Wise Words from Mum

Last week in Change – Whats it Gonna Take? i included my Top 10 Finance Tips for 2019. Tip #7 was “Know Your Flaws” – Its hard to grow as a human if you don’t stop for a moment and get to know yourself.

Sometimes (most of the time), we’re pretty shitty judges when it comes to self-assessment, so it can be amazing to have someone who knows you well give you some feedback. I was fortunate enough recently to stumble across some words of wisdom from Mum. She hasn’t been with us for a few years now, but her words of wisdom are etched in my mind for eternity. She knew us (myself, my brother, and my sister) so incredibly well, and it was her life’s mission to help us become the best humans possible.

She would write little ‘life lesson’ notes for us and leave them in our lunchbox, she was a master of positive reinforcement, but she’d also call us out on our flaws – hold up the mirror for us so to speak. I was rifling through my bedside table draws the other day to do a bit of a clean out and found a note from mum. It was on a scabby piece of paper – hand written, and folded so that a new part of the message would be revealed upon unfolding. This was Mum’s style, she put more weight on content than she did on presentation. She would have guests BYO wine glasses to parties because she felt that the people and the company were the important part – not making a good impression and keeping up with the Jones’. It was always the thought that held more weight than the value of the gift…. you get the picture.

Anyway, here’s what she had to say to me (~17 years ago) – a gentle nudge to address and conquer one of my inherent flaws.

She knew that one of the major things holding me back from being brilliant was that i could tend to procrastinate from time to time. It wasn’t due to laziness or sloth though, so she would always encourage us to look below the surface – to go digging for the root cause….

Its true, i did hate making decisions. What if it was the wrong one? What if the status quo was the best option? Did i even have sufficient data / facts / research upon which to make an informed decision?

Yep, all true – i certainly had a fear of all of these things. Perfection was a big deal to me… if it wasn’t perfect, why even do it at all? Here is a crazy example. I distinctly remember recording an answering machine message on dad’s phone when we were young. Myself, dad, and my sister sung this amazing answering machine message in 3-part harmony to the tune of “Its a Long Way There” – an Epic track by The Little River Band. It was seriously good…. but i deleted it because it wasn’t “perfect”. I used to pause too long before speaking – not because i didn’t know what to say, or what the answer was… i was just racking my mind for the “perfect” way to say it.

Let me break that down.

– I am Human
– I am Fallible
– I will make many mistakes (which is ok)
– If i accept that making mistakes, being incorrect, looking foolish, or being imperfect are simply just part of life’s journey i will grow, i will learn, and i will become wise.
– Perfect would be dull, i give myself permission not to be perfect dull

Thanks Mum. Eat your heart out Tony Robbins.

Feel free to share with a procrastinator!