“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”
—George Carlin, Late American stand-up comedian and social critic
Image from content.time
George Carlin, who passed away in 2008, was noted for his black comedy. No subject escaped his probing and ingenious mind. He had a surprising and penetrating way of making aspects of human nature hilarious to millions of people.
Today’s quote points out that we are constantly talking to ourselves and find our own opinions, perspective, and general views on all subjects of greatest appeal and value. Carlin knew that our favorite subject was ourselves. He was clever enough to poke fun at it, making him one of the most popular comedians of all time.
Where and how can the understanding that each of us talks to ourselves and prefers our owns answers help you improve your relationships and the results you desire, personally or professionally?
“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”
—George Bernard Shaw, 20th Century Irish playwright
Image from Flickr by Jason Bain
It is early spring here in Michigan. With increased daylight, warmer days, and a few more birds chirping, many of us are embarking on some spring cleaning.
Two activities that are often on the list are cleaning or replacing the furnace filter, and washing the windows, to clean our air and brighten our views.
How can and will you clean your own perceptual filters and brighten your windows on the world to lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life?
Consider doing this exercise with your family or work community so that you can engage additional social support and increase the likelihood of success.
“Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”
Image from Flickr by Hayley Mechelle
What current personal or professional issue has you upset, frustrated, and perhaps at a breaking point? Where are you ready to throw in the towel and give up on a matter of great importance?
You may even feel that you have tried everything possible and don’t have it in you to go on.
Beyond the RAH-RAH of the If at first you don’t succeed… stuff, how can you remain patient and persist in new and different actions to open the locks of opportunities you seek?
Seek out the support of a friend, mentor, family member, or coach to tackle this matter. They will likely help you find the inner strength to go on, and the added perspective to achieve what you desire.
“Keep the bigger perspective in mind, not getting caught in life’s little whirlpools.”
—Barbara Ann Kipfer, Author of Self-Meditation
Image from Clipartfest
What are some of the events in your personal or professional life that have brought you down, upset you, or even caused you to feel angry?
Select just one event, and play with it through a variety of perspectives to see if you can rise out of the downward spiral.
Who in your world would barely notice the issue, or not be impacted at all? How would they view this issue?
Who do you know who would find the lesson in this issue and use the silver lining to better their life?
Who in your life is creative and innovate, always finding a way to achieve their objectives in spite of obstacles or challenges?
What new and different approaches and perspectives can you try to better navigate the swirling whirlpools that pull you down?
Consider asking some of the people you identified above for their coaching.
“The truth you believe in and cling to makes you unavailable to hear anything new.”
-Pema Chödrön, American Buddhist nun
Image of Pema Chödrön from calmfulliving.com
When was the last time you had a discussion with a friend, family member, or colleague in which they said, “I know” one or more times?
Consider that at such moments their beliefs and opinions are firmly cemented into their minds. Unfortunately, in many cases, they have literally stopped listening to any other perspective.
Turning this situation around, how often do you say “I know” to others, or just covertly think it to yourself?
Where and on what subjects are you clinging too tightly to your own point of view or perspective, making you unavailable to new possibilities?
How would an “I don’t know / I’m not sure / I’m curious” perspective create the greatest value?
“If you don’t read people well, you’re climbing up a wobbly career ladder, blindfolded.”
When you hear the phrase, “office politics,” what comes to mind? If you are like many, this idea draws strong reactions, including hate, disgust, annoyance, or for some, a bit of curiosity. Regardless of your feelings, office politics are a fact of life. In Workplace Poker, Dan Rust suggests we either learn to play it or we are likely to be played.
His advise on learning to read people includes:
- Minimize your own emotional reactions, and set aside preconceived notions, judgements, and expectations. You can’t get inside someone else’s head until you get out of your own.
- Learn to be a third-party observer. Notice how people speak, dress, act, and interact with others. You will gain a baseline of their behavior, which can be revealing and useful.
Consider picking up a copy of Workplace Poker if you have ever experienced bumps or dips in your career trajectory. This resource can also prove useful in many community and non-profit organizations.
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die, and the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”
⏤Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement in British-ruled India
Image from Flickr by Andrew Roberts
When I first read this quote, I felt pretty down at the thought of dying each evening, with a sense of finality that something⏤in this case, my day⏤was over.
Many of us experience similar feelings when our weekends, vacations, or other happy times come to an end.
Consider that the same is true for bad times, and uncomfortable events we may want to wish away.
To wake up and be reborn each new day excites me with the possibilities of new and wondrous things I can intentionally do, with a fresh perspective and a fresh canvas to draw upon.
How can you interpret today’s quote to make the very best of each new day you are fortunate enough to experience?
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
—Anne Lamott, American Novelist and Political Activist
Image from Flickr by Daniele Margaroli
How are you at problem solving and troubleshooting? When was the last time you were really grinding on a particular issue with no success?
Today’s quote points to the simple yet often effective technique of taking a break to allow a change of perspective. This gives us opportunity to come at a problem with a fresh set of eyes.
How often do you find yourself putting in marathon levels of effort with somewhat diminishing returns?
Where and when would it be appropriate and more helpful to unplug from a particular issue in order to gain greater workability?
“Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.”
—Mark Twain, American Author and Humorist
A few months ago I had a wonderful family vacation in the San Diego area, purported to have one of the best climates in the world. We spent a rainy evening with a few of my son-in-law’s friends, who were a bit upset with the weather. Coming from Michigan, we were more than OK with a bit of cool temperatures and precipitation.
How can greater awareness and perspective regarding your professional and personal expectations help you embrace whatever the weather brings into your world?