I whined about my workload more times than I can count. Once, when I said, “I’m the only one who ever does the dishes around here,” someone responded, “So, don’t do them anymore. I’d rather have a dirty kitchen than be around a martyr.”
Although, not the answer I was going for, he had a very good point. No one enjoys the poor-little-me martyr. Setting boundaries and agreements is a much better option.
In offices and homes all over the world, people are getting bitter about other people not shouldering their fair share of the work and carrying around bitterness about it. That bitterness infects and dismantles relationships, contributes to ulcers and illness, and sucks the fun out of any environment. I’m not advocating rewarding irresponsible behaviors, only managing them productively.
Tell people what you need.
Agree on a plan.
Set contingencies for exceptions and failures.
Follow through without drama.
“You learn something new every day.”
That’s easy to say, but, can we prove it?
There are many “knowers” in the world. Fewer learners.
Real learning involves using information.
So, a New Year’s Challenge to myself and whoever wants to take on a 2018 adventure:
Record What We Learn Everyday and How the New Information Will Be Used
Try it for a week. In a journal, notebook, Word doc, OneNote, or, even on your calendar. Make a point to record what you learned. (I’ve been doing this and it is harder than I thought it would be, but, wow! it has been worth it.)
Jan 1: I read a Brene Brown quote: “We orphan all the parts of us that don’t meet up to the ideal.”
My application: Use the quote this week to remind me not to be so hard on myself.
Happy New Learning Year to all!
Right before bed, I had a very troubling phone conversation.
My first thought was, “I won’t be able to sleep.”
My second thought was, “If I manage to get to sleep, I will have terrible, turbulent dreams.”
My third thought was, “My life is a speck on a speck that will be over in a flash. Worrying about a speck in the life of a speck on a speck in a galaxy that is a speck in the universe is insane!”
I smiled at myself for trying to control another speck on a speck, turned off my thoughts, and went right to sleep.
When I woke up blissfully rested, I thought, “Not so bad for a speck on a speck. I think I’ll try that again tonight.”
People often tell me they are good observers of people while they make uncomplimentary comments about random passersby and complete strangers. Here’s what I think when I hear their self-assessment:
uncomplimentary elements can be noticed by anyone
brilliant elements will only be noticed by exceptional people
When we make the effort to focus on the brilliance all around us, light will begin to bubble up within, reducing the urge to draw attention to the defects in others and increasing the urge to highlight the beautiful wherever we are.
Want more light this holiday season? Find it in others.
What is weighing me down and keeping me from sailing?
What do I owe others so I know for sure which direction to sail?
What good can I do as I sail along my way?
These questions and the actions I take to answer them determine how I live.
Whether rooted in my childhood or my DNA, concerns about how others perceive my worth have fostered all manner of irrational behaviors, such as making sure people don’t discount me because of what I drive, what I wear, where I live, or (oh so sadly embarrassing) what phone I use. I have made significant progress here, but still catch myself slipping into this worthless pattern in my thoughts.
Once I realize I have descended into this dependence on peer approval for sheer banality, my only way out is to read Rumi; “All doubt, despair and fear become insignificant once the intention of life becomes love.”