I went to a seminar last month and heard this saying “Life is Always just Beginning” from a 82 year-old lecturer, Bill McKeown. I have been thinking about these 5 little words ever since. It has helped me re-frame my perspective on life and my inner dialogue.
Do you ever notice how much we speak to ourselves everyday in our own head?
- “I wish I didn’t say that in this last meeting.”
- “Why is this person so difficult to work with?”
- “I did a great job with that presentation. I am so proud of myself.”
- “I am really learning a lot today.”
- “Why is life so unfair to me?”
What we choose to say to ourselves everyday and every minute of our lives powerfully influences our self-confidence, our happiness, our ability to react to unexpected situations, and what we do next. The above examples have positive and negative thoughts.
- When you read the positive thoughts above? How did you feel? Did you feel like the world is great and you are happy?
- When you read the negative thoughts? How did you feel? Did you feel inadequate, angry, or irritated, etc..?
What we forget often is we choose what thoughts we actually believe. This is easier said than done as we are conditioned since childhood to certain thought patterns. It’s difficult to get away from what we always do in certain situations. Well, I discovered a new solution that has helped me and may help you. It has to do with this five little worlds. “Life is always just beginning.”
It is almost impossible to stop our negative thoughts at times, but what if you added these five little words after it and see if it helps. This is what “Life is always just beginning” means to me.
Meaning 1: Any mistakes we may have made are erased each day. I don’t know about you but I can be very critical of myself at times, especially at work. If I did 90% of the things right, but 10% not so well, I can focus most of my thoughts on the 10% I missed. I can think about it from all angles and almost beat myself up for it over and over again. This is counter-productive and detrimental to self-confidence and mental energy. I am reading the “Don’t sweat the small stuff” book. It helps but my negative thought patterns has been hard to suppress without something to replace it with. So I added these five words to my negative thoughts.
“Life is always just beginning” means I can forgive myself and have a short memory on anything I did yesterday or last week. Each day is anew. If an 82 year old can look at life with freshness everyday, I can too. So now, I may still say a negative thought after not doing something well. For example, “I should have read that email more carefully.” I add now to every negative thought an appending phrase “Life is always just beginning” to remind myself it’s no big deal. We can all have clean slates each day and that way we have 100% of our mental energy focused on the new day without the baggage of the past.
Meaning 2: We are never too old to learn anything new. We often hear people say. “I am too old for that.” I don’t believe it! If there are 90 year-old ballerinas and people in wheel chairs who can walk again due to their sheer will, then anything is possible! The only person that can limit us is ourselves – our limiting mindset and thought patterns.
“Life is always just beginning” means we have the freedom to ask ourselves inspiring questions and always have a growth mindset.
- “What do I want to explore this year in my career?”
- “What fun, crazy stuff I want to try this year?”
- “What new skill can I learn to improve my work performance.?”
It means we can look at every day as a day to learn something new – a new perspective, a new skill, and choose a new feeling to familiar situations.
Meaning 3: “Difficult” People can pleasantly surprise us. Just like we are not perfect, people who we deal with at work and in life are also imperfect. We may all work together in our off days. We could easily say to ourselves after an uncomfortable meeting with someone “Why is this person so difficult to work with?” However if you add “Life is always just beginning,” it is a reminder that people are also ever changing. It’s better to not form such firm opinion about someone over one meeting or one week of interaction. We are all flawed in some ways, but it is more empowering for our relationships if we have faith in others (belief in the good of others). Imagine how we can behave differently if we always gave others the benefit of the doubt. They will in turn likely to give us the benefit of the doubt when we most need it.
“Life is always just beginning” has become my favorite quote of the year. I love thinking about it and re-focusing some of my negative thoughts with these five little words.
- It makes me feel like a little kid as my older daughter teaches me how to do a handstand and cartwheel in the past few weeks
- It fills me with hope and joy as I started a new job five weeks ago.
- It gives me the freedom to be flawed and imperfect and still feel great about myself at work and in life
I hope this post also inspires you to think about these five little words, especially in difficult situations.
Your comments: What do you think of this phrase? I look forward to your comments.
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Best wishes to your career success and happiness in life.