Yesterday was a long, difficult day for me. It involved an early morning shift at Starbucks, an afternoon class at UCSD, and a series of papers to grade in the evening. All day long, I kept looking for a window to write about inspiration before I realized: I simply wasn't inspired to write yesterday. Of course I was inspired by a series of events: two students asking me to write them letters of recommendation, one paper that I read blowing me away with insight, a conversation with my cousin that brought me back some remembrances of comedy from my past… But sitting to write a blog felt like a chore rather than a pleasure.
At first, I caught myself "guilting." In other words, I told myself, "You said you were going to commit to writing a blog daily! Don't fall to the temptation!" And that almost worked. I almost cranked out some real shit for you folks.
But then perspective set in. My promise to myself was about committing to the craft of writing -- not being a robot. Since I have made this promise, I have written a little bit every single day. Even yesterday, though I did not write a blog, I outlined a story. In short, looking at the big picture, taking a day off did not have a negative effect whatsoever.
This is similar to so much we do in life. In friendships, we fall short of our own expectations sometimes. In love, we fall victim to mindlessness in our interactions. In work, we half-ass a task. But if we maintain the proper perspective, we might see that -- over the long-term -- these slip-ups are natural. They are what make us human.
I'm not endorsing laziness. I'm also not suggesting you should be apathetic about the mistakes you make. Rather, I'm saying that any time you fail to live up to your expectations; any time you stop short of the greatness you seek; any time you tell yourself you should have done this or that… step back and look at the situation with perspective. Is your trajectory still trending where you desire?
Someone once told me that an airplane flying from California to Hawaii is actually off-course for 98% of the trip. It either goes above or below its intended tack. However, the destination ends up on point. This is the same with life. As long as we're moving in the general direction that we seek, there will be times when we fly above or below our ideal trajectory.
Knowing that we will eventually land on the right runway, we need not worry.