Don’t get me wrong, being grateful has a lot of good in it. The problem is that if we are only paying attention to what is going well, we tend to put the things that aren’t working out so great on “repeat” and never resolve those issues. I am talking about being aware of even the tiniest adjustments that would completely improve our day. Want more blessings than you can count? A Mulligan Book can get you there. Let’s go!
Here’s why I think we all need a Mulligan book. While discussing a work project with a friend of mine at an old job, she wrote the following equations on the whiteboard:
1 + 2 = 3
2 + 1 = 3
Then she posed this question to me: “If you want a different answer than 3 what do you need to do?”
Ahh… simple, “change one of the numbers in the equation” I said.
To which she replied, “Yes! The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different outcome.”
It was a great lightbulb moment for me, but also made me wonder “what things am I doing over and over again that need a different outcome?”
That quandary takes me back to being on the golf course with my Grandpa. When I was in high school and college, we used to play a round of nine frequently and it was always FUN – which arguably is why we kept going back and played through the summer. It wasn’t the stressful type of golf where a few bad swings and the wrong breeze can set you in to depression for days. This is where my Grandpa introduced me to a Mulligan, and now I wonder if he ever knew how much that lesson taught me!
Here’s how it works. You step up to hit a great drive and then find out you’ve sliced or shanked your way into the woods, or worse you land yourself in one of those troubling sand traps. Now you’re feeling like a real failure – and maybe you are only on Hole #1. If you are playing with my Grandpa, he might just casually toss your ball back on to the fairway and not count your stroke. “But Grandpa, I can’t do that!” I would say. “I want to play fair.” Then with a Sinatra smile (although Frank wasn’t his favorite) he would say “Nah, that’ll be a mulligan,” as if the two of you were party to a great secret together.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, basically a “mulligan” is a fancy word for taking a “do-over.” In my mind, it’s extra special though and should be treated as such. You can’t just take mulligans all day long and get away with it, you have to take your gentlemanly second chance and make something of it! The whole concept that you can give this small gift to someone, or gift it to yourself, is revolutionary to me. Life is full of “shanks and slices.” It’s up to us to decide whether we want to straighten out our swing or not.
How to Create A Mulligan Book
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Pick yourself up a small, leather (or faux leather) notebook. They have a lot of them online and at TJ Maxx. Actually, you can really use any type of notepad for this project, or even your phone or tablet, but from my experience, a little leather notebook will give you the extra confidence you need to be successful. I have no idea why, but for some reason many of the great mentors I have had in my life carry tiny, leather notebooks. I’m not sure if small, leather notebooks attract genius or if they build it, but in any case, you’ll never find me far away from a mini leather notebook these days. Just…in…case it’s going to help lean my life towards the genius side.
As you go through your day, write down all of the large and small trials, tribulations and mere annoyances that get in your way in your Mulligan Book. Chances are that all these things are causing a little voice in your head to doubt yourself – ex. You’re soaking wet because it was “sunny with a side of sun” on your way out the door, so you left your umbrella. Now you’re drenched at a baseball game, and for the next two hours convincing yourself that you are a complete idiot for not packing an umbrella. I mean really, how can you be a graduate – and live in Oregon – and not have an umbrella on hand at all times?? What a loser you are!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
At the end of the night, review your “mulligans for the day” and write down how you might fix them in your notebook. Now’s your chance to change the equation, make any adjustments, prepare to drive the ball to the green! Example – Pick up an extra umbrella from the drugstore (hopefully it’s a cute one!) and leave it in your car. Heck, grab two if you need one for the office too. The point is, it doesn’t take much work to fix small things, and larger things are something you can chip away at. All of the changes we make, no matter how minuscule, are going to bring us to a different, better outcome.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay
Have a great day and get back to counting your blessings. Hopefully you have more of them now!
I really like the way that Wikipedia describes a mulligan as … “a second chance to perform an action, usually after the first chance went wrong through bad luck or blunder. It’s best-known meaning is in golf, whereby a player is informally allowed to replay a stroke, even though this is against the formal rules of golf.” Here are a few more mulligans I took this week, sshhh, don’t tell!
- I had to enter my e-mail address in to a bunch of forms this week and “waahh” I was crying about it, because I have a pinched nerve in my neck. I did some online checking and found a quick fix for the iPhone, which allows you to create keyboard shortcuts. When I type my initials now anywhere on my phone, it replaces the text with my full e-mail address, which shaves a little bit of time off my day. For me, I need every bit of time I can squeak out to add up to a fistful.
- My son comes out of baseball practice completely hungry and thirsty, but it’s only 10-15 minutes to get back home. It might seem lame and I’m not proud about it, but up until now I’ve handled this by speeding. Lately there has been a lot of construction though in our neighborhood though and it’s making for a longer drive and unhappy riders. Mulligan moment… just need to pack a drink and a snack in the car to quench thirst and settle a sports appetite.
- Occasionally, we need to take our kids out of school for games, orthodontist appointments, etc. When we do, the automated school attendance system very systematically reminds us every hour that “a student in our household was absent today.” In the message is the call back number (which unfortunately is wrong). Historically, I have continually called the phone number in the message and received the same pleasant, albeit slightly frustrated, lady who receives these calls and very patiently repeats the accurate attendance call-back line number. Yes, I do call her over and over. Finally, I wrote it down in the Mulligan book! The next day I added the real attendance line in to my phone contacts. Yay – one small step for Womankind.
As you might have guessed from my examples, I have a fairly lengthy Mulligan Book myself this week. Hopefully yours is shorter than mine.
I realize some days bummer things are going to happen that can’t be fixed, as in the picture above where my son encountered a giant Nutria on the golf course. Still he made the best of it that day and now it makes for a good photo story that we can laugh about now.
Cheers to great mulligans and changing things up!