Waa waaa waaa…yea yea I know what you’ll say – “But I hate doing that…I’ll do it later” Well the truth is that when you have something that you really don’t want to do – it’s best if you do what Nike preaches and JUST DO IT!
In every-day life there are those things that, for whatever reason, we absolutely hate to do and we will do anything not to have to do them. There are no magic bullets for making crappy things less crappy but I can tell you that if you scope out the crappy things (those things you hate doing) and you know what you are up against you can make a plan to tackle them early on. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan but you should at least target those things during the day that you hate and resolve yourself to do them first! Do not put them off!
“But if I do them at the start of the day then my day will be crappy”
Well this doesn’t have to be the case. It’s all in how you look at it. Think of it this way…if you do the crappy things first then they are done. Kaput. Over. Finished! The rest of your day can be spent doing things that you don’t hate. Perhaps the rest of the day can be spent doing things that you actually enjoy! Imagine that! See…the problem with most of us, including me, is that we tend to put those things that we hate off until the end of the day or for another time and then the time from “now until then” is not as good. We don’t enjoy it. In fact, it makes our day worse knowing that we are going to have to do something we hate later. We worry or fret or constantly think about that one thing that we hate that we know we are going to have to do.
If, instead, we “get er done” at the start of our day we are free to live a day without worry or fret and without being constantly reminded that we have to trudge through something we hate at the end. The freedom that comes from dealing with the hard stuff…the hated stuff at the start instead of the end is amazing. Try it sometime and see what happens. You’ll be surprised that you will want to tackle the crap at the start of the day rather than at the end. It’s habit forming…trust me!
Ok…so it’s been awhile since I have posted. You wouldn’t believe what has been happening in my personal life. So many things…some good but a lot that have been bad. Yes that’s right even a motivational guy like me has a lot of crap happen to him. Like I’ve said in my previous posts…it’s inevitable that from time to time we are all going to feel like the world has come crashing down. Well guess what – my world crashed a bit but I’m still here to tell about it. Actually, I’m not going to talk about it specifically because who wants to hear my sob story. What I will do though is to talk about how to handle things when you get crapped on.
One of my favorite quotes is one where I don’t even know the original author! I wish I did because I would (1) attribute the quote to him/her every time I use it, and (2) thank them for such a plain and simple and deeply important quotation. Suffice it to say that if anyone knows who originally wrote this quotation, please let me know!
Gee…I built this quotation up quite a bit here so I guess I better talk about it huh? The quote is about crap. Yes…that little word that is usually known by it’s other more profane term. Ya’ll know what I mean. Here is the quote:
“When someone throws a bucket of crap at you, step aside and let the crap hit the wall. If you don’t then the crap will hit you and you’ll feel crappy.”
WHAT A GREAT QUOTATION!! This makes so much sense! When you read this little ditty, you realize how profound the term crap can really be. You realize the truth to this quote and how you can relate to it! Let’s dissect this quote shall we.. .
(1) “When someone throws a bucket of crap at you…” How many times in life have you had people dump their problems on you? People come up to us everyday and try to dump their problems, bad-attitudes, and headaches onto us. It’s a part of life. “I’m feeling bad so I’m going to make everyone else feel bad” is what many people think. Or “I forgot to do this so now it’s your problem that I’m rushed and we’re late.” Many times people transpose their issues onto us.
The funny thing is though that a lot of times we stand there and take it! We let the crap get thrown right onto us without doing anything! We take on others’ problems and we absorb them into us like we’re some sort of huge crap-absorbing sponge. We then turn around and rationalize to our selves that it’s good to “be there” for our friends or that we are a “good friend” because we help others with their issues. “My friends all love me because I listen to their problems” we say. These are all admirable traits, however, I will ask you to think about whether or not you help friends deal with their issues or whether or not you actually TAKE ON their problems and in turn get more stressed and wigged out because of it. Many times we think we are helping our friends or loved ones but we end up taking on their issues/problems…or crap and internalizing it and being part of their drama. We do this without even realizing it. One minute we are being a concerned friend – the next minute we are feeling lousy because WE now have internalized our friend’s problem. We shouldn’t let people dump on us. Listening is good. Empathizing with a friend about their problems is appropriate, however, fully taking on their problem is never a good thing. In many ways this throwing a bucket of crap on you is like passing the buck (the problem) onto you so that the “thrower” doesn’t have to worry about it anymore while you now have all the drama and they are drama free.
So what do you do…well that’s where the next part of the quotations comes in –
(2) “Step aside and let the crap hit the wall!” – This is self explanatory really. When someone dumps on you it’s ok to listen, to empathize, and to “be there” for them, however, as they dump their problems on you or try to pass the buck – DO NOT let those problems or dramas or stresses become part of you!! Reflect back to them, offer suggestions or possible solutions but don’t do it yourself. Provide help but keep perspective on whose problem it really is. Don’t volunteer to take on their problems. Don’t, don’t, don’t! Why not? Well that’s where the next part of the quotation comes in –
(3) “If you don’t then the crap will hit you and you’ll feel crappy.” – Here the sage who wrote this is saying that by taking on someone else’s problems we then have their problems PLUS our problems! Double whammy! Not good. You don’t want to feel crappy. You cannot be there for someone to help them find solutions to their problems, etc…if you are feeling crappy now can you?
I guess what I’m trying to say about all of this is that it is great to be a friend. It is great to help people but there is a time, a place, and a level at which that help can be given. Know your limits and know that you will not take on the dramas of others. Know that you can step aside and let the crap hit the wall and know that their problem is not your problem.
In the everyday workplace this happens a lot. Someone is in a bad mood and they project this onto everyone they come in contact with (ie. throwing buckets of crap). When someone does this at a store or at work or somewhere…do as the quote says…step aside and let their bad mood go right by you. If you don’t then it is guaranteed that their bad mood will rub off on you! Don’t let it!
For much more on this topic check out Episode 19 of the Motivational Mojo Show!
I was out of town this weekend and happened to spend some time at the local mall. It was decorated with giant holiday bulbs hanging from the 3-story atrium, garland everywhere, and humongous boxes of presents wrapped all pretty. There were candy canes the size of trees, nut-cracker statues standing guard at every entrance, and the sounds of the holidays were playing on the PA system.
I walked into this winter wonderland and immediately felt happy and jolly! Within about 3 minutes, that feeling changed! I was headed for the food court which was at the other end of the mall. I was going with traffic and walking in pace with the flow of the crowd. I quickly noticed a group of kids fighting and yelling at each other. A small crowd had gathered around them and was cheering on the fight. A few more paces and I was bumped by a woman running out of a store at 90 Mph. I don’t know if she had just stolen something or if she had been called to an emergency or what but she darted from the storefront as if she were Flo Jo. After almost being knocked over, I continued on my way. I got to the elevator and stood well clear of the door. When it opened, a woman backed out of it pulling a stroller and continued backing and plowed down my 10 year-old daughter. After my daughter had picked herself up and I had said “excuse me ma’am someone’s behind you” the woman glared at me and my little girl and said something to the effect of “!@#$% you – get out of my !@#@#%! way.” Again, my girl and I were standing about 30 feet from the elevator at the time. I’m not sure why the woman backed all the way across the hall without looking.
Ok…so now I’m on the elevator a bit miffed. The holiday glow and the jolliness that I got when I entered the place was slowly disappearing. I go to the food court and stood in line at the counter. There was one person in line who was talking on her cell and kept asking the cashier to wait to take her order. After about 10 minutes of her breaking up with her boyfriend on the phone, the woman finally placed order and I was able to order. “I’ll have the 6.99 Chinese Special with a water” I said. “That will be 12.99” the cashier said. “I’m sorry, I only ordered 1 special” I politely said. I asked the cashier how this mathematical miracle could have happened and after about 5 minutes of her just saying “12.99” and smiling, I gave up and gave her the money and took my golden meal.
Ok…I could go on… but my experience this past weekend illustrates how easy it is to have a happy mood ruined. How easy it is to fall into the bah humbug mode around the holidays. Everyone is hurried and harried this time of year and all you have to do is step outside your door and it seems that there are reasons to hate the season. My advice however is what you’d expect – DON’T!
Don’t hate the season and don’t let the hustle of it get you down. Don’t swear off the holidays because of the commercialization or the fact that 95% of the people you encounter this time of year SEEM to have forgotten about the real reason for the holidays and instead only think of their lists, their rushing, and their lack of time. Don’t become a scrooge! Don’t let it happen. Remember, YOU control how you feel. Your feelings are YOUR OWN and you are in charge. If you want to get mad at others for plowing down your daughter, fighting, charging you a 2nd mortgage for lunch then it is YOU and YOU alone who have made yourself mad. I could have been upset the rest of the evening and let myself stew over the blatant absurdity of the mall scene but I didn’t.
Although I got upset at the moment, I quickly realized that I wanted to have fun the rest of the day so let it slide off my back and focused on other things – namely spending time with my children. That was what made me happy. That was what defined my day. Not the dumb things that happened during our lunch at the mall.
It’s sometimes difficult to take charge of your feelings when lots of bad things are happening but you can do it. You CAN do it! Focus on those things that will get you through the bad times or the unpleasant experiences. Focus on those things that you can look forward to. Refocus on those things that are positive in a situation. By continually focusing on the negative and on those things that cause you angst, you are building on a foundation of negativity and that negative foundation will surely lead to destruction and unhappiness if left unchecked.
Remember P.A.C.E. – A positive attitude cures everything. During this time of year, remember P.A.C.E. Remember what makes you happy. Think of those things that cause you great joy. If we can do these simple things, then we are well on our way to a no-bah-humbug holiday!
Ever have those times when it seems like everyone is coming down on your butt? Those times when people in your professional and/or personal life try to micro-manage every detail of what you do and who you are? It happens to everyone. No one is immune to this. It will happen many times over a lifetime and we all know this. We all will also play the role of micro-managers at one or more times in our lives. It’s part of life and it comes in spurts at various levels in various segments of our lives. At times we and others are very engaged…too engaged in things…and at times we are disengaged …sometimes too disengaged.
How do we deal with it when it happens to us? This is the question. At first, our initial reaction may be one of anger. “How can this person tell me what to do” is what we say to ourselves. “What right do they have to act this way” we ask ourselves. It is doubly difficult when this micro-management comes from loved ones or good friends. We wonder why they are doing this. We wonder who they turned into. We wonder why this person is power-tripping! A whole host of emotions come into play. Anger, rage, fear, sadness, abandonment, etc…these feelings eat away at us…they sometimes consume us and cause massive amounts of stress and worry. We want to yell…we want to curl up and cry…all of these emotions are present when we feel like we are not in control of our lives and someone else is or is trying to control us.
Oftentimes small things get blown out of proportion when we are being micro-manged. They get blown out of proportion by all parties involved and it becomes a situation where people can’t see the forest for the self-constructed trees they have put up. Escalation occurs and pretty soon people don’t know what they are arguing about. This often leads to unfortunate and unintended consequences and whether or not they realize it at the time, EVERY one involved on ALL sides ultimately suffers. Maybe one person suffers immediately, but sooner or later all parties suffer emotionally and otherwise.
Micro-management in one’s personal or professional life is basically an issue of trust. We don’t micro-manage the ones we trust. Period. When trust is broken or even when it is not broken in reality but it’s perceived to be broken, everyoe has a tendency to control at the smallest of levels. This ultimately never works. History has shown that all micro-managers be they personal-life micro managers or professional-life micro managers may gain in the short term, but in the long term they do not. It’s just like our mothers told us when we were kids. That cookie may taste sweet now but in a few years your teeth will be rotting away and you’ll be left with nothing.
It’s true. I’ve micro-managed before. I’ve been with left with nothing. I’ve had relationships at work and at home go bad and never recover because of my instance on control and micro-managing.
It’s true. I’ve been micro-managed before. I’ve been left in the lurch and have been cast aside due to micro-management. Again, I was left with nothing to do but pick up the pieces of something that was once good.
I don’t know why I’m talking about this honestly but these words and thoughts seemed to come out so very easily and fluently today that I had to share. I guess at this time of Thanksgiving, it’s so important to be thankful for what we have and for all of the good things in our lives. I preach this in my podcasts and in my public speaking. Be thankful for those people in your lives…those situations that seem unimportant in our lives but are really the important things …those times of change that suck when we are going through them but ultimately move us (if we let it) to a better and higher and more informed plane of existence. Ultimately unless we commit the most heinous crime like murder or rape, etc…nothing is so bad that we cannot forgive and move beyond it to live a much fuller and happier life with others. It’s true that 95% of the things that we think are “major” and we get so upset about are things that ultimately aren’t THAT bad to begin with.
B e thankful, forgive, love, and try to keep it down with the micro-management crap ok!
That’s right…we all know it…we all experience it…we all have caused it and we will always have it in our lives. It’s a scary but true realization that stress is part of us and that we must deal with it or it will deal with us.
Although stress is such a part of the human experience it doesn’t always have to be negative and can be dealt with in many ways. Multitudes of books have been written on stress-relief and many more presentations and programs have focused on minimizing stress in our lives.
When that “internal compass” that guides our moods and behaviors is stressed, our lives and relationships more easily spin out of control – or at least they seem like they are out of control. This can lead to a whole host of problems – both emotionally and physically. Although there are loads of things one can do to help with stress, I’ve summarized a few very simple things here that I think really help with controlling that nasty mojo we all know as stress!
(1) Chill – make conscious decisions NOT to escalate into an angry state.
(2) No Gulping – taking deep slow breaths always helps ease tension. Gulping breaths create it!
(3) S L O W D O W N – Speak more slowly than usual. This will cause more clear thoughts and reduce stress.
(4) Change It Up – A change of scenery or getting a breath of fresh air always helps.
(5) Don’t get parched – Avoiding dehydration as well as eating right can ease stress tremendously.
(6) AT – TEN – TION! – Believe it or not, our posture has a lot to do with stress – Don’t slouch!
(7) Recharge – At the end of EVERY day you need to recharge doing something that relaxes you.
These are just some simple tips to help you deal with your stress levels. You can hear more about each of these tips by listening to the motivational mojo podcast – Episode 4 which can be found on iTunes or at : motivationalmojo.mypodcast.com/index.html
Have a GREAT day!!