The Whole Picture of a Role Model

Because everything is praise and success for Tesla and Spacex right now, it would be easy to underrate Elon Musk’s pain behind his bold life. Just a few years ago, he had mammoth failures and crushing criticism from everywhere, even from his heroes.

The following quote captures a day in the life…

In 2018, I can use Elon Musk’s reminder that giving up and living small is not the option I want to take.

When I Take Time to Hear Myself

The first step I must take in order to become the very best version of myself is to pay attention to my thoughts and words. Besides catching myself saying negative things, I also review my conversations to catch the times I exaggerated, wasn’t completely honest, or talked too much.

Take time to really hear your Self. - JoAnnaRothman #YourDailyGift http://www.joannarothman.com/take-time-really-hear-self-joannarothman-yourdailygift

When I take the time to really hear myself, it is sometimes painful, yet, that pain gives me more incentive to grow and change.

Not sure if there is actual scientific proof to support this whole claim but it certainly is proven that stress can make you ill in many different ways.

Control Center Alert

Although, I ignored my “Control Center Alert” instructions for years, due to time spent in deep, dark pits, I now pay attention.

IN CASE OF:

  • Overwhelm

  • Tragedy

  • Panic

  • Depression

  • Exhaustion

“…think about these things…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy…”

Dwelling on what is scary, dreary, horrid, painful, wrong, and depressing never worked.

Even though it seemed counter-intuitive and too simple, soaking my brain in beauty did. I now use books and the internet to refuel on success stories, overcoming obstacles, recovery-after-tragedy, unexpected-redemption-in-dark-places, love, loyalty, art, nature, animals, and role-models. The change I feel inside is immediate.

Pain to progress. Darkness to light.

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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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While Thinking Over 2017

…I pinpoint the one thing that has improved my relationships more than anything else. It is the realization that people don’t need to hear what I have to say nearly as much as they need me to hear what they have to say; my presence much more than my advice, and my acceptance much more than my analysis.

In fact, this one insight has saved me from multiplying my regrettable errors. Duh. Yet, yet, yet, I still forget and think it is about me being heard.

Thanks to those of you who were patient with my words in 2017.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.”

Missed Moments II

Reading Julie Lythcott-Haims memoir, Real American has skillfully prodded me toward important awareness of:

  • my inadequacy to see the world from others’ points of view
  • how many moments I have wasted in self-absorption instead of seeing others and their obstacles 
  • how long it takes in a lifetime to really understand that compassion toward others is everything
  • the importance and long-term impact of all people (especially people we discount)
  • the terrible pain people of color have endured due to the callousness and ignorance of others

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