On the occasion of my 53rd birthday I've taken an hour out to think of the last year and how I am when I'm at my worst versus when I'm at my best. Careful and clear thinking, especially in positions of responsibility requires a lot of mental work. Being smart and being right aren't the same thing. The only way to be right more often than not is to be able to change your mind - a uniquely learned human skill that does not come easy especially in the emotional language we all use and abuse these days.
When I’m at my worst I…
All these things add up to being subjective rather than objective – internal rather than external. It’s the path of least resistance in life. When I’m at my worst this is what I think and do rather than put forward effort – of which I have great capacity seldom used to its fullest.
When I’m at my worst I’m unhappy.
When I’m at my best I put forward great effort, my mind is alert, I listen actively, I think critically, I follow the facts wherever they lead, I concern myself inclusively with the interests of others and the problems of the day. I smile. I move around. I take notes. I read... carefully. I see the good stuff. I find pleasure in the prosperity of others. I consciously work to improve, educate, and inform myself. I think of the broadest possible consequences of any idea or decision, and I imagine an open ended future not shackled by the mistakes of the past. I am openly willing to stop and start again.
When I’m at my best I’m happy.
Writing about life, citizenship, and Nova Scotia.