Stay in the Gray

I have the tendency at times to see things as either black or white…no real in between. When I recently began taking a hard look at myself (seems like a daily practice these days), I only wanted to either speak about deep, meaningful things or play hard. Nothing else.

However, it was recently pointed out to me that, by taking this approach, I would be missing out on an entire segment of life. By limiting myself to experiences that existed only at one of the spectrum or the other, I was excluding all of the other life experiences (and all of the other people) that are somewhere in between the two. I was missing all of the gray. And life is FULL of gray.

Admittedly, this was hard for me to come to terms with at first, but now I wholeheartedly agree. If we think that there’s only one way to do things, that things are either black or white, it makes it difficult to see all of the other ways we can reach our goals. This means losing out on some amazing opportunities in our lives, solely because we couldn’t see the gray.

Think about this in regard to your own life. Is there some area where being a little more open-minded could potentially help you progress? Some area where changing things up from doing things the way you’ve always done them could possibly result in a better outcome?

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, how many times have you made the commitment to only eat healthy foods and exercise religiously six or even seven days a week? And how many times has just one slip up, just one cookie or just one missed workout, sent you on a downhill spiral of guilt and shame, ultimately causing you to give up on your goal of a smaller pant size completely?

On the flip side, what do you think would happen if your approach to weight loss was a little more gray? Maybe if you made it a point to allow yourself a dessert every now and again or a slice of pizza on a night out, you wouldn’t feel so deprived. Perhaps if you aimed for exercising four or five days a week—which is still way better than not working out at all—it would be an easier schedule for you to maintain.

By letting yourself live in the gray, you’re able to take the obstacles in your life and find ways to overcome them. You don’t get so caught up in doing things one certain way because that’s how you were taught or that’s what your parents did or that’s the only way you know how to do them.

Instead, you’re able to look at the situation through glasses that not only let you see straight ahead, but that strengthen your peripheral vision too. You still see the black and white, of course, but you’re more sensitive to the gray. To the many shades of gray. Maybe 50 shades? To all of the options that exist before you.

As you move forward in your life, look for your gray. It’s one of the healthiest colors. And that way, you won’t miss a thing.

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