Monday, May 20, 2019

Change Your Life: Fifth In A Series--I Tell You Where To Go And Ask You For Some Help

Before I try to change all of your lives with this week's Sentence, I want to ask you to help me with next week's post. We've reached the halfway mark with today's offering, so I'm ready to take a break or even call it quits and instead showcase some Honest-To-Goodness helpful sentences, sayings, tips, or tricks that have actually improved all of your lives in an authentic way. These helpers can be practical or philosophical, and they can be from any arena of life you choose:  cooking, driving, crafting, relationships, grief, whatever. All I ask is that you do NOT leave them in comments. Instead, please send them to me via email: deptofnanceATyahooDOTcom. I promise to corral all of them and put them in a post and share them with everyone, hoping that each reader will find some Sparkle Of Wonderfulness to make his or her life better in some way.

Again, no contributions via Comments. Email me your Helpful Wisdom, and I'll share all of them in a post next week. Okay, onward.

This week's Life-Changing Sentence is not the worst thing ever. I can actually see some people finding it to be a worthy philosophy, repeating it sagely to others, especially to adolescents in search of popularity.

Here is Life-Changing Sentence Number Five:

Go where you're celebrated, not where you're tolerated.

This Sentence reminds me of Rev. Jesse Jackson's or Simpson attorney Johnnie Cochran's rhetorical style--it's punchy and because it rhymes, it's memorable. (Can't you picture both of them saying this? I can.)

Its source is a motivational speaker and life coach, and the actual quote is "Go where you are celebrated, not merely tolerated", which makes a little more sense, but the sentiment is still implied in the above Sentence.

The philosophy here is good--to a point. It makes a lot of sense to avoid people who, quite simply, don't want you hanging around with them. As I said above, it's a valuable piece of wisdom to give to middle-schoolers who are desperate to break into the It Clique or sit at the Cool Table for lunch. They might endure some miserable conditions in order to do so.  Kids can be cruel and cutting.  Heaven only knows how this all translates to the various social media platforms. I am daily grateful that I raised my sons well before InstaTwitFace and WhatSnap.

As adults--and I know for sure I qualify since I turned (gasp!) sixty earlier this month--we instinctively know this already, we, really? Again, social media and the internet at large have probably not brought out the best in lots of grownups. But overall, we do tend to go where we are wanted and where people are glad to see us. It's behavioral science at its core--the stimulus and response of operant conditioning.  We love a big greeting, a warm smile, a happy hello. Humans generally want to feel wanted.

As adults, however, we also know that there are times when we have to go where we are "merely tolerated." Sometimes we're caught in a less than desirable work situation where a coworker makes our lives miserable, but go we must. Still other times we have to go to a gathering of our spouse's family, perhaps, where our reception is a bit frosty. I'm sure you can think of lots of examples where we have to put in an appearance and Be Tolerated because it is The Right Thing To Do, our comfort to the contrary.

But by all means, yes, if you find yourself saying about Book Club, perhaps, "Hey! Why do I keep subjecting myself to These People?" and there is no Good Reason, jump that ship and don't even wave goodbye. Then Celebrate Yourself and your Freedom. You've made some space in your life for something better.

Here then is Sentence #5 one more time: Go where you are celebrated, not where you are merely tolerated. Did it "give you the power to go on" and "change your life for the better"?

And don't forget to send me your Tips, Tricks, or Words To Live By for an easier or better life to deptofnanceATyahooDOTcom to be included in next week's post. (And not in Comments.)  Thanks.


Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Change Your Life: Fourth In A Series--So Many Words, So Little Sense

Whereas last week's Sentence That Will Change Your Life was more than a Sentence, this week's isn't even a Sentence. It's a Noun, really, modified by a bunch of phrases and clauses, and taken as a whole, it is so muddly and so derivative of other Life-Improving Exhortations that it seems Sad.

Here it is, in all its wordy glory, Life-Changing Sentence Number Four:

The most dangerous risk of all – The risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.

And yes, it doth pain me much to put a period at the end of it.

Okay, first of all, let me tell you that I sourced this quote and found that it was said/written by a venture capitalist, which speaks volumes, I think, about two words used in the "Sentence" (spending, buying). It's easy to be glib about Following Your Dream when you have big bucks and investors to do so. Also ironic is that venture capitalists sometimes use their cash to buy up other people's failed dreams at a reduced price. Just saying.

Anyway, this Life-Changing Word Group isn't saying anything new. Lots of other people have said it, and far better. How about Nike? "Just Do It." What about "There's No Time Like The Present"? "He Who Hesitates Is Lost"? "Someday Is Not A Day Of The Week"? "If You Do What You Love, You'll Never Work A Day In Your Life"? All of these are just as valuable, yet just as open to criticism as Word Group Number Four.

We all can see the pitfalls of Word Group Four, right? What if Some Guy really wants to be a rap singer rather than a mechanic? What if Some Woman really wants to be a clothing designer instead of a department manager? Oh hey! Word Group Four says, Go do that thing right now! Don't wait until you've set aside some cash, paid your dues, or even looked into your chances of success. Not fulfilling YOUR dream is Dangerous! It Is All About YOU. No risk, no reward!

Piffle. And might I add, I did what I loved for 30+ years, and I worked every single day. Every Day. Some Days felt like entire Weeks. So baloney to all of that bullshit. Everybody--stick out your tongues and blow the raspberries to that kind of crap. Go!

Thank you. I feel better.

Here's the thing: I can definitely get on board with some kernel of Word Group Four. In the interest of Self-Care and Enjoying Life and Seizing The Day (and there's yet another nice, neat way of expressing the idea in Word Group Four), I think more people, Women especially, should look into making some Dreams and Desires reality. At the very least, we should recognize that if we don't go out and make things happen on our behalf, they simply won't. But it's not a matter for words like Danger and Risk.

Here is "Sentence" #4 again: The most dangerous risk of all – The risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later

Have you found, thanks to its Wisdom, "the power to go on" since it changed "your life for the better"? Chat it up in Comments.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Change Your Life: Third In A Series--If At First You Don't Succeed, Build, Build, Build

I'm not even going to pretend that this week's Sentence has the potential to Change Your Life. It's so shopworn, so banal, so BeenThereDoneThat as to have formed the basis of innumerable Talks and Lectures given to not only Me, but my three siblings hundreds and hundreds of times Way Back When. The speaker was my father, to whom Character Building was not only the World's Noblest Pursuit, it was also the one in which we should become the most proficient. By the time I was about fourteen, there was nothing I hated more than Character Building, unless it was perhaps Building Character.

Here is Life-Changing Sentence Number Three (as I suffer a few shuddery flashbacks):

You learn more from failure than from success; don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.

Okay, first of all, it's not A sentence; it's two. And it's way too long and wordy to be truly successful as a life-changing mantra or a motto. It's like they crammed three separate ideas into one:

You learn more from failure than from success!
Don't let failure stop you! (And isn't this implied in the first saying?)
Failure builds character!

(I added all those exclamation marks to keep myself from falling asleep.)

By now I want to remind a lot of people that, whilst many do, in fact, learn from Failure, a huge percentage of people do not. They go on to repeat the same mistakes, hoping for a different outcome and creating collateral damage along the way. The jails are full of Failing People, the schools are full of Failing People, the court system is full of Failing People, the republican party is full of Failing People, and hell--my grocery store was full of Failing People today who continued to leave their carts in the middle of the aisle whilst they wandered all around and gathered their items. I push their carts along, adding a few things I want them to have when they're not looking. Do they learn? No.

It is also clear to see that the Failure of the republican party to keep their majority in the House of Representatives taught them nothing at all. Nor did it seem to build any Character.

Aside from the nitpicky or the obvious, this Sentence is okay at best. Lots of valuable information can be learned from Failures IF you choose to analyze your mistakes, own them, and correct them. And you can Build Character by being humble and learning where your weaknesses are and, if necessary, asking for help. But while this Sentence is generic and general, it's also potentially plain wrong.

I learned a lot from my Successes in several arenas such as teaching, writing, parenting. In some cases, I learned more from Successes than Failures. Not everyone has to fail in order to learn a great deal or a powerful lesson. Many times I found that piling up Successes taught my students more and was more helpful for them personally and emotionally. (That, my friends, helps Build Character!)

I learned an endless amount about Life And Other Things from my father. I still call up his wisdom to this day. Things he told me for the forty-one years I had with him occur to me far more often than I could ever have imagined. But after many of his lectures about Character or Character-Building, all I ever felt was exhausted and angry.

Here's the thing: sometimes, Failure should stop you. If you aren't good at something and it makes you miserable, stop it immediately. Go do Something Else. And not everything can be about Building Character. Sometimes lousy stuff is just Stuff You Have To Get Through and your Character is already fine with or without it. Not everything has to mean something.  Nor will it.

I think I would have felt way better if I had been told that and been given a big hug.

So here is "Sentence" #3 again: You learn more from failure than from success; don’t let it stop you. Failure builds character.

Did this "give you the power to go on" or "change your life for the better" as the article promised? Let's talk about it in Comments.

original image

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...