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Sunday
Feb182007

Scalped by a windsurfer

I was truly astonished by a story recounted to me by a man in his mid sixties.  He recalls that during his teenage years, he escaped a brush with death due to the help of a 12 year old girl. 

As it was, he was swimming on a curve in an area where wind was firece and waves were high.  Out of the blue, a windsurfer came flying toward him and the fin of the board scalped his head, leaving him face down in the water and in a terribly weak state.  He's unsure whether the windsurfer himself was oblivious, or had no conscience. He didn't stop or apparently even look back.  On that particular day, the area was essentially void of people. Yet, a twelve year old girl appeared and turned him over before asking her parents nearby to call an ambulance. This is why the scalped man with a scar on his head believes he's alive today to tell his tale. When the paramedics came, the windsurfer was nowhere in sight. He had disappeared, along with the girl.

In this man's mind, angels may appear to us on our own level, as humans, and influence our fate based on quick thinking. Angels may also represent a plausible explanation when no other one will satisfy.  When a mystery bewilders us, the mind still often seeks logical answers.  Yet, a sense of knowing perhaps it wasn't your time to go allows you to believe in the immeasurable.  Once such a rescue is experienced, views of sceptics and their theories will not weaken one's convictions.

Sunday
Feb182007

Why we always do what we've always done

I know a man who absolutely refuses to wear slippers. Now, he will be quick to complain about cold floors, especially in winter, but this will not cause him to change his ways.  He would rather suffer than accept and adopt a new way of doing things. I find this quite humorous myself.

I laugh at myself in disbelief after I forget to put on sunscreen and come home with a slight burn. At times, I'm simply forgetful, at times I feel cream is unnecessary. Yet, when will I ever learn?

I met a woman who always talked of the boyfriend she really wanted but never had.  She chose to stay home at night after work and didn't go out to give herself a chance to meet anyone.  She never thought changing her homebody habits might be the key to finding the man of her dreams.

The x-husband of a friend always had to be right. It didn't matter whether his ideas made no sense and hisx-wife had good suggestions of proven facts, this man always put her down and refused to admit mistakes or unfounded judgments.

The grandparents of another friend of mine had different ideas about what to do on Sundays.  The grandmother attended church religiously and her husband felt sunday fishing was his religion. He would do just about anything for his wife six days a week but Sundays were reserved for him. They apparently had many debates over their 60 years together, but neither was ever willing to change their Sunday ways. 

I know a girl who would often complain about what she wasn't doing to anyone who would listen. She'd whine about how she could never afford to do certain things, yet she refused to make any effort to earn some money.  She preferred to gripe as she lived off the dole. She knew no other way and wasn't willing to be taught.

I have known a few bosses who believed in the tall poppy syndrome. They weren't happy when an enthusiastic new employee made extra effort to raise the standards and satisfy clients.  These bosses did what they could to rid themselves of the employees and make their lives miserable. The bosses' insecurities caused them to bully people when they really didn't feel good inside.  Since they refused to admit they felt underappreciated, their low self-esteem bottomed out.

Why is it your partner is always late? The person may plan ahead and you may still anticipate he or she will be late for their funeral. Do you think the person wonders why you're so punctual?

In some ways, we're all creatures of habit. Consider where and when you refuse to compromise or make changes in your life. Are you really better off being so stubborn? In many cases, you'd be better off learning to be more flexible. You might be surprised at the power you have to live a more rewarding life.  If you always do what you've always done, you'll always have what you've already got, and you'll always be wherre you've been before without incentive to do any more.

Saturday
Feb172007

Getting along

The little things you do often make a big difference to your relationships, your workplace and even to strangers. What kind of efforts do you make to get along with other people? Some of us do not like confrontations or discussing things that make us feel uncomfortable. People who learn the importance of listening and compromise know these behaviors go along way to make interaction more enjoyable and enduring. What efforts do you make to understand other people?

Consider;

a) what steps you can take to give more of yourself, your ear, and your time?

b) what can you learn about you from people's complaints? What would you like to change?

c) how can you give people in your life more space to deal with things alone?

d) how can you forgive other people for their mistakes so you can move forward?

e) why do you need  forgive yourself for things you've done? how do they affect relationships?

f) what can you do to boost morale, self-confidence and encourage others to excel?

g) What kinds of training might you undertake to better udnerstand shared finances or emotions?

Answering the above questions would be a great place to start.

Saturday
Feb172007

Money talks

During the 1987 film, 'Wall Street,' I recall when Gordeon Gekko says, "Money talks." He has his own opinion when he says candidly that "every dream has it's price." We must find a way to clarify our dream before we can decide what sacrifices we're willing to make to realize or achieve it. If your dream is to manage a successful business, then at least you have a starting point for moving forward.

Wall Street reveals how a young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to rise in status to the top, including trade on illegal 'inside' information. He is ready to make unethical decisions which jeopardize his career. The young guy does it all for his future and as an effort to earn the respect of a ruthless and greedy corporate raider whom takes the youth under his wing.

When we think of choices we make to better our own lives, we realize compromises and sacrifices will need to be made. We aren't physically able to be in every place at once. We reduce time spent with loved ones if we're away somewhere working.  We decide on the value we place on material possessions and status, and may revise our view on work habits after having a heart attack.

Money is useful insofar as it can buy things and affect our level of lifestyle and existence. Its a means of exchange and the fuel behind democratic economies. Desiring money isn't bad. Yet, the motivations behind your desire and how you choose to spend money often reflect the kind of person you are. Consider whether you spend it faster than you earn it, whether you share generously, save for projects or store it away like a miser. Consider whether you ever think you will have enough. How will you generate it? You can learn a lot about yourself based on how you think about and handle money. What have you learned so far? How would you like to change your money habits and associations? You have the ability to pin down how you feel and whether you decide it would be healthier to reassess and recondition yoru thinking.

Saturday
Feb172007

Who pushes your buttons?

As life has it, you meet people who will test your patience. Certain people may seem to try their hardest to annoy you, or to distract you when you prefer to focus on what you see as important. Step back. Reframe situations where people 'press your buttons.' How else could you see them?

If your child knocks on your home office door to ask if you would come to his soccer game or help him with his homework, and you brush him aside, what does this say about your priorities?

If your mother-in-law shows up on your doorstep regularly to impose her advice, and you let her monopolize your time or run your home, what does this say about your assertiveness?

If your office intern always asks questions when you're in the middle of projects, and you lose your temper, what does this say about your role as an effective teacher and mentor?

If your partner is depressed because of losing his job, and he mopes around complaining, and you chose to ignore him, what does this say about your ability to empathize and support him?

If your retired spouse is suddenly under your feet because he doesn't know what to do, and you cancel your regular schedule to suit him, what does this say about your view of 'alone time?'

If someone doesn't understand after you repeat things three times, and you decide to give up rather than try a new approach, what does this say about your faith or belief in that person?

If your boss lies to you, chooses to mistreat other employees and you accept that behavior without reacting, then what does this say about the nature of your principles and ethics?

If someone you know is constantly negative and obnoxious, and you allow yourself to get hostile, what does this say about your ability to show the person compassion they may never have felt?

If an associate has financial problems and constantly takes advantage of your good will, what does this say about your ability to look after yourself or to draw his attention to root causes of issues?

Impatience in any form takes it toll on our physical bodies. It causes stress, raises blood pressure and aggravates the body's organs and immune system. Impatience can rattle your social life too, by straining relationships, and disrupting group activities, but only if you let it.  You always have the opportunity to consider another side to distractions.We can all benefit from learning to see value in other views.