I have recently (within the year) been introduced to the concept of "just for today". Sometimes I make it "just for the next ten minutes", but the idea is the same.
For years, I have tried to change myself. I have tried to be tidier and more organized. I have tried to be more patient. I have tried to be quieter. I have tried to be more (insert just about every desirable quality here) and less (insert every UN-desirable trait here). It seems like I have spent my entire life trying....
I don't fail anymore. I figured something out, something that I knew in my head for lots of years but was never able to really believe: I'm human. That means I make mistakes. That means that - even with the best intentions and hardest work - I will never be perfect.
So I quit trying (and failing), and I started doing. One day (or 10 minutes) at a time. Oh, I still screw things up. I still say the wrong thing at the wrong time, or forget important steps when doing a project. I still yell when I should give myself a timeout to calm down. Even with all these mistakes, I still have entire 10 minute periods of time (and the rare full day) when I do everything I could wish from myself.
It's amazing how easy it is to succeed when your expectations are changed. I don't expect myself to do every thing right every day. I set little goals for myself that have a time limit and a definite focus. More often than not, I can look back at my day and see that I did accomplish those goals. If I didn't accomplish them all, it's no big deal. I know that I will have another chance tomorrow to achieve whatever goal I set for myself, whether it be listening patiently to Little Sprout's long, involved stories for a full ten minutes.... or cleaning the house... or accepting life/people as it/they come.... or getting on the treadmill of misery for half an hour.
It's all about the attitude folks, and I'm sorry it has taken me over 30 years to figure it out. I stopped paying attention to how far from perfection I am, and started focusing on all my positive traits and accomplishments. That change in attitude makes all the difference in the world.
~....And that's all I have to say about that...~