I'm finishing a set of Sunday posts that have revisited the ideas Tony Schwartz offered in "Turning 60: The twelve most important lessons I've learned so far". This week, I'm considering the last of Schwartz's observations:
Savor every moment — even the difficult ones. It all goes so fast.
At first blush, I struggled with the idea of savoring the difficult moments. Trials and tribulations may be unavoidable, but I wasn't sure I needed to embrace them.
Certainly, there are other aspects of Schwartz's advice that are consistent with an ability to savor the less appealing moments. Earlier, I'd written about his call to "notice the good", as well as the idea that "nothing valuable comes easy". In that latter post, Schwartz claimed that "discomfort is part of growth."
But it's his first observation, "The more we know about ourselves, the more power we have to behave better", that best conveys why we need to embrace both the good and the not-so-good. Schwartz wrote:
"We each have an infinite capacity for self-deception — countless unconscious ways we protect ourselves from pain, uncertainty, and responsibility — often at the expense of others and of ourselves."
I'm not particularly accomplished at savoring the difficult. I avoid, I flinch, I hope for another way out of uncomfortable situations. Maybe a lot of us do.
Avoidance comes at a price, most visibly in the moment, but less visibly in the way it limits personal growth. I don't know that I'll be dramatically different the next time I face a difficult moment, but I can try.