“Often, it takes some calamity to make us live in the present. Then, suddenly, we wake up and see all the mistakes we have made.”— Bill Watterson
My son likes reading Calvin and Hobbes books. Every time my wife finds him a new one at the library, she borrows it straight away. I’m not a huge fan of the strip.
But I really do like that quote.
Going The Wrong Way
I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my time. Here’s just one example.
I realized on my last trip that it was a mistake to book early morning flights to and from Austin. But before that, I vowed never to book early morning flights ever again. I made the mistake of booking those early flights and not living up to that vow. I doubled down on making mistakes, so to speak.
But I did it once again. I’ve made the mistake of, as Rich Litwin would say, “over obligating and under committing.”
Yet there was one mistake that caught my attention in the last few months — one I didn’t make but affected me in a manner of speaking.
I’ve been a fan of The Houston Astros for nearly 30 years. And the Astros admittedly cheated during their championship season of 2017 (at the very least).
I dug deeper into everything that surrounded this news. This included reading an article in The Athletic that revealed how toxic the environment was in the Astros’s front office. It underscored some things for me — things that can either cause mistakes or be elevated by them: a lack of integrity and character.
Interestingly, it was the mistake the Astros made that compelled me to look at my own mistakes. I wanted to see if I could demonstrate more integrity and character every single day.
Essentially, I woke up.
This degree of introspection started at that moment. I started to make progress, primarily through reflection and journaling. Every subsequent was a better week because of that. And it’ll only get better from here.
I’ve gotten rid of my Astros stuff. My fandom is now a spectre that I’ll come across occasionally in old social media posts (and perhaps in other places I can’t recall right now). I’m no longer a Houston Astros fan. I’ve decided to follow the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners. The former is my childhood team and the latter is the team that plays closest to my hometown. It feels good to make that change, as small as it may seem.
Make no mistake, the small things we decide to pay attention to can have a bigger impact than we imagine.