Worth Remembering

On March 14, 2012, in inspiration, by Dan

We spend a lot of time trying to remember things. To-do’s. Appointments. Lists.  It’s the core skill set we’re taught in school, and we have a whole world of external memory tools to help us out–things like day timers and post-it notes, to-do lists and software programs, calendars and smart phones.

One of the great benefits of those tools is that they give us permission to unload our minds. To free up mental space with the confidence that there’s a system so that we won’t forget.

But what if there are things we should forget? Things like:

  • The naysayer who told your patient that what you do is nonsense.
  • The teacher who said it’s wrong to earn a living.
  • The friend who said that telling people how you can help is just sleazy marketing.
  • The colleagues who said it’s impossible to make a living because of competition or the economy.
  • The pseudo-statistics that it takes five years to pay yourself, or that half your colleagues will be out of business in two years.

Those things are taking up mental space, too. And they hang around, and hang around, and hang around. We can’t remember what we had for dinner three Wednesday’s ago, but we can’t seem to forget that one person who criticized our work.

Unlike remembering to buy broccoli, putting these things in your ‘calendar’ by dwelling on them only makes it worse. We don’t need to remember these things. We need to let them go. We need to forget. And that starts with understanding that that you can’t remember what you had for dinner three Wednesday’s ago not because your brain is flawed…but because you decided it wasn’t worth remembering.

There are things worth remembering. And things that aren’t. Maybe part of success is knowing the difference.

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