It’s them, but it’s also you

You know that one person who drives you crazy? Yeah, that one. 

I’m guessing that you know at least one person who, for personal or professional reasons, you have to endure. It’s a strained relationship at best, and maybe it really is their fault, but if you are going to have to work, live, or play together then you may as well do whatever you can to keep yourself sane.

I wonder if a simple exercise might not change the story you tell yourself about this person. What if you made a list of 10, or 5, or 3 things that you appreciate about this person. Maybe they smell nice, or they bring in donuts on Fridays, or they have excellent penmanship, or they have great taste in music, or they know everything about the Civil War, or they have incredible table manners. Anything.

This list is not meant to excuse their negative behaviors, but to prove that there is more to them than the things that irk you.

Changing the way you think about this person is a great first step because you may be a larger part of the problem than you’ve led yourself to believe.

File this under “advice to myself”. With all the others.

The business case for being a decent person

You don’t need a business case for being a decent person. Just be a decent person.

You don’t need a business case for being trustworthy, kind, thankful, helpful, caring, or any of the other parts of being a decent person.

If being a decent person is a professional liability…then it’s time to find a new profession.

The cost of procrastination

Yesterday I spent 10 minutes completing a project I’ve been putting off for 3 years.

And it felt awesome.

The thing they don’t tell you about procrastination is that the work you are putting off weighs on you. Bit by bit the projects that you will tackle “tomorrow” sap your ability to conceive new and even more wonderful work because you are in debt to the work you have yet to complete.

The solution? Pick something you’ve been putting off and do it.

What is one thing you’ve been putting off that you can cross off the list this week?

Alone versus lonely

Being alone and feeling lonely are two very different things.

To be alone is to be physically separated from other people. I am here, you are there.

To be lonely is to feel separated from other people regardless of proximity. I am here, you are here, but there is no connection.

People can be very alone without ever feeling lonely…and people can feel very lonely without ever being alone.

Make it a point to connect with people this week, for real. Just because you see them every day doesn’t mean they aren’t lonely.

When in doubt, take unusually good care of people

You will find yourself at a crossroads at some point this week.

In the coming days you will be faced with a choice between doing what is easy/expedient/personally advantageous and doing what is best for a spouse, a customer, a friend, or a perfect stranger in line at the grocery store.

When faced with this choice you may be unsure as to what you should do, so I’m going to suggest we both try the following:

When in doubt, when there is any hint of a question as to what you should do next, take unusually good care of people.

It won’t be easy, but I’ll be trying to do the exact same thing. I’d love to hear how it goes.