Saturday, June 30, 2007

Blog Drive-Byes June 2007

RT from Untwisted Vortex has been sick for the last 3 weeks but is still blogging away. If you get a chance stop and wish him well.

For comedy and daily laughs be sure to visit Sandee from Comedy Plus (vote for her in Blogging for Fame), Bee from Muffin53(vote for in Best Humor Blog) and Ed from The Pisstakers make sure you stop by for his Sunday special.

A thank you to Miriam from Ancestories for awarding me the Thinking Blog Award.

Random Magus and Jennifer from Goodness Graciousness for both interesting comments on my blog and good reading topics on both their blogs.

Congratulations to Pearl from Interesting Observations for how well she is doing in Blogging for Fame and if you get a chance drop in and vote for her blog.

Check out Digital Nomads Blog as he has a good series on personal privacy.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Hidden Meanings

We have all pet phrases that we use to communicate to others. He was higher than a kite. They could sell refrigerators to Eskimos. They were half a brick shy of a load. We are speaking from our experiences growing up and our customs.

We use them without thinking and expect others to know what our words mean. Sometimes we are fortunate to see that the other person by a puzzled look doesn't understand and explain what we mean.

Sometimes all we get is silence on their part and no indication they didn't understand. This can occur if they are strangers to us or perhaps in a business setting with people of a different cultural backgrounds or certainly between generations.

When we are communicating we need to ensure that our words convey the correct meaning to our audience.

Do you take this in to account when writing and communicating on the Internet?

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Winning At All Costs

There we are angry, red-faced and determined to have our way. Nothing will budge us. How many arguments have we had where it was our way or the highway? How many times did we end up exasperated and saying things that ending up doing major damage to our relationships?

It stems from the same cause that is reflected in all kinds of wars and skirmishes. A lack of alternatives. An inability to compromise.

What is compromise but looking for a win-win solution for all parties involved. It takes us looking at the situation from another's perspective. Not to diminish our own needs in the situation but to be able to understand the needs of the other people involved.

When we draw a line in the sand and declare the only solution to be whatever we state then we force the other person into doing the same. Then naturally our emotions get involved and it takes off from there. We are treating the issue as a life and death situation.

When we get in these types of situations can we step back and choose a different solution or has it already gone to far for us to change our stance and seek a compromise.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Make Room to Grow

Doing spring cleaning, setting up for garage sales and packing for moving are chores few people like doing. This is when we finally brave that "space". You know. The space where we have stored things.

We go to the attic, basement, garage or spare room to see what we have and often we will recognize dust covered boxes from 2 moves ago. Never opened. 

Some people will say to themselves that we may need it even if we have not looked at in 5 years or we needed it once and maybe we will need it again. There it stays gathering dust and cobwebs.

Sometimes we get rid of them and make room for new things.

How do we make sure that we have room to grow in our lives?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Relationship Minefields

Relationships can be such fragile things. I know I have been guilty of making both of the following assumptions that have led to the ending of relationships.

The first assumption we often make is that the other person in the relationship remains unchanged. Not everyone broadcasts the major and minor changes impacting their life especially in casual work or activity based friendships or in important ones if we have a lack of good communication and listening skills.

All of a sudden they act out of character or blow up in situations they handled differently in the past. We either immediately think it is something that we have done or they have gone off their rocker and avoid them or fight them. We feel like we are in a minefield.

In the case of casual acquaintances we often don't know the circumstances of their lives. They may have had a sudden death in the family, in the process of divorce, their partner lost their job, or a thousand other important issues that have nothing to do with us.

The second assumption is the reverse of the first one. We expect people to be mind readers. We go through a major or minor change and just expect people to notice and understand. After all shouldn't they be paying attention and know what is on our mind and what we are feeling.

We can be guilty of not paying attention to our relationships. We can get too comfortable with them and put them on autopilot and take them for granted.

We don't like being taken for granted so perhaps we shouldn't take others for granted either.

Your thoughts?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Our Thinking Box

I love finding out new things, perspectives, authors, theories, odd facts and miscellaneous trivia. Everything I learn about changes my thinking box.

What we know is like a box. It has specific limits defined by our knowledge. It is not the total of all knowledge but we can unknowingly use our box as if it were. 

We define things by the words we use. If we have no words then we have to lump our experience into something we already know about. We define our problems from our thinking box and our solutions.

We do that when we simply write out or state our problem to our self. We cannot state what we don't know. Nor can we look for solutions outside of our knowledge unless we realize that fact.

Now without a doubt there are problems that we can solve with our knowledge or by looking at solutions provided by others who answer the same defined problem. But if we are stuck then we need a different approach.

We need to know what we don't know.

By understanding the limits of our thinking box in our ability to define the problem and/or solutions then we can look for more knowledge. Whatever we learn increases the size of our box and therefore increases the possibilities of new definitions for the problem or new solutions or both.

How do you change your thinking box?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Net Etiquette

I read a number of blogs and comment on quite a few of them. I am appreciative of the those authors who respond to my comments.

There are blogs where the author does not respond to comments and I have to wonder why when I only see a few comments as to what causes that. Is it because they don't respond to comments that few people leave them or is the author writing in such a way that comments aren't needed or is the reader feeling they can't leave a worthwhile comment so they don't.

For my blog I appreciate any reader that took the time and effort to leave a comment of any kind other than outright spam or self-promotion. I respond to all my comments and expect to continue to do that and wonder would there be a point where the number of comments is so large that I would stop. I like to think not but I also at this point don't have the volume where it is yet a time issue.

The other issue with net etiquette is email. When you send an email and don't get any kind of acknowledgement do you get upset? Do you respond to emails from readers? Should you respond to emails from readers? Does volume matter?

I would be interested in your thoughts.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Passion and Control

We want to control things as much as possible so that we can better predict the results of actions. This is a legacy from our childhood where understanding of the relationships between causes and results were necessary for our survival both inside and outside the family.

Once we understood those relationships we would do our best to ensure that we were pressing the right buttons to obtain what we wanted or to avoid what we didn't want. This has evolved for some into the mantra of whomever has control has the power.

If we were to think about someone who is passionate about something; in most cases we will think about someone who wants us to join them in what ever they are passionate about. There is little or no attempt to control they just drag you along.

In looking at control and passion in this light they are really opposites. The more we are controlling people and events the less passion comes through.

If we are looking for more passion in our lives then perhaps we need to let go of controlling and let our passion speak for us instead.

Your thoughts?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Too Much Truth

We may want to make a major change to accomplish a desired goal and find that we run into trouble at almost every turn. This is not an uncommon problem.

It arises from the fact that our beliefs, truths, and habits are like an interwoven multicolor ball of wool that have built up in layers over the years as our lives grew more complex and diversified.

Now we have reached a point that we want to change a major belief or habit. The real root issue is that beliefs are our truths that we have held and bound our experiences to and the result is like the famous Gordian knot. Now we are attempting to duplicate the feat of Alexander and cut through it with one swipe of the sword. 

It could result in trying to change too much truth all at once and it may overwhelm us and stop us in our tracks. If we reach this barrier then we need to change our approach.

We could treat a major change more like peeling the layers of an onion. Each layer represents truths, beliefs, and experiences that we have to restructure in the context of the new belief that we wish to hold. As with peeling an onion we have tears (emotions) that we need to stop and wipe our eyes and wait a moment to let the effect evaporate. Layer by layer we can steadily approach our goal of changing our beliefs and truths until it is done.

Not all things can be fixed by approaching it with a sword.

What has been your experience?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Gift

We all have been given a gift a birth. It is a free gift and as is the nature of free gifts it can quickly be ignored or forgotten.

Some people are afraid of this gift and hide from it buried in their busy moments not looking up from their toils and it slumbers.

Some people rail at it and curse it as if it were their worst nightmare as it can be.

Some people never even see it hidden in plain sight for they have chosen to be blind to it. 

Some people try to grasp it and hold it captive to their whim and it escapes not nor does it hinder.

Some people seek to escape it and sadly some succeed.

Some people seek to define it as it twists and turns defying description and rules.

Some people savor it in it's multitude of disguises no matter their circumstances.

Some people embrace it and will return so they believe again and again to fully live in it's embrace.

It is a gift that touches all of us and leaves it's mark on us as we do on it.

What do you do with your gift of life?

To give you my answer I try to contribute.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Advice Temptations

One of the hardest temptations for me to resist is giving advice. When someone tells me a problem I believe it is my first instinct to tell them how to handle it. I have caught myself many times starting to formulate an answer as soon as I recognize the problem instead of listening to whatever they wish to tell me.

Important issues have a way of trapping us in a solution we don't want like sitting on a carousel. There we sit hanging on, spinning round and round and can't reach out for the brass ring for fear of falling off. We are stuck in the problem and can't move.

Some people just need to tell the problem out loud to someone because when they talk they have to make sense to us and in the process they tell a different story than they have been when thinking about it. That can be enough to change their perspective and come to a different action and result. Nothing for us to do but listen.

Some people don't want to take responsibility for their own actions and grab on to advice as a crutch so that if things don't turn out well they can blame the crutch. That can put us in the position of being the cause of a bad result even when it is the only action possible.

Some people truly want alternatives they haven't considered so they can self-evaluate and decide. Usually these are issues involving low emotional content and we can give our advice or cautions freely.

So I try not to give advice when highly emotional issues are involved which in truth, is simply how I would handle it because I really can't know the whole situation from whatever description they tell me. If something similar has happened to me then I will tell them my experience and result for me if appropriate. Otherwise I would ask questions to help them obtain a different perspective and leave them to own their decisions.

What do you do?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Blogs and Knowledge Seeking

We often see articles on how much information there is available on the web. I am going to disagree with that statement and say instead that there is a lot of data on the web. Data that stays unknown and of little use to us until we read and translate that into information. If we have no clue what the data means then it stays as data.

We have two ways to obtain information we need for whatever reason either by our direct processing (thinking about) of the data or second hand through someone else's processing. Which is why lists and summaries are so popular. We can get an easy synopsis in just a few minutes.

We seek data when we are looking for a specific answers to our question. Fact finding, definitions, pro or con, and the like. We seek information when we need a focus (viewpoint) to go along with the data to give us a direction or way to think about the information.

This is where I think blogs fit into our search for knowledge. With blogs we get information (data + thought) in a way we are more comfortable with; a conversation. Interactions through comments allows us to extend our conversations and increase our knowledge if only of a different viewpoint.

Do you agree or disagree? Do you use blogs as an information source?

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Do We Really Understand

We are quick to pick out differences that support our belief in our uniqueness. It can be beliefs, social, economic, location, hair styles, clothes, toys and even a handshake. There is no end to the list. We can easily see that there differences between us and them.

When we see people through the filter of differences we can forget that they are more like us than they are different. Often we do not think about our similarities with others. We all feel sadness, joy, desire, and fear. What we share is our emotions.

When someone says they are sad or happy we nod our heads in knowledge and agreement that we understand. But do we? Our interpretations are based on all of our experiences; the combination which will be unique for each of us. 

So can we truly know what someone else is feeling or is it simply an approximation brought about through our interpretation of our own emotions.

Your thoughts?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Seeking Happiness

We think we know what will make us happy. We remember the feeling of that promotion or raise we worked so hard to get. We remember getting our first new car. What we don't usually remember is how long that lasted.

For many of us it wasn't a long period of time. Two weeks after the promotion were we just as happy as we were on the day of getting it? After driving our new car for a couple of months were we as happy as when we first drove it off the car lot?

Our happiness is very fleeting and so we press on to find the next thing that will make us happy. We strive for the next promotion or thing and achieve it but it doesn't bring us the same level of happiness we first experienced.

It is like eating a banana creme pie. The first bite is everything that we expected but by the 5th bite it has lost it's uniqueness and it becomes ordinary. It is similar to a need to always seek peak experiences for an adrenaline junkie.

Is this the route to happiness? The continual seeking or is their another way. Does making a contribution matter? What can we do on a daily basis that would keep us in a happy state? Or is that a pie in the sky wishful thinking?

Your thoughts?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Thanks and Memes

A thank you to Mihaela Lica for his Let me Unleash Your Dreams project and my dream as shown above. I know that Camille and Princess Haiku will enjoy checking it out.

A thank you for a kind Review of Necessary Skills at FameFire Com.

A thank you to the Brown Baron from Brown Thoughts for naming me as one of the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs in 2007.

A regular read Carol from My View of it has tagged me for 8 random facts.

  1. I hate broccoli
  2. I once took a 3 month trip by motorcycle across the States and Canada.
  3. I have had more motorcycles than cars
  4. 1 year I sold over $1,000,000 worth of installed carpet and was #1 salesman for the year for Sears Canada
  5. I have done court appearances for a credit department for collections
  6. I lived in The Village in Toronto during the 60's and once listened to Joan Biaz  live at the Riverboat
  7. I was at the Maple Leaf gardens for the Beatles Toronto stop.
  8. I quit school in Grade 12 and later took my BA at night school.

Mimi from Mimi Writes tagged me for my favorite song when I turned 18 and why. My song was Mr. Tambourine Man by The Byrds and represents my love for folk songs which I still have to this day.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Building Blocks or Masterpiece

We have a tendency when wanting to make changes to take things apart so that we can focus on key areas for fixing and moving our life in the direction we want to take it for achieving our goals.

We strip our problems or obstacles down to components ready to rebuild them like building blocks; but, in the act of tearing things apart we can lose it's meaning. We can become so focused on the mechanics and the process of building that we never stand back and look at what we are building.

What if we changed our perspective to considering that our life starts as a raw block of stone full of possibility within which is a vital and glowing self. It is waiting for us; the sculptor, to break off the pieces we don't need, to sand, shape, and polish it and bring ourselves fully into the world in all our possibility.

Just consider all that could be created. Just consider how it would change our direction of searching and how we could look at ourselves as a work in progress. A masterpiece in the making that takes our lifetime to create.

Which would you rather do?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Pleasing Syndrome

We learn at a very early stage of our life that pleasing our parents is a good thing to do. When we pleased them we got what we wanted sometimes and avoided getting into trouble sometimes. We spent a lot of time and effort to increase our sometimes. We also spent a lot of time testing the boundaries to see what we could get away with.

Then came our friends, school mates, work mates, bosses, dates and significant others. Always we needed to test our boundaries so that we could classify our relationships.

Other times we can get so lost in the pleasing of others that we lose sight of who we are and have no boundaries for ourselves. We can hear this in some of the tales of people who have lost a long-term relationships or are feeling the empty-nest syndrome and are lost. 

Some people rebel so strongly that when they become independent  they develop a personality that repels any close contact or intimacy. They feel that in pleasing someone it would mean that they are giving up on what they want and refuse to do that except in little none important matters.

For some people it is not an issue because they have built their life around the pleasing of people as they have found that it guarantees that they will not have to be alone.

Then there are others who realize that all boundaries in relationships are artificial and work to take the relationship to new levels equally valuing each other.

I find even today that I can automatically fall into my old habits of wanting to please and devalue the possible relationship into a pleasing equation.

What has been your experience?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Perspective on Creativity

There are some that argue that creativity is a gift bestowed on some individuals without rhyme or reason. There are others that argue that there is no such thing as creativity; instead, it is an uncovering of information that has always been there waiting patiently to be discovered.

Self-help programs, guides and literature abounds with how to create more love, create your dreams, create wealth, and so on. There is a $10 billion industry just waiting to help us create whatever we want. I wonder how we got so many geniuses or social scientists to repackage age long secrets able to help us in our hour of need. 

I believe that creativity is a fundamental birth right of being born human. As I have stated in previous posts that no one else has our unique blend of experiences, emotions, health, beliefs, truths, knowledge, thoughts and perspective on life and self.

Everyone on earth can look at the same sunset and what we see and feel will be different as seen through the filter of our experiences and concepts. The way in which we express all aspects of our life is uniquely ours. Some find that expression in the arts, some in the sciences, some in their work, hobby, parenting and so on.

How we express our life is creativity in action; our fundamental birth right.

Your thoughts?


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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Take Things Too Personally

We can easily be hurt or become angry when someone does something that doesn't fit with the way we feel we should be treated. We take things personally. I know I usually get reminded of this daily.

Someone leaves the cap off the toothpaste. Someone else doesn't clean up after themselves. Someone cuts you off in traffic. Blows their horn when you stop to let a pedestrian cross. Some days it can be a seemingly endless list of petty and major issues of disrespect.

What if it wasn't about us?

We take it personally because to us we are the center of the universe. Everything around us and interacting with us is personal. What if the other person doesn't even know we exist? When they blow their horn they don't know us from a hole in the ground. They are just acting out their frustrations with their personal world or acting absent mindedly from their needs.

It is when we take it personally that it causes suffering in us and reactive responses from feeling hurt to outright anger. When the cap is off the toothpaste just put it back on if that is what we want.

Nothing is personal even when they insult us. They are simply acting out their frustrations, anger, fear or issues of self-worth. Short of being a safety issue for ourselves do we want to join them in having a frustrating life or do we want something better for ourselves.

The choice is ours.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Snap Judgements

We tend to make a decision about a person within 30 seconds of meeting them for the first time. If we are asked why we will simply say they were creepy or nice or fill in the blank. We do that without thinking until after the fact and then pick out details to support our decision.

We have ever since we were babies developed our ability to mind read. That is our ability to determine intent from a rapid scan of a person's face. As we get older we pick up on the incongruities between words spoken and facial expressions. We all know when our friends are lying to us when they say they are happy but look sad.

I remember a person that I used to see all the time when I was at a coffee shop. He was always frowning and never smiled at anyone including his kids that came in with him from time to time. We ended up one time helping out at a school fun day. One of his kids won an event and came over to his dad with the ribbon which he gave to his dad and his dad congratulated him without any smile. So after his dad went to do something I asked the boy if his dad ever smiled. He said no my dad was in an accident and damaged the nerves in his face and he can't smile. So much for my judgement.

It is an important ability we use to keep ourselves safe and we use it at a subconscious level. We just know. But sometimes our snap judgements are wrong. I know I still struggle with this one and if I have enough time I will give people the benefit of the doubt.

What has been your experience?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What Color is Your World

Sunglasses perform a useful function in protecting our eyes from harmful rays. A lot of us at one time or another have tried on sunglasses with different color lenses and noticed how everything gets tainted with that color of blue or yellow. Everything appears a little different.

Resistance to dealing with unwanted circumstances does something similar to putting on colored sunglasses. We resist in order to block changes we may have to make in our life or issues that we need to deal with to stay in balance. The resistance only ensures that the issue stays around sometimes for a long time and like sunglasses distorts and colors our view of the world and the people in it.

Sometimes it can distort our view so much that we forget that most things are a shade of gray rather than black and white. We can label ourselves as bad or some other negative trait and then go out and prove it by our actions and justify our view of ourselves.

Unwanted circumstances is just a signal like pain to tell us we need to make adjustments to accomplish want we want in our life. Donning sunglasses just makes that more difficult to do.

What color is your world?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Our Crystal Ball

We all have made decisions that in hindsight would have been better not having made or definitely should have been modified to get a better result than we achieved. Sometimes, the consequences can be minor and we kind of shrug it off. However, when it is major it is a different story.

The results we expected to have happen seemed so straight forward at the time of making the decision. We didn't foresee the result we got; but, in hindsight we don't see how we could have missed it. So we feel we screwed up; big time.

What's wrong with this picture?

No one has a crystal ball. Our predictions are based either on our direct experiences or on knowing the results generated by someone else and our determination of the relationships between causes and effects. If we don't have perfect knowledge or the correct understanding then we get unexpected results.  

All we have done is once more proved that the future is always a prediction. Our best guess. The phrase comes to mind:

If hindsight were foresight then we would make no mistakes.

It is our choice whether we beat ourselves up for mistakes or learn from them.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Finding Truth

Truth is used as if there is some kind of external dictionary somewhere that if we could find it; then, we would know what is true and we could all have the same path to follow.

The more I read my way around the blogosphere the more I see that some of us struggle with our truths about concepts such as love, identity, needs, wants, happiness, and self. Why do we have this struggle? Why aren't we satisfied with our answers?

There are some who say I know and you are just not listening. They have found an answer; the truth, that satisfies them and have stopped thinking about it. Their minds are closed and they feel that there are two ways of looking at life: their way and the wrong way.

Not everyone is satisfied with some else's answer. We feel that we need to find our own answers and have that feeling of certainty for ourselves and are not content with borrowing.

Maybe the truth is that we will never have that certainty. We each see the world through our glasses of perception and experiences. Our truth is just that; our truth. It will change as we gain new perspectives, new experiences and our truths will not be the same for anyone else.

Can we accept that no one will every see our truth as we see it? Can we accept that other people have their truths which we will never see with the same eyes? Can we accept that is what we have in common with every other person on earth? Can we accept that as a minimum starting point for respecting another's truths? 

Food for thought. 

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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Life on InnerTV

We all seem to have an inner life of drama or InnerTV with multiple hi-res screens and Dolby surround sound. Things, events and people happen in our lives and up pops our InnerTV in technicolor complete with an announcer (little devil on our shoulder) with just the right voice to drive our emotions as our story lines unfold complete with commercials.

Screen 1 has Channels 1-23 and are the craving channels for all the things that we like and find pleasant. We like screen 1 and generally keep an eye on the channels as much as possible with an occasional flip to channel XX or the fantasy channel when we want an extra boost. Always new programs coming on all the time. 

On screen 2 are Channels 24-96. They are for the things we don't like and try to avoid looking at but peek at from time to time when nothing good is on the other screen. Screen 2 also shows our drama programs; the poor me and life sucks programs have high ratings due to high viewer interaction.

Screen 3 is for the reality channels and is reserved for all the things that we ignore and unless a special bulletin comes up we don't pay attention to it and just let it drone on in the background.

 Screen 3 will be displaying a beautiful sunset and all we can watch is the chocolate cake program on Screen 1 and we won't rest until we run and get it and then we will watch the guilt channel. Something happens today and we rush to watch the reruns on the hate/anger channel; the one that shows all the people that have wronged us so we won't forget instead of seeing the look of love in someone's eyes on Screen 3.

We need to take over control of the programming on some of the channels and/or create a special channel which features 'A new story line is in progress and under development. Stay tuned for previews'.

What programs do we choose to watch? What programs would we rather watch? What programs do we want to create? 

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Blogblast for Peace


I really struggle with the concept of peace.

Some say that peace is the absence of war. War is automatic when we have enemies. To have peace then we need no enemies. This would extend to the war on oppression, poverty, hunger, drugs, crime and so on. If this is our definition of peace is it ever to be accomplished? Would we sacrifice others to keep it for ourselves by not aiding others in need of our help to obtain it for themselves?

Some say that peace means peace of mind. An inner tranquility and serenity of soul. The absence of mental stress or anxiety. If this is not freely available to every person on earth can we have peace?

Some say that peace is harmonious relations and freedom from disputes. If we have scarcity in any way is peace possible?  Would we live with less rather than more as a choice for peace?

If we hold opposing views do we have the possibility of peace? When someone is starving? When someone doesn't have the freedom and opportunity to be the best that they can be? 

So if peace is our moral value dependent on our view of the world, our experiences and our sense making of our place in the world vs others. How do we achieve it for everyone?

It will come only when everyone wants it both for themselves and for others equally and consider it a basic human right.

In the meantime I will continue to support any steps in that direction starting with myself and supporting efforts like Mimi and her Blogblast for peace.

May we all live in peace.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Blog Drive-Bye and Memes

 I have been tardy in replying to two memes.

The first is from Camille from her NOW blog about 13 facts from my childhood.

  1. Remembering being lost in Birmingham, England when I was 5
  2. Remembering being on the ocean liner coming to Canada and the train trip to Toronto
  3. My dad showing us where we would live in Toronto and finding my first Teddy Bear waiting
  4. The hospital when I had my tonsils out and finally being able to eat all the ice cream I wanted 
  5. Reading Tarzan and swinging on the vines in the Humber valley
  6. Having my first dog Rex and spending the summers running by the river on our adventures
  7. Playing in a deserted Golf Club House with my friends and making it our fort for a summer before they tore it down
  8. Skinny dipping in the Humber before it got too polluted
  9. My first dance where I had 3 left feet and hated girls
  10. Competing in Gymnastics and on the cross-country school team in high school
  11. Camping out with the Boy Scouts and discovering poison ivy
  12. Helping my dad wire up the booths for the Toronto Exhibition
  13. My first motorcycle a 80cc Suzuki and being Evel  Knievel

The second meme is from Theresa from her Sleeping Kitten Dancing Dog about blogs that make me think. As this is the second time for this meme I will modify this to some of the blog drive-byes that I enjoy.

  1. Ed from his The Pisstakers blog always has a humorous slant on the goings on in the blogosphere and believes in community and link sharing as does RT from Untwisted Vortex.
  2. For a bouquet for my senses I often stop by the blog of Princess Haiku and Greg at the Cosmic Surfer
  3. For my humor my daily stops are with Sandee at Comedy Plus and Bee from Muffin53
  4. For discussions on different aspects of life I stop by Jennifer at Goodness Gracious and Pearl at Interesting Observations.
  5. For some fantastic photos check out Thomas at  Photos from northern Norway. My favorite is his shot of the Midnight Sun
  6. Don't forget than June 6, 2007 is the day to display your Peace Globe. If you don't have one you can get it from Mimi at her Mimi Writes. Cleo and I have ours to display on the 6th.

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Sunday, June 3, 2007

Better Decision Making

When we are faced with making an important decision on whether to stay where we are and an opportunity to take a new path we often undertake an analysis of the choices. We are looking for a way to make a logical decision just as we have been taught.

However, when we are looking at the future there are no certainties; there are only probabilities, yet we treat our assumptions as if they are facts. We are using our powers of prediction to form our analysis. Even a simple plus and minus analysis uses prediction.

Another factor that logical decision making does not always take in consideration is the impact of the changes on the values we hold to be important to us. What values will be impacted, by how much, and their importance to us needs to added to the decision mix.

For example there may be only a limited number of possible advancements in our current field but the business is not likely to disappear has a value to us. A new career opportunity has more  opportunities for advancement or diversity which also has a value to us. How much is up to us.

We could start with a simple plus and minus list or other decision making tool that includes all of our values that will be impacted by the decision. Then we need to add the probability of each plus and minus occurring. If we have no idea then we have some more thinking or research to do.

After rating our list and removing any which have a low possibility of happening and understanding the impact on our values we are in a better position to make a good choice for ourselves.

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

Beliefs and Values

Beliefs are our perception of the universe and our place in it. It is our pair of glasses that we don to view events and things and determines what we pay attention to or ignore and they are totally subjective.

To put it another way it is our choice of beliefs that makes sense of our universe to us by explaining our experiences and what we see and know. If we choose to see the universe as a dark and hostile place; then, it is. We are always looking out for and protecting our self-interests.

This is a primary focus of a lot of self-help programs to putting you on track for your "quality" life that you deserve and can have with their program. Change your beliefs (perceptions); especially limiting ones, and you are on your way. Is it that simple?

We have two people who are offered a chance to accept a new job that will give them more opportunity, more money, and more things but it will mean almost no time for their family.

How did they make the choice? One person accepts and one person declines. Does the one declining have some limiting belief holding them back? Not necessarily.

One person defined the value of the new job as providing for the family in an economic sense and a necessary sacrifice in spending time with the family. The other declined by defining the value for the family as being involved and spending quality time with them.

Our beliefs affect how we see things but it is our values that choose for us.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Narrow Focus and Balance

 Sometimes we can take analysis too far. As a scientific method or as a discovery process it does a wonderful job of breaking things down to their basic components to understand how it works or the basic elements of a problem. In each case we start with a known object and keep subdividing until we have basic ingredients.

When we take this approach and apply it to subjective things such as feelings, beliefs or goals; it can be like a hypochondriac focusing on a symptom and discovering a multitude of illnesses that they are sure they have and are forever curing.

We look at the problems and symptoms gratefully accepted from the whatever field of psychology we want to look at and decide we have it. We then put ourselves into analysis mode determined to find the cause of the problem and fix it. We can however, end up losing sight of the overall picture.

When we look at one aspect of ourselves without considering the whole it is like looking at a pile of parts from a watch. Every piece has meaning only to the overall design. You change a part at the risk of making the watch run faster or slower or not at all.Too narrow a focus can sometimes create more problems than it solves.

We need to be careful that we keep an eye on the effect a change has on the balance we maintain between all aspects of ourselves.