The other night I was in the kitchen doing the dishes when a surprising book idea came to mind. At first, it was just a title: My Mom Was Right.
I laughed a little to myself and then dried my hands and walked over to my computer to make a note of it and see what other thoughts might come through.
“What would some of the chapters be,” I wondered, “in a book about how a decade of personal development, spiritual seeking and professional coaching has essentially led me to insights that my mom has been trying to teach me and my brothers since we were kids.”
The first chapter came immediately: “Attitude is everything.”
This is Mom Wisdom 101.
She would say it at times when I was angry or frustrated about some situation at school. She would say it when I was complaining about other people’s decisions and behaviour. She would say it while she was battling breast cancer.
And it wasn’t some kind of positive thinking trick or a way to avoid the reality of difficult situations. My mom has always had this amazing ability to see opportunities in every situation.
Although we cannot control everything that happens to us and in the world around us, my mom taught us that we can choose our attitude. For her, a creative, optimistic and opportunistic attitude was key.
After I let my mind follow that train of thought for a while, I noticed more chapter titles coming through. In about 30 seconds I had this whole list:
- Be kind to your brother
- Think before you speak
- You get out what you put in
- Say thank you
- Don’t forget your father’s birthday
- Put a little elbow grease into it
- Slow down
- Pull up your socks
- You’re not done yet
Each one of these phrases evoked powerful images in my mind. Stories I could tell from my childhood, beautiful moments of discovery over the past decade—on my own, with loved ones and with my coaching clients.
Seconds later, the final chapter came to mind:
- I love you
My mom was right.