And then it happens. Something comes along that flicks your compass dial, and leaves you spinning. Give it time. Don’t panic. Your dial will slow itself. And in time it will, once again, point toward True North.
In moments such as these, try not to fight the spin. Instead, hold your feet steady; give yourself a moment. Hang on. You’ll be alright. It happens to all of us. And don’t be surprised if, once your dial has come to a stop, you admit to yourself that you’ve made a mistake. But let go of society’s definition of a mistake. Do not damn yourself. Mistakes have their place. Look at it. Look at what you did and why. Look at the steps that brought you here. Look at the impact it had on you. And once you are steady again, decide what you are going to do about it. Your power to shape your future is in that moment. Don’t let it escape. Grab it. Hold it. Make it your own. Then, and only then, go forward.
The world will not come to an end upon admitting such a truth as having made a mistake. The world comes to an end when we choose to define a mistake as being the end. It’s not. It was merely a moment in time. We are all human. Some moments are easier and smoother than others. Some of my worst moments in life have propelled me the farthest forward. You are not a failure. You are never a failure. You are only that which you believe yourself to be. So believe kindly, and with thoughtfulness.
I’ve managed to trip my way down the road of life as often as I’ve walked with long, steady strides. Each movement had purpose – those that were graceful and those that were not. There were times when I was meant to spin. There were times when I was reluctant to change, so change happened to me via a big spin. And then there were times when I walked headfirst into the very thing that caused me to spin.
Let’s go easy on ourselves. Let us not forget that we are doing our best. Let us not forget to stop and remember that our personal happiness matters. Define your happiness with words of your own choosing. It is a definition meant for you to create. Like a fingerprint, it belongs only to you. But never devalue it. Never overlook the importance of holding close those things that make you smile. As frivolous as it may seem upon first glance, happiness is your True North. Go in that direction. Never dismiss it. Never pull against it. Never forfeit it.
So as I end this night, I want to remind us all that its okay to make a mistake. Mistakes are not what they seem. They are there, they are the pebbles on the road that cause us to stop. Sometimes they cause us to spin. But that’s okay. Life will calm down. And once it does, look around. Take stock of what is around you. Now pull close that which makes you happy.