"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


Monday 5 Things…..Breaks…..

I had a very different preamble planned for this morning, until last Saturday afternoon. After a jaunt to the local grocery store, I opened my trunk and thought, ‘I can carry ALL of these grocery bags AND the case of Pellegrino up the stairs in one trip’. Apparently, I have so little time on a Saturday to actually make two trips. That said, I loaded myself up. About two-thirds the way up the stairs, I hit a riser with my toe, creating a most awkward spin that my back completely disagreed with, letting me know of its dispute with a loud ‘pop’. Did I drop everything and grab the handrail? No. That could have broken the eggs and the glass bottles of my acqua. While attempting to recover from the spin, I went over on my ankle, falling backwards onto the landing, said case of Pellegrino landing firmly on my chest. I would have screamed in pain, but the last time I had the wind knocked out of me was in high school, on a football field. I lay there, my mouth soundlessly opening and closing like a red snapper on land. My ankle had colored up with the most wonderful, yellow, green and black bruises by Sunday morning. Nothing was broken other than my pride and the overpriced water that I flung across the foyer in my panic to breath. And the eggs – a complete loss. And that my friends, leads me to this morning’s M5T about avoiding breaks.

1. Don’t break your leg by jumping to conclusions.

Avoid gossip and get the facts first. Slow down before making a bad decision. Ask before assuming. Look for the bigger picture, and recognize there is always, always two sides to a story.

2. Don’t break your arm by patting yourself on the back.

Be sure you really know the music before you blow your own horn. There are healthy egos, and there are unhealthy egos. Know the difference; foster the former and purge the latter. Big talk can lead to big embarrassments. Adhere to the adage that less is more.

3. Don’t break your back by carrying unnecessary burdens.

Learn to say no. Delegate and outsource when you can. Recognize that someone else’s situation, behavior, or problem is not yours to fix. The author George McDonald said, “No man ever sank under the burden of the day. It is when tomorrow's burden is added to the burden of today that the weight is more than a man can bear.” Learn to rest; physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Know where you place your faith and then genuinely lean on that Faith. Make two trips to the trunk for groceries. Just checking to see if you are still with me.

4. Don’t break your mind by worrying.

Accept that there are some things that you have no ability to change or influence. Focus on the things that you can alter, that you can correct. Starting with yourself. Don’t ignore your behavior; be aware of depression. It’s real – seek out someone you can trust to talk about it; please. Replace fear and anxiety by stepping out and taking a risk. Your past moments of shame, guilt, and remorse are a part of your life, but you are the one person that can refuse to let those memories define who you really are.  

5. Don’t break your heart by holding grudges.

You will break some hearts and others will break yours. Embrace the sorrow and forgive where you can. Compassion will always outplay anger and hatred. Trust will always conquer fear.  Loving, singing and laughing are three of the best antidotes for a broken heart.

Here’s to a week of avoiding bad breaks and being aware of good breaks that have yet to come into your life.

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com