Summertime traditions. Fireworks. Corn on the cob. And in our family, rounds of putt-putt golf. I love all of these. But I especially love golf. And I especially especially love one specific part of golf—the mulligan.
The origin of the term is a bit hazy, but the intent is clear. A mulligan is a chance for a golfer to take another shot without counting the first. It’s the occasional opportunity to say woah—I want to start over. I want to rethink it. Take a different stance. And try again.
Mulligans are important because we want to learn. And we learn best when we can retry something right in the moment.
Mulligans matter. They are great on the golf course.
They are even better at home.
Because at home we can not only take mulligans, we can give them, too. If your preschooler tosses a toy half way across the room when they are supposed to be putting it away on a shelf you can say “Toys are not for throwing. Want a mulligan?” If your middle schooler goes from sass to screaming in the midst of a conversation you can say “Louder and meaner doesn’t get your point across better. Would you like a mulligan?”
Mulligans are about high standards and high compassion. Mulligans are how we offer grace. They are acts of teaching and acts of kindness.
This morning at my house a moment happened and mulligan was exactly the antidote we needed. It felt so great to give permission to reset the entire situation and start over again.
Each day this week, look for opportunities to offer mulligans. Step away from the pattern of going straight to consequences and instead put in a pause. Allow everyone the chance to improve. To name the mistake, reset, and learn. To try again. Offer mulligans liberally, generously to all of those around you. And, especially especially to yourself.
Mulligan. A do-over shot in golf. A new household word for wisdom.
- Want to go back and (re) read Week One? It’s all about belonging.
- For Week Two it is about listening to our own voice and the owl outside my window.
- Rubber Ducky, you’re the one (and how we watch our emotions, instead of get hooked by them) for Week Three.
- And the importance of yams (and letting go of what we expect will happen) for Week Four.
- I love hearing from you. And I’d love to know all about your summer so far. You can send me an email, or join the facebook conversation here.
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