What I am Thankful For – Day 5

Today, I am thankful for people who are patient with me and help me to understand.  Sometimes, it’s hard for me to put into words what I want.  There are those who try to figure out what I want, and others who try to assume they know what I want.

Life is sometimes about taking what is given to you and making the best of it.  In the famous words of Tim Gunn “Make it Work!”.  I think that is going to be my motto for the next week or so.

This President Had it Right…

Quote

“Let every man, every corporation, and especially let every village, town, and city, every county and State, get out of debt and keep out of debt. It is the debtor that is ruined by hard times.” – Rutherford B Hayes, US President

As someone who is trying to get out of debt and stay out of debt, it’s nice to see a government official, albeit one from the 1800s, who recognizes that debt is a burden not easily lifted, and that government debt is not a good thing.

I wonder who the Dave Ramsey of his day was?

Do You Give Up?

Quote

Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up.

Paul the Apostle
Galatians 6:9

Thanks to Sam Parker (www.givemore.com) for the quote this morning. This has stuck with me all day.  Too often, I stop trying to do what I know I should do because it gets to be too hard.  This has made me realize that I need to keep pushing through and do what needs to be done.  The effort will be worth it, even if I don’t see the end result for a number of years.   I need to stop giving up.

Is it too late?

“We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood — it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

Tomorrow never comes.  All you ever have is today – this moment in time.  You can’t go back and fix what happened a minute ago, much less a week ago.  What you have to do is to live your life as though every moment is your last.  It is too late for me to fix my relationships with those friends I have lost to the sands of time, but it’s not too late to work on my relationships now.  That needs to be my focused.  That means that I need to balance what I want and what others want from me.

The idea of balance is evident in the above quote.  The stark imagery of the “bleached bones and jumbled residues” as well as the fluid imagery of life as a tide that ebbs and flows.  There is both excess and want throughout our lives.  The key is to balance the two and make sure the excess will last through the periods of want.

We always need to keep in the back of our minds that we never have a chance to go back and fix what has happened.  We can’t take illness away; we can’t wish and make our finances better; we can’t waive a magic wand and fix all that is wrong in the world.  All we can do is push forward, unless we want to be found left behind.

No Complaining? Sign Me Up!

I need this sign some days.

Daniel Decker’s blog post about no complaining in the office has me thinking  about how much I complain and how much I hear various people complain.  Of course this is not limited to the office.  It’s at home, while out running errands, while visiting others, everywhere.

What makes it worse is when the complaining is partnered with either the whiny voice, the martyr voice, or the self-righteous voice.  All of which are equally bad, but the whiny voice drives me up the wall (just ask my daughters!).

Why do people complain?  Maybe because they want to tell someone about how they were wronged (or how they wronged someone else); maybe because something is not quite right in their life; maybe they just want to talk to someone and complaining is the only way they know to get someone to listen.

The problem is that complaining for the sake of complaining is just not productive.  How many hours do you lose over the course of a month listening to a co-worker complain about something that you could either do nothing about, or something that if they would actually do their job there wouldn’t be an issue?  Or better yet, if they would use the time to fix the problem that they spent complaining, the problem would be gone?  Time spent complaining is less time that you have to work, less time you have with your family, less time you have doing the things that mean something to you.  Of course the reverse is true.  The time you spend complaining keeps you from fixing the problem as well and being a productive employee.

I know you can’t police everyone’s speech.  It’s not fair and it’s not right.  However, you can monitor your own.  This isn’t to say you have to be Miss Mary Sunshine all the time, but at least think about what is coming out of your mouth.  Think about the time you are spending complaining.  Think about how you may be keeping others from doing something they want/need to do.

Does your office need a no complaining rule?  Maybe, if the complaining is out of control and it has manage to infect every area of your business.  But I think it can be dealt with on a person by person basis if people would just be more conscious of what they are doing.  I am going to try and do my part by watching how much I complain.

Thoughts?  How can you reduce the amount of complaining you do or that others do to you?

See Daniel’s original post here: http://www.danieldecker.net/does-your-office-need-a-no-complaining-rule/

Culture and Work

Can You Fix Culture?.

The above is a link to a great article by Chris LoCurto, who is part of Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership team.  This is especially important to me because we are trying to change the culture my workplace now.  It’s going to take a while, but nothing great was ever done overnight.

A presenter I listened to once said “Culture is the sum of the behaviors you allow.”  How very true.  If you allow some people to come in late, leave early, gossip, not pull their weight, how can you expect the others to toe the line?

I used to work for a place that the culture was so ingrained that you could almost consider it a cult.  People lived, ate, and breathed this company.  Was it bad? No.  Was it pervasive throughout the organization?  Yep.  Was it hard to have a life outside work? Yes, especially if you had my boss.  However, I can honestly say that each and every employee knew what was expected of them, how they were supposed to act, and what was important to the company.  You could also tell those who weren’t going to be around very long – they just couldn’t get the culture.

What behaviors are allowed at your place that negatively or positively affect the culture?

What’s Your Choice?

This is an email I received from a friend today.  Yep, it was one of those forwards, but I liked the message behind it.

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, ‘If I were any better, I would be twins!’

He was a natural motivator.

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked him, ‘I don’t get it!’

‘You can’t be a positive person all of the time.

How do you do it?’

He replied, ‘Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or…you can choose to be in a bad mood

I choose to be in a good mood.’

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or…I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it.

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or…I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

‘Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,’ I protested.

‘Yes, it is,’ he said. ‘Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live your life.’

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back..

I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, ‘If I were any better, I’d be twins…Wanna see my scars?’

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

‘The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon-to-be born daughter,’ he replied. ‘Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or…I could choose to die. I chose to live.’

‘Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?’ I asked.

He continued, ‘…the paramedics were great.

They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a dead man’. I knew I needed to take action.’

‘What did you do?’ I asked.

‘Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,’ said John. ‘She asked if I was allergic to anything ‘Yes, I replied.’ The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Gravity”

Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.’

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude….I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.’ Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

You know, this is the truth.  I can allow others to pick my attitude, or I can pick it for myself.  I need to pick the right attitude that will make me someone others want to be around.

Question: what about you?  Do you pick your own mood, or allow others to pick it for you?