Self awareness

I was on a plane recently where this man and woman were conversing over the engine noise, across an isle, and over their traveling companions. (They both were in the middle seats). A sentence or two would not have been worrysome, but they talked THE WHOLE FLIGHT. I could hear every word of their vacuous conversation Even through my highly rated earplugs,

Question: in any given situation, are you aware of how you impact the people around you?

The Truth Will Set You Free

When faced with a difficult situation where information will create conflict, it is oh so tempting to remain silent, even though it takes much more energy to not be forthright. Whether you call it telling half-truths, witholding information, or lying by omission, anything short of true disclosure requires significant concentration on your part to keep it hidden.

Few people enjoy conflict and our ability as humans to avoid it is the stuff of legends.  Yet, usually, as they say, the truth eventually comes out,  compounding your situation with not only the original issue, but also now the fallout from the secret-keeping – hurt feelings.  The sense of being betrayed. Or not-trusted.  Anger toward you.  It really is better just to be directly honest.

Really, I think most well-adjusted people already know this.

However, something that many people don't know is that the calmer you remain while sharing the information, they quieter the other person will also be.  

We have in our brain mirror neurons – these cells cause us to mimic what we experience.  Haven't you ever lost your voice and as you whisper,  suddenly everyone around you whispers in return?  (This is actually a fun trick to play on people – just start whispering and see if they can resist the temptation to make their voices much quieter).  If you talk loudly, usually the other person does as well.  If you insult them, expect to receive some slurs. If you exhibit signs of anxiety or fear, often, the other person will also experience these emotions.  And, if you remain calm, they will too, or at least be much calmer than they would be if you had become agitated.  If you speak with respect, generally, the other person will return the favor.

So, don't avoid that thing that needs to be spoken, but, by all means, do it calmly and with dignity. And let the truth set you free.  It really does.

Too Good To Be True

It's free!  No obligation!

If it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

So an official apology for the ads that come with the blog.  I am working on remedy-ing that.  I've been reading quite a bit about business ethics – how for some it is all about money and for others it is about bringing something of value to the customer AND making money.

It seems you can offer a service at an entry level and please your customers so much that they WANT to upgrade, and then, conversely, you can make the entry level so unpalatable that they almost HAVE to upgrade.  The first feeling breeds loyalty and the second, resentment.

So the company that sends you my blog is tied to the blog host – they are all sneaky and made this partnership – kind of like when you play monopoly with your buddies and then find out your friends have made all sorts of deals with each other while you were in the bathroom.

So, because, while I am in love with technology, I am also intimidated by it sometimes and this made me not shop around, I grabbed the partnership because it was easy (which, of course, is what they intended).  Then, the naughty feed people gave me a free trial of the premium service, forcing me to downgrade at a later time, to avoid the premium prices.  (Of course, they didn't tell me what the premium service cost and trying to find anything on their web site feels like hacking through a thick jungle).  I finally managed to downgrade, with the help of the stellar online chat people … who neglected to tell me that as soon as I downgraded, they went away like the fun out of 2 day-old-heilum balloons.

So … now I find I have this CRAPPY feed service full of unwanted ads and I cant get anyone to tell me how to fix the problem, tempting me to upgrade out of sheer frustration, which is exactly what the company wants.  How do you think this makes me feel about them?

Pure HATRED. If I knew how to get someone else to do it without making all of you re-subscribe, I would do it in a heartbeat. Do they really think I will be singing their praises to others? Referring other business to them?

Not so much.

And, not a good business model.  

Bring value to those around you, and they will remain loyal at all costs.

Bring hassles, and they will curse you.  Yes, FeedBlitz, I'm talking about you.

Cerebral Stew

I have a tendency to wake up at 2 or 3 a.m. and then often can’t return to sleep until 5 or 6 in the morning.  This used to really frustrate me; I felt exhausted, out of control, and generally crabby. 

 At some moment in time, I stopped fighting this, and accepted that this is who I am.  I read something once about how Leonardo DaVinci used to go to bed quite early (like sundown-ish) and he would sleep until 1 or 2 am and then get up and work on whatever project he was into at the moment for four hours, and then return to bed for another four.

He still got his full 8, just not in a conventional manner.  And, if you know anything about him, he lived to a ripe old age, and is considered to be absolutely brilliant in multiple fields.


Point #1: There is not just one way to approach life; sometimes a different approach will work better for you.

 Point  #2:  It is way easier to accomplish things when you are uninterrupted.  Who is going to bother you at 3:00 a.m?


While I am not going to utilize my middle-of–the-night a la Da Vinci, I do think there is something to be said for those awake minutes.  Once I stopped fighting the not-sleeping-ness, my interior became more serene.  I found if I had an issue, I could say to myself, “You are not going to solve this tonight, yet, let it simmer for a while, and I’m sure the answer will come to you.”

 Those of you who use crock pots know that if you leave it on high for very long, the dish usually burns on the bottom and edges.  However, if you set it on low, everything eventually becomes more tender.  I believe ideas can be like this.  If you obsess over the thoughts, the mental energy is too intense; you get almost fossilized and tough in your thought patterns.  However, if you gently place the concerns into your mental slow cooker and let them bubble away for a while . . . it is so much more likely that you will experience “Ah Ha!s” and the fall-off-the-bone-type creativity that we all want.  Generally, thoughts I place in the Brain Pot in the middle of the night are done about the time I am taking my morning shower (this is where I get all my good ideas).


Point #3: If you are kind and gentle with yourself, usually, you don’t get burned.

 Point #4: You can metaphorize anything.  This is the beauty of the English language!

Just Do It

There comes a time when you are wrong and rather than blame others or justify your position (even if those factors are real)-

Apologize and make amends.

You will feel so much better and so will they.  Believe, me, I know.  I just experienced this very recently!