“I’m the Only One Who Ever Does the Dishes Around Here”

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.

Solution:

  1. Tell people what you need.

  2. Agree on a plan.

  3. Set contingencies for exceptions and failures.

  4. Follow through without drama.

Goodbye martyrdom!

Image result for whiners quotes

Image result for whiners quotes

Reflect & Reignite – 2018

Good practice!

Leadership Strikes

As we head into what will prove to be an exciting 2018, I wanted to reblog this annual practice reminder in hopes that it will prove to be helpful to readers…

As each year ends, my wife and I go through an exercise wherein we review our journals from the prior year, reflect on what we have, and in some cases have not, accomplished.

The end goal is to establish what our “top-ten highlight reel” might look like for the year gone by…we are typically amazed by all that has been achieved.

A post-exercise routine of comparing our respective “top-tens” is not only fun, but also provides a barometer for how well our values and beliefs are aligned, i.e. what’s truly important to each of us. It further reinforces the many blessings we have in our livesand the people and events that are shaping our destiny.

Further, this practice helps to create positive feelings and an…

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New Year’s Challenge: Prove It.

“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.

Image result for we learn something new everyday quote

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.)

Example:

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!

Lots of Underappreciated People

My year-end review for 2017 includes making a list of all the people who helped me get where I am today.

So far, I have one-hundred and forty names down with their specific contribution to my training, support, and development.

Yet, that list doesn’t even include all the underpaid public school cafeteria workers who put up with my constant complaining about the affordable food they prepared, or the people who had to pick up all my stinky trash, or the water-treatment plant people, or the linemen who worked to keep me from bitching about no electricity during the ice-storms, or the mechanics, road builders, and grocery stockers with invisible faces who kept things running for me.

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Appreciation routine:

  • Start the car: thank the assembly line worker

  • Drive: thank the laborer who built the road

  • Turn on the radio: thank the engineer

  • etc., etc., etc.

What My Gifts Are Not

It is obviously important to figure out one’s gifts and to use them to benefit others.

I may not have complete clarity about what my gifts are, yet I know for sure that my gifts are not…

  • nagging

  • controlling

  • manipulating

…even though those behaviors appear to be my default settings. And, even though, I seem to think that using them will actually benefit someone.

Image result for nagging quotes

When in doubt about my contribution to the people in my life, I cannot go wrong by contributing patience and love.

The Important Work of Controlling a Speck on a Speck

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.”

Brilliance Everywhere

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

Image result for finding good in others quotes

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.

Slave of Banality or Not?

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.”

 

Image result for fear of looking insignificant

Image result for fear of looking insignificant