Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Due to overwhelming demand (thanks Rachael!)

Here she is!

Our greatest strength/weakness

Think about your greatest strength. The one that really gets you ahead at work, home or wherever. The attribute you are truly proud of yourself for.

It is probably also your greatest weakness. Why is it that many who succeed at work have such poor family lives? Why do some have great relationships but keep under-performing at work? Think about the organized person at work. Everyone loves them, they meet all their goals, get raises etc. They are truly exceptional at organizing things and people. However, at home they fight with their family, who for some reason do not wish to be organized. They want someone "more fun." They don't want to be controlled.

Or look at another who excels at interpersonal relationships. Every one's good friend, laid back and always ready for an adventure, loves life. Everyone wants to be around them and never fights with anyone. Until, of course, they go to work and get laid off from every job they get for under-performing. "He was a really good guy, just never got anything done."

I think just being aware of this fact helps me be aware that a strength in one area of my life doesn't automatically translate into another role I have. In fact, different strengths need to be developed for different roles. If we try to "do what works" at work when we go home, for instance, may not be a good thing. Even if it is our greatest strength.

Maybe your map is wrong...

There is an old story told about a soldier in a war. He was studying his position on the map he was holding. His sergeant asked him if he had found their position on the map. The soldier said "Yes, sir! Except that there is supposed to be a hill over there, and there isn't one." The sergeant replied, "Your map is wrong."

We have an image in our mind how the world is supposed to be. We have developed this view over our entire lifetime. Sometimes we cling to that image even when confronted with evidence that our view is wrong. Many times we do things "because that is the way our parents did it" or a similar reason.

Most of the time having the wrong map in our head doesn't do very much harm. But when we are rigidly holding onto our view of the other people in our life, it can cause serious harm to our relationships. Many a therapist believes that the seeds of marital strife are sown by the expectations (maps) we have for our spouse. When they don't measure up to the expectations we have for them, we assume that they are flawed. Really, it is our map.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Faith vs. Fear

My parents have a sign in their home that reads something like this: "You cannot have faith and fear in your heart at the same time." Something struck me.

Faith and fear are almost exactly the same thing.

Both of them are a belief. The only difference is whether you believe good things are going to happen, or bad.

On Complaining

If complaining (aka venting) really made a person feel better about their situation, then the ones who complain the most should be the happiest, right?

Everyone has bad things happen to them. However, we CHOOSE how to respond. The more we choose to focus on the bad, the worse we put ourselves through.

When we have a negative outlook on life, or a family member, boss, etc. it is easy to find things to justify our complaints. Which leads me to think about myself right now....

Is this post one big complaint?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Advice from a divorce attorney

I was speaking with one of my clients, a divorce attorney, who gave me an insight into why people get divorced.

After a divorce is finalized, he said he could predict whether the persons divorced would have a successful second marriage, or if they were destined to divorce over and over in failed marriages.

He said, If they put the blame on their former spouse, "ie it's his fault," then the next marriage was doomed to the same fate as the last.

If they asked themselves "What could I have done differently?" the next marriage would most likely succeed.

So then, when we disagree with our spouse, what question do we ask ourselves?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Self Esteem and the one thing holding us back

I think that for many people, low self esteem (LSE) is the biggest thing keeping them from achieving their dreams. That is obvious, you say, but what is the solution?

I had a thought today. I believe that most people do most things well. However, there is just one or two skills or weaknesses holding them back. I will use my profession as an example. I am a computer guy, and as most of you know we aren't exactly known for our social skills. We think very logically and can figure out complex problems with ease. However, try to talk to us about something other than computers or Star Trek and it becomes quite tedious. When others talk to us, we seem to speak another language.

So, the obvious answer is---- the computer guy who also learns social skills is going to: get the job/promotion/girl/money etc. That is the one skill lacking in most computer guys.

You are probably lacking one skill or trait that is holding you back. Just like the chain is only as strong as its weakest link, you are only as strong as your weakest link. So, to make the biggest gains in your life, work on that skill.

Unfortunately, most peoples LSE won't let them. Even though they know perfectly well what is holding them back, they are petrified that someone is going to point the fault out to them. Instead of tackling the problem straight on, they live a life of worry, always dependent on the politeness of others not to point out their faults. A terrible way to improve your life.

I say work on the issue you need most help on. Ask your friends for an honest answer of what they think is holding you back. Don't let your LSE get in the way-- take their honest evaluations as a challenge. BTW, you already know what they were going to say before they said it, didn't you?

And then go out and make that weakness one of your greatest strengths.