That’s the advice I heard. It’s very different from the advice I used to give myself. It’s very different from what I learned, and thought I had to adhere to, way back when.
In fact, I think it’s the opposite of where I used to come from. I think my motto was to work as hard as possible on everything. And then some. And never notice I was doing it.
I was playing tennis with my son a few weeks back. When I last played, years ago, he was really quite bad. And I therefore, in comparison, was really quite good. Or so he thought. But since that time he’s grown and he’s learned how to play tennis…well. And I haven’t. I haven’t played in years. I never really played. I never took a lesson. And I kinda stink.
As I hit the ball weirdly one too many times, or missed it completely like I never have before, I could feel my frustration rising. “I hate not being good at something,” I said to my son, feeling as if I was making a huge revelation and that it would therefore be a great teaching moment. “I know,” he answered. All I could think, once again, was “how does he know?” Apparently my need to not fail and not mess up have been obvious, even though I was certain I was doing it differently and not showing my kids that side of me. I guess it still runs deep.
I like the idea of not working too hard on anything. I like the idea of playing more, relaxing more, and enjoying myself more. And working hard when it’s something I want to work hard on…but not too hard.
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