You're sitting at the staff meeting, and someone mentions a wonderful website they've discovered. Except you're the one that told him about it.
You're enjoying time with friends and someone announces the closing of a favourite retail shop. Except you're the one that told her about it.
You've been there, right?
It happens to all of us. In this day of constant "news", it's hard to tell what you heard/read and where it was. A conversation? An eavesdrop in line waiting for your latté? On Facebook? Twitter? Where the heck was it?
You can imagine how I felt recently when I saw a photograph that I had taken on someone else's Twitter feed. A flash of emotions. Confused, annoyed, violated, yes!
I sat down at my laptop and started to look for the photo, through thousands. Yes, we were walking. Yes, I back-tracked to set up the shot. Yes, I ...think it was mine. But without the proof, what could I really do? Was it this year, or last? Was it in town or on a travel?
But then I had to stop.
Time that I could have better spent, I spent in futility. Gone. Wasted.
I remembered taking a mindful journey with my pal Leo Babauta (no, he doesn't know we're pals). A 44 Training Program - Turning Uncertainty & Discomfort into Mindful Openness. On Zen Habits, you will see an Uncopyright page. When I read it for the first time, I was surprised. "Attribution is appreciated but not required." Wow, fearless and generous.
Although I completed the 44 Day Training some time ago, the value of the practice stayed in my life. Each day we try to do our best, reflect, share, provide a model for others and grow. And then one day you are given a test.
Have I ever not intentionally done the same thing? Have I used someone else's words as my own? Have I forgotten to give attribution? Have I mistakenly used someone else's ideas?
I am not famous, or outstanding. I do not have thousands of readers each week or do podcasts. I am just me, learning and being tested in the most interesting ways.
Breathe. And Share. Thank you Leo, for teaching me this.
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