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.

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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!

When It Is Not the Hap-Happiest Season of All

If you’re not hurting and not alone this season, don’t assume everyone is sharing your joy. Don’t assume it’s the hap-happiest season of all.

Invite people in you normally wouldn’t.

Ask more genuine questions.

Have honest conversations.

Value the people around you enough to ask about the ways they’re hurting.

Listen well, love well.

And regardless of your situation: lean in to relationships, to other people.

Adapted from Robert Vore (from The Mighty newsletter)

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How to Know if You Are Annoying

  1. You interrupt someone’s story to tell yours.

  2. You talk about how the world has wronged you.

  3. You talk too much and listen too little.

  4. You brag.

  5. You tell people what they should do.

  6. You think so much about what people think about you that you are inauthentic.

  7. You find things to complain about on vacation.

  8. Your list of people and things you don’t like is growing.

  9. You don’t ever wonder if you are annoying.

  10. You complain about how annoying people are.

 

What Our Friends Are Not Saying

I love this “Turkey Visits the Psychic” cartoon because it reminds me that friends and associates (who want to remain in that relationship) are often not saying to us what we need to hear. Maybe they have tried before and we have:

  • blown up
  • argued
  • disagreed with them
  • given them clear indications that their honesty will not be rewarded

In order to get helpful truth from those with whom we live and work, we must make a commitment to…

  • ask frequently for feedback
  • prepare for uncomfortable info
  • honor truth-tellers instead of justifying our behaviors
  • say “thank you”
  • make changes based on feedback

It’s easy to talk self-improvement, hard to demonstrate it.

Here’s to a day of revelations and corrective actions!

Productive Word Swap for Realists

Even with the best of intentions, when someone starts talking about “positive thinking,” I cringe a little inside…

Not because I am an advocate of negative thinking, rather, I have learned that productive thinking works better for realists than positive thinking. 

For realists, who find it difficult to continually “look on the bright side,” positive thinking often feels like ignoring reality, pretending, or spinning the real truth, while, productive thinking pulls us into an action mode; What is my next step? What can I learn from this experience? etc.

For realists, positive thinking generates a guilt trip; I’m not thinking positively. You shouldn’t be so negative, etc, etc. Productive thinking reminds us to stay away from thoughts that paralyze or steal energy.

The objective for “positive thinking” is commendable: stay out of negativity.

Some of us just need a productive word swap to pull it off.

Two-Week Notice for A “Sigh-less” Thanksgiving

Moving toward Thanksgiving Day…I always say…there are two types of people…

Those who are sad because they don’t have family to celebrate with…and those who are sad because they do. (haha)

Even on a day that is supposed to be about gratitude, we find plenty to complain about:

  • the relative we can’t handle without alcohol
  • all the preparations
  • why no one is helping us
  • we can’t get off work
  • Black Friday
  • no one loves me
  • how miserable we are from over-eating
  • etc., etc.

Today I am officially issuing a “two-week notice:”

THERE WILL BE NO SIGHING ALLOWED THIS THANKSGIVING!

Prepare now to be truly grateful.

  1. Catch thoughts of entitlement.
  2. Acknowledge that we have it pretty good.
  3. Reject the “spoiled brat” script.
  4. Replace negative thoughts with productive service.

“Reverse Engineering” Revisited

The fastest way to lose someone is to worry about losing them.

The guaranteed way to make time go by fast is to fear it will go by fast.

The surest way to look old is to worry about looking old.

If we worry about losing our hair, our health, a person, or our job, we certainly will.

If we want to save something, we must give it our blessing…not our fear.

Fear, anxiety, grasping, and manipulating all make relationships quite uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but I love being around people who are peacefully present for me, not panic-stricken.

 

Why sabotage your reality when you can engineer it?

When the Story We Are Telling…Is the Problem

This is funny…except when sticking to our story keeps us stuck in a punishing rut.

After speaking to a group of people about changing their lives for good, inevitably, someone always tells me how their situation is different and they cannot be held accountable for using the techniques I have offered. Although disappointed, I am not surprised. For decades, I was that person.

How easily I let myself off the hook! And how easily I told the story that stole the relief I desperately needed.

All the more reason for regularly examining my stories.

Too Much Inexplicable Evidence

There are days.

There are days when I come face to face with the ugly side of life; when my heart asks, “So where is your God now?”

In order to survive, I have to do a quick tour of the inexplicable things that have happened to me over the years: times when…

  • resources have come out of nowhere
  • people were extraordinarily generous
  • pain-relief came in the nick of time
  • I was miraculously rescued from threatening circumstances
  • life was overwhelmingly beautiful

Then, I can relax into what I don’t understand.

Bad Summer? Bad Year?

This was a good reminder for me. I thought it might be worth a repost.

Two-Minute Tune-Up

Sometimes we describe our life this way because of unexpected pain, sadness, or disappointment, while the Universe waits humbly in the shadows with multitudes of gifts for us…again and again, day after day.

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Whatever it takes. Find gratitude.

Play not the victim

In your own play

You’ll write the story

By the lines you’ll say

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