The day after Thanksgiving I put up my Christmas tree.  Five strands of lights and a couple of boxes of ornaments later, I was done and very pleased with the outcome.

The next evening when I went to plug in the lights, I noticed one of the five strands had gone out.  The thought of taking it all down to fix the strand did not seem appealing, so I moved a couple of the live strands around to fill in some of the holes. To me it looked okay and I went on with my evening.

By the next evening, it began to bother me that the tree was “just okay.”  I became restless, as I could no longer ignore the dead strand of lights that wound around the tree.  This holiday comes only once a year and it made no sense to settle for less than awesome.  I decided to get a big box from the basement and began taking all of the ornaments down so that I could remove the strands of lights in order to fix the one that had gone out.

I sat on the floor, patiently testing each bulb until I found the one that wasn’t working.  It was such a thrill when I found it and the whole strand lit up again when I put a fresh bulb in.  While I was at it, I checked the other strands, too, and replaced several bulbs until all the strands were shining their brightest.

I put the strands back on the tree; then re-hung all of the ornaments.  Suddenly the tree looked extra amazing!  Fixing the one strand that was down, plus the addition of the other replacement bulbs made the tree shine brighter than ever before.

While the whole process of dismantling the tree to check the lights took some time and effort, it was so worth it to have created an outcome that I am now able to fully delight in.

Are you are settling for “just okay” somewhere in your life?  You’ll know that you are because your own light will be dimmed. You can go on living this way, shuffling around the light you have left to hide the holes in your tree, but you know the holes are there.  You can never lie to yourself and get away with it.

If you’re reading this and a truth-bomb just went off in your head, maybe it’s time to address it.  Perhaps the best gift you could give yourself this holiday is investing the time and effort in finding out why you’re settling for less and then changing the thinking that’s causing you to do so.

Think of your brain as a strand of lights and your thoughts are the bulbs.  Locate the thoughts that don’t serve you and replace them with thoughts that do.  When you think thoughts that serve you, you’ll feel better; you’ll take appropriate actions; and you’ll create better outcomes for yourself.  The truer you are to yourself, the brighter your light will naturally shine.

But first, you are going to have to believe that you deserve better and I am here to remind you that you do.

You deserve better than “just okay.”

You deserve the effort it will take to change the story you’re telling yourself that’s making you settle for less.  That old story is a lie.  The truth is that you are worthy of the best in all things great and small.

Listen, just as the holidays come around only once a year, YOU come around only once a lifetime.

You only get this one life to live.

It makes no sense to settle for less than awesome.