In a recent yoga class, the teacher starts class by saying “Maybe you are faced with a daunting task, in your personal life or professional life, and the finish line seems so far away. What is the next thing you can do, to keep moving forward, and how can you do it best? And then what is the next best thing? And the next?” In a yoga class, the next best thing you can do is breathe, either in or out. And then the next best thing is another breath, out or in.
What about outside the yoga studio?
This is my last week at a job I have held for just over 13 years. After I turned in my notice, as I have tried to push files along to the next step, I’ve repeated to myself “What’s the next best thing?” because most days do not have a checklist with everything prioritized, and my job consists of many small (less than 30 minute) projects. So what is the next thing I can do, and how can I do it best? And then what is the next?
What about our personal lives? Is there a friendship that needs to be resurrected from the dead? What is the next thing you can do? Maybe a phone call? I know – scary. But if you do it, you are on to the next best thing. And what about the relationship that no longer serves you? What is the next thing you can do to let go, or end it? And how can you do that thing “best” – meaning with compassion and grace?
Repeat to yourself all day long – “What’s the next best thing?”
Gretchen Rubin ends each of her “Happiness” podcasts with “Onward and Upward.” I repeat that many times a day. Keep moving forward in the best way I can.
Great message. Especially when it comes to the scary, or hard, stuff. When I’m facing those situations, I say to myself, “I can handle one tough day,” or, “I can handle one sad day.” But it’s only one. And then I’m on to the next big thing.