Even if you don't golf, you probably have heard the term "mulligan." It is essentially a do-over. It is giving someone a second chance to make a decent shot.
Everyone needs a mulligan for something - maybe many things.
In the month known for new beginnings, second chances are the most valuable ingredients for success. Have we ever known anyone who did not need a mulligan? I'm thankful to know I need mulligans, to recognize I've had many, and to expect I'll continue to stand in line for them. I did not always.
Most of us, but sadly not all, will recognize we need mulligans to get through life happily. Those who don't believe they are sometimes wrong stand out in their misery. I say misery because that is what thinking we are never wrong leads to. We can't accept a mulligan if we don't know we need one.
useless if getting one
simply means getting a second
chance to do the same dumb thing
over again. When we learn from our
mistakes, we do something different,
and we are grateful.
It is so simple to accept a mulligan that my heart cries for those who can't recognize they need one - or many. The biggest sign is thinking we are always right and everyone else is always wrong. That simply leads to misery.
Mulligans are useless if getting one simply means getting a second chance to do the same dumb thing over again. When we learn from our mistakes, we do something different, and we are grateful.
Happiness is recognizing how many second chances we really need, and how many we should be giving to others. A caution: if a golfer asks a loved one to give them a mulligan, they might add, "And I won't golf every Saturday!" In other words, note that they don't want a second chance just to continue the same behavior every day. They recognize golfing every day was probably a bit selfish, and they will occasionally spend time with a loved one instead. Or, if one is about to be let go from a good job, one can ask for a mulligan, saying, "And I won't complain about having to take out the trash."
Let's think about what isn't working in our lives, fill in our own blanks for what we commit to change, ask for a mulligan, and then really do something different that will change our lives. If we don't know what we are doing that can't be tolerated, we can ask what we did wrong. Mulligans are most gladly given to those who recognize that they made a mistake.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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