The Best Advice I Ever Was Given

"DO YOUR BEST. BE KIND TO EVERYONE. AND DON'T FORGET TO PLAY." 

Those three little sentences are the best advice I have ever received and may ever receive. Those words weren't spoken to me in some big grand moment, nor by someone full of years of wisdom. No, those words were spoke to me in a passing moment by my children to me as I was running out the door for work one Saturday afternoon.

I was running late as I often do and I had already said my goodbyes to the kids. I was running out when my daughter looked up from what she was doing to tell me "Do your best. Be kind to everyone." Then my son chimed in, "And don't forget to play." Those few words just stopped me right in my tracks. The magnitude of those simple words really struck me. In that moment I realized that if we all lived by those three sentences then the world would be a more wonderful and beautiful place. They really summed it all up.

Their words have come back to me time and time again. And every time I think of them I stop and think about if I am living my life in that manner.

DO YOUR BEST

Think how much could be accomplished if we all spent each day doing our best. Think about the discoveries and advancements that would be made. Think about the sense of satisfaction we all would have at the end of the day. Think about the lack of regret we would have.

It's not that we don't want to do our best. But we can be sidetracked from that goal by circumstances, obstacles, lack of resources and discouragement. It is easy to take our eyes off the goal. And when our focus shifts off the goal, it becomes distracted by everything else around us and before we know it, we find ourselves just going through the motions of life and not doing our best.

BE KIND TO EVERYONE

Oh, the world problems this would solve if we all lived by this one. If this was everyone's creed and motto imagine how beautiful our world would be. Kindness is contagious, just like rudeness is. Think about the last time someone treated you really rudely. I know for myself that I am affected by something like that and it makes me feel angry. Then when I am interacting with the next person I come across, I inadvertently transfer some of my negative energy to that person too.

Now think about the last time someone was unexpectedly kind to you. Remember how good that made you feel? How it put a smile on your face? How it affected your mood? Chances are the kind encounter affected you in a positive way. It may have even turned your day around. And just like that, the kindness was spread from that person to you, then from you to the next person you met. We impact every person we meet with our actions and attitudes. Want a better world? Let's start by being kind to everyone we pass.

AND DON'T FORGET TO PLAY

The wisdom of a 6 year old. We can't let ourselves get so bogged down in the stress of life or the tasks and responsibilities of life that we lose the joy of life. We are reminded of that joy whenever we take time to play. When we make the time to disconnect and to reconnect with the things that make life fun, that is when we recharge our batteries.

Play is what makes life enjoyable. It is what helps us get through the tough times too. Sure, we may not break out our dolls and toy cars anymore but we still can play as adults. And we should! What a stress-reliever it is when we do an activity we love. That is what strengthens the soul. Since we are all different, we all have different versions of what play is for us. The important thing is that we make the time to play, however we like to play the best.

BE IN THE MOMENT

I am so grateful that I wasn't completely distracted by trying to get out the door to work that I missed what my kids had to say. That in itself was a reminder to me to slow down and be more aware of what is going on around me. Had I been so caught up in my own little world, I would have missed this moment. I am so glad that I didn't.

So now I want to pass on to you this gift:

"Do your best. Be kind to everyone. And don't forget to play."

(Written August 11, 2015.)