“I Was Wrong”

Kelly Corrigan’s brutally honest book about twelve hard things to say includes great apology instructions.

Saying, “I was wrong” makes an “I’m sorry” so much more potent. “I’m sorry” gets thrown around so often that it tends to trigger cynicism.

“I was wrong” (combined with the specific error) brings relief to those who desperately need to know we get it.

It’s not easy to say. But, it is easier when we remember being wrong isn’t the same as being bad. We are learning. We are erring. We are sometimes blinded by our selfishness or our ego. We are human.

Let’s make June 2018 our best June ever…beginning with the apologies people long to hear.

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Sleep School

I almost went to bed troubled.

But, I remembered the suggestion of Dr. Joseph Murphy, author of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, and, instead, asked for dreams that would give me clarity and direction for helping people in my life. I woke this morning with:

  • specific instruction for specific people

  • important information about myself that I had previously ignored

  • peace for the future

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“It’s Just a Chapter, Not the Whole Story.”

Comedian Kevin Hart’s autobiography is brutally honest, often inappropriate but surprisingly full of insight. I might not agree with someone’s sexual irresponsibility or how often they use the “F” word, but, wow, I can still appreciate their journey and learn from their tenacity.

Kevin’s ability to start over after screwing-up is inspiring. Instead of wallowing in his failure, he reminds himself, “It’s just a chapter in my life, not the whole story,” and makes necessary adjustments. That’s how he became an “overnight success” (after sixteen years of stand-up).

Take-aways?

  • Laughing at ourselves keeps things in perspective.
  • Authenticity is our most valuable asset.
  • Nothing is wasted. All of our story has value.
  • It’s not over until it’s over. Hang in there.
  • “Working hard doesn’t mean you can play stupid.”

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When Being Depressed Is a Good Thing (Encore)

  1. When we have been brave enough to get real with ourselves – Sometimes the absolute shock of seeing ourselves sans the protection of our ego will initiate a mourning for our old, though totally inaccurate, self-image.

  2. When we have been kind enough to “weep with those who weep” – There is beauty in the gentle tread of someone willing to share pain.

  3. When we have been insightful and passionate enough to bear the weight of the world’s sadness – A Chicago Tribune reporter in Abraham Lincoln’s time commented, “…the man’s gloom came from a depth of character. His speaking went to the heart because it came from the heart.”

  4. When we have been honest enough to do the right thing in spite of the consequences –

Lincoln's resolve

Abraham Lincoln is my kind of depressed man.

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Duh. The Hurt Is Worth It.

While volunteering on a crisis line, a distraught young woman told me that her sister was locked in the bathroom trying to kill herself. I asked the woman if she could go to the door and tell her sister she loved her. There was silence on the line. Then, she answered, “I can’t. Our family doesn’t say things like that to each other.”

“Do you love your sister? I asked.

“Yes, but I don’t know how to say that to her.”

“Then say that, ‘I am so embarrassed and don’t know how to say it, but I love you.'”

Her sister came out.

Often, if we have to say embarrassing or awkward things, the place to start is with total honesty about what we are afraid of. Most people appreciate our vulnerability.

Our humility goes a lot farther than avoiding the truth ever will.

Fighting off “The Frightened Toddler”

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I love the accuracy of anxiety being described as a toddler. If I would have thought about this description last night at 3 AM, I would not have let my “toddler brain” take charge of my life. It would have made sense to quietly ignore the relentless insistence that I was wrong about everything and everything about life was wrong.

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(Click on above quote for more powerful info about fighting off “The Frightened Toddler”)

Bring Your All. Get Your Awe.

If you had told me I would be inspired by a guy who took great pleasure in arresting people and yelling M**F** at people all day, I would have rolled my eyes and mocked you. After reading his book and enjoying the heck out of it…okay…I might owe you an apology.

In this compilation of stories, Steve Osborne elevates the human experience down in the muckiest muck and the darkest dark with his crazy passion for his job and his absolute certainty that he was born to catch bad guys.

There is also the humor.

And the everyday redemption.

And the unpretentious vulnerability of a guy “with a high school diploma and a driver’s license.”

Listen to him tell the story. It will inspire you to bring your all to work today.

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The Girl Who Escaped ISIS

I didn’t expect this book to hit me between the eyes and challenge my status quo, but it did.

It starts off slow, but gradually lifts up a standard of courage, and somberly reminds that the Universe will come to the aid of the brave.

Only nineteen, but stubborn enough to reject defeat, Farida said, “Fear blinds us to possibilities.” 

Locked in a container in the middle of an ISIS war camp for many hopeless months (and vain escape attempts ending in brutal beatings), Farida discovered a hidden door they had previously overlooked. Then, using that door, executed a risky plan that saved her life and that of five other tortured and malnourished girls.

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Now, anytime I am tempted to chicken out or make excuses, I will remember her example.

Putting Ourselves to Sleep?

“If the individual receives no satisfaction from his work for its own sake, he dies internally, a condition which no financial reward can justly compensate.” – Timothy Gallwey

This quote describes the inner struggle I experienced while working to support my family in the wrong job.

Sometimes, for a season, many of us are constrained to do so. In those cases, rather than die inside…

  1. Don’t give up hope. When things were the darkest for me, it was because I believed having a job that fully engaged my talents was out of reach. (It wasn’t.)

  2. Be completely present. For the sake of those we serve. “The anecdote for exhaustion is wholeheartedness.” – David Whyte

  3. Challenge yourself. Character goals. Physical goals. Relationship goals. Efficiency goals. Success is sweet…no matter how small.

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This March…march into your best life.

When?

According to research presented in Daniel Pink’s book When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timingthe single best predictor of a good employee/boss relationship is how prompt the boss is at returning calls, texts, and emails. 

In my experience, it is also a good predictor of…

  • a successful client/vendor relationship
  • a happy romantic relationship
  • salesperson/potential customer relationship
  • any other relationship I can think of

I have met some very brilliant and interesting people, many with whom I would have loved to work or get to know better, yet, if they failed to show a sense of urgency, stood me up, or constantly rescheduled appointments, I moved on.

The most common excuse is “I am too busy,” yet, the best bosses (salespeople, partners, etc.) are never too busy for their priorities.

When we wonder why relationships aren’t working better, it might be good to start here.

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