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It’s not us, it’s you.

May 27, 2017

I was rejected yesterday. For something I only sort of wanted. It was disappointing, but not too much. It stung, but it didn’t bite.

My own reaction surprised me. I’ve been devastated in the past for not receiving things, e.g. jobs, I never even really wanted. This, I was able to move on from quickly. Progress.

James Altucher, my latest reading obsession, recently wrote:

Every time you get rejected you learn a little more about yourself, about how to approach people, about building strength, about getting out your comfort zone.

He’s not the first to discuss the benefits of rejection, and he won’t be the last, by any stretch. It’s become the trend. Another trend in the string of self-helpfulness blanketing our online world.

Altucher and the others saying these things, though, they are right.

It’s also about not taking things personally. This is a mental shift requiring practice.

Let’s review: Rejection is good + it’s not personal = no sweat off your back! Right?

Not exactly. Rejection can still be a learning experience.  Rejection doesn’t mean you are a shitty person, a bad friend, nor are you a failure. But if you can review it from an objective perspective, you can grow from it. Are you an asshole or did you act like one? In that case, let’s have a little introspection, shall we?

What could you have done better or differently to avoid the rejection? There’s certainly something. Maybe you weren’t bold enough or didn’t sell yourself in a targeted manner. Maybe you were off key in a singing competition. It’s not a personal attack but it’s valuable to consider your role. If nothing else, it will help you do better next time.

And there will always be a next time. It may just look completely different.

 

 

How much is too much? Part II

May 26, 2017

Can we suffer from too much self introspection?

It seems everywhere I turn these days there’s another self-proclaimed expert, coach, leadership guru or self-help motivational speaker who will help me get my life on track, my ducks in a row, the promotion I want and the millions I will earn from my new side hustle. Here’s how this billionaire became so rich working 6 hours a week, and here’s a 22-year-old multi-millionaire who will tell you the morning routine you must follow if you want to be rich, too.

We are meditating and questioning and learning empathy. We are becoming self aware and becoming an influencer and a thought leader, and we are telling others how they must do this and that to become truly successful and content.

And we are creating platforms to share our meaningful content, and we are posting and tweeting and blogging and Instagramming and Snapping and more.

You’re doing, and she’s doing it, and I’m doing it, too. (Hello, blog readers and Twitter followers!)

I meditate (occasionally), I 7-minute workout, I dig deep inside myself and look outside myself to learn how to best raise my child. I work at it all, every day. Except for the days when I can only work, be and sleep.

It’s a LOT to take in. There’s a dearth of ideas and opinions out there and no sign the firehose is slowing. You may relate to and gain insights from people I don’t. And vice versa. But there’s new people every day. I have saved links of web pages to read, webinars to watch, PDFs to peruse. How much mindfulness, leadership, expertise is too much? Is there such a thing as too much?

How much expertise is too much? Is there such a thing as too much?

Will we saturate?

How much is too much?

May 25, 2017

Can we suffer from too much self introspection when we consider how we are raising our children?

Taking care with everything you say and every gesture and action in raising strong, proud, successful, mindful, hardworking, creative, resilient and (insert other adjectives here) children is hard work.

It should be hard. It’s a great responsibility to raise a little human, and we owe them as much as we can give because we chose to bring them into the world.

Yet. And yet. How do we marry being mindful of each word that passes through our lips and every action we take while with them or in their sight with being ourselves, being comfortable?

Sarcasm is funny. Fine, maybe not to you. But it is to me and many others. Is it bad for our kids? Will it stunt their resilience? Will it harden them and cause them to be less confident?

There has to be a way to be the supportive, kind and loving parents we want to be while being goofy and a little bit obnoxious sometimes, if that’s how we want to be. I am all for being a better person and growing. I believe I no longer have the right to be the center of the universe. That’s the role of the children. I believe they are small mirrors reflecting back to us the behaviors we may need to change and about which we were previously unaware.

But I believe there must be a line somewhere. And it doesn’t only need to be at night after they go to sleep or when you are alone with friends.

I don’t know where the line is just yet. I’m searching it out, and it may be an ongoing process. It may change as the children age and change.

Have you found yours? If so, where is it?

 

Small mirrors

May 24, 2017

I am not good at that. 

I have not worked hard enough at that to be able to say I do it well. 

Can you read a difference?  What is that difference? Which do you say? And how would you perceive each coming from someone else?

Can you taste the words in the bittersweet aftermath of hearing your child say they can’t try something or do something or aren’t good at something?

This is not a quiz. It’s an exercise in thinking through the minutiae (to us) that we say and do every day. And taking the next step to consider how those small comments may be perceived and received by a child over and over again.

Think about it.

If you are like many parents, you can likely relate. You may not have realized words like this come from you often.

“Draw me a picture of a giraffe, mama.”

“Yikes. I don’t know how to draw a giraffe. How about a dog?”

“Read me this book in Italian, papa.”

“I don’t know how to read Italian. Let’s read this other book.”

It’s subtle. It’s simple. It’s true.

These small mirrors, these mirrors in varying shapes, sizes and colors that match us to different degrees, hear everything we say and do. They are reflecting it back to us, even when we don’t know it exists.

We cannot account for how our children will perceive the things we say that we think don’t mean much. We will never fully understand how they take it in, translate it to themselves and then spit it back out at us.

“I don’t want to try that new activity. I don’t know how to do that.”

“I can’t read that word. I don’t know how to read yet.”

“I don’t like that food. I won’t eat it.”

Parents who strive to be positive role models take care and attention in the feedback and guidance we provide to our children every day.

“That was very nice sharing you did with your friend/sister/brother/cousin/etc/”

Are we offering ourselves the same kindness? Are we allowing ourselves the same leeway for trying new things, acknowledging the things we don’t know, haven’t tasted or haven’t tried….yet?

 

It’s no accident

May 23, 2017

Certain things never happen accidentally. A permanent tattoo on your body. Someone becoming president of a country. A sexist company culture. Purple hair. 

Intentions are not accidents. What are you intending to do so the events in your life don’t unfold accidentally? What are you doing to be planned and intentional about the energy you put out into the world, into your life and the lives of others around you?

How do you intend to move forward today?

Would I lie to you?

May 22, 2017

When a friend or acquaintance asks how you are doing, what’s new with work or how you are feeling, the true answer is not always a positive one. 

For some people, lying comes easily. For others, these are trivial or unimportant questions and so the answers require the same level of care. 

But maybe you don’t like to lie. Even a little generic answer feels dishonest with someone with whom you have any kind of relationship. And so you answer honestly. I’ve been getting a lot of migraines recently. I lost my job and am stressed. 

Have you then become a complainer? And if you don’t want to come off like a complainer, do you become an explainer? Because more information will validate your answer. And then you’re down the rabbit hole.  

Don’t go down the rabbit hole. Avoid it. It won’t win you any self-esteem points, nor will it avail you of winning friendships. 

Device-free dinner

May 21, 2017

Surprisingly, a device-free family dinner is harder than some might think. Or perhaps it’s exactly what you would think. And that’s why families create the rule to have them. 

There’s too much noise bombarding us all day long. It’s valuable to have quality family time with no phones, iPads, readers, computers….or pigeons. 

(Via The New Yorker)

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