WANTED: Immediate Opening

Where do I apply? How hard can it be?

When it feels like no one is minding the store, somebody has to do the job. And, the way we talk, you’d think we could do a better job, right?

But, here’s a thought: when our lives go caddywampus, rather than spending time railing against the seeming lack of God in the universe, maybe it would be better if we simply tried to fill the (perceived) empty position instead, doing merciful “God stuff” for each other.

Oh, man, what does God require of thee but to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly?

Or, we can be an April Fool and keep telling God what to do.

I Am Enough. You Are Not.

I am enough not because you failed and that makes me feel better about my own success

I am enough not because I didn’t get caught doing something that you were caught doing

I am enough not because I have the power to make you feel small

I am enough not because I have more friends, money, education, talent, smart kids, hair, or possessions than you have

I am enough not because I embrace diversity and you don’t

I am enough not because I care about animals and the poor and you don’t

I am enough not because you are a narcissist and I am not

I am enough not because I make you appear to be less

I am enough.

You are enough.

“State” Change?

At six in the morning, I waited for a convenience store to open in Perth, Australia and was greeted by a cheerful clerk. Walking in, I complimented his rare early-morning joy. He responded, “I just moved here from Palestine. It’s very easy to be happy when I can come to work without being shot at on the way.”

A good perspective check for me.

People who have endured near-death experiences frequently face life with new gusto. The delightful clerk had to move out of his “state” to appreciate what I was totally taking for granted.

When I need to “up” my state of awareness and appreciation for life, I remember that clerk. That’s a lot less stressful than running from snipers.

Were They Engaged?

Were they engaged?

Ok, I know it is close to Valentine’s Day, but I am not referring to that type of engagement.

This is about knowing the difference between the people who really care about what we are saying and the people who are only politely pretending to care.

It has taken me far too many years to notice the difference, but finally doing so has made a profound impact upon how many words I speak.

Formerly, I would just keep talking long after someone had stopped listening because I was too insensitive or naïve to notice. What a waste for everyone!

Engagement makes life worth living. Wait for it.

Save the airspace.

Just in Time “Magical” Insight

Many years ago, I interviewed for a regional management position.

I expected the pat questions.

Instead, the interview was, “Prepare your action plan and present it to our leaders.”

What??!

They gave me an hour to prepare. At minute 53, I was sweating profusely over a blank sheet of paper.

At minute 54, after a desperate prayer, I noticed their strategic vision statement on the wall.

At minute 60, I had crafted a presentation to match that statement. They offered me the job.

Often, the key to magical communication lies in understanding the audience.

In relationships, I often skip that step and my words skip over them like a well-thrown rock across a pond.

People listen when, before opening our mouth, we replace our…

  1. timing

  2. approach

  3. point of view

  4. preferences

  5. fears

…with theirs.

When You Realize You Overestimated your Studliness

 

(You have not experienced true fear until a poster falls down in the middle of the night. Courtesy of http://www.keepinspiring.me. )

Because of my personal experience with this type of absolute “terror,” I laughed out loud when I read this quote.

It also reminded me that life, at times, had dealt me other uncomfortable surprises that totally obliterated the polished image I had of myself.

Like getting fired. Or dumped. Or the death of someone I love. Or bad health. Or financial failure. Or finding out what someone really thought of me.

Not pleasant.

Yet, necessary for…

  • developing a character that is more than skin-deep
  • growing in a true understanding of my finiteness
  • becoming who I imagine myself to be
  • being more patient with others’ imperfections
  • living a life of faith

Best Skill on Earth?

Communicating without offending.

People who have this best skill on earth, have…

  1. Enough awareness to recognize their communication dysfunctions
  2. Enough humility to apologize for, and adjust, counterproductive communications
  3. Enough commitment to practice listening, insight, and proven techniques of highly effective communicators

Whatever other skills we might want to acquire in life, nothing will help our digestion (and the digestion of those who have to live with and around us) more than better communication skills (along with our social lives, success, happiness, and mental health.)

What Measurement to Use?

My nephew was depressed about his IQ, so we discussed other measurements that were more important. We finally decided that he had a head start on life since becoming “as a little child” was the “kingdom of heaven” criteria.

“Let the little children come to me.”

I am so at home with people who measure others by kindness versus status, looks, intelligence, or money.

Remembering that topsy-turvy economy keeps me sane…especially when the distribution of those other commodities seems a bit lopsided.