The Rule of the Exception

Oak and Ash

Oak and Ash (Photo credit: Let Ideas Compete)


I just wrote an email of encouragement to my wife, Jen.  We started this habit 8 years ago.  Once a week, on Wednesday, we email each other encouragement.   There’s enough encouragement to make a book.

The encouragement is a great way for us to refocus on what we like about each other, love about each other and want for each other.  It’s a great way … until that day that’s too busy.  Those times when I say to myself, I can’t right now … I’ll get to it later.  The days when I lay my head on my pillow and think, “Crap!  I forgot to send encouragement!”.

We do it with our diets… just this one time (except it’s 4 times a week), our exercise habits, our relationships … I’ll call my friend tomorrow, to our work — I wouldn’t start my day with email, but this is important.

So goes the lie.  This is different.  I’ll make an exception.

It starts as an exception.  It’s just this one time.  Until it’s just one more time.  Until it’s just one more time.  Until it’s just not.  It went from being the exception to being the rule.

Commitment is impossible when the exception becomes the rule.  We become a leaf blowing on the breeze instead of an oak rooted in the ground.  Leaves dry and crumble. Oaks endure.

You could be the exception to the rule.  The outstanding marriage, the 32 inch waist, the regular happy hour with a friend who talks about more than the weather, the entrepreneur who makes the impossible possible, the employee who’s satisfied and sets the bar for everyone else.

Are you letting your exceptions be your rule?

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