13 October 2013

Better try and fail, or not to try?

Some people are raised to think they can't do anything.

Others are raised to think they can do anything.... or even everything!

Both are hard on everyone involved.

I'm an optimist, a possibility thinker, but knowing my limits is valuable.

Most people can do more than they do. They don't attempt half of what they could. Much goes undone for lack of vision, motivation, confidence or passion.

Some people attempt things too big, too hard, too complex..... and many can be disappointed when they come up short.

I just heard an interview of a woman who adopted pre-teen Ethiopian sisters and took them to America for a better life. After 14 months she realized she was failing, she couldn't actually do or provide what the girls needed to make the adoption succeed.

She used both humbling and freeing as she talked about her eventual realization of her limitations.

The girls are with another family, with a dad and other kids. They may be better off than if they'd stayed with their first American family. They may have trust issues complicated by the disappointment and broken promises. Their situation is complex no matter how you look at it.

Do we go ahead and attempt big things, knowing we might fail?
Or do we just play it safe and only attempt what we know we can do?

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11 October 2013

Daring Greatly: vulnerability, scarcity, shame and people who matter

Below, read five inspiring quotes from Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly.

“I carry a small sheet of paper in my wallet that has written on it the names of people whose opinions of me matter. To be on that list, you have to love me for my strengths and struggles. You have to know that I’m trying to be Wholehearted, but I still cuss too much, flip people off under the steering wheel, and have both Lawrence Welk and Metallica on my iPod.”

“Worrying about scarcity is our culture’s version of post-traumatic stress. It happens when you’ve been through too much, and rather than coming together to heal (which requires vulnerability), we’re angry and scared and at each other’s throats.”

“I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow — that’s vulnerability.”

“We judge people in areas where we’re vulnerable to shame, especially picking folks who are doing worse than we’re doing. If I feel good about my parenting, I have no interest in judging other people’s choices. If I feel good about my body, I don’t go around making fun of other people’s weight or appearance. We’re hard on each other because we’re using each other as a launching pad out of our own perceived deficiency.”

“Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail. If we’re always following our children into the arena, hushing the critics, and assuring their victory, they’ll never learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own.”


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09 October 2013

Disagree for the right reasons!

I have many conversations that could turn disagreeable.
I speak with people of other faiths, no faith, other political persuasions, cynics, critics, misinformed and uninformed..... It's common to disagree.

Seth Godin explores disagreement cleverly in the following post:
The easiest way to disagree with someone
...is to assume that they are uninformed, and that once they know what you know, they will change their mind. (A marketing problem!)

The second easiest way to disagree is to assume that the other person is a dolt, a loon, a misguided zealot who refuses to see the truth. Their selfish desire to win interferes with their understanding of reality. (A political problem!)

The third easiest way to disagree with someone is to not actually hear what they are saying. (A filtering problem!)

The hardest way to disagree with someone is to come to understand that they see the world differently than we do, to acknowledge that they have a different worldview, something baked in long before they ever encountered this situation. (Another marketing problem, the biggest one).

There actually are countless uninformed people. There are certainly craven zealots. And yes, in fact, we usually hear what we want to hear, or hear what the TV tells us, or hear what we expect, instead of hearing what was said, and the intent behind it. Odds are, though, that we will make the change we seek by embracing the hard work of telling stories that resonate, as opposed to dismissing the other who appears not to get it." ~ Seth Godin

Read it on Seth's blog.
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