No day invites conflict like Christmas Day. Consider it as a template for conflict resolution:
I know you are in a rush and it’s all going to work out! But, it’ll work out a little better if you’ll employ some or all of the following three tactics for a better moment (especially for Christmas day). The picture is what we want.
BUT— 99% of us have some kind of conflicts or frustrations with others on Christmas Day . I know it feels horrible, but it’s actually a day just like the rest of the year when it comes to conflicts! We only are EXPECTING IT to be BETTER for 1 Single Day! That really adds to the problem. The other thing that hurts is that we are all different; the very reason we where drawn together. One of my professors you to tell us,
IF YOU’RE BOTH THE SAME, THEN ONE OF YOU ISN’T NECESSARY
Here are the 3 things you can do for everything to be profoundly better. I won’t take the time to explain why, just try them out and see if things are good:
1. Realize and think about what one of my friends/mentors (Robert Fritz) says, “We are on loan to each other.” That is exactly right. It’s only going to last for a little while. We don’t own and can’t control each other… so, STOP IT!
2. Realize you don’t know the future, but pretend that you do all the time. When you ‘know’ that someone is going to not like a gift or someone is going to misbehave…you are mentally presuming upon the future (and God’s providence). You might be right, but you might be wrong. Why not settle into just being an honest person who can say, “I don’t know.” Is it going to be a good day? I don’t know. Will Uncle Rufus make fun of the cheese grits? I don’t know. Will Cindy Lu be upset about the roast beast like last year? I don’t know. You get the idea…it will free you to allow what happens to just unfold.
3. In any situation, you can finally realize that the circumstances won’t last forever. We live in TIME, which means change. We aren’t yet in an eternal hell or heaven, but when you think something bad will last forever, that is hell. Try saying these words to yourself a few times when something isn’t quite perfect, “It won’t last forever.” You’ll be surprised how calming it is!
Merry Christmas (and the rest of the year)!
Off to learn,
Fred Ray Lybrand
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“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. ” ―Walt Disney Company
In The One Success Habit (You Can’t Do Without), I stress a vital piece of reality…Action’s the Thing. The fact is that nothing happens until something moves (see Einstein). I’m a fan of planning and what I like to call imagination work, but it doesn’t change the fact that when you tweet you get more followers. That goes with advertising or following up with your reports on a project.
A simple way to look at it is to ask two questions (especially if you want to be strategic):
1. What will probably happen if I take this action?
2. What will probably happen if I take no action?
That will sort out a lot, assuming you have thought about what you want to happen!
Fred Ray Lybrand
I rarely do this, but I’m piggy-backing on an article I saw this week by Dr. Carol Morgan. She matches my on conviction with one of her mottos, “Change your thinking, change your life.” My own version is—
It’s really hard to think crooked and walk straight
If you haven’t thought about it yet, it is way past time. The way you think about cooking, sales, schooling, love, relationships, driving, playing boggle or Catan, communication, money, government, and makeup ALL affect how you act and react. I used to worry a fair amount about everyone being happy / pleased / grateful toward me. One day, however, wrestling with this brought me to a fresh conclusion as I read how someone else came to grips with the issue by thinking differently. I realized —
No matter what, about 1/3 of the people who get to know you will love you…about 1/3 will hate you…and about 1/3 won’t care about you either way!
That may sound discouraging to you, but it gave me a fresh way to appreciate the supportive people in my life (P.S. Jesus, Socrates, and Lincoln’s numbers where a good bit lower 😉 So, how do you change your thinking away from toxic misbeliefs? Dr. Morgan’s article has some good thoughts (12 Poisonous Thoughts That Are Sabotaging Your Life) about this issue. In fact, here’s her list:
1. Thinking that you are a victim.
2. Thinking that you can change other people.
3. Thoughts that constantly resist “What Is.”
4. Thinking that “The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side.”
5. Having expectations of other people.
6. Thinking that having a significant other will complete you.
7. Feeling that you always need to prove that you are right.
8. Worrying about what other people think.
9. Thinking there is only ONE right and ONE wrong.
10. Worrying about the future because you feel unprepared.
11. Thinking that money equals happiness.
12. Believing that the past determines your future.
Identifying them doesn’t ‘cure’ them, so what do you do? The most ready-to-use answer is to learn how to argue with yourself (Lord knows you CAN argue if you were ever a teen!). Most of the problem is that these kinds of toxic thoughts get to the level of belief or assumptions. When they get there they are ‘automatic’ in that you just aren’t aware of them influencing your decisions and behaviors.
So, how do you argue with them? Start by answering this one question, “What are 3 reasons this might be wrong?” Honestly, if you’ll start doing that (and adding reasons as you go) you will see this practice start to loosen the toxic thought’s grip on you.You can doubt anything if you question it enough. The other thing to do is to find out what is true and think about that in addition to arguing with yourself. Personally, the Bible has been my best source for this step. Hope this helps.
Off to learn,
Fred Ray Lybrand
In the midst of the ISIS crisis in the Middle East, I see President Obama has stated the following:
We know that if we are joined by the international community, we can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, its effectiveness, its financing, its military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem. WSJ
I don’t know where it heads or how our leaders will seek to deal with the terrorizing of people by this radical Islamic fundamentalist group (beheading two journalists so far), but there is a disturbing lesson in here for all of us. In a later statement, administration officials backtracked a bit saying ISIS must be degraded before it can be destroyed.
However, the disturbing lesson we can learn from these words is found in the single phrase ‘manageable problem’.
If you manage the problem, you’ll keep the problem. -FRL
I’m not talking about politics or government polity. Instead, I am talking about a mindset when we face problems. What needs to be going on surrounds a word like ‘cure’ or ‘solution’ rather than the mere management of a problem. A mindset of bringing a problem to a permanent end is the right kind of vehicle to throw a problem into. If you encounter a problem that can’t be cured, then you have a reality (not a problem). Problems, by their nature, can be cured.
So, what are you facing if you aren’t the President of the United States of America? What kind of challenge is in view? If the President and Congress think that a problem like this needs to be managed, then we are going to see it continue. If they think it can be cured, then there’s a chance someone will see a solution. Curing cancer or human trafficking will come as we look for a cure. Managing these scourges will simply perpetuate them.
Are you trying to make your own problems manageable or are you trying to make them go away forever? Just this one small distinction brings up completely different possible solutions. What if your enduring ‘problem’ has been hanging around simply because you haven’t thought about making it go away forever?
Off to learn,
Fred Ray Lybrand
Motivating others is a pain sometimes, isn’t it? In fact, even motivating ourselves is a problem as well.
The reason is probably a little more simple than we’d like to believe:
MOTIVATION FOLLOWS ACTION
I know, this idea seems weird and some of you will look up the definition in a moment. But, think about it. Haven’t you ever noticed how you are not interested in a game, but agree to play anyway—only to find that you are passionately engaged after playing for a little bit? Most of us experienced the same thing with something as awful as homework. Once we get going it isn’t too bad (maybe it’s even a little bit fun).
You see, we are really looking at energy and motion (same root as motivation) when we are talking about motivation. Sure, you have desire to begin with, but the sense of EAGERNESS doesn’t happen until after you start taking action. So, here’s where the rub is when motivating others comes into play. Trying to force others to take action usually amounts to manipulation rather than motivation.
My simple suggestion is to try to inspire them to act (while honoring their own ‘free will’). The easiest way is just to INVITE them to give ‘it’ a try as an experiment. If action begets motivational energy, then we need to be looking to action. Maybe Dr. Seuss had it right with Green Eggs & Ham:
“I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.”
“Try them, try them, and you may! Try them and you may, I say.”
If you try to spend time lecturing someone into action, then you are likely wasting your time. If you challenge them to read 10 pages of a book you give them before they put it on a shelf, you might just see something big happen!
Of course, the greater challenge is with ourselves. Why not do an experiment on cleaning your desk or writing that letter you’ve been putting off? Just try taking small actions (whether you feel like it or not) for a mere 5 minutes. If you are like almost everyone else in the world, then you’ll find that your ACTIONS lead to MOTIVATION.
What a cool insight, if I’m right!
Of course, there’s something else we can do that naturally leads to action; but, I’ll save that for my next note.