A couple of months ago I was reading one of my go to spiritual resources—O Magazine—when the headline, “How to Find Your Purpose—Fulfill Your Destiny” screamed at me.
If anyone could help me figure out my purpose, it had to be Oprah, I thought. It might take years, but if Oprah was in my corner, I was up for the task.
A sub-headline said that it wouldn’t take years, however. No, no. Finding out how to best fulfill my destiny could be accomplished in merely thirty days. Thirty Days!
Thirty days? I could do that.
The challenge asks readers to do one simple thing. Every morning, for thirty days, take a Post-It and write down one compliment about yourself. The compliments should cover a variety of all your impressive traits, skills, attributes. The more specific, the better. Stick the Post-It somewhere you will notice, like your mirror.
The activity should yield multiple benefits like making you happier and more appreciative of the person you are today. That in turn can help you realize who you want to be tomorrow and the day after that.
After reading the article, I was even more on board. This seemed doable and positive. Destiny, here I come!
I enlisted a friend to try it with me.
Day One: Off to an auspicious start!
Day Two: Easy, breezy.
Day Three: I forgot. She didn’t.
Day Four: I was back in the Post-It groove….
Week One: She slipped up.
Week Two: Sporadic posting.
Week Three: We stopped asking.
And here I am, almost two months later, and only seventeen Post-Its in. I saw my Post-It pad this morning and was bothered that I am struggling to complete something so simple.
Just what is the problem here?
Well, quite simply, it’s not as easy as it looks.
Most mornings I sat with the Post-It pad in hand, struggling to find something nice to say about myself. When I finally thought of something, I wavered with how exactly to word it. It felt awkward complimenting me and I didn’t want to overdo it—give too much credit or award myself with something unless it described who I am most of the time.
The other problem? I kept thinking of the same three or four qualities over and over again. I know there has to be more than a few nice things to say about me, but I kept resorting to the standard or safe ones.
The thing is though, if you asked me to write down thirty things I admire in someone I love, I would have no problem doing so—and it would probably take me less than a minute, not two months.
Why is it we are so hard on ourselves? Finding nice things to say about who we are shouldn’t be so difficult.
That is why I am determined to finish the 30 Day Challenge, even it takes 300 days—though I hope it’s not that long.
And maybe it will fulfill my destiny, maybe it won’t. But at the very least maybe I would have learned to go a little easier on myself, which would go a long way.