Protocols

It’s another day, and my list of things to do is growing, and growing, and growing. I was explaining to a good friend yesterday a portion of what I was trying to do. The conversation helped me to realize how much I’m trying to accomplish and made me ask the question, “Am I actually accomplishing something, or am I just continuing to add to the heap?”

Often, I feel like I am trying to level a mountain, and it just keeps growing under me. How does this come to be? Not being able to say no very well. Wanting to do many things. And the biggest of all not having a robust set of procedures to help manage my personal and professional life.

Most successful people have some plan to help ensure good self-care. Good self-care helps to ensure you are ready to do good for yourself and others.  They start with a set of protocols for self-care. They have a process and a time for preparing and going to sleep. They have a set of actions and a time for getting up in the morning and know what they’re going to do to prepare for the day. These protocols may be identified as morning rituals, standard operating procedures, processes, or something else. It doesn’t matter what they’re called the only real question is whether or not they work. Protocols only work if they are used.

If you don’t have protocols for self-care, it is never too late. You set your mind to the fact that you will try something and stick with it.

You can set a time to go to bed, and prepare for that time by curtailing the use of interactive electronics about an hour before then. You could choose to write or read instead of playing computer games. Sleeping in a cool room without much light gives you better rest.

Plan when you will wake up in the morning and what you’re going to do. What do you need to do to feel good at the start of the day? Take a shower? Shave something? Exercise? Grab caffeine or something to eat? Go over your plans for the day?

You can do many things to improve life and make it work in your favor. Only you know what is best for you. You are the one that will know for sure. I can tell you that a little planning and commitment can go a long way in helping.

Positive Growth

We had a pleasant rain in the middle of the night. Not very hard. Just a touch of hail but it was minimal, and although it was a thunder and lightning storm, even that was very quiet. When I first went to the Azores, it only rained at night. I thought, “what a wonderful idea. How do they get the weather to cooperate like that?”

Actually, later, when I move there with my family, I learned I was just lucky the first time. This thought brings up another good question. How often do we see a rare occurrence when we are someplace new, and just think that that’s normal for the place we are? This is a fair question, which grows based on assumptions.  The question also works both ways. How often when visiting another area do we see something that’s normal for them, and consider the occurrence rare?

Both questions are based on what we know at the time. And, both thoughts could have right or wrong answers depending on whether or not we have all the facts. And to have all the information, we have to engage with others.

When you engage with others, you will open yourself up. When you open yourself up, you can share and learn, learning more and growing. Often this positive effort is hindered by fear.

When we open ourselves up, we have to trust in others. We fear they may think we are uneducated, unknowing, or nosy. What we may fail to understand is they probably have the same worries. Yet, if we are willing to take a chance, and they are also willing to take a chance, there could be a profound mutual benefit and positive growth on both sides.

I guess the question here is, do we want to live a negative life of fear, or a positive life of engagement? I think only our egos know for sure.  Yet I can speak from experience, there usually is more positive than negative in life if you look for it.

Have a positive day.

 

Accountability

Unfortunately, we once again suffered another senseless school shooting in our great nation. 10 more of those destined to guide us into the future, perished in senseless slaughter. This aggravates me to no and, as it should all of us. I spent the weekend racking my brain for the why and the what can be done to stop the deaths of so many young people in their haven of learning.

I first looked at the schools themselves, and realized arming teachers is not the answer. I looked at local law enforcement, the legislature for caving into demands, and other places to lay blame. It took me a while and then I think I stumbled on an answer.

My first thought was that all weapons should be locked in the town Armory and signed out by their owners as needed, and then returned to the armory and signed back in. And then, I realized the irrational fear of the government taking guns. I then thought of the owners of weapons developing and running their own armory where the people they would hire would control the arms and sign them in and out. For many, the fear of armed villains breaking into their homes would preclude this. That’s when I realized I was overthinking the entire problem.

What we need is to hold the NRA responsible for gun violence in schools. The Second Amendment did not guarantee 33 round magazines. Nor did it guarantee automatic weapons. The Second Amendment was written in a time where if you were really good with your gun you might possibly get off two shots a minute. Today’s automatic weapons, semi-automatic weapons, and high capacity magazines were not dreamed of when the Second Amendment was written.

The NRA lobbied and bullied to have its way in Congress, and the street armament we have today is a result of that. It is time to hold the NRA responsible. Until the NRA makes our schools safe from mass murder by weapons it lobbied to make legal, they are on the hook and should be held accountable.

I am not talking in a figurative, or pie-in-the-sky thought pattern. The NRA as a whole needs to set protections in place to ensure no schoolchild or teacher is injured by a rifle or a gun at any time on campus. If they fail to do so, federal and state government should step in and hold them accountable for this protection. And, they should reconsider their need of high-capacity magazines. If it takes you 30 rounds to shoot a deer or an elk, you probably need to stop hunting and take up a hobby that would be safer for the rest of us.

By the way, when I was a kid, I was a member of the NRA. They taught me to shoot with my single shot .22, and they did an excellent job on gun safety. Like anyone else in life, they have their good points in their bad points. Don’t we all.

Just one mean old master sergeant’s opinion.

 

Slow Down

For a time, when I served in the Air Force, I worked for great Chief Master Sergeant. He worked very hard both completing a mission of vital importance, and training those who worked for him to be better workers, and better leaders.

The Chief always said one thing I never understood at the time. When people would miss a deadline, including myself, he would tell us we had to slow down. At that time, I did not understand the concept of slowing down. If I was missing deadlines, I felt I needed to speed up. It took me years to appreciate his wisdom in the statement of slowing down. And, today I know it.

The idea of slowing down is not one of ignoring what needs to be done. Slowing down means taking the time to do things right. To slow down correctly, you need to know the importance of each task you take on. And, allocate the proper time to those things that are important and must be done within a set timetable.

 Will some things still not get done? Probably. Yet, knowing that gives us choices to make. The first choice, is this something I should do or is it better delegated to someone else? Is this time sensitive? If so, have I been given enough time to complete it. If not, have I asked for more time?

I understand now that slowing down doesn’t mean doing less. Instead, it’s doing the things that must be done, wisely. And, always ensuring you have the time and resources to complete any task you undertake.

Thank you for being with me today. Hope you’re here again tomorrow.

Ahhh… Sensory Perceptions

Good morning.

The sky is blue, and the temperature is cool shirt sleeve weather.  This will be a great spring day.

Did you ever stop to think how things get done? The dread of taking out of the trash? The fear and loathing of the laundry? The dank despair of the dishes? There’s a very easy explanation to help all these things become accomplishments.

The truth is, they get done because the only thing worse than having to do these unpleasant deeds, is to not do them and have to live with the results. Therefore, we do the tasks we often hate. And as we do those tasks, we find a reward.

Our hard work culminates in several sensory delights. The area we were working in Looks better. The same area probably smells better. And, there is a comfortable realization that for the moment it is one less thing to do.

All of these sensory perceptions are actually highlighted by the release of endorphins in the brain that make you feel better. The endorphins and the positive sensory perceptions upon the completion of the task actually work together to provide you a very positive experience.

You still may not like to do the dishes or clean the bathroom. Yet, with positive completion experiences, you might be willing to do it again and sometime in the future. As these things come about, they form habits. Habits persist because of the outcomes they produce.

If the endorphins and positive sensory perceptions do not work out well for you, McDonald’s always worked for my kids.

Have a wonderful day and a fantastic week.

Talking to Others

Did you know that you can say just about anything to just about anyone and have it well received? Absolutely true.

It is not what you say, instead of how you say it.  I have taught so many classes and given so many line training sessions in my career that I have learned how to do this.

No one can run into a strange situation with a bunch of strangers, just say something and expect them to understand and agree with what you are saying. You need to be a known quantity who cares for and respects your audience.

I think it’s time I told you the secret, and also let you in on a secret of mine.

There is a tone that you can use when speaking to people. It’s the same tone that you use when you talk to a puppy dog. If you want a puppy dog to pay attention you have to speak to the dog nicely. You need a calm voice and an easy-going cadence. We start off telling the puppy dog that it is a good dog and you know that it is doing good things.

When you first start doing this do not go over and try to pet the puppy dog. That is how people end up with the nickname lefty. Rather, talk nicely to the puppy dog, and fairly soon it will come to you and nuzzle your hand for a pet or lick your hand. I usually speak to puppy dogs through a fence. When I do so, at some point, whether it is 10 minutes or 10 days, the puppy dog will put its front paws up on the fence, and then I can cautiously offer it my hand.

The same is true with humans. Talk to them nicely, tell them you appreciate what they do, let them know you’re here to help and give them enough space that they feel comfortable. Use the same calm voice and consistency. Understand their problems and explain that you are here to help them.

The humans probably will not lick your hand. If they do, it may be the time to involve HR. You will be able to tell you are making a good impression on the humans when they start trusting you enough to ask why, or they start to participate in the activities.

For you, this is a learned activity. The more you work on the way you talk, the easier it will become. Like everything else, start slowly at first and build upon your successes.

My secret? I used to be very embarrassed to tell people they needed to talk to other people like they should talk to puppy dogs. Actually, I got that wrong. You should talk to puppy dogs like you should talk to other people.

Smile

Smile often.

Laugh even more.

Try always.

A win is always linked to a try.  A loss is just the cost of learning something new.  And, a mistake only takes place if it’s the second time you’ve done it. One step on the ladder, no matter how small, is a Win.  Reaching the top is nothing compared to staying there. You can only go higher if you bring everyone else along. If you rise on the backs of others, they are actually the winners. If you push a person up the ladder of success, you are winning…   … and you’re doing it wrong.

It is easier to lead than you have ever imagined. Don’t believe me? Just try pushing a rope.

Leaders are those who believe it is possible. Leading others starts with belief. Starting each attempt you have with belief. Then take each ending, looking for the next beginning…   …With BELIEF.

The food of the soul is laughter.

Love always starts with self. Don’t worry about the faults of others, start with the person in the mirror. If you can’t tell the difference between work and fun, you’re doing it right. The trip to moving in a positive direction is to move. Plans are maps you follow in your life.

JOY is a three-letter word.

HOPE is a four-letter word.

FAITH is a five – letter word.

BELIEF is a six – letter word.

 We can continue to count all day or, we can put them into action.