Do You Test Yourself Without Even Knowing It?

July 10, 2012 — 4 Comments

My wife has been asking me to change the fluorescent bulbs in our kitchen for weeks.

When did I choose to do it?

Today.  When nobody else was around.

Of course.

Change us, Ryan!

I’m curious what those who really know me would say, but I don’t think I’m very stubborn.  That said, it seems I choose to test myself on a regular basis.  So, when I got home today, I looked up at that dumb, flickering fixture on the ceiling and decided it was time.  My first concern was the giant glass cover, so I pressed my finger tips to it softly and pushed up ever so gently.  It was plastic.  Hallelujah.  I set that aside and got working on the 48″ bulbs.  I twisted and pulled, twisted and pulled, each time expecting them to shatter.  Thankfully I got them out and only broke one small plastic piece that seemed inconsequential to the whole operation.  Then, as quickly as I started, I put the new bulbs in, the cover back on and voila…let there be light!

It’s not something I consciously choose to do; this self-testing.  I only notice it when I look back on it.  I could always ask for help, but I rarely (if ever) do.  Shortly after changing the light bulbs, for instance, I dumped a 50lb bag of softener salt into our water softener.  I’ve always done it myself even though it’s challenging.  Why?  Because it’s just a part of life.

My bet is that we all test ourselves sometimes.  Usually without even realizing it.  And that’s good.  It means we’re growing.  It means we’re continuing to push our limits.  Sure, sometimes it’s because we’re stubborn or we’re embarrassed, but I think that’s different.  There’s a difference between performing when the pressure’s on and testing your own abilities.

I have two challenges this week:

1.  Look back on the last couple of months and see if there’s an area or two in which you’ve been challenging yourself.  Maybe you haven’t realized it at the time, but looking back you see a trend.  Identify it and own it.

2.  Once you find that area, get intentional.  Maybe it’s wanting to eat better or exercise more.  Maybe it’s wanting to read more or watch less TV.  Whatever it is, make one intentional goal this week.  Something challenging, yet doable.  And then, next week, celebrate the success and choose something else.

Success is fun.  And exciting.  Even doing something as simple(ish) as changing fluorescent bulbs can give you some satisfaction!

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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I'm a husband, a father, an author, a speaker, a friend...all kinds of things, actually.

4 responses to Do You Test Yourself Without Even Knowing It?

  1. I test myself by trying to make my life as easy as possible.

  2. I know how you feel – I had a stroke a couple years ago and lost the use of my left side learning to walk again was very hard and scary and I often wished my left hand and arm had come back before(even instead of) my left leg I hate the burden this has placed on my husband in particular,so
    i try to ask for as little as possible though he tells me I’m being silly, he’s happy to help and has been a saint through it all, noc I could walk w/o the cane my happiest moment was bringing HIM a cup of coffee for s change typing is still very difficult for me to do w/o typos – how do you manage it?

    • Your husband sounds like a great guy, Lisa. 🙂 Your happiest moment of bringing him coffee made me smile. I hear you about the difficulty with typing. It’s different for me since I grew-up this way, but it’s still a challenge. I’m going to be making a video of how I do it soon! Stay tuned!

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