Take the Best, Leave the Rest!

Take the bestI have been to my share of recovery-related support groups and one thing I’ve always appreciated about the 12-step format is the advice to “Take the best and leave the rest.”  In other words, when you hear some bit of advice or wisdom that applies to you and your situation in a positive way, jot it down…apply it…keep it in your life-tool box for future reference.  And if something does not ring true to you, or does not apply, or seems ill-advised, leave it.  It’s always your choice whether or not to weave some behavior or philosophy into your life going forward.  Hear me:  It is always your choice.

This topic has come up in conversations regarding religion as well.  I have talked with many people who have the attitude that, if they are in a church, they must adhere to and embody everything the leader teaches about the Bible or life or whatever.  So, even if they are agreeable to much of what’s happening and being taught, but disagree with one thing, they’ll leave. Or they’ll say, “I have to see life this way, my pastor said so.”

Sorry. I disagree. If something you are taught – anywhere – rubs you wrong, go home and pray about it. Read up on it. Seek other counsel – then make your decision. Or just leave it be for awhile.

But anyway, this isn’t about churches or Al-anon or religion – this is about YOU!  Our BEYOND RESOLUTIONS group is starting to journal about their goals – and you can too.  Today’s journal prompt (Week 3, Day 3) asks you to look at the past, take the best – and leave the rest:

JOURNAL ASSIGNMENT 3.3:   In the process of life coaching, we rarely reach into the past. Coaching is all about looking forward, setting goals, making plans and carrying them through to positive change.  Today is our exception.  Today I’m going to ask you to look back for the purpose of grabbing some good ideas – and then leaving the rest behind.

      Hopefully, by now you have chosen a goal and allowed yourself to imagine your life with this goal successfully accomplished.  I sure hope you were able to envision the change and that it was a great experience for you! [If you are following only via blog, you’ve missed a couple of steps which our group received via email. If you’d like to receive those steps, send a request via the form on the “Coaching Packages” page.]
      You will soon set actions steps for this goal, but first, let’s gather up some ideas from past successes.  We so often focus on our past failures. “I resolve to lose weight every year, and every year those donuts win!”  “Sure, I promised myself I’d organize those closets…I’ll probably make the same resolution next year too!”  “I got so tired of my own procrastination that I just gave up on that book idea.”  I wonder why we bond in relationship over failure and our LACK of success.
      No more. Not here. Today, think back on times when you wanted to accomplish something and SUCCEEDED.  Write about your successes. How did you push through temptations to fall away from your goal?  Who supported you as you worked toward your accomplishment?  What tools did you use to stay focused?  What kind of organizational structure was in place?  You get the idea. Write about the most recent success you can think of – or use a few experiences and draw out the best from each. Your goal is to create a list of positive tools which will help you as you move ahead to succeed in 2014.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:  Most Holy God, we are your children, created in your image. We are capable of so much more than we dare imagine! Our tendency to focus on failure and limitation is certainly NOT of you. We pray today that you remind us daily of our unlimited potential and fill us with your grace when we begin to fall into the world’s insistence that we see ourselves as lacking. Support our goals. Give us strength and perseverance. And bless our efforts to improve ourselves, our families and our communities. Amen.
VERSE FOR THE DAY:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)


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