easy fixes so you don’t have to deal with the bigger problems down the road. That’s why I’m eating better and exercising-not as a New Year’s resolution but as a life decision-so I don’t have to fix a difficult mistake later.
You always get another chance
As I look at my hair grow back and my skin heal I am realizing that life is so generous to us. No matter how many mistakes you make you have numerous opportunities to course correct. I realize these days how much I was blinded by envy and ambition when I was younger and I squandered the early years of my marriage. But I have another chance and I am taking advantage of it by loving and enjoying my wife. I could have been more disciplined in my eating habits and avoided a growing gut and a few trips to the doctor. But I still have the chance to be healthy. Wherever you are right now in pursuit of your goals be grateful that you have the opportunity to pursue them. You may think it’s too late but you always have another chance. As long as there is breath in your lungs you can make decisions that lead to wholeness and success. 2012 is going to be a great year for taking advantage of the opportunities that life has given you.
Happy New Year!