Category Archives: Interpersonal Relations

Eight Things to Quit

In any given December you can hear people talk about the bad habits they’re going to quit as part of their New Year’s Resolutions. My biggest challenge with such statements is that the person is waiting for a specific day, as if they need the calendar’s permission for when to start. How about starting RIGHT NOW? Another challenge I have is that some of the changes require changing their lifestyle, not just breaking one habit. My favorite is, “I’m going to quit smoking cigarettes.” That’s awesome; it truly is. It will surely help you live a longer and healthier life. But what about the excessive alcohol, sodas and fatty foods you eat? How about the fact that you never exercise? How about the fact that you have to take pills to sleep, a gallon of coffee to wake up and something to help you void your body of the junk you’re going to have for lunch?  I’d far rather see (or hear) anyone resolve to live a healthier lifestyle and if that includes quitting smoking cigarettes, then awesome! Continue reading

Friends – Casual and Others

Words have meaning. In a perfect world, the same word would have the same meaning to everyone. That alone would reduce the amount of miscommunication and misunderstandings that occur. We don’t live in a perfect world though, and those misthings occur. Just recently there was a conversation held, that was unfortunately (or fortunately?) overhead, and had to be shared for the lesson that was available. The biggest misunderstanding that existed in the conversation was that the two people involved had different outlooks on what the word “friend” means. Continue reading

Defining Nobility & Why You Should Pursue It

Have you ever wondered why or how someone particular got to be King or Queen? Sure, if you watch movies and assume any level of accuracy in them, some of the kings our world has seen become so through nothing more than force of violence. They were the strongest or they had the strongest army. That “strongest army” might also have simply meant most brutal or best armed. But when our world reached a point where Kings weren’t just the result of brute force, how was a king selected? As recently as the late 1700s, a new nation tried to select a man to be king. George Washington turned down the title and refused being “royalty,” but why was he chosen to potentially be such in the first place? Continue reading

Circles and Lines

Is life a circle? Or is it a line? Does it matter? Why even think about it? Just recently I ran across some memes that had me wondering about the mindset they presuppose and the overall tone, be it positive, negative or somewhat neutral. They started me thinking about Body’s Cycle – the humane decision making cycle taught to many (if not all) combatants. The cycle is a four step repeating process wherein your observe your surroundings, orient yourself to the situation, make a decision and then act upon that decision. Your action causes a change so you have to start over with observing the change and so on. These cycles are often referred to as “OODA Loops” (said “u-dah loop”). They are circular and repeating. They are also usually applied only to compressed time frames such as competitions and conflict where your actions have to happen fast… fast enough to get ahead of your opponent’s OODA Loops and emerge victories.  Can the same thing be said on a grander scale about life? Continue reading

Ten Leadership Lessons from Jeff Bezos

Why would anyone want to learn anything from Jeff Bezos? Who is this guy and what makes his leadership lessons of any value? Jeff Bezos is the founder, chairman, CEO and president of Amazon.com, Inc. At the age of 55 (as this is written) he has a reported net worth of just under $165 Billion. For those of us who remember the world before Amazon.com, its introduction and its growth, it’s obvious that whoever was at the helm knew what he was doing. He had a vision and goals and he strategically pursued them. We can assume there were challenges but we can readily see the success. Continue reading

Are You Too Private?

Or not private enough?

“Don’t air your dirty laundry in public.” It’s an old and wise saying. When there are problems at home, at work, at school, in a friendship, whatever – it’s not usually a good idea to just share those problems willy-nilly with anyone who will stand still long enough to listen. While that’s true, the lesson is all too often misapplied.  It doesn’t mean you should NEVER talk to anyone about those things; it means you should be selective. Here’s what I mean. Continue reading

Is There a Difference Between Insulting and Offensive?

Not that long ago I had an experience that made me think about the difference between “being insulted” and “being offended.” In today’s society where it seems like there is always someone offended by something, no matter how innocuous or harmless the “something” might be, it’s almost become fashionable to be offended. What’s worse, the idea that being offended seems to mean someone owes you something in reparation for having caused that feeling.  Here we get to where people who have been “triggered” feel they are owed something (and that “something” can be truly ridiculous) simply because someone did something that was offensive to them. If you have this conversation long enough, terms like “snowflake” and “pansy” start getting thrown around and then we’ve moved from the realm of offensive to the realm of insulting. They are far from the same thing but in today’s world the difference has been all but lost. Continue reading

12 Secrets of a Happier Life

Every now and then in everyone’s life we get distracted by things that we either cannot change or that shouldn’t matter to us to begin with. The distraction can cost us time, emotional energy, mental fatigue and more. To increase the quality of our life and the sense of serenity in our days, it’s worth reviewing the simplest of lessons so we can keep our mental and emotional outlook fresh. Continue reading

Sympathy vs. Empathy

Just the other day I was involved in a very brief virtual discussion about the benefits of empathy over sympathy. For the person to whom you’re expressing either of these, there is a benefit; but which is better or more beneficial for them? The person who originally posted it had the position that empathy was ultimately better than sympathy because you were seeing the suffering person’s outlook from their own perspective. I maintained that you can’t do that because you don’t have their same background, experience, knowledge, etc. Then, like I usually do, I overthought heck out of it and ended up simply making sure I understand the differences, strengths and any potential weaknesses. Then, as usual, I started typing. Continue reading

Where The Green Grass Grows

I will never forget parts of my childhood and one of the things I remember best is my father complaining about how he could never get the grass to grow healthy. He’d complain about weeds; he’d complain about fungus; he’d complain about too little rain, too much rain, not enough sunshine, kids in the yard and more. Then one day he decided to have the entire yard cut up and had all new sod put down. I’ll never forget how carefully he took care of that new sod. He watered it religiously, fertilized it in accordance with the landscaper’s directions and mowed it (or told me to mow it) weekly in season. I’d like to discuss the implications and analogies that my father’s yard care represented in comparison to relationships – which is most often how the green grass on the other side of the fence statement is applied. Continue reading