I've had a bad week. I keep making dumb mistakes and wasting my time and money. I'm not usually like this, but lately, I keep doing dumb things. Any advice that would help me get it together?
I have certain philosophies about life you will hear me expound on quite often. One of those happens to be the idea that everything happens for a reason. I don't believe in accidents.
I believe life is a classroom — every experience is a lesson, and every person in your life is a teacher. But there are days when it's difficult to figure out what you're supposed to be learning.
I had a day like that last week.
I got up at 4 a.m. for my Monday "LIFEadvice" segment on KSL TV. It is morning show protocol that when I arrive at the station, I call my producer to come let me in. (When you arrive at night there's no one at the front desk.) When I told her I was there, her response was, "Why are you here?"
"What do you mean why am I here? It's Monday. I'm here to do my segment."
"But you aren't scheduled for today."
She explained they were planning on me next Monday and I had gotten the days mixed up. They didn't have the segment slotted today and couldn't use me.
She also explained that last week when she had said she wanted to move my segment from 6:15am to 5:45am, she had meant only that week — not forever. I had assumed she meant forever, so I had arrived extra early too.
(Knowing that you got out of bed at a ridiculous hour in the morning for nothing is a little frustrating!)
Usually when frustrating things happen I calm myself down with thoughts like, "I wonder why this experience showed up in my life?" "What am I supposed to learn from this?"
This is my way of trusting that I'm always where I'm supposed to be. This philosophy makes life more peaceful. It would comfort me to believe I was supposed to get the dates mixed up for some interesting reason, or that there was somethng I was supposed to learn from this frustrating experience.
But in this case, I couldn't come up with any good reason for my stupid mistake (except maybe that I need to pay more attention).
I was really bothered with myself for being so dumb.
The funny part is, this isn't the end of the story.
At 3:30 p.m. that day, I had a doctor's appointment to check the progress of my arm surgery last month. So I drove to 5300 South to the new IHC Medical Center. When I arrived, I checked in at the nurses' station and told them I was there to see the doctor. Their response was oddly familiar: "Why are you here?"
"For my appointment."
"We don't have you down today and the Doctor isn't even here. He is at the Avenues office today."
Suddenly I remembered — when I'd made the appointment they told me I would have to go the Avenues office, but I hadn't written that part down in my iPad. It was too late to drive to the other office and still make it home in time for my next client. I would have to reschedule.
Now, when you do something this dumb once a day, you can over look it. When you do it twice on the same day you have to wonder what's wrong with you.
As I drove home, I pondered about why that day had turned out that way. Was there some reason for those experiences? Was there a lesson I needed to learn from this? A thought immediately came into my mind:
"Some days you just get to experience stupid."
It is one of the many of human conditions we get to experience on our journey through life. We each will get to experience feeling stupid on occasion (some of us more often than others), but there are interesting and important lessons we learn from these experiences.
You may learn to be more patient with other people on their stupid days. You may learn to be less judgemental or self righteous on your smart days. You may need to take another look at how much you are trying to squeeze into a day. There are many lessons you can learn when you get a dose of your own stupid.
The bottom line is — the stupid experience is good for us.
Next time you get to experience stupid, see it for what it is. Don't waste time stressing about it, beating yourself up, complaining or ranting about it. Just sit back and feel it. Soak up the moment and really enjoy what the stupid experience feels like.
See it as a lesson — not a reflection of your value. You are infinitely valuable and nothing you do or don't do could change that.
Do not experience shame around this experience. Shame does you no good whatsoever. Shame is the feeling that you "should have already mastered everything." How ridiculous is that? If you had mastered everything, you wouldn't need to be here in the classroom of life.
Embrace your less-than-brilliant moments. They only prove you're human like the rest of us. We are all struggling yet amazing, human beings in process, and every day is another lesson.
Remember: You're not a stupid person ... you're just experiencing stupid today ... and some days are like that.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes Clarity: seeing yourself, others and situations accurately.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.