Why should we fix anything, improve or get ourselves together at all? There must be a “why” if we’re doing something or else it is just compulsive and nonsensical waste of energy and resources. The reason why we should try to fix things that are obviously wrong (with you or things around you) is that there will be quite enough suffering, entropy and misery around just by going through this life experience and the mere passage of time to not be a fixer of things. Things will break and malfunction of their own accord at some point almost as a rule and the factors influencing the break down are infinitely varied and contextual. But you can make it at least a bit better and ease your own suffering and perhaps, if you get good enough at this, the suffering of others.
That would be a good goal for the day – fix or improve something. What should you start with? Well the old saying was right – sweep in front of your own doorstep first. There’s a whole lot of debris and quite a mess there. It’s not only a moral issue of not judging others before you get your own life in order, but also a very practical stance because fixing things and not making them worse by meddling is a skill that is learned and acquired through life, and it should start small and expand as you build up your skill. So we start with ourselves, our everyday life. Small almost imperceptible improvements in daily habits accumulate into a different life very fast, they snowball and in the process give us some self-respect because we’ve actually managed to repair and improve something. This is not an easy task and is to be celebrated when achieved. Daily habits so easily fly under the radar, tagged as mundane, while we focus all of our attention on the “big issues”. We may be worried about paying your mortgage but fail to see all of the daily disorganized actions that make us leak money unnecessarily. We may struggle with tolerating incompetence and slowness and have strained close relationships as a result, failing to understand others and their struggles, when in fact we messed up sleeping and eating habits and have burned out our adrenals, leaving us in perpetual fight or flight. This, mentally and emotionally, manifests as overthinking, extreme impatience, going off the handle for smallest things and looking for faults in everything.
Fix the everyday things. The more often you do something the more important it is because simple math says more of your life will be consumed by it and stronger impact it will have if improved. Most of our pain is stupidly self-inflicted by poor choices and just operating on autopilot of a habit we’ve picked up somewhere. Just take a few minutes when you wake up or as you’re lying and falling asleep and ask the common sense question: “What is a simple little thing I can fix/make better tomorrow/today? We already know and it’s been nagging us on the back burner. So when you start your day actually make an effort to do this one thing. Change is hard for everyone because it is stepping out into the unknown and almost as a rule feels strange and uncomfortable at first, before it is internalized and translates into a new (and now better) habit. How much calmer would we be if we read a book instead of the news in the evenings? How much closer would we be to people in our lives if we just stopped and listened to what they are saying? How much better would our health get if we just stopped putting sugar in coffee or tea or if we took a walk each day? How much sharper would we be tomorrow if we just pushed our bed time half an hour earlier? How much more clarity would we have if we didn’t check our phone as soon as we opened our eyes? How much more together would we feel if we finally decluttered that closet, pantry, garage, storage room that’ve been bugging and weighing us down for months/years?
Fix the small things that are within your power to fix. Then we’ll get more skilled in it and our personality will comfortably expand to the point where we’re able to try and fix larger things and impact the lives of others. What we do every day matters, it constitutes most of our waking hours. Some things are so easy to fix. The more we ask the question what we can improve, the more honest and deeper the answers will get. Listen to them and then just do it. No excuses. That perfect time to start is not given , but created.