We in the Fitzgerald family are about to bid 2010 farewell. It snowed this afternoon in Mapleton, and it’s cold outside—12 degrees. We are holed up in our snug basement. We are playing Wii Fit and eating regrettable foods. Well, I am doing more watching than playing.
I’ve been thinking about my goals for the coming year for some weeks. I am taking a little different approach this year. I am not attempting perfection, only improvement.
I’ll take improvement—or even a little improvement—over perfection now. I have not always been able to look at things this way. Now I am not as frustrated with myself as I was when I was in my 20s, or 30s. Or even my 40s.
The French Enlightenment writer Voltaire once wrote: Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien. In English, “The best [or perfect] is the enemy of the good.”
Have you ever noticed that your dissatisfaction with your own imperfection discourages you? Sometimes it can immobilize you. And keep you from doing a lot of good.
That used to be me.
Now I realize that I mustn’t let my worries about my mistakes and imperfections slow me down. I just acknowledge my mistake as soon as I can, leave it on the trail, and keep pulling my cart to Zion. Now the goal is more important than what happens on the journey.
Those mistakes are too heavy to carry. I recognize them but I leave them behind and think about my next step forward.
A few months ago, I got this idea to put the best ideas and thoughts I could find in a binder, in sheet protectors. I look at these quotes every day (almost). And think about the words. They are powerful to me. They resonate with me and remind me to keep moving. Embedded in those quotes are my goals.
Let me share a few of these quotes. Here is one of my favorite verses in the New Testament.
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. —Mark 9:23
All things are possible. That is an amazing way to think about our world. Do you believe it? I do, about 90 percent of the time. I am working on the other 10 percent.
You are your only limitation. —Jacob Blaney
Jacob is a wise young man. I totally believe what he said. When he shared this quote with me, I felt it in my spine.
I think I only have one problem in this world, one opponent. It’s me.
(Psst. You have the same problem.)
The nice thing is that, if you are the problem, you can also be the solution. Isn’t that great to know? You need help, though. Help from your spouse, your friends, your bishop, your Heavenly Father. Especially Him.
Here is one last quote from my binder:
My feelings give testimony of my thoughts, and those thoughts are testimony of my beliefs. My beliefs are testimony of what is in my heart—my desires and intent. My life, and all that I have or will experience, are a realization of these feelings, thoughts and beliefs, all testimony of what is at the core of my being.
My goals are simple this year. They are built around simple themes like health and writing and web traffic and more consistent income. Facing all my fears and replacing them with faith, reason and action.
They are all doable, but I will have to leave a lot of personal effects on the trail to Zion if I expect to make it there.