Rules–what are they, who made them, who gets to decide and should you follow any or all of them. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and in fact, talked in a graduation speech about how we should not be intimidated by others people’s rules. Of course, there are some we can’t get out of–getting a ticket for going over the speed limit, stealing from a store. In essence, laws to which we will be held responsible no matter are thinking. Then there are rules and ways of being that others establish but are made up by them based on there sense of what is right and what is wrong. How does one decide if those ways of being are justifiable, make sense, and if you should follow them. At times, others will decide you should follow them lest you hurt their feelings, or step outside of the bounds that they have established are “correct.”
I would like to offer this. At times, you will hurt others feelings by not following their rules. This does not mean that you have violated any code of conduct. You will at times play games by different rules, so your boundary lines will be different but I can think of a lot of games that people play with different rules; none of which are harmful to others (spades or what fun is, for example)
My suggestion: decide for yourself what the rules are, your way of being and where the lines are drawn for you. Authenticity is the name of the game–whatever that means for you. You simply have to be willing to endure any consequences of your way. You might find at times this will cost you loss of friendship, frustration, and even grief. And yet, you might also find that it will bring you new friendships, excitement, and enlightenment.
If you haven’t had a chance to read or watch the Hunger Games, I recommend that you do. yes there is some violence but the movie and book are not about that. Thgere is so much to unravel. I would like to focus on the part that asks this question:
How do you maintain integrity in a system that requires (and there is no choice) you to engage in behaviors that you think are wrong so that you can survive another day?
I am not going to write about it but I would love your thoughts about this?
What I do know, however, is that in someone way, we all do this to some degree everyday–
Why do you hold on to things? Do they remind you of some thing, some one, some place? Do they express something about yourself that you want others to know? If you were to get rid of the “thing”, what would happen? Are you afraid you might lose the memory, that someone will love you less, that a parent will come back to haunt you, that without the memento, you will be less than or would somehow disappear. I would like to challenge you to look at everything you have in your office, your home, your car and ask yourself why you have it. Decide if you are keeping it out of desire or fear. Ask yourself, if what you are keeping brings good memories or if it is weighing you down. It is no surprise that there are many talk show hosts that have episodes on the importance of decluttering your life. It is necessary to to let go of things past so that you may experience the fruits of the future. Remember that new leaves appear on the trees only after the older ones have gone.
Don’t read me this post as saying that you should through away that beautiful photo of your mom from the 1950’s. And, I am not suggesting you live and work in blank and empty spaces. I do believe, however, that most of us could get rid of at least half of what we have in our possession. I truly believe that if you begin to unload yourself from some of the stuff, you may find yourself feeling a little less stuffy!
My brother told me when I was 23 that there were no such thing as a secret because every best friend has a best friend. We tested this hypothesis once when we worked at the same school. We both decided upon a story to share with someone and we told that person that it was a secret that should not be shared. I am, here, unfortunately, to tell you that it took no longer than 5 hours for someone to share that very secret with me and for someone to tell that very secret with my brother.
So you might feel that this posting is not uplifting, and I am not trying to imply that you should not trust people, which this example might indicate. It IS true that whenever you share, you should not be surprised when it is shared with someone else. Yet, this notion can help keep us honest, and consistently move us towards the goal of being our best selves. In essence, when you share, ask yourself why you are sharing, what is the purpose, are you trying to be helpful, to make better a situation. If what you share is shared with someone other than who you shared it with, will you be ok with that? If not, rethink what you say or how you say it. Honesty and telling the truth are not necessarily the same thing. We all have things that come to our minds that quite frankly we should keep to ourselves.
Saying it Out Loud so you can keep it In Mind!
Self-Confidence: belief in oneself and one’s powers or abilities
Calvin and Hobbes always seem to get it right 🙂
If you don’t belief in yourself, your abilities, and your capacity to learn, you probably aren’t going to get very far. I am not talkng about the kind of confidence where one says they believe they can fly a plane and then goes out to fly one with no training. This would most likely lead to disaster. I would call that person arrogant, delusional, and irrational. However, the better question is do you believe you can learn how to fly a plane, or better yet, do you really want to learn how to fly a plane.
We must, however, be realistic about our capabilities. For instance, I am today 47, I would love to be a back up dancer for Madonna and Lady Gaga. Certainly I believe I can learn dance steps and even learn an entire dance performance. After all, I took ballet, tap and jazz for 11 years from the ages of 4-11, was successful at that time and even thought I was pretty good. And yet, I don’t think I would make the cut. Some might say, “how do you know?, did you try? go realize your dreams?, Be confident!” But alas, this isn’t what I am talking about.
I am also not talking about the confidence that says, “my way or the highway!” This also is arrogant. If we have learned anything, I hope one of them is that there are mulitple ways to get to the end of the rainbow.
I attended a focus group today on the use, feelings and experiences with Social Media. That isn’t the point of this blog but it is where i thought of this.
We often find ourselves trying to pick the one way, the “best” way, the most effective way, the most popular way. In essence, trying to make decisions about the ONE thing that will make whatever we are trying to accomplish the “right” way.
I am here to tell you that there are no ONE best, right, popular ways of doing most anything. It is combination, compilation, and collaboration that allows for success.
An example….I work at a University institution and my primary serving population are students. We had an event on Friday night and the goal was to try to get at least 900 people to the event. In this day, and with the age group of the people we were trying to reach, one might say that the best way, the one way to get them to attend would be through facebook and twitter.–Social Media– What is true, however, is that while we did use twitter and facebook, we also meet in person with student organizations, and organizational units, sent personal invitation emails and talked to people by phone. It was all of the above that allowed us to be successful.
Both/And my friends, not either/or’s!