One hundred days ago, I was feeling a little out of sorts. Not a wreck, mind you, just aware of a need for better focus and a healthier perspective. Instead of blowing it off and moving on as I usually do, I decided to make a change.
And so, I walked into my kitchen, picked up a piece of chalk and scrawled a large ‘1’ with the word RESET beneath it on the chalkboard. I then sat down and wrote up a ‘100 Day Reset’ program which includes things like eating well, focusing on excellence in my work, meditation, family, smiling, showing gratitude, nurturing my physical health, paying attention to small things and, above all, being nice to and more patient with myself. At the bottom of my list I wrote: AFTER 100 DAYS, YOU WILL KNOW THE REST.
Since then, I’ve done my best to pay attention to this program. While I have skipped meditations, missed untold amounts of small things, lost my temper and failed to always deliver excellence in my professional and creative work, I believe I’ve made real gains through repetition and daily awareness of my intention to be and do better. Just the act of wiping away yesterday from the chalkboard has given me a routine that has helped cement positive new habits and gradually erase old ones.
I’m not kidding myself. Three months doesn’t change much. It doesn’t make me a new person. But it has been a new lesson, a new technique in personal reprogramming. I dare say my outlook is brighter, my heart more open, and my balance greatly improved. Sure, I’m still liable to make a bad choice, to take a tumble; but at least I feel like decisions that I make today are coming from a grounded place. That means a lot. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt this way.
My biggest takeaway has been a simple one: I’m awfully lucky. My life is filled with beautiful people and incredible opportunities. For as much and as vocally as I complain about the injustices in the world, unlike too many billions, I’m far from powerless. I am in a position to do something about the ignorance and inequalities. That’s real and true power, the kind that is not be to be wasted. Yep, that means I have a great responsibility. Here’s the cool part: Pretty much anyone who has the luxury of reading these words is similarly blessed and shares this responsibility. I’m not in this alone, though too often I’ve felt that way. Moving forward, I’m going to do a better job of forging meaningful connections with … you.
Now what? As the great American philosopher Prince tells us in his largely unheralded musical masterpiece Graffiti Bridge, there is “joy in repetition”. Indeed. I think it’s time for another 100 days. Maybe even 1000. Lessons are often short-lived because we tend to believe they’re permanent. That’s a huge mistake and one I hope not to make. Back to the chalkboard for me.