'It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out--It's the grain of sand in your shoe.'
Robert William Service, Scottish Poet 1874-1958
What's Wearing on You?
What is the grain of sand in your shoe wearing you out—that annoyance present in the back of your mind wearing you down? What's grating on you today?
· You're waiting for the other shoe to drop at work;
· You can't seem to get the landlord to fix that hole in your ceiling the rain is leaking through;
· You have a good paying job—but the daily work is soul-killing;
· You've got a job you really enjoy—but its 600 miles from your home and family.
How Little Annoyances Affect Life Satisfaction
No matter how good our lives are, we all face trials in our daily lives that can wear us down. Truth is even if our lives are excellent overall, we still measure our life satisfaction by the least satisfying parts—i.e. those grains of sand.
The Daily Grind
Linda, almost 60 and divorced, has a beautiful home, grown children, a dog, a network of great friends-- and a new great-paying job. So what's the grain of sand in her shoe? Her new job took her 600 miles away from her friends and home. She's uncomfortable living in her new apartment in a city filled with never-ending traffic and cement sidewalks. She misses the wooded trails where she walked with her dog enjoying the great outdoors. While the money is good in her new job, her daily quality of life has taken a nosedive. She dreams of moving back home.
Liz, a 21 year old, taking a full load of college courses and working full time loves her apartment with its hardwood floors and spacious rooms, conveniently located adjacent to the bus line to work and school. Her grain of sand is the huge gaping hole in her apartment ceiling. Mold is growing and she is worried about her health. She doesn't want to move—especially since she's in the middle of the school term-- and really doesn't have the time to look for another place.
At Forty, Julian has just finished a higher degree, loves his chosen work, home and partner. What's the grain of sand wearing him down? His hometown market may be too small to support his work. If he wants to do what he loves he may need to work and live elsewhere—and leave his home and partner behind. The idea of a long-distance relationship leaves him cold.
Don't Ignore Your Grain of Sand, Acknowledge it
Face it—we all have difficult decisions to make these days. The difficulty of choosing between two less-than-optimum options often leaves us making no decision at all—and this unresolved dilemma goes underground and begins to wear on us like the grains of sand in our walking shoes.
The problem with grains of sand in our shoes is rather than choosing to stop to remove them we try to ignore them as we continue traveling on the road of life. Without acknowledging and embracing them we can find no relief.
Find Your Pearl
Rather than letting your grain of sand wear you down, let it build you up. In a clam, that grain of sand has the potential of creating a pearl. You too have the possibility of creating something exquisite and beautiful in your life through that daily grind forcing you to pay attention to what's working and what's not. Granted, grains of sand in our walking shoes are irritating and annoying—but they make us pay attention. Stop ignoring the irritation in your life, acknowledge and embrace it. Choose to reach through the current irritation to create a better life.
Four Steps to Turn SAND into Your Pearl
1. Acknowledge and embrace the Irritation. Let yourself become aware and fully conscious of what's grating on you. Name it. Sit in it.
2. Keep on Walking. Do nothing. Let the irritation grow your awareness to produce your life pearl.
3. Stop. When you're ready--take off your shoes and shake it off. Choose your next action.
4. Start A New Direction--Take a step—any step—away from your irritant towards a better life.
What's Your PEARL?
What PEARL can you create out of your grains of sand? Play with the letters in PEARL to create a positive picture of what you can create out of your grain of sand.
Possibilities, Enthusiasm, Acceptance, Relationships, Love
Playful, Enjoyable, Action-oriented, Reliable, Loyal
'Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.'
Do you need help turning your grain of sand into a pearl?
For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule one or on-going life change coaching sessions.