EXTRAVAGANT AND THE LOST WORDS

If I were inventing language
like they did back in the day,
I’d have used su-perva-gant.

I guess the root word is vagant.
I even like un-derva-gant much like I’d say something average is whelming.
There are many forgotten words left out there dangling
and I’d like to find them and reunite with them.
They say everything’s been said already.
Well, not if we get more words.

WHAT’S BEHIND CURTAIN #3 – PREPARING YOUR CHOICE

I have driven a lot over the years.
I’ve heard it said that if a deer crosses the road
in front of you, rather than avoiding it
you should just go ahead and hit it.

The theory is that by avoiding the deer you could cause greater harm
by running off the road, risking greater injury to yourself or hit another car.
It does, however, provide one of life’s little quandary’s.

Do you take the sure thing, accepting what it is, or do you risk
the possibility of failure with the equal possibility
of an intensely better outcome?
Known vs. unknown. Your risk tolerance.
It’s what’s behind curtain number three that intrigues us.

You might not realize it but this is a daily choice

If we’re moving towards a goal, our path is not dictated solely by the absoluteness of
the choice in front of us. There’s more to it than that.
Your path gets thought through with the long term goal in mind.

For instance, you might turn down an opportunity that pays better, and has better perks than your current situation because it is in a different industry and thus strays down
a different path than the one your plan moves you towards.
It would change your direction moving you off course.
Or conversely,  you might stay in a situation that you know isn’t what you ultimately want, but it is in the right direction. It’s part of your preparation. You learn things you will need in your ultimate goal so that’s a piece of your puzzle. Rather than jump ship, you tolerate,
for a term, because it meets up more with your long term goals.

Optimally, you are the driver.
You are the one placing and replacing the gifts behind each curtain.
Although each choice you make might provide a different surprise behind each curtain,
each reveal would be one that works for you.

The purpose of having a plan is that you are then the one putting each surprise behind the curtain. As you grow and get better, you replace what goes behind each curtain.

Opportunities come that you didn’t see when you started down the path
– and they do come.

Your choices, then, of those new opportunities, get more targeted – better.
You’re making your own deal instead of waiting for Monty Hall to offer you a choice.

It’s been said that you make your own opportunity.
That’s what this is.

Each choice you make towards your goal prepares each curtain with a better and better choice for you to make, incrementally, as you grow.

So live the process of your plan.
You do have a plan, right? A goal that sets the course?

Be in charge of what goes behind your curtain.
Don’t let the gameshow host have the power over your choices.
What is your goal? What choice will you make today towards that goal?

GO.

THE WORLD NEEDS CHARACTERS

Are you sane? Really?
Whew, good.
I have over my life wondered if I’ve ever walked past or talked to a murderer.

Or a complete psychopath. Even Sociopath. Whatever that really means.
I have seen stats that about 1 in 25 (4%) is a psychopath, I’ve also read where there are somewhere around 12 million Sociopaths in the US. (Also about 4%)

I’m called Dr. Bunk for a reason – I’m no expert but it’s really easy when we see bad
behavior to make the leap to that person being really off and throw a label on them. “That’s guy’s psycho.” It seems to make it easier to walk away from, to dismiss.

Then I think about the fact that being such a consistent jerk is probably some sign that they are out of control and need help to get right again. Many attempts I’ve had in my life to even be kind to the unkind much less offer any help has brought me down and left me feeling like I was worse off for trying. I don’t know how mental professionals do it.
They must get jaded like a cop would after seeing the worst of people all day, every day.

So then I wonder, well if I can’t really get along with people who are overtly rude,
self-consumed or steps shy of being diagnosed a clinical whatever-o-path,
am I doing the same thing I think they are? I move away from behavior I don’t like.
I’d rather do my own thing to find my comfort zone and people who get me.
I’m isolating myself – like I think they are doing.

There are crazy people out there – clinically. But those aside, I think most all of us are
varying degrees of some kind of crazy. That is, if we’re willing to admit that about
ourselves. Am I Wrong?
I’ve heard it said that we judge others by their actions and judge ourselves
by our intentions. How true that is.

I don’t see much real get along happening until we come off our over-rated opinions of ourselves. If you think you’re something you’re not, that gets in the way of someone’s
ability to relate with you and you eventually can end up in game playing, one-upsmanship.

Here’s one reason my Dad was a good man.
My Dad’s would say “the world needs characters.”
That’s his version of this.
Instead of labeling someone crazy he’d call them characters,
saving the crazy terms for the clinical ones.
Way nicer.
Less words too.

AMISH CRASH TEST DUMMIES

The new model of carriage just came out.
Is it safe? How well-built is it?

Picture 50 or 60 Amish men outside all dressed up with their hats and the suspenders
and the whole bit of their standard wear.

There’s a new black carriage there, with the crash test circle of black and yellow covering
the oversized, spoked wheels. You watch as the Yoder families all grab a rope at the front
of the carriage and start to run, vigorously pulling the carriage in an organized mad rush
straight into a wall.

In the immediate aftermath they all scramble to get their pads of parchment paper
and charcoal and begin to feverishly write down the results.

On the paper you’d see “Build another one.”

I guess that’s how it would go.

MY PROBLEM IS THAT I’M GOOD AT THINGS

That’s a problem for me.
Why? Because I’m not an expert.
I’m not full-on great,
just good enough to get into the room
where the greatness is.

That leaves me fully aware of all that I don’t know.
I’m left thinking I have no idea what I’m doing again. Totally full-circle.

I say often that all of my friends are better than me – at their thing over which we relate.
I call them to get the info whenever I really need it and they’re always
really good about sharing knowledge with me and I learn from their expertise.
I do that over many years and I feel like I know about something I never went to school for.
It’s like a get out of jail free card. I don’t claim to be the “expert” so no pressure there,
and I end up figuring it out and making it work.
I learn things in the process and gain in my own confidence…only to hang out
with them, realize how much there is to know and lose it all over again.
Vicious circle of creation, this.

If you stick to one subject, you can become an expert this way.
If you learn about many areas of interest, you’re well-rounded on many subjects
but true expertise may not be gained.
It’s your choice and neither are bad ones.

Being good at things isn’t a curse y’know.

McDONALD’S SHAPED AMERICA

You’ve Had Enough.

We associate this with somebody bellying up to the bar and
barely being able to get the sentence out – “gimme another.”
For liability reasons the bartender can say “I’m sorry but you’ve had enough.”

I read where some people back in 2002 were suing McDonald’s
for not having the nutrition information readily accessible
and that it was McDonald’s fault that they were obese.

What if up at the front counter when someone bellied up to the counter
to order a second Big Mac they were denied service for liability reasons?
Don’t you almost see it coming?

So it follows that soon, like bartenders, front counter people will
cut people off from ordering the tasty, waisty food.
“Sir, I think you’ve had enough.”
Cuz who goes to McDonald’s for their salads?

GOOD FRUIT CAN THICKEN YOUR SKIN

We are very sensitive these days.
With less social borders in our day
we call out people from our cars, computers
and phones. It seems as though people are
out giving their opinions everywhere.
I’m doing it now.

In so many cases I see publicly, or what is offered on TV or the interweb,
people just throw an opinion without another side, and without any
redeeming counter or question.
Worse, many people accept it as truth only because it was put in front of them.
I wonder if some people have just never been taught the art of tact, compassion,
or even the ability to get along.
This is tested daily when things don’t go like we want them to.

I didn’t get my way. So what?

The only productive thing to do when things don’t go like you want
is to move forward with as good of a situation as you can muster.
I say this to myself through this post.
Go ahead and get bothered, quickly, fine, but you gotta get on with things.

Sure there’s points where disrespect is so present that you need to
move away from it or call it out, but otherwise, push past the oversight if you can.
I try to stay quieter than normal and let actions be what you are judged by.
Not that I’m really that great at it but I know it’s the thing I have to do.
Trying gets me better at it.
This will thicken your skin. It thickens your skin by absorbing nutrients
through the weathering of storms. It’s hard to hang on.
It’s especially hard for extroverts who might react faster than introverts
but if you recognize it, you will find character in it.

Character is built when you do what’s right in the face of opposition
to your own tendencies.
Growing some character lets you grow into other directions you can’t get to
without the difficulty of forging through that process.
You don’t just go from undisciplined, bad behavior and destructive relationships to high character, disciplined and living on purpose without going through steps to set the habits.

I know, you try to get along and help others.
Your interaction in their lives is what makes you friends.
It’s a two-way street. If you’re outputting, you should have much input from them too.
This sharpens you both, right? Communication deepens relationships.

The people barking orders without accepting any input – those telling you what’s wrong with you – being overly critical, they call themselves realists. They’re living that out.
It’s the one bad apple out of a hundred that gets your attention.
The fruit in their lives is rotten.
It’s laying all over the ground and nobody is coming to pick it up.
Sad that they don’t realize that they can do something about it.
They don’t seem to have the tools to know when it’s good to plant (give)
and when it’s best to pick (take).
When their opinion isn’t accepted it makes them more bitter and
more convicted in their “bleakist” opinions.
If a softening doesn’t come from your influence, from your being honest
with them in a kind way, then you have to move away from them.
They will affect you.

These are extremes, I realize.
We all know these people though.
I think realizing extremes makes doing the tough stuff for those of us
in the middle easier to recognize and then do.

When fruit is ripe it comes off without resistance.
Too early and it’s a struggle – it’s still too green.
Too late and it’s already fallen away.
The reach takes some effort, and it is worth it.
Picking up what’s on the ground is effortless and what you get from it
isn’t nearly as good, in fact, often bad.

Expend a little energy – good fruit gives it back.

Reach up for your fruit.
It’s good for you.

HI, HOW ARE YOU?

Fine. Uuuugh.
What does that mean and why did fine become the answer?
Attempt at politeness noted, can I move on now?
Let me be polite in other ways.

How am I? Really, you wanna know?
I doubt it mostly.
If I don’t say the obligatory fine and ask them back some people get bent about it.
I like the polite part of societal sayings but I want us to all think for ourselves so we can have some real communication instead of thoughtless obligations.

For about 10 years now my usual response is “Awake and Alive” from Peter Gabriel’s
“In your eyes.” I tried others for quite awhile but this was different enough.
In standard societal mentality people start to say the same thing to it.
I get “that’s a good thing” mostly in response.
One reason I do it is to give people pause. To think about the art of breaking routine.
The other thing I like about it is that it gives you quick insight into a person
based upon their response. If they are quick and creative you get something back
that makes you laugh. If they blow by without pause, they’re not easily affected
by other people or stopped listening and are living on auto-pilot.
Mostly though you get a smile from a jimmied routine. That’s good enough.
Better than fine.

Being honest can be perceived as mean to some.
Sometimes another benefit to my response is that it gives me time to escape.
I don’t really have the time to stick around for the answer in many cases
so I don’t usually ask it.  I’ll throw out “Awake and Alive” and keep moving.
Is that rude?
I consider not respecting my time rude too if you’re gonna soak it up with
a long diatribe that I’m obliged to stay for.

I ask it to those I am ready to spend time with in a situation that isn’t just in passing.
I’ll come and hang out when I can and then I’ll find out about your life.
Right now though I’m going somewhere, I got things… so I can’t really dig in
as we pass by each other about how you’re doing.

I have Pastor friends who give so much of their time to honestly talk with people.
I admire that way of living but I think it would be exhausting talking to people
who I’d rather not. Their end game is better than mine.
The thing is, telling me isn’t doing much for you. I’m not that important to your day.
Don’t you have something to do also?

It’s been used as a tactic on me.
When your brown-nosing work associate asks you in front of other
“important people” in the company and they use the high voice ask
like it’s supposed to be more genuine, they’re full of it.
You know it too. It’s out of character.
They want to be seen as someone who’s playing nice and being…whatever,
I move on as quickly as I can. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being played.

What you really have to be prepared for are the ones, not good friends mind you,
who say something like “horrible – just horrible.”
They are subliminally asking for your time.
From that moment on, you’re looking for a way to get out of the conversation because you’re supposed to inquire as to why. They need to dump out their ick on you,
which neither solves their problem nor leaves you with anything good.
It’s funny to hear that and see someone reply, “ok then” and keep moving on.
You don’t walk into the tar pit without getting stuck.

More and more in the world you can tell the people who care and those who kinda don’t.
Their actions and words match.
More people don’t care than I ever remember and yet
you just can’t get away from that fake question.
Shake it up – be real.
Find another way to be polite in a standard way that let’s me keep moving
until I can spend time finding out about your life.
That’s what friendship is for.

What’s the matter with Hi and then moving along?
Is acknowledgment of your presence caring enough?
I think it is.
Alright, enough – I’m done.

Have a good day.
There’s another one!

Get Ill Soon



Get ill soon


We’ve all had a bad boss. Do you have one now?
Wits end kind of bad? Sometimes the smallest solves can take the edge off.

Why not send him a card in the mail?
A Get Ill Soon Card.
You can find a number of sites online that allow you to make your own.
Send it anonymously.
Don’t be cruel like he is to you –
I mean, beyond the juvenile nature of this little gig.
Besides, that simple statement says it all.

He isn’t good to anyone is he? The list of culprits for him to choose from is a large pool.
It’s not likely he’ll go on a tirade trying to find out the person responsible
because that means admitting that he isn’t liked and people that hear about it would find it funny – at his expense.

If you’re caught you will be fired.
Is that a bad thing? What a great exit strategy. What a great exit story.
On your next interview you’d be asked about your last job. You’d get to tell that story.

About 9 years ago in an interview where I pretty well knew I had the job, towards the end of it I was asked if there was anything else he should know that would help me get the job over the other candidates.
I replied “Well, I guess you should know that I really want this job, and that’s not just the beer talking’”
True story. Luckily, the employer laughed and hired me right after I said it.

He was a good boss and got no cards from me.

*disclaimer:
There is no disclaimer, just lighten up.