Monday, January 29, 2018

DoubtTheDefault

Default settings are built into machines, digital devices, and humans to ensure consistency and dependable outcomes.  They provide us with the secure feeling that the temperature will stay in a comfortable range, that the engine won't overheat, that the browser will jump to preferred sites, and that we won't be exposed to thinking that might offend us.

Default settings have their place in our lives.  They make us feel safe, they assure us of results that we are comfortable with, they allow us to move through life without having to burn cognitive energy on thousands of decisions.  In effect, someone else (a machine?) is doing the thinking for us.  Autopilot certainly has its place in a nice, safe, orderly life.

If, however, we're interested in stretching ourselves, in pushing boundaries, in exploring new possibilities, in creating better futures, it may be that the default settings are working against us.

When getting better, every day, on purpose is a primary goal, it is healthy and wise to doubt the default. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MindChanging

The smartest people I know know a LOT of stuff.

The smartest people I know seem to have knowledge on a wide range of topics.

The smartest people I know are not only smart with regard to content, they're smart about how to access even more content.

The smartest people I know have a broad network of other smart people.

The smartest people I know possess insanely curious minds.

The smartest people I know listen carefully when others are sharing information/perspective.

The smartest people I know hunger for various perspectives on complex issues.  

The smartest people I know have phenomenal minds...
but they seem perfectly willing to change them when new learning warrants it. 


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Irritants

Only hermits are spared the heartburn of dealing with irritating others.  

Here are some of the individuals and groups who tend to get on our last nerve:

  • Fellow employees in a work setting.
  • Team members in an organization.
  • Strangers with whom we interact from time to time.
  • Family members.
  • Friends and acquaintances.
  • Spouses or partners.
Hmmmm...  That's pretty much everyone we come in contact with, huh?  And, we should assume (correctly) that we get on their nerves with equal aplomb.

How best then do we deal with these irritating people?  Be forgiving.  Be less judgmental.  Be accepting of decisions we don't like, but are not ours to make.  Be more tolerant of non-harmful idiosyncrasies.  In short, remember that patience is truly a virtue - and practice it with painful persistence.  

There are times, however, when patience is not the magic elixir:  
  • When the behaviors of others are illegal or unethical.  
  • When the irritants purposefully hurt others (physically or emotionally).  
  • When the behaviors of others make group harmony/progress impossible.  
In those cases, the uncomfortable need is for attention to be drawn to the offense(s) and intervention enacted.  When they aren't, the irritants can become toxic and cancerous, as can our culpability. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Interpretation

Interpretation is the act of making sense of communications signals.  

We constantly interpret the signals we receive from our heart, our body, our mind, our spirit.  Others constantly interpret the signals we send outward, mostly as result of observing our behaviors (ever so rarely, they hear our words, too).  Interestingly, we are in control of both sets of signaling, because we choose how we focus our thinking/words/actions.  

What we think about matters.  Garbage in, garbage out.  Efficacious in, efficacious out.

Misinterpretation is inevitable when the signals are mixed (either the ones received or the ones sent).