I hate to admit this, but I tend to jump to conclusions. That’s not much of a surprise. In fact, my Myers Briggs personality type is INTJ. That J stand for Judging. Now in the Myers Briggs, judging does mean judgmental, but there are those tendencies.
This personality trait shows up frequently while driving. Recent a truck pulled out in front of me and I instantly thought, “wow, that is an odd color for a truck.” In a split second, and without much information, I made the assumption or jumped to the conclusion that the truck was a funky color. Upon closer inspection I noticed that the truck was actually covered with dirt and other evidence of an off-road adventure. Underneath all of that the truck appeared to be white – a very normal color.
So what – you might say. By itself this even had very little meaning. As I continued to ponder this I wondered how often I make snap judgments without all of the information. This also raised some other questions.
- When I do make snap judgments, am I open to additional information?
- How often are these judgments correct?
- Am I really not very observant?
- How do I take in more information?
- Would I benefit from slowing down by judgments?
I am a work in progress and plan to consider these questions more as I go through each day. Perhaps this is an issue that speaks to you too. How many snap judgments do you make? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Presenting To Win: The Art Of Telling Your Story by Jerry Weissman is a fantastic book. I’m not sure what drew me to it since I am not necessarily in a position where I give formal presentations very often and frankly avoid using audiovisual aids if at all possible. Prior to reading this book I also couldn’t have told you what an IPO was and I’m not in an industry where I’m likely to give presentations to investors from multimillion dollar corporations. (At least not yet.)
I have given presentations though and they haven’t always gone the way I wanted them to. Now I know why. I’ve committed almost every one of the “cardinal sins” of presentation, both with and without A/V assistance. After reading this book, I feel much better prepared should I be called upon to give a presentation in the future. In fact, I’m almost hoping that a chance to put these principles into action presents itself.
I could also see many applications for the same information in other aspects of my personal and professional life. We are all “selling”, whether it be a product, an idea or concept, or a relationship. We want others to get it, to understand us, and we really want them to agree with us or take a desired action. The way that we communicate that is critically important to whether we achieve our goal. All of these corporate-tested presentation techniques have useful applications in many life areas if applied creatively.
The author practiced what he preached, and the use of the techniques was evident in the way he crafted the text, diagrams, and captions. Since I was reading on an older Kindle, some of the formatting wasn’t the best, but even with that said, the attention to detail and the use of great communication techniques was evident. I learned a lot – about presentations, about writing, about communication, and about myself.
Are you impressed with my French? Don’t be. Not only do I not speak French, I stink at mise en place. I watch many cooking shows. In fact, I’m somewhat addicted to them. I’ve heard Alton Brown and others preach mise en place. But do I practice it? NO!!! For example, one day I started putting together a great Tuscan Bean Soup but dumped the onions in the oil to saute long before I had even retrieved the garlic from the cupboard or the carrots from the refrigerator.
I’ve been pondering this personal deficit for a while now and it truly baffles me. I’m a person who makes lists. My daily schedule in on an Excel spreadsheet and I dutifully remove things as they are completed. Usually the tasks are even recorded in order. The list might include thawing meat for tomorrow’s dinner, or staging the items I plan to take to the office the next day. So my mise en place failure isn’t an inability to plan ahead.
I’m not a terribly patient person though. I can look patient, but on the inside I’m usually quite the opposite. I do find it hard to wait for the things I want or the activities I want to do. I’ve learned to cope with it though, so I can generally stay within a financial or time budget.
After reading an article about mise en place I think I may have found the answer. Mise en place can also be about attitude. If I fail to prepare my attitude or thoughts, the behavior is more erratic. I think this could be a lesson that far transcends the kitchen.
If you have a pre-cooking attitude adjuster that works for you…..please share.
Gifts From Eykis is another magnificent book from Wayne Dyer. This is a bit different than most of his other books because it is written in the form of a novel, rather than a typical self-help book.
Eykis is a visitor from the planet Uranus. First, the main character from Earth visits the planet Uranus and observes many oddities that seem to resemble Earthly emotions. While on Uranus, Ekyis introduces the Earth traveler to anxiety attacks, worry, guilt, fear, dependency, and other emotions. The difference on Uranus is that these emotions exist only for a purpose, never just as a perception or neurosis. That wouldn’t make sense and everything on Uranus makes sense.
Later in the book Ekysis visits Earth and is quite troubled by the suffering the inhabitants of Earth inflict on themselves and others with these emotional states. In the end, Ekysis shares some “gifts” for all mankind. These words of wisdom include:
- Learn to cultivate your own garden
- If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
- These are the good old days.
- There is no way to happiness; Happiness is the way!
To receive more of your “gifts” from Eyksis, pick up the fascinating book and take a humble look at the ways in which we create our own suffering. I bet you will be soon wishing for a guilt-prodder or a worry-ware.
There has been a commercial on TV that makes me crazy. The first time I watched it I felt annoyed, but thought I was just having a bad day. The second time (and third time) I saw it I was still annoyed so decided I should look a little bit deeper. The basic story is that here is a child who wants and snack and he whines through the grocery store until mom gets him one. I think the message is supposed to be that this produce it a good choice that can satisfy moms and kids. Nutrition aside – I understand the message.
Unfortunately, there are some other messages contained within this commercial as well.
- It is acceptable for children to whine to get what they want
- Good parenting involves giving in to whining children
- Processed foods are better snacks than whole foods
From a public health perspective, what would happen if the images on television were of children eating healthy foods? I can think of only one commercial on TV that depicts children eating vegetables and liking them. I can think of many commercials and even more television shows that involve parents hiding vegetables to get kids to eat them, children hiding vegetables to pretend that they have eaten them, and other subtle messages to communicate that vegetables are bad and children should not like them. While I would have still been offended by this commercial, it would have been less offensive if the mom had gone to the produce section of the grocery store and picked up a carrot for the young boy.
Even though the child was whining, everyone still appeared pretty happy. I was never happy when my children whined in public. I learned very quickly that giving in to the whining only made them whine more often. There was no correction for the behavior in the commercial. The background message here is that giving in is normal or acceptable. This message, when viewed repeatedly, can’t help but desensitize us to this inappropriate behavior. Where are the media messages that show children behaving appropriately and parents dealing with childhood misbehavior calmly and rationally?
Many children and adults have viewed this commercial and I suspect that most never notice the messages that I did. That doesn’t mean that the message doesn’t have an impact though. Advertising works. In the past I’ve definitely purchased things based on the commercials and jingles. As may awareness has increased, I’m trying to do a better job of avoiding products that perpetuate negative attitudes and behaviors. As yourself these questions:
- Does this commercial communicate accurate information about the product?
- Does this commercial communicate life views that are consistent with mine?
- Does this commercial include people behaving in a way that is inappropriate or dangerous?
If you answered yes to any of these, please consider making a different consumer choice. Children need to see images of other children behaving appropriately, not children behaving badly and getting away with it. Parents need to see images of other parents acting calmly and confidently with their children. Insisting on this change through our consumerism could have a significant impact on everyone.
I’d love to hear your views on this. How do television commercials impact your consumer decisions?
An article, reported in the BBC hit a little too close to home a few years ago. Spoiler Alert – the answer is yes! The question was Can you die of a broken heart? The problem they were talking about is a physiological change in the heart as the result of psychological or emotional stress. In the 1990s Japanese researchers began calling this Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. This name resulted from the left ventricle of the heart ballooning out to resemble a takotsubo, a fishing pot used to trap octopuses.
The article went on to talk about the different kinds of stress that can cause this, including bombs, war, and other life-threatening events. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t take anything that bad to induce takotsubo cardiomyopathy. How do I know? It happened to me a few years ago. I was sitting at my desk at the end of a very stressful, but not catastrophic day and BAM!, crushing chest pain. After a trip to the local hospital (another horror story) and many tests, takotsubo cardiomyopathy was diagnosed.
Very little is really known about this disorder, and even less is known about treatment. It does occur more frequently in women, particularly post-menopausal women, than it does in men. For most people, all the signs point to a heart attack. Initial symptoms, EKG, and lab tests all look like an MI. In fact, going into my cardiac catheterization the cardiologist told me to expect that I would be coming out of there with at least one stint. Imagine my relief when he told me there was no clot or muscle damage and that my coronary arteries looked good. It wasn’t until later when I started reading about this that I found out it can still be lethal.
So ladies….and gentlemen, if you have chest pain go to the hospital. Don’t dismiss your symptoms (or the symptoms of others) simply as stress. As I’ve said before — Stress Kills.
Take a look at this translation from Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition by Jonathan Star.
The best way to live is to be like water for water benefits all things and goes against none of them. It provides for all people and even cleanses those places a man is loath to go. In this way it is just like the Tao.
Live in accordance with the nature of things: Build your house on solid ground. Keep your mind still. When giving, be kind. When speaking, be truthful. When ruling, be just. When working, be one-pointed. When acting, remember – timing is everything.
One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things. He moves in harmony with the present moment always knowing the truth of just what to do.
In Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book Change Your Thoughts Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao he offers this translation of the same verse:
The supreme good is like water, which nourishes all things without trying to. It flows to low places loathed by all men. Therefore it is like the Tao.
Live in accordance with the nature of things. In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. Stand by your word. Govern with equity. Be timely in choosing the right moment.
One who lives in accordance with nture does not go against the way of things. He moves in harmony with the present moment, always knowing the truth of just what to do.
A few things stood out for me when reading these two translations.
- Let it be easy
- Good things are for everyone, not just the people I like or the people who are like me
- Your word, what you say, is a representation of who you are
- Some things may be right, but this may not be the right time
- Stop trying to force things to happen
- Be who you are. Don’t try to be somebody else
- I have an inner knowing and I need to follow it
These are not necessarily things that are easy to grasp, easy to implement, or comfortable to contemplate. That is where tapping can be a big benefit. We can tap to minimize resistance. We can tap on feeling uncomfortable. We can tap about specific incidents in which we failed miserably in these lofty goals. We can tap about our uncertaintly about whether we could every achieve such a state of enlightenment.
One of my favorite ways to get started when reading spiritual texts of any kind is to start tapping while I am reading it. I believe that it helps with understanding and begins to melt away resistance. When I tap while reading I also seem to be more alert to changes in my body that can signal that a particular passage requires a deeper investigation or has particular applicability for my life.
Try it. Pick one or both of the translations about and just start your tapping. Switch to a different tapping spot whenever you feel like it. Notice what you are feeling. If you want, you can stop to jot down some notes any time you feel moved to do so. Then, resume your tapping when you are done.
As always, tapping that includes your own words, thoughts, and experiences will be the most beneficial.