I made myself poached eggs this morning. This task would, on the surface, seem to be one that is easily accomplished. I failed miserably.
In pursuing the perfect poached egg, I have watched YouTubes, read cookbooks, consulted Master Teachers and pretty much done everything they have written, but I cannot say with any assurance that I have mastered the poached egg. It is a thing that I have yet to accomplish.
Persistence versus Stubbornness
Making the perfect poached egg may seem a silly goal, but I remain committed to achieving it. As a virtue, this commitment can be described as persistence. It is a quality that is held in esteem in our culture.
Yet, it can also be seen as sheer stubbornness. With so many alternative ways of cooking eggs, my insistence on conquering poaching seems misdirected. Stubbornness is not a quality held in esteem by this culture.
Shades of Difference
In making the case for persistence being a worthy endeavor, I can state with conviction that I have benefitted from being persistent more often than not in my life. I became a better musician because of practice. I became a better therapist because of hanging in there. I became a better writer because of producing a weekly blog for over five years now.
On the other hand, I have been told by friends and colleagues alike, that I have a bit of a stubborn streak and have a need to be right. And, if I am being honest with myself, I am right more often than I am wrong, and bask in that track record!
Of course, on those rare occasions when I am wrong, I hold onto the hope that I will be vindicated when the truth eventually is revealed and it turns out I was right all along. (Maybe there is something to this being stubborn after all . . .)
Becoming A Good Role Model
While many of my aspirations center around acquiring skills, others rest in becoming a better human being. When I take an inventory of what makes me a good human being, I realize that I am doing pretty well (false modesty aside). Things like being kind, paying attention, listening then talking; all skills I am proficient in.
I paid attention when I was younger to the inspirational folks who offered plans of action on how to be smarter, faster, richer, better read, and kinder. Because of those role models, I aspire to being one, too.
Motivating versus Shaming
Ways of improving who I am typically consist of two methods: giving myself a pat on the back (motivating) or giving myself a kick in the ass (shaming). I notice that I am getting much better with the pats on the back at this stage of the game.
The shaming thing seems to be something passed down from one generation to another. Even though it is painful and something I vowed I wound never do, all too often, it slips out of my mouth before I can catch it. It is one of those things that feels good in the moment, but leaves a really nasty after taste. I am happy to report that I am getting better at muffling my shaming response.
Aspirations Are Good Motivators
I still have room to grow, and have aspirations not just to be a better person, but to leave behind a legacy of how to be a good person. I find at this stage of my life that the opportunities for sharing my wisdom arise not because I sit back and wait for the audience to come to me, but because I go out and seek those places where my wisdom can make a difference.
The challenge with this is that my wisdom is not always welcome or appreciated. My aspirations around this include creating opportunities for conversations about why that is and venues to see where what I have to offer may prove useful.
4 responses to “Aspirations: Thoughts about Things I Have Yet to Accomplish”
As a physician who enjoyed empowering my patients, I continue to enjoy opportunities to help friends manage medical problems. The culture of medicine tends to focus on getting a patient through the next hours to days, but not much beyond that. Yet, medical problems are dynamic and like a football or soccor game, change in expected and unexpected ways. It’s nice to be able to help friends improve their self-management beyond their brief encounters with a provider. This is a way I can share the expertise accumulated over my career and in ways that require more time, which I and many providers find to be very limited.Loading…
Mary, as a quite good cook myself — I HAVE renamed “Eggs Benedict” — Eggs Benedict ARNOLD. Why? Because that fiendish dish requires both “poaching the perfect egg” AND the hell-world of trying to make a good Hollandaise Sauce. And in the morning, too, before sufficient coffee has yet woven its magic spell. To quote Charlie Brown: AUUGGGG! Happy Sunday.Loading…
Loving these blogs! Every one of them seem to deal with the universal truths of being human. Thank you!🥰Loading…
Wow!!! Stubbornness must be in the genes…😘Loading…