By: Connor Judson Garrett – June 7, 2016
When I was in kindergarten I distinctly remember feeling anxious and energetic at once – a distraction to the other students. I felt ashamed and as a five year old I believed I was the absolute worst.
One day my teacher, Mrs. Brooks came to our house to talk with me. She’d been teaching for twenty-five years and cared deeply about every single student. She could tell I was beating myself up about my inability to sit still and that my disappointment in my behavior was building.
She told me, “Every day is a new day with a clean slate.” As absurd as it is to picture a five year old wracking himself with guilt this actually happened, but her words helped me out. My behavior improved as I thought of them, and the lesson she taught me has stuck with me ever since.
The value of a brand new day is that you can use it however you choose to. The trick is making the most of the opportunity that comes from another sunrise often means balancing between being harsh with yourself or being too relaxed about your own standards.
The perfect balance between the two is to do your best – your best is inherently imperfect, so it forces you to realize mistakes are unavoidable. However, doing your best also teaches you through the process that you can minimize your mistakes and optimize your happiness.
In the same way that we search for truth through hyperbole as children, the fastest route to personal truth is pushing your own boundaries – the value of a new day is having the chance to know you left nothing on the table.