Can we begin again?

Can we begin again?

Have you had your fair share of “false starts”?

Perhaps you wanted to cultivate a mindfulness habit or wanted to workout consistently…

Maybe you wanted to start reading more or launch a passion project…

Yet your excitement for your goal always fizzles out after a few days or weeks and you stop making progress. So you end up feeling frustrated with yourself and your lack of follow-through.

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Every time we break our promises to ourselves (e.g. not following through commitments, series of false starts), we erode our self-trust.

We begin to deem ourselves as hopelessly unreliable and inconsistent. Eventually we just believe that lie and think there’s no use in trying anymore.

But that’s not true at all. Here’s a helpful video on rebuilding self-trust, little by little.

I first heard the term “false starts” from my creator friend Gab who encouraged me to keep writing despite me always breaking my writing streaks. A few weeks after that conversation, I stumbled upon Muchelleb’s YouTube video that briefly talks about it too. In this video she says,

“False starts are not the end of the journey—they are part of the journey…Reframe false starts as a natural and normal part of your journey.”

Some of the areas where I’ve had false starts include:

  • Working out
  • Waking up early
  • Publishing newsletter issues consistently
  • Writing and publishing my thoughts daily
  • Journaling and reading the Bible alongside devotional plans

Every time I break my streak, I used to beat myself up about it.

Now I just remind myself to keep going, to try again—because false starts are part of the journey.

False starts aren’t signs that you’re failing—they’re indicators that you’re trying.

And that’s worth something.

Welcome to newsletter edition #1 of Get Your Life Together—a candid, creative, and chaotic newsletter for young adults putting the pieces of their lives together. Did a friend forward this to you? Subscribe here to get the next issue.

🍎 Health / Mental Health

I messed up this year. Real bad.

I made some real big mistakes I thought I’d never do again, had fallen back into unhealthy patterns and cycles I thought I’ve gotten over, and hurt both myself and someone else in the process.

In the aftermath of it all, I was drowning in self-blame. Self-loathing. Deep, deep regrets.

I couldn’t recognize who I’ve become—no, that’s not accurate. Because I could recognize who I’ve become: I ended up reverting to the version of myself that I worked so hard to heal and leave in the past.

Until this excerpt gave me a new perspective about personal growth and learning:

“When you know better, you do better.”‌‌‌‌

I love the phrase, and at the same time, I always want to add a footnote to it…‌‌‌‌

The reality is that a lot of the negative choices we make are repetitive. Particularly when we’re stuck in a pattern of addiction (to a person, food, alcohol, work, etc.)— we already know better.‌‌‌‌

Growth looks like two steps forward and five steps back sometimes.

Healing isn’t linear or iterative…‌‌‌‌Healing is a process, not an event, and in the process of healing and learning, repetition is important.‌‌‌‌

Different iterations of the same lesson theme show up repeteadly, and each time they do, you understand the lesson a little more completely…That’s how learning is supposed to work.‌‌‌‌

The fact that the learning process involves a lot of repetition is frustrating. We hate repetition. We automatically assume that repeating our mistakes means we’re failing…‌‌‌‌Repetition can also mean we’re learning.

If repetition weren’t necessary for our learning, that would mean we were robots."

Excerpt from THE PERFECTIONIST’S GUIDE TO LOSING CONTROL: A Path To Peace and Power by Katherine Morgan Schafler

📕 Wealth

“You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time.‌‌‌‌

Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect, and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency and of the most thrilling actuality. All depends on that. Your happiness—the elusive prize that you are all clutching for, my friends!—depends on that.‌‌‌‌

Strange that the newspapers, so enterprising and up-to-date as they are, are not full of "How to live on a given income of time," instead of "How to live on a given income of money"!”

Excerpt from How to Live on 24 Hours a Day by Arnold Bennett

Here are some interesting articles on building a rich life:

How We Spend Our Days Is How We Spend Our Lives: Annie Dillard on Choosing Presence Over Productivity
“The life of sensation is the life of greed; it requires more and more. The life of the spirit requires less and less.”
How to Live on 24 Hours a Day: Arnold Bennett on Living a Meaningful Life
Arnold Bennett’s How to Live on 24 Hours a Day explores a meaningful life by addressing the age-old question: how can we make the best use of our time?

🌹 Relationships

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‌If you can’t view the Instagram post above, it’s Selena Gomez singing a part of her song “Boyfriend.” The lyrics? “I want a boyfriend.” Stitched to that clip is a video interview where Selena says, “No, I didn’t really mean it though. Guys are a lot of work.”

Seriously, though. Relationships—may it be platonic, romantic, or familial—take work.

All my life I thought relationships just happen. And if it’s not working out, if it’s not easy all the time, perhaps it wasn’t “meant to be.” Maybe we made the wrong decision.

And while that may be the case sometimes, it could also be a copout.

When conflicts arise, when we don’t see eye to eye on a certain matter, when we’re getting on each other’s nerves—does it automatically mean a relationship’s doomed? That we should cut our losses and run?

I used to think so. Not very proud of this, but I had a habit of breaking up with a partner when we start having problems thinking, “I should leave before I get left.” I’m a Chandler.

But I’ve learned the hard way that leaving or cutting people off at the first sign of conflict isn’t always the only option (except when there’s abuse, too much toxicity, or major incompatibility).

There are actually tools to help us understand each other better, communicate more effectively and compassionately, and make room for our relationships to flourish. If we’re willing and commited to see it through, we’ll find a way to make it work without losing ourselves in the process.

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Here are some of the books that have been helping me unlearn all my unhealthy/skewed perspective on relationships.

Their insights are also applicable to platonic and familial relationships, not just romantic ones.

💭 3 Things to Ponder On...

Verse: "In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation." — 1 Peter 5:10
Quote: “While there might be things about you that need improvement, that doesn’t mean that you are not a lovable, worthwhile person. In fact, it takes a lovable, worthwhile person to become willing to grow and get better.” — Susan J. Elliott
Journal Prompt: If cameras and social media didn’t exist, how would your dream life look like?

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