This Way

I have a very worn little picture taped up to the inside of my cupboard door. It's a photo of a wooden sign; an arrow at a fork on a path somewhere in Japan. But the arrows point in both directions and the translation reads, "This Way."

What an odd sign. When I first saw it, I wondered what it meant. Then the obvious hit me. I presume there is only one way: The sign presumes there are two. Duh.

There can be two ways to the same place. Ever feel tired and drained? There are two paths to feeling good and having more energy: You can do a little less or you can enjoy a little more. You get there either way.

Do a little less because having too much to do is a second-rate experience. It drains us. Drained, we are far less efficient. It makes the condition worse. So instead of doing 15 things poorly and in bad spirits, cut it back to 12, do them well and in good spirits. Do a little less.

But it also works to enjoy yourself a little more. Take good care of you. What recharges your spirit? What relaxes you? What indulgence strengthens you? Care for your body. Improve your surroundings. Learn about what interests you. Appreciate yourself. Why? Because the better you feel, the more you have to give. Your boss gets more work. Your mate gets more love. Your kids get more smiles. You get a better life.

And it creates an upward spiral. The better you feel, the more you get done. The more you get done, the better you feel. Next time you find yourself on that downward spiral of stress, halt the descent by taking both paths: do a little less, enjoy a little more. Go "This Way." Your chances are twice as good of getting there.

Klassy Evans is the editor of Principles For Personal Growth, and the co-author of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English) and Fill Your Tank With Freedom.

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