From the Publisher - July 2015

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness…” 
—Audrey Hepburn

One of my all time favorite quotes is “Change your attitude, change your world.” I live by these words because I believe they hold the secret to happiness. You see, the trial and tribulations that cross your path in life isn’t what defines you. How you deal with it all is what defines you. And, the good news is you have a choice in how you react and move through life. 

I want to address a trait that is definitely a choice. Unfortunately, it’s a choice many women have said yes to, but need to rethink. I’m referring to finding fault in others. Of course we all can find fault at times, and it’s super easy to find fault in ourselves—especially when looking in the mirror—but there are those who find fault in everything. I’m sure you know someone like this, and hopefully, it’s not you.

Here’s the deal: You can’t find joy when you’re busy finding fault. If you are an incessant fault-finder, not only are you tearing others down, you are robbing yourself of joy. I repeat: Robbing yourself of joy!

A fault-finder is one who can’t be pleased with anything or anyone because their eyes, ears and mind are working full-time to dwell on what’s wrong, instead of what’s right. Here’s an example (I’m going to pick on my mom, who at times is very good at finding fault in me): Recently, I had some ferns planted along the deck in my backyard. I asked the gentleman who cuts my grass to plant them because they had been sitting on the deck for two weeks. Low and behold, they were planted when I got home that afternoon. I was thrilled! It was one more task off my to-do list and it added ambiance to the landscape. I actually took a moment to sit on the deck and enjoy the view, which included my now happy, cared-for ferns.

My mom, on the other hand, was not so happy. She was with me when I bought the ferns and was returning for a visit a few weeks later. I knew if those ferns were not in the ground upon her return, I would hear about it. I solved the issue. I got it done. Except…the man who planted them did not get his ruler out and measure the exact space in between each plant. One of them was visibly off center. Mom didn’t berate the guy who planted them; she berated me for accepting such and not getting out there to fix it.

In the past, as a younger woman who hadn’t discovered that perfection is a sham, I would have run outside and started digging. But I didn’t. I told Mom I didn’t care. I said I was happy and at least the ferns weren’t dead. 

While the “Whatever” she threw at me was cutting, I let it roll off my back without a knick. Success! But, only partially. I still wished Mom could find joy in things, even if they aren’t perfect, and I still secretly yearn for her full, genuine, all smiles approval even in my 40s. It's OK though, we are both still works in progress, and even at age 84, my mom admits to learning new life lessons everyday. I seriously think she too, will give up on perfection any day now. Maybe I am the one who is supposed to show her the way.

Here’s the thing, though. When you fault find, not only are you robbing yourself of joy, but you also are seriously tearing down your victims—yes, they are victims! What would it take to look for the good instead of the bad, the wrong and the ugly? Just a slight shift in what you look for is all it takes to start fresh. 

Have you ever noticed this phenomenon? Say you never see red Volkswagen Beetles, but then you buy one and you see them everywhere? It’s because you’ve put red Beetles on your radar. It’s not because there was a sudden onslaught of sales. The same thing happens when you begin to see good. You see more good. That’s how fault-finders became fault-finders in the first place. They start looking for bad and get more bad until bad is all they can see.

Truth is, you find what you seek. If you are constantly seeking fault, then you are going to lead a faulty life filled with mistakes and weakness. Synonyms for faulty are bad, defective, flawed, imperfect and on-the-blink. Are you a fault-finder? If so, stop it. Start practicing seeing the good. Give people compliments. Smile.

I have to believe that no one wants to be a fault-finder. They are probably that way because someone found a lot of fault in them. Give someone a break today. Find the good in them and tell them. Find the good in yourself and acknowledge it. That one little shift will actually make your world more flawless…and there is no fault in that. You can just say, “I woke up like this.”

Think Pink,
Elizabeth Millen

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