A Wade Lowe creation – For the record, I brought back the high-five. Don’t believe me? Ask my brother or wife. The high-five was all but dead 10 years ago, but it’s back and better than ever today. You can thank me later. Maybe I’ll write about how I brought it back in a future blog post.
Since I can remember, I’ve been my own worst critic. In some ways it’s helpful because I hold myself to a high standard. All in all though, it hasn’t served me well, so I’ve made a conscious effort to stop being that way. Being kind to myself has been instrumental in creating a space and mood that has allowed me to begin to grow and thrive vs. struggle and survive. To help me remember to be kind to myself, I give myself mental high-fives.
One way I help encourage others to be kind to themselves is to give them high-fives. No joke. People love it. Try it. Give someone a high-five and see what their reaction is. Surprise is one reaction. Timidness is another. Some people get super excited and smack the crap out of my hand. Funny story, we’ve nicknamed one of our friends “hard hand slapper” because of how painful his high-fives are on our hands. It feels like you’re getting stung by a swarm of bees on your hand. Note to self. Stop giving him high-fives.
The one always consistent reaction however, is a smile. Every time, never fails, I don’t care how bad of a mood someone is in. I mean, who doesn’t like a high-five. I do it at work, in the house, walking down the street and sometimes while jogging. Not kidding. Nobody ever declines to do it back… ever. It’s the universal sign that life is awesome and they want a part of that, and it ALWAYS gets a smile. It’s a simple way to bring some positivity to someone else’s day, as well as mine.
So what’s the point? I had a situation arise the other day relating to a new opportunity. The upside potential is huge regarding monetary gain, but I would have to add it to the list of things I already do, including work, family and this site. The upside isn’t guaranteed and I would have to make sacrifices in the areas of sleep, this project and family time. For the first time in a long time, I said no thanks and wasn’t resentful about it.
Do I have everything I want in my life? No. Is my life perfect? No. Am I content and happy? YES. It’s taken me a long time to get here and I’m not willing to go to chase after something and sacrifice my current state for some future possible state where things will be better. Better is a decision, not a destination, and I’m making better decisions today. So, with that realization, I gave myself a high-five!
I encourage you to be kind to yourself and find some mental exercise to reward yourself for that behavior. If you can’t think of one, use mine. Being kind to yourself will bleed in to all other areas of your life and improve virtually all relationships. It’s hard to be kind to others if you’re not kind to yourself. Start with giving yourself and others a high-five and let me know how it goes!