And, the rest of the quote…
Every time you get angry you poison your own system. Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.
Maybe it wasn’t what we ordered, but it made it to our table anyway. When we just pick up our knife and fork and get busy cutting those problems into bite-size pieces (instead of getting angry at whoever or whatever caused us the extra trouble) we’ll save a heck of a lot of time and energy.
And, it will sure taste better than poison.
The author of Alphatudes, The Alphabet of Gratitude, wrote the book because she suffered from insomnia. Instead of counting sheep, Michele Wahlder decided to go through the alphabet and count all the good things that began with each letter. Before she made it through “D,” she was sound asleep.
For those of us whose minds go on a feeding frenzy at the wrong time of night: chewing on our screw-ups, problems, and random mental junk food, and/or regurgitating every conversation and event from the last decade, this tactic may be worth a try.
Even if it doesn’t put us to sleep, we will have fed our ravenous, nocturnal mind a much more nutritious bedtime snack.
Preparing people for depositions, attorney, Bob Goff instructs his clients to sit with their palms up. He maintains that following this simple instruction works to prevent defensiveness, reacting in anger, or tensing up when stakes are high. Good advice…not only for depositions, but for life.
Rather than approaching life with clenched fists, open palms signifies a non-threatening posture of acceptance and openness.
A palms-up morning routine of meditation is now my reminder to offer up all that I have for good, trusting that what I have will be multiplied to meet the pressing needs around me. By doing so, I replace the feeling of overwhelm with a feeling of confidence in the abundance of the Universe.
Here’s to a palms-up kind of day! Cheers!
Craving significance is a huge part of our human condition.
When we understand how our work matters, everything changes. We have a reason to get out of bed in the morning. We have a reason to overcome obstacles. We have a reason to keep going when pain is unbearable.
One of the greatest gifts we can give each other is to acknowledge the difference we make. Great managers do this. Good people do this.
“If it breathes, it needs encouragement.” -Charlie Chaplain
“If you have time to whine and complain about something, then you have the time to do something about it.”
That might sound trite…until we calculate the astonishing amount of time that we have wasted whining and complaining.
With just a little of that wasted time, I have found that I can…
- Ask the Universe for wisdom and help
- Offer what I do have without complaining about what I don’t
- Seek out mentors and inspiration to counteract my feeling of helplessness
- Decide to do what I don’t want to do
- Take a baby-step toward something meaningful
Probably worth the discipline it takes to watch what I say…
Hmmmm, which is better? To freak-out over my concerns or to keep it simple?
What if…? WTF? How will I make it? Why am I such a loser? Who do they think they are? Why is this happening to me? What am I going to do?
I’m going to do the best I can with what I have, trusting that all will work out, breathing the oxygen that miraculously feeds my trillion cells (while traveling through the Universe at one-thousand MPH on a planet made of hot molten lava).
If you are wondering
What your life is about
Or if your life has been a waste
Or if you ever had anything at all to offer
If you are wondering
What you should do
Or if it will even matter
Let me just say
That very small things can make
A very big difference
A good deed brightens a dark world
If you are wondering “what deed?”
Or where you would get the energy or the money
A text, a call, a smile, a prayer, a compliment
A kindness that someone never expected
A good deed brightens a dark world
Our health, relationships, jobs, and special concerns have a (significant and scientifically-proven) statistical advantage of survival if…wait for it…we learn to state our opinions on emotionally-charged issues honestly and respectfully.
Most of us don’t, and skillfully blame the other party for our failure, i.e., “They don’t listen to me,” “They think they are always right,” “I tried,” “It doesn’t do any good,” etc. When the actual truth is: our approach fails to provide a safe place for the exchange of real information.
Getting better results is easier than we think. We just have to be humble enough to learn, prepare, and practice new skills.
If, instead, we choose to do what we have always done, we must accept the consequences…
- The costly games we play sabotage our jobs, relationships, and plans.
- Relationship stress and frustration break down our immune systems.
- 75% of all violent crimes are committed against family members, coworkers, friends, and neighbors.
My friend who was on mental-health leave from a brutal work-environment told me that his counselor encouraged him to make a list of daily activities such as brushing his teeth, taking a shower, and getting dressed so that he could check them off as accomplishments (if he managed to do them). Seemed ridiculous but it helped.
Every time we check something off a list, our body releases endorphins (natural pain killers). When we are paralyzed with pain, doubt, fear, or disappointment, pain-killing is the first, critical step.
Pythagoras and my friend’s counselor seemed to understand the simple formula of:
- One foot in front of the other
- One step at a time
- Bite-size pieces
- Just get dressed
…as a path to the impossible.
(Turn on the computer and write one word worked for me today.)
I’m cheering for your “impossible.”
“I used to try to change people, now I just want to be with them.” -Bob Goff
This might be the story of my own life’s metamorphosis. (Still rehabbing from the short-sighted, control-freak approach. Apologies.) The super irony of it all is that people want to listen to us when we quit trying to make them listen.
When author and speaker, Bob Goff, decided to drop out of high school to become a mountain climber, a Young Life counselor wooed him back to reality by just leaving for the mountains with him. It didn’t take two days for Bob to figure out he needed to finish high school.
It always takes a little longer to “be with someone” rather than tell them what to do, but the results sure last longer.*
* Want more proof? See how Stephen Covey “listened” his son into staying in school in Seven Habits of Highly Successful People