Rules

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.

Be you!  

Simply Said

Hunger Games

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–

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Providence

I was watching Morgan Freeman last night on Oprah’s Master Class episode and realized that life IS what happens to you while you are busy making plans.  And if you pay attention to life, your dreams are more likely to come true.  He wanted to be an actor from when he was a young child and he stayed focused and listened for the signs in life that helped him become who he is today.

What I learned from Mr. Freeman:

1)  Do you really want your dream to come true.  If so, keep reading.  If not, go take a nap 🙂

2)  Identify something everyday to work towards your dream–and pay attention to the signs along the way.  What are they telling you?

3)  Be careful of Paralysis through Analysis—If you want to write a book, start one page at a time.  If all you focus on is the final product (and I am not saying to forego your vision)–you will become overwhelmed and pessimistic about the possibilities–Think J.K.Rowlings

3) Be open and cautious about saying NEVER.  I am currently in a job that I once said I would never do. It has been the best and most rewarding job I have ever had–(Thank you providence.–Fortunately I acted at the right time!–I listened)

4) Remind yourself that dreams change forms along the way.  You can’t be too overly specific while searching. Better said, if you are overly specific, at least be flexible to providence and the willingness to alter as life happens.  My sister wanted to give back to the world and help people feel better about themselves.  She is now a Pilates instructor helping many people not only become fit and healthy but using this as physical therapy for those that need it.  She loves it!  Being a Pilates instructor wasn’t specifically her dream.  She took risks along the way, did many things that related to giving back and, now at the age of 49 is one of the most well known Pilates instructors in Spain.

5)  Be patient, persistent, courageous and committed.  Without these things….your providence has the chance of prospering as much as winning the lottery.

FYI–Morgan Freeman became an ACTOR, from his description at the age of 50.

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Changing Habits

I completely missed last Monday’s blog posting,  In fact, i didn’t even remember until Thursday that I hadn’t written one.

 

 

 

 

Wikepedia defines Habits as:

routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously.  Habit formation is the process by which a behavior becomes habitual.  As behaviors are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action

How do we go about changing habits so that they become subconcious…automatic.  Here are five easy  steps you can take to make it happen.

1.  Enlist someone else to hold you accountable and to help you remember.  Although your habit change should be for you and because you want to change it, not for someone else. And because you believe it will enhance your life.

2.  Write it down–on a post it note, your calendar, the mirror in your bathroom.  It doesn’t matter where–except that you must see it without having to look for it.

3.  At the beginning, it might be wise to pick a scheduled time to change the habit.  While flexibility is good, it makes it harder to change the habit.

4.  Identify ways to celebrate the success of your habit.  For example, you might want to set a goal that says, “when I am successful for three months, I…., whatever it is that makes you feel rewarded.”

5.  Give yourself a break if you make a mistake.  Everyday is a new day.  Just because you mess up, doesn’t mean you can’t begin again.

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Playing Politics

play politics; defined

a.  to engage in political intrigue, take advantage of apolitical situation or issue, resort to partisan politics,etc.; exploit a political system or political relationships.
b.  to deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, ordevious way
Why do we do this?  From my perspective it is exhausting, lacks transparency, is dishonest, and requires you to be someone you are not.

Play office politics without getting dirty is an article that I only half agree with.  From my perspective the first part of this article is all about power, control, and self-advancement.  There is no commitment to a collective effort of the work or movement of the organization.  At the end, it tells you that somehow you can “play politics” with integrity–not sure about this statement.  And that, ultimately if you must change your entire self, then perhaps the organization isn’t for you – that is about all I agree with.

What’s my point?  I have found that my success, and I do believe I have been successful in my work, has not come from playing politics.  My success has come from sharing my agenda, my thoughts and opinions, uncensored and with authenticity, i am trusted and believed.  I am not viewed as someone with ulterior motives.  Certainly one should be tactful and respectful in the way you share —-Of course, many will tell me that i am unrealistic, naive and the list goes on.  I say, you can decide to be and make it different.  You can play the game or change the rules of the game–it is your choice.

Alas, however, we are a society of playing politics, creating strategies to win, making sure we don’t disclose our strategies or risk “losing.”   I would like to advocate for something different.  Full disclosure in an attempt to move forward collectively and inclusively.  Leave the game-playing to the sports industry.

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Clutter

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!

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Secrets

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!

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