I was cleaning my kitchen floor today and it occurred to me that there are many life lessons to be learned from this activity. This might seem a little strange but stay with me, it does make sense in the end.
What are some things that are a given with a dirty floor?
It is a task that will never really be finished.
It doesn’t matter how well you cleaned the floor today, it will need doing again very soon if it is to continue looking nice. It’s not something that you can do once, cross off the list and never think about again, ever. That floor is something that will constantly need work. Yes, this can be annoying but it’s not unlike many other things in our lives.
What would happen if we thought that eating healthy food was something that we could simply do today and never again, would that be the best thing for our bodies? Can we put in a mammoth effort at the beginning of a relationship, practically ignore that person thereafter and still expect it to work out? Will spending hours deciding on our goals for the future achieve anything if we never look at them again?
Very often we expect to be able to do something once and reap the rewards forever. This is the case for very few things. Anything that is important requires constant attention to keep it running smoothly.
Tip- Work on it often and it will stay in good shape.
If you spill something on it and don’t clean it up straight away, you will have a greater mess to deal with later.
When one of the children spills Coke on the floor, ignoring it will not make it go away. That little spill will get very sticky, attract dust and be incredibly tempting to ants. Leave it and you may find yourself spending hours on pest removal when you could have spent seconds with a wash cloth.
In life it is very tempting to ignore things hoping they will go away. Ignore that funny sound the car makes when you turn the corner and end up with a big repair bill. Ignore the deadline on a work project and end up working late into the night to get it finished. Ignore problems in your relationship and end up a single parent. It is far better to face pain in the short term to avoid larger, longer pain in the future.
Tip- Face your problems sooner rather than later.
As soon as you have cleaned it, someone will walk on it with dirty boots.
Isn’t it always the case that just as you think things are running smoothly, life with throw you a curve ball? Maybe you’ve just got your finances on track and the car breaks down, leaving a hefty repair bill. Perhaps you are about to leave for a family holiday and one of the children gets appendicitis. These types of things will always come to try us.
There are a few ways we can react. We can fuss and scream and cry about it or we can take steps to set it right. The floor will need to be rewashed, the money will need to be found to pay the bill, the trip will have to be cancelled. Once we have solved the initial problem, the next thing is to take steps to try and prevent the situation happening again. A boot rack might be installed outside the back door, an emergencies only savings plan might be started, the next holiday might be taken out with travel insurance. The important thing is to learn from these situations and make a plan to prevent them happening in the future.
Tip- Fix the problem then work out how to prevent it happening again.
So what life lessons have I learned from my dirty floor?
1) I will give the important things in my life attention every day rather than just focussing one mammoth effort on them every once in a while.
2) I will take action to fix problems as soon as they arise, not leave them to grow larger while they are being ignored.
3) I will take steps to prevent the same problem occurring again in the future.