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Mom’s Sunset Rule

My mother taught me a critical lesson.  Well, of course she taught me many critical lessons, but there is one that continues to enter into my consciousness regularly.

Recently, I reminded my daughter of this lesson as we were hiking in one of her favorite spots in Bozeman, MT.  I was taking a picture of an immense and lovely view.   I turned to Piper and said, “Now Grandma has a rule about taking pictures or looking at lovely views.”  As is Piper’s nature, she just waited for me to finish the thought. “It is the rule that you turn 180 degrees because it is just as beautiful behind you.”  We turned around and were of course rewarded with an equally impressive Montana BigSkyMountain view.

When my mother actually told me that rule, we were looking at an amazing sunset over Lake Champlain.  I have come to appreciate, however, the flexibility and value of applying that rule to most things in life, including a journey, a challenge, a misunderstanding, leadership, etc.

Facing an upcoming interview is daunting. A belief that the hiring boss has already decided on a different candidate can be crippling. This is a perfect opportunity to use “Mom’s Sunset Rule.”  Turn around and face the journey taken to get to that opportunity of applying for the position in the first place.  Regardless of what may or may not be true or what may or may not happen, use the beauty of the construction of that journey to continue to propel forward.  None of us can ever know what ripples get cast with each step taken towards the horizon, with each choice made, with each challenge faced.  Look 180 degrees behind for the beauty that is there and the lessons gathered along the way.  Use everything which designed that path to help navigate the one ahead.  Turning 180 degrees might show an alternate path nearly hidden and is not too late to follow. Designing the path or exploring the alternate one allows your masterpiece to radiate from the trail.

When faced with a challenge, turn around and look at the beautiful events that created it. Let those pieces be the guide in painting a better possibility.  Help others to turn around when faced with a challenge so the mosaic of the path behind can be the guide to finding another possibility.  The physical act alone of turning around will generate a new perspective.

The one thing Mom let me discover on my own about this rule is that oftentimes the view when I turn around is more lovely than the one before me.


1 Comment

  1. Very profound Peggy – thanks for sharing!

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