Do your best, forget the rest

Something happened to me the other day that I’m still thinking about.

And I thought I’d share it.

Not because I feel like ranting about it.

Ok, maybe just a little. Or at one point, it felt like a rant but now I've... evolved.

But mostly because it illustrates a point I think is important.

I had pulled my truck into the parking lot of the local grocery store, and coincidentally, I pulled in next to a neighbor of mine.

As I got out of the truck, he was getting in his. And as we wrapped up our "how're you doings," and he prepared to drive away, he said...

"When's the last time you washed that truck of yours?"

I think he was trying to be funny. And ok, the truck was a little grimy. But what surprised me was my reaction.

I steamed about it the whole time I was walking up and down the grocery aisles.

To make matters worse, the distraction meant I forgot some things I was going to get at the store and I had to make a second trip back after I got home.

I've been busy.  Times are crazy right now. And the world is a hot mess.

So there were things that were more important than washing my truck, right? And what business was it of HIS in the first place?

Eventually, I reached the conclusion that if my neighbor has the time to worry about my truck being dirty, that's his problem, not mine

I knew all this inside already of course. But the comment still bugged me.

My point is: to survive in this world, you have to care less about little encounters like this. Set aside the trivial things that irk us every day.

You have to know who you are and yes, be OK with that.

Caring less will protect your sanity. (And prevent second trips to the grocery store.)

But I don't mean being "careless" when I tell you to "care less."

Careless people are negligent. Complacent. They don't pull their weight. They don't respect others. They don't see their role in being a part of a team, a family, a congregation, a community, a country.

But being a little more carefree is the opposite. It's caring about the stuff that actually counts.

And kicking to the curb the stuff that doesn't.

My dad used to say "Do your best and don't sweat the rest."

I wish I could remember that all the time.

Because once you know what you value, you can decide what to care more about. 

And where to care less.

This is the ultimate in personal freedom.

Doing the things that feed you. And setting aside the minor nonsense that doesn't.

Something to think about.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

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Jack Ritsema - October 12, 2021

Great thought, Jeff, yesterday (Sunday). One other thought came to me on that incident. Maybe your neighbor just cared about you and that your truck, being in Florida salty air, would rust out faster if it isn’t washed regularly. Perhaps he just had your best interests at heart. It’s a thought that may help you avoid the irritating thoughts and emotions doing you harm and instead put a sense of gratitude in your heart for your neighbor. Still your point about not letting the little things dominate your thoughts which ruin a chunk of your day is very good. Thanks!

Barbara Breuer - October 12, 2021

Beautiful illustration of who we need to be! Thank you and God Bless you!

Jill Bielanski - October 11, 2021

Thank you for that great message. I will try to keep it in my brain.

Russell Poerner - October 11, 2021

It’s refreshing and unique to find a company that values at least one day a week to stop, reflect and give back in a non-commercial driven motive. The products I’ve purchased have been well used and practically drive and FUN to use. 4 Patriots has been more like a friendly family member when calling customer service and the presentations of products in your commercials. Keep it up!

Linda Libby - October 10, 2021

I just read today’s message and felt it was exactly right on! We sometimes get caught up in everyday issues that are bothering us, a person or situation comes up and we may take it the wrong way. There are so many issues to deal with for almost 2 years now and it is hard to get away from it at times.

I had retired just as Covid started in our area in 2020. I had worked hard but enthusiastically and as the only woman in a typically male dominated Park maintenance position. I endured starting as a volunteer to become a seasonal employee and then full time in 3 years and got special vehicle and equipment licenses so I could become a working supervisor. I did all the labor maintenance work that everyone else did for over 29 years.

I also started a beautification program of 70 sites and about 150 planted beds and a couple employees and I worked with over 200 different adult and children groups of all ages at different times of the year.

My belief has always been that anyone can do something useful and be proud of that, no matter how small it may seem.

It was so fulfilling working with so many different people from different walks of life! I learned as much from them as they learned from our work and as the public drove by or happened to walk by they were thanked for their hard work and making everyone feel good!!

I keep remembering all that and try to keep all that in mind as I get through my recent trying times. I experienced a total loss fire of my manufactured home 3 months ago and lost almost everything. I only saved the things in my shed and things that were on a porch. I was home relaxing watching tv, hottest day of summer and things happened fast and I only got out with my cell phone and the clothes I was wearing. I couldn’t get to my car keys or purse as the black rolling smoke was so thick I couldn’t see my hand in front of me.
It got crazy and hard for me to except what was happening. My neighbors were so good to me and offered all kinds of things to me. I had no shoes and they gave me some. The fire fighters were so great that once they got the fire under control, one person went in to find my purse and my keys and they had just started to melt but retrieved all my personal information.
I finally found another home in the same Co-Op and have been working with everyone concerned and my insurance company has been wonderful!
I had someone I needed to contact almost daily or something I had to do ASAP for the follow through. I am still trying to purchase furniture and the Covid situation and all the forest fires and storm damages all over the US has delayed so much and can’t get things made or delivered for a month or 6 weeks.

On a good note, I had purchased many things from 4 patriots and thank God they keep track of the items I bought. I asked for a print out of as many food items they had listed and I had purchased so I could give the letter to my insurance and the insurance company has reimbursed me for those foods, now once I get time, I will buy those items again. I did save most of my batteries and Solar power packs.

So… we must all appreciate what we have and try to except those not so nice situations that arise and if everyone “pays it forward “ as often as they can and to be there for each other when we can, life will go on.
For the most part we must be in charge of our own happiness and of our loved ones.
Sincerely, Linda

Windy - October 10, 2021

Thanks for sharing Jeff!never stop learning,it’s everyday process!

Maylin B Ashe - October 10, 2021

I have a file on my computer that has all the emails you ever sent me. I have enjoyed so much reading your comments, opinions, family news, your products and how they can help us, and lots more. I feel like I know you and you have become a friend of mine. Yours emails are priceless. Your products are out of this world. My last purchase was 2 water pitchers. I am enjoying them so much. I already had the big container for filtering water. I just wanted to be able to carry the smaller pitcher with me when we travel. I have not had tap water for years now. I take my glass full of your filtered water with me everywhere. I feel like it is necessary for my good health. Thank you for all you do for us. AND thank you for your thoughts each time you write to us. Like I said, they are all in a file and I get to look up all of them if I want to find something I remember you saying.

Maylin Ashe

Sandy - October 10, 2021

Point well made! Good advice!

C.W - October 10, 2021

That was good advice. It would take awhile for me to get there, too. It’s even harder when you are an adult and your parent still says things like that. My f-I-l spoke that way to my husband; often! In fact, it’s much worse when you never hear any praise from them—just snarky criticism. We both grew up that way—no positive affirmation voiced right to our faces. Makes me feel “less than”. I’m sure if that truck was shiny clean it still wouldn’t bring a positive comment…(in my head I can hear “how much time did you waste shining up that truck of yours?”

I really heap the praise on my grandchildren ….maybe it’s true that this stuff skips a generation. I hope people respond to what you wrote by “speaking life” over everyone they know, whenever they give a response.

I’m almost seventy years old and I have to constantly bring myself to the present and ask myself how I want that person to feel because of the encounter we had. A good word, kindly spoken, really makes the world a better place and it’s how I want to be remembered.

Trudy Finn - October 10, 2021

Dear Mr. Regan,

I just wanted you to know that I look forward to “Sunday Thoughts” with the same enthusiasm that Baloo (my Husky) looks forward to soft ice-cream cones and, as Ellie’s pop, I know you can fully appreciate canine excitement.

I have a thought. Have you ever considered putting the best-of -the -best “Sunday Thoughts” into a book? Perhaps you’re aware, or perhaps not, but Jackson Brown did a similar thing for his son Adam who was heading off to college. Subsequently, “LIFE’S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK” became a best seller.

Your Sunday Thoughts are equally engaged and engaging and would likewise make a wonderful gift, or a thought provoking nightstand, READ just after awakening each morning or just before falling asleep.

In any case, please keep them coming.

All the best,
Trudy Finn

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