What to get it right? Get it wrong first.

What are you kicking yourself for not being happy about? Are you miserable in your career and feeling stupid for picking that profession? Are you suffering in your relationship or are you convinced you’re not destined to be with anyone? Have you experienced a failure and are thinking that means you should give up? Maybe you should feel encouraged, instead.

Behavior writer James Clear argues that getting it wrong is not only not the end of the line, it is a necessary part of the process. Look back on past attempts, such as the first person you dated, and judge whether that particular success would have been appropriate for your life now.

Here’s a quote from his piece, then click on the link below to read the full article.

Choices that seem poor in hindsight are an indication of growth, not self-worth or intelligence.

Read the article: Your First Choice is Rarely the Optimal Choice: 5 Lessons on Being Wrong | James Clear

One reason lack of success feels so difficult to accept is because society can equate failure with shame. You didn’t just make a mistake; you’re simply incompetent. The problem is with you, not your actions. No one wants to be a “failure” or a “loser,” those who simply can’t get anything right. At least, anything that counts.

Some people do fail over and over without reflecting on why things aren’t going right, without learning from their mistakes and making course corrections. These are not good examples to follow. However, if you’re learning from your mistakes and that translates to practical changes, you’re not in this category. Keep learning, keep reflecting, keep evaluating your needs, wants and goals. Really get to know yourself and your abilities, both your strengths and areas you could strengthen. This will help you to embrace the teaching power of failure.

Should you avoid celebrating Mother’s Day?

Writer Anne Lamott recently posted on her Facebook page about how she hates Mother’s Day, something she wrote about that Salon published in 2010. Read the article on either site. She explains why she loves being a mother but taught her son that he isn’t under any obligation to honor her on this one day in May. Among her thoughts:

I hate the way the holiday makes all non-mothers, and the daughters of dead mothers, and the mothers of dead or severely damaged children, feel the deepest kind of grief and failure.

Her opinion has drawn a variety of sentiments that range from “thank you for saying this” to “stop being a killjoy.”

It’s an alternative perspective worth reading for those who are not mothers and who do (or did) not have good relationships or memories of their mothers. It’s also worth reading for those who celebrate motherhood because of another point she makes: Honor those who deliver the caring of a mother figure, but don’t depend on a holiday to do it.

Do you call up mom on, say Oct. 16, just to thank her for having sacrificed so much so that you could have a good life?

Do you give flowers to the woman who did not give birth to you/your child but who does provide love, guidance, time, and sacrifice?

Do you make time for brunch on a Sunday in January or September with someone who has been a positive, maturing influence on you?

Do you teach your children to express appreciation for what is done for them on a regular basis, not just when the “opportunity” of a holiday comes along?

When Mother’s Day marked 100 years as an official holiday in 2014, National Geographic published an article looking at its origins. The woman who campaigned for its recognition as an official holiday, Anna Jarvis, did so after the death of her mother, whose campaigns against war and disease inspired Mother’s Friendship Day gatherings after the Civil War. Herself childless, Anna wanted to encourage individuals to show appreciation for their own mother. She came to hate what Mother’s Day had become, with its commercialism, and ended up fighting to abolish the holiday. She lost money in legal battle, and even her freedom when she was arrested disturbing the peace at a convention. Odds are good she would agree with Anne Lamott.

Things to ponder: In general, what do you think of Mother’s Day? If you celebrate it, what would it be like if you decided to not celebrate it? Do you think society has a wrong view of the generic value of women who have or have not had children? Mother’s Day aside, have you or would you do something to show women who do not have children or who are not close to their mothers that they are valued?

Would your children trust a stranger with a puppy?

A video published recently illustrates how easy it is for a stranger (with a puppy) to lure children away from their parents at a playground. It’s been viewed nearly 4 million times and is a good warning to be alert to danger and to emphasize to your children what they need to do to stay safe.

Children depend on adults for everything, from what they eat and where they sleep to comfort and entertainment. Young children don’t know enough to tell the difference between an adult who is just being friendly and who would hurt them. Keep an eye on your children at all times, as it takes just a short distraction to give a predator opportunity. Child Find of America notes that “most abductions occur within a few blocks of the victim’s home – even their own front yard – when the child is left alone and unsupervised. See the website for prevention tips.

You can also find out information from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.