Archive | August, 2012

YOU are Uniquely Designed

25 Aug

Not only are you uniquely designed, so is everyone else.  The question I am considering today: Are you uncovering and living in your unique design and, honoring and understanding others in theirs?

I once had a conversation with a scientist/doctor who specializes in woman’s medicine (yes men, I feel confident you will be able to relate to this story.)  Apparently science cannot explain why one woman turns into a crazed antagonist once a month, while another is the queen of waterworks and yet another seems somewhat unaffected.  Nor can science explain why soy, yam cream or prime rose oil will decrease one woman’s symptoms and not the next.  The point, she said, is everyone is different.  We have to keep playing with solutions until we find one that works for that individual.

I found it a little discouraging that science does not have more answers, but it does highlights a life principle; everyone is different. What works for one person is not prescriptive for the next, we have to play with options.

Do you ever feel bad, confused or discouraged because ‘it’ is so easy for someone else and you just can’t get it or you’ve tried and failed?  Do you hate when someone says “this ____ program is all you need” – I lost a ton of weight, got in shape, fixed my computer, got my child to study, learned a new language or solved the world’s problems!  You just need to try harder and follow my program.

At the same time, how often do you try to shove your preconceived ideas onto others? We assume because we’ve experienced success with a particular idea or way of doing something that it will work for everyone – if they would just try harder or do exactly what you told them to do.

There are zillions of ways that we are unique and different. For example learning styles, every person learns somewhat differently.  One person needs to pull things apart and play with it (active learner), another needs to be given information and time to digest it (reflective learner) and still another must understand its immediate application (pragmatist).  One person may learn best in a chaotic, noisy, dimly lit room, sprawled upside down on the sofa, while another needs a bright overhead light with a straight back chair and complete silence.  Go figure!

Have you ever noticed that the people you find most challenging in life are people who aren’t like you? Think about it!

Choice #1 for today:  Let go of judgment!  Get out of the “right/wrong” game.

Choice #2:  Be a detective of yourself.  Start paying attention to your preferences, when you are in flow, on fire or things seem easy.  These are indicators of your unique design.  Ninety percent of what goes on in your brain happens at an unconscious level – most of your gifting and talent happens unconsciously.  Start to become consciously aware.

Choice #3.  Be a detective of others.  Notice when they are in flow, on fire and things seems easy.  Honor and encourage their unique way of doing things.

FYI – this is about HOW people get things done.  It does not justify bad, disrespectful or harmful behavior.

Want Most vs Want Now?

15 Aug

Most of us sacrifice what we want most for what we want now.  (You might want to re-read that.)  What does that mean?

What I want most is a loving close relationship with my child now and when he’s an adult.  What I want now is for him to clean his room, do his homework, eat the food we put on his plate, do his chores, come home on time, stop complaining, playing video games and bugging his sister.  Are the things I want now wrong or even out of line with what I want most? It depends on how you’re doing it.

What I want most is to be physically healthy.  What I want now is to relax after a long day, pick up fast food because I worked late, be socially appropriate at work by going to lunch or eating birthday cake, watch Leno instead of sleeping, or sleeping-in at the expense of exercise.  Is there anything wrong with these activities? Not really, but you are sacrificing what you want most for what you want now?

Here’s the deal, as I see it.

Most people haven’t clearly defined and/or articulated what it is that they want most.

Often when I ask people what they want most it’s a laundry list of wishes: I want my children to be disciplined, creative, well mannered, loving, talented and successful.  I want to be healthy, attractive, an amazing parent, socially well connected and happy. I want a fulfilling, career where I’m paid what I’m worth. I want purpose, meaning, spiritual completeness and a great marriage.  Yes, good.  But what do you want MOST?

Everything is not an option, contrary to our American belief. It’s difficult to focus with the laundry list approach.  We get all revved-up in a moment of inspiration only to slide back into want now mediocrity.  Then, we “justify” our want now decisions; “but I had to work late, I needed the sleep, I yell because I care.”

Today’s Point of Choice, start the ‘want most’ journey.

  1. Dedicate time to honestly consider what you want most.  (It’s okay if it starts as a laundry list.)
  2. Discuss your ideas with family and friends.  What would it mean to prioritize one thing over another?  How would that affect the other areas of life?  What sacrifices or compromises would have to be made?
  3. Make some choices.  Put a manageable time frame around your decisions and create a plan. (Don’t worry about reconstructing your entire life, get started on something that matters!)

If you’re good to go, stop reading now and get to work!  If you’d like a little prompting to stimulate ideas – read on.

I want most list:  consider various areas of your life

  •   Who do I want to “be” (not what do I want to do).  How would I ultimately like people to describe me?
  •   What kind of relationship do I want with: my spouse, kids, siblings, parents, God, co-workers, church, friends or community?
  •   What gives me a sense of purpose, fulfillment or meaning?
  •   What do I want most for my finances, health, spiritual life and intellect?
  •   At the end of my time on earth, what do I want my work/life balance to have been?
  •   What impact to I wants to have left when I’m gone?

Examples of what I want most…

  • I want to be a fair, objective person with integrity who actively helps other to feel accepted, safe and loved.
  • I want my spouse to feel loved and respected, even in times of difficulty.  I want to feel loved and respected by my spouse.
  • I want my kids to know they are loved, important, responsible and accountable.
  • I want my siblings to know I love them unconditionally, even if I don’t accept their behaviors.
  • I want my community to know that my principle, values and love are non-negotiable.
  • I want to make a difference in the world. I want the people I influence to be more peace-filled, focused on what is important and more centered than they would be without my influence.
  • I want to be healthy enough to live with energy and do the best I can to ensure I will be around to experience my children and grandchildren growing up.
  • I want it to be obvious, year-over-year, that I am growing as a person.
  • I want to keep my mind sharp and my opinions open.