365 Grateful: 11.16.2014

365 - 11-16-2014

I ran across a phrase the other day in a Huffpost article.

ASKHOLE: A person who constantly asks for your advice
but always does the opposite of what you suggest.

I’ve been thinking about that lately because, well, I’m a coach. Lots of people talk to me about issues and options, perspectives and decisions. I’m more than happy to listen and to hopefully ask the kind of questions that might help them decide for themselves. Though I try to stay away from advice giving, sometimes it happens.

So I get this whole “askhole” thing. I’m thinking “askhole” is too strong a term, however, because most people who do this aren’t really seeking advice. They’re looking for agreement with their desires, instead. They want you to encourage them to go the way they want to go, do the thing they want to do, choose the option they want to choose, solidify the belief they want to believe. In some deep, often hidden place they may know it’s not the right choice for them … which is exactly why they keep seeking opinions. They’re looking for the one that matches. They get corroboration that way.

Conversely, somewhere (probably in that deep, hidden place) they may think their desire IS the right thing, but because they don’t really trust their instincts, they keep on looking for that corroboration. When they get it, it proves to be too hard and too scary to break out of a rut and leave behind what’s been the norm for so long.

We look for and are drawn to those opinions, articles, and people who think as we think and who espouse the same beliefs we hold. We all do this; it’s human nature. We’re more likely to notice and follow what falls in line with our thinking rather than to question and stay as open as possible to other perspectives. It takes real work to do that.

Which brings me to gratitude: I’m grateful for the askholes I encounter who remind me, when I feel that prickle of frustration over their actions, that it’s good to entertain alternatives.

365 Grateful: 11.13.2014

365 - 11-13-2014

So I’m absolutely lost in a maze of IT cubicles. Wait! There’s a window. Maybe I can get my bearings. But on the desk beside the window I notice a flip-book of quotes opened to “I love deadlines. I especially like the sound they make as they go whooshing by.” I actually backtrack to capture a photo.

Now, I’m a pressure-driven performer, so I do need deadlines. Can’t say I love ‘em, but I recognize the need. Still, I enjoy that whooshing sound, too. So I ask you this: is it possible to find gratitude in a missed deadline?

I think it is. High on my list are these positives:

  • Camaraderie and shared purpose that strengthen relationships. And really, when that big ol’ human deadline nears, wasn’t it all about relationships anyway?
  • Creativity, brainstorming, collaboration, and focused problem-solving, none of which occurs unless there’s a break in the action, which is exactly what happens when a deadline slips. Daniel Goleman, author and emotional intelligence expert, recently wrote that “a constant dose of pressure-cooker meetings can stifle creative, thoughtful employees from contributing valuable insights.” I, too, believe that, at some point, there must be a regrouping … allowing a breather … giving birth to good thinking.

So today, I am grateful for being able to entertain the positives of broken deadlines … including that refreshing breeze ruffling my hair as it whooshes past.

Here’s a link to Daniel Goleman’s article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20141110203607-117825785-do-you-perform-better-in-high-pressure-meetings


365 Grateful: 11.11.2014

365 - 11-11xx-2014This Veteran’s Day was a bit nostalgic for me. Remembering my dad, who served in World War II and who brought back so many interesting photos (and stories) from his time in the Philippines. One of his favorite stories to tell? How he kept getting ‘busted’ back to private because, well, he figured officers put their pants on just like he did. Such a sense of self, and such a good man. Grateful.

365 Grateful: 11.10.2014

365 - 11-11-2014My sister went to Spain and all I got was … an egg? Yes, but a gorgeous, polished 2.5″ agate egg! This specimen hails from the Sahara, and lived in a rock shop in Morocco until last week. Grateful for the artistry of mother earth, and for my sister’s willingness to cart it all the way home.

365 Grateful: 11.09.2014

365 - 11-09-2014Grateful, today, for missing a turnoff, which led us to take a seldom-used cut-through, which took us past this cemetery, which brought us face-to-face with this theater-of-the-absurd moment. Grateful for a well-honed sense of such absurdities. Gives a whole new meaning to the idea of Black Friday Sales … and, excuse me, “pre-need?”