Stop Crying Over Spilled Milk!

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” Denis Waitley

I can be very clumsy at times. A few nights ago, I poured a tall refreshing glass of milk to drink with my dinner. During the process of picking up the glass of milk and getting it to my mouth, I felt the cup slipping out of my hand.

I tried to stop it from falling, but to no avail. The glass of milk slipped from my hand, hit the counter top and fell to the floor. There was milk all over the counter top, wall and floor.

If you have ever spilled your milk or any drink, you will immediately notice that it does not neatly puddle in one spot. It will spread all over the counter, table or floor. Spilling your drink can make a big mess.

I must admit, I almost cried when I spilled the milk because that was the last glass. I had been anticipating it all afternoon. After a few minutes of heartbreak, I realized that no amount of wishing or crying was going to bring the milk back. I moved on and poured a glass of juice and ate my dinner.

That night I had a revelation. There were some spilled milk situations in my life that I was wasting time crying about that I could not change. It was time for me to get over them and move on. I was hindering my future progress because I couldn’t let go. No matter how much I cried I could not get a redo.

Don’t get me wrong it is okay to cry when bad things happen to you whether you caused it or not. But, after a while you have to decide to stop crying and get on with life.

Here are four action steps that you can take to empower you to stop crying over your spilled milk.

1. Pay close attention to what you are doing. If I would have been paying close attention to what I was doing instead of watching television, I would never have spilled my milk.

When making important decisions you must take time to gather all the pertinent information and evaluate it. Don’t rush into anything without first checking how the decision will affect everyone involved.

I remember the instructions my father gave me when he and I were building a wall. He said, “Measure twice and cut once.” Don’t over analyze the situation, but have enough information to make an intelligent decision.

2. Immediately clean your mess. I immediately cleaned the spilled milk. If I would have waited, the milk would have went under the refrigerator and dishwater making a bigger mess.

If there is a mess in your business, marriage or life, you don’t have to wait until tomorrow or next week to start the clean up. You can start immediately to keep the mess from infecting other areas potentially causing more collateral damage. Whether you need to apologize, ask forgiveness or change directions an immediate clean-up will position you to move forward.

3. Pour another cup. After I cleaned my spilt milk, I poured a cup of juice to drink with my meal. I could have kept crying and complaining about the spilt milk and missed the enjoyment of my dinner.

If you insist on crying and complaining about what occurred yesterday, you will squander your today and forfeit your tomorrow. You cannot change what happened in the past, but you can learn what to do or not do and avoid another incident.

4.  Enjoy the experience. After I cleaned my mess; I poured a cup of juice, ate dinner and enjoyed the evening. I was not going to let the spilled milk ruin a beautiful evening. I knew the next day I was going to buy a gallon of milk and have another cup of milk. I called that next cup of milk, another chance.

 If you have made some bad decisions or something happened that is not your fault and God gives you another chance, do not let a previous spill stop you from enjoying the new experience. Do not let a past mistake, others opinion or negative thoughts hinder you. Recalibrate your thoughts, restructure your plans, take action and enjoy the experience.

Question: What past sins or mistakes do you need to let go and move forward? Leave a comment below

Bernard Haynes is the CEO of Lead to Impact. He is the author of Vision Impact!, Goals Matter! and It's In You to Win. He teaches and trains individuals and organizations using his inspirational, interactive and instructional EmPowershops. His life assignment is to help bring out the color within people lives by encouraging, equipping and empowering them to realize and live out their God-designed vision.

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    Bernard, great analogy to put that together like that. I too use events that happen in my life to blog about its so refreshing and the writing of it comes easy. I need get over some things and its my sweaty palms. My wife tells me I just need to move past it and have faith. I need to grow in that area. Just the other day, I read a bible story to my daughter about Jesus healing the dead girl and also the woman being healed by touching his garment. Increasing faith is a must.

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      Thanks for the comment Lincoln. Has your wife been talking to my wife. There are some things that I struggle with that I need to let go. We grow in faith by reading the Word of God and obeying what He says. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • http://theregoi.com/ floyd

    I hate it when that happens!!! And it’s usually when it is the last of anything! I have to admit for me my first response is anger. Not good.

    I like the power of your free will that you chose to use in wisdom. Then turn it into a life lesson! Nice job and analogy for all of life. We can break down most things that happen like this…. Sometimes it takes a wise man to remind us… Thanks, Bernard.

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      Thanks for the comment Floyd. i am glad my clusminess was able to bless you.

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Do the hard work!
    Anything worth doing is worth working hard for.
    Cleaning up messes isn’t fun, but it’s important for building a solid foundation to build upon.

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      TC, thanks for you insight. Most people don’t want to do the hard work. They do nothing but blame their messes on someone else. The time spent blaming someone or making excuses can be spent cleaning up the mess.

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com/ Lincoln Parks

    This is like an ongoing process Bernard. When you talk about letting go its a difficult thing to do because you keep thinking about mistakes you have made. I try start each day as a new day and go from there. As long as we have God and great people along with us for the ride each day works itself out from what I am seeing so far.

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      Lincoln, you are correct it is an ongoing process. Most people give up on their vision because of the ongoing process. They want it to be a sprint, when it is a marathon. With God’s guidance and great people in your corner, you do awesome things. Also, Linclon are you up to writing a couple contributor posts to my website. The focus is dealing with some aspect of personal. How you overcame an obstacle to live out your vision or what do you do to work through your vision when fatigue or fear tries to undermine your progress.

  • http://lifesignatures.blogspot.com/ Lawrence Namale

    Haha, sounds very ‘duh’ but pouring another cup is major! Absolutely major! Thanks for sharing this ‘comeback’ article. Am blessed.

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      Lawrence, thanks for your comment. It is major to pour another cup. Most people spend too much time crying over the spilled milk instead pouring another cup and enjoy the new cup of milk.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    It’s so important to repent and forget about our past sin/mistakes. When we repent God has forgotten about it, but we can often go back and feel guilty about it. That will only hold us back from where God wants us to go. Great post!

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      Dan, you are correct about the importance of repentance. God forgives us, but we want forgive ourselves. It will hold us back every time.

  • http://sukofamily.org/ Caleb

    It really is easy to get caught on those mistakes of the past and not be able to move past them. I find that what helps me get up, clean up and move on is realizing that ultimately I’d never get anywhere if I didn’t make mistakes and Jesus has them covered.

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      Caleb, thanks for adding to the discussion.

  • http://ayearofproductivity.com/ Chris Bailey

    I’ve found that #4 on the list is what has worked the best for me. I heard from David Allen (who wrote Getting Things Done) that 80% of what you say to yourself in your head is negative, so I think enjoying the experience is key.

    I personally believe that things don’t go wrong–they just go differently than I expected them to. I try to be as mindful as I can, but when I do slip up and drop a proverbial glass of milk, these days I just laugh at how things went :)

    • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

      Chris, thanks for your insight. I like your take. Things did not necessarily go wrong they just went differently than I expected.