Peter Bregman is a strategic consultant and writer who blogs for Harvard Business Review. He writes sometimes about meditating, always making me want to be way better about my own spotty practice.
In Stop Focusing on Your Performance he writes that life is a set of experiences, not performances. Excerpt:
So how can we let go of performance in favor of experience? Here's something that's helped me: Several times a day I'll complete this sentence: "This is what it feels like to..."
This is what it feels like to receive praise. This is what it feels like to be in love. This is what it feels like to be stuck writing a proposal. This is what it feels like to present to the CEO. This is what it feels like to be embarrassed. This is what it feels like to be appreciated.
So, here goes, from my today.
This is how it feels to...
…connect with someone you barely know when you can't talk. My dental hygienist, whose name I don't know, is a pretty, gentle, personable woman. She's single, and I can't for the life of me figure out why. She talks while she cleans my teeth, asking many times if this feels okay, how's the temperature of the water, telling me how she helped a friend move his bed, how she doesn't like the cold so she's grateful for our mild weather. She makes going to the dentist easier.
This is how it feels to…
Get praise on my writing by someone I only just met, now, on the phone. "I didn't have any comments on your chapters!" she said. "I can't wait to read the rest." She has no idea how difficult this project has become and how much I want to finish it and how unsure I am about my ability to craft a story. She only knows that she liked my chapters and told me that, giving me the impetus, maybe, to get through the writing for a while.