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When You Know Better, You Do Better

 


 

 

"Do the best you can until you know better.

Then when you know better, do better."

Maya Angelou

 

Oprah talks about this quote from her treasured mentor as one of the greatest lessons of her life.

 

It’s a powerful concept.

 

  1. It lets your past self off the hook

I truly believe we do the best we can in any given moment. It’s not always pretty, but given the circumstances exactly how they were, we did the best we could. Now what? Learn from the past and do things differently next time.

 

  1. It lays the foundation for self-forgiveness.

Without compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and our actions, we can’t accept, learn and grow. Destructive behavior without growth would be a tragic missed opportunity.

 

  1. If we can generate compassion and forgiveness for ourselves, we can do it for others.

            This is how we heal the world.

 

  1. It requires we take responsibility for our actions.

Boom. We have to see and acknowledge our choices then keep moving forward.

 

Certainly we can apply these lessons to big moments in our lives when taking responsibility and forgiving requires great maturity and strength.

 

But they are equally effective for the smaller, daily decisions we make.

 

Our food choices, for example.

 

When it comes to food, we’re doing the best we can in any given moment.

 

Depending on your emotional state, the state of your kitchen, your finances, your energy, your hunger, the cookie on the counter may feel inevitable.

 

Ok.

And then . . .

 

Learn from the experience.

See it as an opportunity for growth.

 

Acknowledge, forgive, tweak and choose differently.

 

The best way to consistently be aware of your food choices is . . . Writing It Down.

Logging.

Tracking.

Food Record.

Whatever you want to call it. Write down your food.

 

We can’t know better if we don’t “know” in the first place.

 

So this is a plea to keep a daily food log.

 

Use a pencil and paper or an app (I love My Fitness Pal).

 

There’s so much to learn from seeing what we actually do.

In fact, it’s the only path to change.

 

Just ask Maya and Oprah.

 

 

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