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.)

The Misguided Quest to Save Time

I made a promise to myself years ago to reflect, pray, and meditate daily before I started my task list. Sometimes I cheat. Like today. I decided to get started on my list and paint my toenails before I sat down on the floor to center myself. Oops. There is now a permanent royal blue stain on the carpet to remind me to keep my commitments and do things in order.

So often, I think I am too busy to put first things first until I waste my time doing it my own way. This mistake was minor. Some mistakes permanently damage others and take a whole lot longer to repair.

The following Bruce Lee quote reinforces that nothing is as important as the time we use for personal growth.

One of the Most Useful Things I Have Ever Learned to Say

“What could I have done differently?”

The first time I used this phrase was in a case where I felt my partner had not listened to me. When I asked, “Can we talk about what just happened? What could I have done differently to have gotten your full attention?” he relaxed, said he was sorry, and gave me a suggestion that I still use…with unprecedented success!

The phrase removes accusatory language and doesn’t put people on the defensive, thus increasing our chances of staying in dialog and experiencing the thrill of cooperation.

I wish it were not the case, but most of us have multiple opportunities to work through relationship dysfunctions. This phrase is a useful tool.

(Dr. Dean C. Delis has a similar discussion about “No-Fault Communication” in his book, The Passion Paradox.)

The Many Faces of “I Did It!”

“I did it!”

  1. Those three words can be life to my spirit, implying I have:

A) beaten the odds

B) accomplished a goal

C) risen above my fears or

D) given it my best shot

2.  Also important words when I am owning a mistake or failure. In that case, “I did it” frees me from the debilitating psychological and physical drain of hiding.

3.  Harmful if I use them to steal credit from someone else who deserves gratitude and recognition.

3.  Dangerous if I follow, “I did it” with “And, I’d do it again!” instead of humility. My mother used to say this with vehement arrogance and, then, cry herself to sleep.

Here’s wishing only the best “I did its” to you in 2019!

(Modified 2015 original Post)

Tired of Being Stuck?

Having been stuck in the first circle many times, I know first hand that these thoughts never lead to an exit. They keep us in the circle, driving us deeper into despair. As in a real traffic circle, unless one moves into a turn lane there is no access to an exit.

Productive reasoning is not positive thinking. It is allowing my mind do what it does best: solve problems.

In the first circle, I render my mind unproductive by repeating the same ole mantras, basically shutting down it’s natural ability to find the exit.

IYAD = If you always do
WYAD = What you always did
YAG = You always get
WYAG = What you always got

Tired of being stuck? 

Start by changing the driving instructions you issue to yourself.

(original post 2014)

It Was Always that Simple

It occurred to me the other day that whatever happens to me or whatever goes wrong with my health, finances, or circumstances, no one can take away my ability to give love.

Good thing.

Because giving love through the gifts of my being has been the highest joy of existence.

So, rather than fret about the future, I can rest in the certainty of purpose and meaning.

It was always as simple as that; I am here to give love; to make life better for as many people as possible.

And, I happen to believe that death will not stop my love.

If I am wrong, showing the astonishing light of my being on my way out is a very good way to go.

Treat Those Two Imposters Just the Same!

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same…then yours is the earth and everything in it.”

Kipling makes quite a bold promise in his poem “If.”

Although everyone would like all triumph and no disasters, Kipling warns that they are…

  • not what we perceive them to be
  • important and equal opportunities to get better at life

…and, if we can react to both with humility and courage by not relying on one nor rejecting the other, we will be much closer to mastering our world.

Even though the poem is addressed to his son, it encapsulates the most profoundly useful and life-changing advice I have ever read.

Need direction? Need a mentor? Start here.



When Mother Teresa Wanted to Be a Flight Attendant

Mother Teresa was very determined to spend the money she received for the poor and not for her organization.

So when it came to flying across continents to receive awards or address groups, she asked American Airlines if she could work as a flight attendant on those trips to cover the cost of airfare! Unbelievable, right? How cool is that? What passion and commitment!

But, alas, due to training or liability issues, American Airlines, unfortunately, declined her offer.

Wouldn’t it have been great if Mother Teresa had served you a beverage on her way to receive the Nobel Peace Prize?

Stories such as this about noble men and women (of whom the world is not worthy) often rescue me.

Just a Comic Book Writer?

I didn’t go to a public library until I was in high school and read only a few books before graduating. Now, I am (thankfully) making up for lost time, but only realized recently how much I owed to comic books.

They were the door, not only to my entertainment as a lonely child, but to my curiosity, imagination, love of words, and creative inclinations.

Who can say what impact our talents have on others? Thank you, Stan Lee, for using your gifts…and for the reminder to value my own (even when they seem insignificant).