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Asking For It

16 Oct

There are lot of things going on in our lives all the time. Everything is constantly changing and although we may have a good hold on what’s happening now, it could all shift in a moment and then suddenly we’re in foreign territory. Nobody knows everything and when we find ourselves in situations where we aren’t sure how to proceed, we can always ask for help. There will often be someone around who has information that will assist us, but if we never inquire or open the door to communication, we won’t have access to it. Some people feel uncomfortable asking for help. Perhaps they perceive it as a sign of weakness or defeat, but in truth, asking for assistance doesn’t mean either of those things. It’s just asking a question and enables us to connect to possibilities that otherwise may not be found. If we’re determined to find all the answers on our own and don’t involve others, we may find our way ahead but it might take a lot longer and be more difficult than it needs to be. There are lots of sources available to us and asking for information and advice may make things much quicker and easier than trying to do it all by ourselves. We’re good at many things and always have the potential for great success. By being open to those around us and welcoming help when we need it, our success may be magnified and increased. There are unlimited roads to every destination but because of complications in the way, we may not see them. Allowing others to point the way and help direct us around any obstacles will move us forward and help us reach our goals. Learning to ask questions will open all the doors ahead and pave the way forward. We are wise and capable, and nothing can keep us from any destination we desire.

We can’t anticipate what we don’t know and sudden changes may put us in situations that are unfamiliar and confusing. If the situation is complex and we don’t know where to turn or how to proceed, asking for guidance can save a lot of time and effort. There is no need to re-invent the wheel. We can lean on someone else’s understanding until we gain our own.

When we enter a dark room at night, it’s hard to see. If the room is familiar to us, we may be able to navigate through the darkness and still find our way, but if we’re in a new place, that will be difficult, if not impossible. Turning on a light immediately changes everything. We can see clearly and move forward without any problems. The same is true when we’re moving through our lives. If we don’t have any idea where we are or what lies ahead, getting help from others is like turning on the lights. They can show us the way forward, and help us navigate through until we find our way. Success is always possible, and we can reach any destination getting assistance along the way.

Today if you’re stuck and can’t see the way forward, ask those around you for help and assistance. They have information that will help you open the doors ahead and continue toward your goal. Everything you need is available. Arm yourself with additional information and step ahead. Nothing is out of reach and every goal is possible. You will reach your destination and find great success.

That’s Mine

3 Jul

Sometimes because of something we care deeply about, we may state our case in forceful ways. We want to make a point, and we want to be clear. It’s good to clarify where we stand, but sometimes we may go too far. We become too strong in our statements, and instead of helping others understand our position, we tell them how it is. And when that happens, we sometimes offend them. Even if offense was never in our plan, it can happen. People are complicated, and everyone has a different level of tolerance for intensity. Some people translate it into conflict. Some people can manage a lot of heated discussion, and others shrink from it. Nobody is exactly like us, and we must remember that. What may seem fine to us, may be offensive to someone else. We can say that’s their issue, and it is. But if it alienates them from us, it’s also our issue.

There is a lot going on in our lives all the time. We are busy, we are often stressed, we are in a hurry, and sometimes we forget to be considerate, and careful with the feelings of others. We run over them with our ideas and decisions, and we don’t wait for their response. We get in, get it done, and get out. When we do that, things will get done, but we may also damage the relationships we need to go forward. It’s better to be the one that includes other ideas, and brings others into the discussion. It’s more effective to ask for input, as well as give our suggestions. Life is all about give AND take. If we’re so sure we’re right, so sure we have it figured out, so sure of ourselves, our attitude may restrict others from joining us. And it can cause problems. It’s better to express ourselves in ways where others feel welcome, and valued.

If we do something that hurts someone else, it belongs to us. If we feel passionately about something but express that passion in ways that offends others, it belongs to us. If we inadvertently hurt someone by something we’ve said or done, it belongs to us. There is no way to push the ownership of anything onto someone else if we’ve done it. We own it. It’s ours, and because it’s ours, we’re the only ones who can make it right. We’re the only ones who can correct the slight. We will answer for everything we do, so if we’ve hurt someone, we need to take the next step, and try to repair the damage.

Today if you have something important that you need to discuss, something you feel strongly about, remember the feelings of those you address. They may process things differently. They may need a little time. They may have suggestions for you. Everything you want to accomplish will be easier with others on your side. Let them in. Tell them how you feel, and let them join you. Be clear, and be strong, but also be open, patient, and welcoming. An army of one can only do the work of one. But an army of friends, can conquer anything.

Going Dark

28 Jun

The other day while driving around I stopped at a very busy intersection. While I waited for the light to change, I saw a man walking across the street. He had headphones on, and was texting. There were cars turning into his lane, and lots of traffic. He was oblivious to it all. It appeared that because of the headphones he could not hear what was going on around him, and because he was looking down at his phone as he walked across the busy intersection, he couldn’t see what was going on either. So basically, he was navigating a dangerous intersection both deaf and blind – by choice. I was stunned. It was astounding to see, and somewhat disturbing.

Today technology is everywhere. We carry our smartphones with us to keep in touch, and many of us listen to music with headphones as we go about our various tasks. There is nothing wrong with technology, but the problem comes when that technology endangers us, or isolates us. There are limits to how we can successfully use these tools. Everywhere we go, we see people walking and texting, and tripping, and running into things. People even text as they drive, and nothing could be more dangerous. Despite the many deaths that have been the result of this behavior, some continue to do it. Headphones are nice, but can be dangerous as well if they keep us from hearing alerts around us. If we don’t hear the warning, we can’t duck.

All of this technology has its place, and it’s useful. But there is always a trade off. An associate of mine sent me a picture of a dinner he recently attended. There were several company CEOs and senior leaders from various corporations there. It was a chance for ideas to be exchanged, and plans made for the coming year. The picture showed them all sitting around the table looking at their phones, and texting instead of talking. It was astonishing to see them interacting with their phones instead of with those around them, especially when there was such a wealth of experience, and inspiration available right there at the table. I’m sure we’ve all been out with friends, and waited while they texted this person or that, or took every call that came. It’s disheartening to feel that even though we have taken our time for them, they have not taken their time for us.

Today if your’re used to texting throughout the day, and wearing headphones, perhaps go dark for a while. Try being in the moment, where you are. Put your phone down, and connect with those around you. There will be time to catch up with others later. If you’re used to wearing headphones all day, try taking them off for a while to hear the conversations around you, and get involved. Enjoy your gadgets, stay in touch, but remember, while you’re pushing buttons, and texting people who aren’t there, while you’re zoning out to the music in your ears, your life is going by. Precious moments to connect with those right next to you are being missed. Take some time to go dark, unplug, connect, and converse. Interaction in person is the very best we can experience. Enjoy that. Catch your favorite tune, and check your phone later. They’ll still be there.

What’s the good news?

14 Apr

When my children were younger and would come to me upset or angry about something that was going on, I would listen patiently and wait until they finished complaining and griping. And then I would look at them and say, “I understand. I can see that you’re upset. What’s the good news?” When I first started doing this, their immediate response was that THERE WAS NO GOOD NEWS! And then they would continue their tirade, at which time I would listen patiently, and when they were done again, I would look at them and say, “Yes, I still understand the problem. And we can talk about it, but what’s the good news?” After going through this process with them through several problems as they came and went, they learned that before they came to me to complain and tell me their horrible story, they would have to be prepared with something, anything, from the situation that would be positive, and that could somehow be construed as good news. Eventually when they came to me angry and upset, often before they would get to the end of their story, they would smile and say, “I know, I know, what’s the good news?” and then they would begrudgingly proceed to tell me what they were learning from what was going on. Looking for and preparing to explain something positive from all the negative they were experiencing helped them diffuse the situation themselves, and think more clearly.

We all face periods of disappointment and grief, frustration and anxiety, sheer anger, and disgust. But in each situation, if we take some time to think about it, there is something that can be learned that can benefit us. If someone insults us, makes us feel small, or offends us, perhaps the only good news is that we lived to tell the tale! Or maybe the good news is that we held our tongues, and let them make spectacles of themselves being rude and offensive, while we maintained our self control. Maybe the good news is that we decided their comments were inaccurate, and we weren’t going to internalize them, and make them bigger than what they really were – just opinions. Generally in times like these, in uncomfortable situations, there is a lesson we can learn that can benefit us. We can learn to be more patient, to be gracious despite the barbs, to extend the hand of friendship even when someone has been rude. Every situation is different, but generally there is something beneficial for us if we look for it.

Today if you encounter a difficult situation, if you interact with someone who isn’t nice to you or frankly rude to you, if you are the recipient of someone else’s anger, think about the situation and see if you can’t figure out what the good news is. Because surely there is something there. And if we can rearrange our feelings when we’re going through times like these, when we’re feeling bad, when we’re feeling attacked, if can rearrange them to looking for the things we can learn, then we become the victor. We prevail. It’s all about our attitude. We can choose to return anger for anger, or we can choose to rise a little higher. Find the one thing that you can learn from the experience that will make you better. It’s there. You just need to open your mind and look for it. And when you find it you’ll probably discover that you feel better, more at peace, and able to let the discomfort go. You’ll be in control of yourself, and able to see the situation more objectively, and that’s always a good thing. What’s the good news? Today, look for it. And when you find it, be happy knowing that you changed everything!