Do You Have Wise Ears?

These are the gossip-deterrents that give me the “ears of a wise person:”

  1. Imagining the subject of my words overhearing my comments reminds me to speak for intended as well as unintended audiences. (This one shuts my mouth every time.)
  2. Someone should be “bigger” than the situation. (And it sure is cool to be my own hero.)
  3. Save the airspace. (There is enough yuck in the world already.)

(Original post July 2015)

What Would This Look Like If It Were Easy?

That is Tim Ferriss’s go-to question that led to Tribe of Mentors.

Do you know what your go-to question is?

You might be surprised.

Common questions that lead us nowhere fast…

  1. Why do things have to be so difficult?
  2. Why me?
  3. Are you kidding me?
  4. Why am I such a loser?
  5. Why is the world so screwed up?

But, tweaking those discouraging/cynical questions can give us the leverage we crave:

  1. How can I use this difficult situation to train for a better future?
  2. Why not me? How can I use my unique gifts and experiences to make a difference?
  3. Are you challenging me to be better and stronger?
  4. How can I transform my disappointments into maturity?
  5. What can I do to make a screwed-up world better for someone?

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What I Thought I Knew I Didn’t

This is my unexpected and unflattering theme of 2018: overestimating my knowledge.

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Of course, I have been warned about this pitfall into arrogance all my life, but thought I was different; I really did know. (I know. So sad.)

Every book I have read and many experiences I have had this year have challenged my prior “knowledge” about a person or a topic. I’m finally convinced that I should quit representing myself as an authority on everything. (So sorry friends, family, and clients. Oops.)

Somebody stop me! Please.

Maybe I’ll even listen more.

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Instead of:

  • whining
  • complaining
  • depending on others to fix things for us
  • being ignorant
  • limiting our own education and stunting our own growth

I asked my IT guy about a problem and found out he googled the answer.

I followed his lead and found I could be a solution person instead of a problem person.

Now, if we can just remember to use Google to help us fix relationships. (See TEDTalks and YouTube)

Who Knew?

Ever had your world completely shattered by one bit of knowledge?

Ever been surprised by how wrong you could be?

Ever looked back at your faulty assumptions from just a few years ago?

Ever embarrassed yourself because of your knowledge gaps?

Once we get over the fact that we not all-knowing, it’s easier to hunger after instruction, knowledge, mentoring, coaching, and wisdom. The following link is to a TEDTalk about Camels (of all things), but contains a brilliant path to awareness.

“We are all just one shard of a bone away from seeing the world in a completely different way.”

Whatever we do, we must keep learning…at any cost…for our own good.

Solid and True Kindness


I’ve always loved this quote and have long used it as a measure of authenticity and genuine kindness in a person.

(If you are dating online, watch what they do and say to {or about} someone they are not trying to impress.)

Until recently I thought Samuel Johnson was just a really smart guy, prolific writer, and author of the first English language dictionary. He was so much more; blind in one eye, barely able to see out of the other, deaf in one ear, scarred and disfigured from childhood diseases, poor and unrecognized until late in his life, he was a man who became generous by way of pain.

“Samuel Johnson fervently believed in each individual’s mysterious complexity and inherent dignity.”Ralph Waldo Emerson

I Shoulda Read the Rest

I was half-way through the audiobook Makers by Wired magazine’s editor, Chris Anderson. It was due back at the library so I wasn’t going to finish it. What a mistake that would’ve been! The part I really needed was on the last two discs.

I never finished reading 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People because it was such a long book. Too bad. The part I really needed was in Habit 5. Years later, Habit 5 changed my life.

Because I tend to underestimate my need for enlightenment, I skim instead of sticking with something to the end…especially when it comes to reading instructions, or an important book, or anything that requires patience.

I wonder what else I have missed.

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Jealousy Self-Sabotage

Amy Poehler

In Yes, Please! Amy talks about the “demon-voice” that whispered to her about her deficits and inadequacies. I am so glad she recognized and rejected this whispering demon-voice that told her she wasn’t pretty enough or whatever-enough to be loved or worthy of being loved.

What a difference it made for her.

What a difference it can make for us.

I’ve watched the destruction this “whispering thieve” causes between siblings, cousins, friends, peers, strangers, coworkers, bosses, neighbors, families, countries, and businesses, and been caught in its horrible wake numerous times. Enough is enough.

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It’s never too early…or too late…to start.


Before You Get Mad at a Bad Driver

The guy who parked over the line and took up two parking spaces:

a) could be very selfish, or

b) could have parked poorly because someone else parked terribly wrong before he got there

The woman who is talking on the phone while driving:

a) could be clueless, or

b) could be taking an emergency call about a seriously-ill child 

The car that is causing you a traffic nightmare by refusing to go the speed limit:

a) should have stayed off the roads entirely, or

b) could be having car problems, or

c) is behind another car that is slowing everyone down, including them

So many possible explanations.

So much room for mercy.

Assume the Best

Someday, we’ll be the “bad driver” who deserves the benefit of the doubt.