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Still on The Road – If nothing is going right, go left!

“If nothing seems to be going right…go left!”

What a simple, yet profound statement! It reminds me of the phrase “If you continue to do what you have always done; you will continue to get what you have always got.” Both statements suggest that at some point, change is in order. For some, change is difficult, and so they continue to face life’s challenges in the same manner…over and over again…and then wonder why they are not successful.

As a youngster, I took piano lessons. Each week, my piano teacher would watch as I struggled through the music. She could tell that my fingerings of the keyboard were lacking in the strength and flexibility required to perform the piece well. She knew that I could do better–that I wasn’t achieving my full potential. She knew that my playing would improve dramatically if I would simply “go left.” I needed to take just a couple of minutes to look up the correct fingering. I needed to take time at home before my next lesson to practice. One day, she stopped the lesson halfway through and said we needed to talk.

She said I had to make a choice in order to move forward. In short, it was time to turn left if I wanted to succeed. She said she appreciated that I was frustrated about not improving, but we were at a fork in the road, and I held the map.

Left Turn Road Sign

“If nothing seems to be going right…go left!”

My father loved to listen to music, and I wanted so much to be able to play well enough for him to enjoy. That wasn’t going to happen unless I charted a new course and followed it. I started running scales, checking my fingering and practicing every day. Not only did my playing improve, but the feeling began to flow from the music that I played. As a result, I spent many hours playing for Dad and having him join me with his guitar or harmonica.

This simple message is one I need to return to regularly in many aspects of my life. Too often when we confront life’s challenges in the same way, we fall short of our own expectations but seem reluctant to try a different direction. Perhaps when we are unable to knock over the obstacle, we need to find ways to walk around it, climb over it, or even dig under it.

In TOPS, this same lesson applies. Our success rate would improve if we spent more time practicing and stopped reserving TOPS thinking to a couple of days a week. So many of us do not think about progress until one or two days prior to meeting day and then fret and worry if the scales will move in our favor. Perhaps if we were to “go left” (dust off our copy of The Choice is Mine, revisit My Day One, plan our meals and activities, act accordingly every day) we might see better results, improved progress, and success.

There are many paths to success, and when you find yourself in a period when nothing seems to be going right….go left!

I Care, Barb

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