Tag Archives: reaction

“That’s what I was doing!”

We were at a pool over the weekend and a child was getting a private swimming lesson from one of the lifeguards.  The kid was working to pass the deep end test but couldn’t quite get his backstroke right.  The lifeguard told the boy, “Point your toes, when you kick.”  The boy yelled, “That’s what I was doing!”  That is the point when the boy stopped learning and improving.  He was insistent that he was doing everything right, despite not getting the results he wanted.

How many times do we do that as adults?  Whether it is from a boss, spouse, friend or co-worker, how many times has someone given us a positive critic but we took it as criticism.  Sometimes it hurts to say that we aren’t doing something right.  Sometimes it is hard to admit that we need to do better.  Growth is hard but we can do it.  Sometimes all we have to do is listen.

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That’s a way?

Years ago my wife and I were walking on a trail. We just happened to be walking near a couple of women when the trail ended because of several fallen logs. They had fallen long ago and were overgrown. I could see the trail start again on the other side. My wife and I started climbing over the logs. One of the women pointed into the bushes to a trail that was so overgrown that we hadn’t even seen it. She said to her friend, “Lets go that way.”

Her exclaimed, “That’s a way?”

We lost sight of them as we climbed logs and they went into the overgrowth. A mile down the trail they came out of the woods about the same time and place as we did.

Their trail showed them different sights and gave them different challenges than our trail did. In the end we all had great experiences and reached similar destinations.

Don’t judge the trail others have taken, even if you couldn’t even see it in the beginning.  Don’t doubt that you are seeing a trail. Don’t doubt that you are on your right trail even when others take different paths.

A man died yesterday

A vendor wasn’t moving quickly enough and my customer was getting upset.  Manufacturing was having an issue and is was taking a frustratingly long time to fix.  Back orders were climbing.  My blood pressure was rising.

Then a man died.  I didn’t know him well but I liked him.  Near my age and otherwise healthy, he died suddenly.  He was but one of hundreds of thousands of people who died yesterday.  My priorities were wrong.  Yes, I will work with the vendor.  Yes, I will keep on manufacturing.  I will work hard and do my best.  No, I will not let it affect me in any other way.  My wife and kids are my priorities.  My own growth and laughter are my priorities.
Share is you know someone who needs to be reminded of their priorities.

Spring

I love the transition in the Northeast from Winter into Spring.  One of the first bushes to transition bloom with brilliant yellow flowers.  They tend to grow in clumps, so in a section of the woods that looks to be still in the middle of winter, a big patch of glowing yellow shines through the leafless branches.  Now other trees have started.  In another month, all of the trees will be covered in new light green leafs.

The woods will be in full foliage for about four months and then fall will come.  Then for eight months, the leafs will dry and fall off.  When I think of the Northeast, I’ll think of the trees with bright green leafs.  I don’t normally think of the leafs changing in the fall.  I don’t normally think of the barren trees of winter, even though the trees are leafless for much longer than they have leafs.  I could think of them but I choose not to.

We can choose how we think of things.  We can choose to think of them in summer or winter.  How do you choose to think of important events in your life?  Have you chosen summer or winter?  Does your choice serve you well?

 

Image from Our Great Photos.

https://ourgreatphotos.com/nature/green-alley-in-spring-park/

 

Just a little

Have you ever known the person who suddenly becomes a vegan, starts spending hours in a gym despite never being away from the couch for more than twenty minutes and loses twenty pounds in a month?  They look great.  They feel great and other than an annoying habit of talking about animal rights while you’re trying to enjoy a bacon double cheese burger, they seem incredibly happy.  A few weeks later, their running shoes are collecting dust, they gained back all of the weight and they are eyeing your bacon double cheese burger.

When you are looking to make a change, the most important thing to consider is how sustainable that change is.  Think of it this way.  If you are trying to save money, if you start putting away $1 a day, you are probably not going to notice it but after a year you will have saved $365.  Now if you go super aggressive and decide to suddenly start putting away $50 a week, you will notice it.  But if you are only able to keep it up for a month, you have only put away $200 dollars.  The little amount that you can keep doing makes a greater change than the a massive change you can’t sustain.

When you making a change in your life, start small.  So small that it is easily sustainable and repeatable.  Make it easy to do, so easy that you will barely notice.  Once you have secured that change, you can make the change even a little larger.  Not much.  Over time, these little changes will add up to significant changes over time.

Rightly timed pause

No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.- Mark Twain’s Speeches (1923 ed.)

While Mark Twain was referring to a pause in a play or story, a rightly timed pause is powerfully effective in many aspects of life.  

In conversation, most of us spend the time the other person is speaking planning what we are going to say next. Instead, listen to what the other is saying, pause and then respond authentically. 

When a boss just drops a bombshell on your desk, don’t go straight fight or flight. Instead pause, think about why this is happening and how this situation might be turned into a positive and then respond. 

Take the time. A deep breath’s worth. Take your rightly timed pause.  Your life will be richer for it. 

Rightly timed pause

No word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.- Mark Twain’s Speeches (1923 ed.)

While Mark Twain was referring to a pause in a play or story, a rightly timed pause is powerfully effective in many aspects of life.  

In conversation, most of us spend the time the other person is speaking planning what we are going to say next. Instead, listen to what the other is saying, pause and then respond authentically. 

When a boss just drops a bombshell on your desk, don’t go straight fight or flight. Instead pause, think about why this is happening and how this situation might be turned into a positive and then respond. 

Take the time. A deep breath’s worth. Take your rightly timed pause.  Your life will be richer for it.