Questions… everyone has them…
- Would a fly that loses its wings be called a walk?
- Why is it that when you’re driving and looking for an address, you turn down the volume on the radio?
- Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?
- Why get even when you can get odd?
- Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?
- Why do they report power outages on TV?
- Why do they put Braille dots on the keypad of the drive‑up ATM?
- Why do they call it the Department of Interior when they are in charge of everything outdoors?
- Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?
- Why call them ‘Apartments’ since they’re all together?
- Why do people who know the least know it the loudest?
- Why are there flotation devices under plane seats instead of parachutes?
- When two airplanes almost collide why do they call it a near miss? It sounds like a near hit to me!!
- When companies ship Styrofoam, what do they pack it in?
- Instead of talking to your plants, if you yelled at them would they still grow, only to be troubled and insecure?
- If you’re in a vehicle going the speed of light, what happens when you turn on the headlights?
- If you tied buttered toast to the back of a cat and dropped it from a height, what would happen?
- If you ate pasta and antipasti, would you still be hungry?
- If vegetarians eat vegetables, what do humanitarians eat?
- If nothing ever sticks to TEFLON, how do they make TEFLON stick to the pan?
- If all those psychics know the winning lottery numbers, why are they all still working?
- Do you need a silencer if you are going to shoot a mime?
- If a man speaks in the forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?
- If a book about failures doesn’t sell, is it a success?
- If 7‑11 is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, why are there locks on the doors?
- How does the guy who drives the snowplow get to work in the mornings?
- How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?
- Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?
- Can you be a closet claustrophobic?
But are all questions worth asking?
Are you asking the right questions?
Does it matter if you’re answering the wrong questions?
So… Ask the Right Questions… it does matter.
Do you dream about what’s on the horizon? Beyond? No matter whether you’re the owner of a small business, or an employee in a large corporation, “dreaming” should be a part of your job description. More than that, it needs to be ingrained and become a very significant part of what makes you, well… YOU.
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Consider the wisdom in the following quotes, and use them as guideposts in your own journey as you face conflict.
“The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.”
Aberjhani, The River of Winged Dreams
“Quote words that affirm all men and women are your brothers and sisters.”
Shannon L. Alder
“Sometimes, God doesn’t send you into a battle to win it; he sends you to end it.”
“You cannot fix a problem in the world unless you’ve already resolved the underlying conflict within yourself.”
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
“At the root of every tantrum and power struggle are unmet needs.”
“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.”
“The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.”
“Any problem, big or small, within a family, always seems to start with bad communication. Someone isn’t listening.”
“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.”
“Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.”
“Imagine a wall that’s green on one side and red on the other. You stand on one side and only see green. I stand on the other side and only see red. We’ll both be right about the color we see, even though we disagree on what color the wall is. Being able to realize that the other person has a valid point, even if you disagree with it, that’s maturity.”
Lailah Gifty Akita
“You don’t always have to fight to win. Give peace a chance.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi
“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”
“No matter how thin you slice it, there will always be two sides.”
There is no such thing as a “self-made man/woman”… You obviously had a lot to do with the kind of person you are today, but don’t doubt that others played a huge role. Some were builders in your life, others served as wrecking crews. Each had a part, invited or not, welcomed or denied, in building the YOU that is YOU.
Those that poured into you to challenge and sculpt you into a better human may never ask for an accounting of your life, or the time and effort spent helping you grow.
But I will.
Are you making them proud? Is your life something that would encourage them? Is the person you see in the mirror someone that is working to grow, serve and make the world a better place? Let me suggest that if the answer is “no”, or if you’re unsure, that you consider these 3 simple things:
- What words would my five closest friends use to describe me as a person?
- How would my spouse and/or children describe my impact on their lives?
- If you asked those you work for, work with or lead, to describe you as a person, would you be happy with their characterizations of you?
Life, your life, is an epic story. It’s not about being the hero. It’s about inspiring those before you and those behind you with a life of character and passionate love.
Life is short, and it’s precious. Those people who sacrificed a portion of their short and precious lives did so because they thought you were worth it.
Go prove them right.
Honest issue for discussion…
Whether you agree or not, in America these factors typically affect how much money a person makes:
Level/Amount of Responsibility
Status of Employment (owner/manager/employee)
With those in mind, how would you respond to these questions?
What other things should or do impact compensation for work?
Who should decide what is fair compensation? Government? Owner? Employee?
The confetti from New Year’s Eve has been swept up or blown away. You’ve already had enough time to break and reaffirm your New Year’s resolutions.
Before you know it Valentine’s Day will be here, Spring will have sprung and school will be out. In a year so full of possibilities and fresh potential, what are your dreams for the year?
Maya Angelou once said, “If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”
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Is your glass half full or half empty? Beyond that, is it a nice glass, free of chips and discoloration? And why the focus on the glass? What about the stuff inside it? Does it taste good? Is it cool and refreshing, hot and comforting or lukewarmish and ready for the sink?
Optimists tend to take on the circumstances of life as a combination Coach/Cheerleader/Priest. They will tell you:
- None of this matters, just press on through it because in the end, it will be worth it;
- Circumstances don’t matter, only your attitude;
- Look for the good in everything, and ignore the bad;
- Expect the very best in life, and that’s what you will get;
- You can control your destiny and your attitude!
On the other hand, the Cynic will bring his Eeyore to every conversation, and will most likely:
- Talk about how unfair life is in passing out glasses;
- Spend more time looking at someone else’s glass than his/her own;
- Criticize those with more in their glass as having an unfair advantage;
- Mock those with less in their glass, as if they deserved what they were getting;
- Waste time making excuses, placing blame and dodging the future;
- Give up by passively accepting whatever situation or lot life has placed in their path.
“Optimism is the drug of youth that ignores circumstance & seeks a quick and easy high…
and it is the steady confidence of the aged who know that every sunset is only for a moment.” Page Cole
Can I offer a suggestion? Don’t be either guy/girl. Here’s why, and maybe just a word of encouragement that could help you if you find yourself on the far fringes of either of these types of people…
- Sometimes Life Just Stinks… So Don’t Whitewash It.
- Only When We Face Hard Times With Reality Can We Win Past Them.
- You Don’t Know the Future. Stop Telling People It Will Get Better. It May Not. That’s Life.
- You Can Be an Encourager Without Being Annoying or Condescending… Figure It Out.
- You Don’t Have to Have All of the Answers, Fix Everything or Defend God… So Don’t Try.
- Most of the Problems We Face ARE Temporary, So Stop Making Them Bigger Than They Are;
- No One Likes A Whiner or Someone Who is Consistently Negative. Yes, That’s Why We Avoid You;
- Growth, Real & Substantial Growth Comes to Most People Through Hard Times, Not Easy Ones;
- Life Circumstances Aren’t Dealt Out Equally or Fairly; Some Have More Than Their Share; Don’t Judge People Based on Their Circumstances, Because it’s Stupid;;
- Making Excuses, Being a Quitter or Everyone’s Critic Just Doesn’t Look Good on You.
Can we be positive in face of hard and difficult moments in life? Yes.
Is it OK to be sad, discouraged, frustrated or angry when Life kicks us in the teeth? Yes again.
But find some balance. I think it’s that simple. We’re all going to have hard times, and so are the people we love. Let’s just be authentic as we face those times, deal with the heartache, then push towards wholeness.