Being On-Time

Some people are punctual people. Always on-time. Early even.

I am not one of those. It is one of the things I’m “working on.” Which means, I’d like to be better about it and I think about it some, but I don’t actually try to alter the underlying behaviors…

At least I hadn’t, until I saw this article: The Secrets of Punctual People by Jessica Hullinger at Fast Company. In part, because I already do the things that I think will help me be more punctual – like the first two from this article: keep a reliable calendar and be practical about the amount of time it takes to get places, including possible delays.

It was the third suggestion from this article that struck a chord: save a task for when you arrive. Jessica’s quote from Gretchen Rubin fits me to a tee – I’m always trying to fit in one last thing, or one last part of the thing I’m working on, before I head to the next appointment or even. Love the idea of taking that thing with me to work on once I’ve arrived. Early.

I’m going to try it!

 

Resources and Links

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Habits

Was thinking about posting about habits, and books about habits, a couple of mornings ago. Then, that afternoon, I found this tweet in my Twitter timeline:

Kismet. Fate. Providence speaking to me: yes, habits.
Actually, while I’m not beyond a quasi-belief in providence (I probably need to explore this more, perhaps in this very medium), I tend to lean more toward confirmation bias or frequency bias or something in that area (neither of those seem like exactly what I’m talking about… is there a name for what I’m talking about? Just coincidence?).

robert-mankoff-look-call-it-denial-if-you-like-but-i-think-what-goes-on-in-my-personal-new-yorker-cartoon
Robert Mankoff, The New Yorker                          June 12, 2000

 

 

I think a lot about habits. Probably because I struggle with them. I assume we all do. Habits I want to break. Habits I want to develop because I think I should have them. Things I think would be easier if I just developed the right habit.

AND… to make any change, you have to be ready. Can you sometimes force yourself to be ready? Maybe. But, at least for me, often there just becomes a time where, for reasons I may never know or understand, I am ready to do, try, or master that thing that I’ve been struggling with for some time.

Maybe ‘ready’ means motivated. Maybe ‘ready’ means that this is now the number one thing that needs to be done in my life. Maybe ‘ready’ means I’ve been able (consciously or subconsciously) to clear away the impediments to getting on with the change. Maybe it could mean any one of these, or more than one of these, or some other things.

To be explored at greater length at a future time: what can I do to get myself ready for change?

One thing may be to find the tool, strategy, or conceptualization that works for you. To that end…

Resources and Links

 

Life Advice via Commencement Address

This post has its roots, among other places, in the last post (Calvin and Hobbes). In 1990, Bill Watterson, creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, gave the commencement address at his alma mater, Kenyon College.

As part of that address – Some Thoughts on the Real World by One Who Glimpsed It and Fled, May 20, 1990 – he had this to say:

“I tell you all this because it’s worth recognizing that there is no such thing as an overnight success. You will do well to cultivate the resources in yourself that bring you happiness outside of success or failure. The truth is, most of us discover where we are headed when we arrive. At that time, we turn around and say, yes, this is obviously where I was going all along. It’s a good idea to try to enjoy the scenery on the detours, because you’ll probably take a few.”

The art of the commencement address:
Life Advice. Wisdom. Words to launch one into the “real world.” Serious. Funny. Cautionary. Up-lifting.

Watterson’s address and many others, with their varied wisdoms, can be found on NPR’s The Best Commencement Speeches, Ever site. Which, I first heard of listening to Shonda Rhimes‘ book, The Year of Yes. (She also was the commencement speaker at her alma mater – in this case Dartmouth in 2014.)

Caution: a compilation of commencement addresses, like the one at NPR, is one of those Internet rabbit holes that you may go down and not be seen again for a long, long time.

Calvin and Hobbes

It almost feels like this should be a post with just the post title – Calvin and Hobbes. Enough said, right?

For those of you who say, “right!”, this is just a reminder to reacquaint yourself.
And, for those of you who say, “who?”, this is required reading.

calvinHobbes1st
The first published Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. November 18, 1985

 

The Calvin and Hobbes comic, created by Bill Watterson, was syndicated from November 18, 1995 to December 31, 1995. Several collections of the comic have been published in book form and those books have sold tens of millions of copies.

Some thought it was ground-breaking. Some funny. It certainly seemed to me to be insightful. And, sometimes, as if it was speaking directly to me.

calvinHobbesPanic

 

Grab one of the collections from the library and take a look. I suggest a few strips at a time. Binge-watching is for TV, don’t binge-read. Calvin and Hobbes is for savoring.

calvinHobbes

 

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Open Letter to 2016 Presidential Candidates

Dear Candidates,

Why are you running for office?
It is difficult. And, if you win, it only gets more difficult.

[an aside: have you seen those time-lapse videos of presidents aging?
CBS – Obama time-lapse or CNN – 3 presidents, week-by-week ]

So, I’m going to make the assumption that you’re running because you want what is best for the country. You are willing to make the sacrifice (aging two years for each year in office) for the greater good.

Heads up! Winning the nomination and then the election at all costs is not what is best for the country. It is only, perhaps, what is best for you. Being the best at campaigning does not make you the best president. The ends do not justify the means. Even if, and this is a big “if”, you are right and your policies, voice, and administration are what would be the best for the country. (I guess you have a 1/6-ish chance at this point…)

Just playing the game? You didn’t make the rules?

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. … We need not wait to see what others do.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

You want what is best for the country? Comport yourself with dignity and class. Argue the issues from a place of compassion. Raise the level of discourse so that you may be a model of leadership.

Please,
show us, the globe, and your fellow candidates what it means to be a true citizen and a force for good. Respect each other, the process, and the people so that when the election is over, you (and we) are still willing to listen to one another and work together to do what needs to be done to make this world a better place, in whatever way we can.

Thank you,

Jiminy

 

Resources and Links

5 Love Languages

Almost two decades ago, my baby sister came home from college and wanted to start a discussion about how each member of the family gave and received love. She said that she’d learned that there were five categories of ways we express love:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Giving/Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

It struck a chord. And, apparently has for many people, because it is the basis for Gary Chapman‘s best-seller The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. This I learned from Jenny Anderson‘s article on Quartz, “The simple communication theory that explains most relationship conflicts.”

Since that visit with my sister, I have often used this lens on my relationships when I feel unloved or misunderstood. Often, it is a case of mismatched styles. Perhaps, I’m feeling hurt because someone declined my invitation or missed the celebration of a special occasion (I’m a Quality Time person), but maybe I shouldn’t be because they did send that touching photo book commemorating the occasion (they are an Acts of Service and/or Giving Gifts person).

Do you know what you are? Want to confirm? Or find out? Try the profile index at the 5 Love Languages website. Don’t want to give away your info, including your email address? There are links to downloadable PDF versions of the index (this is the version for someone in a relationship) at the bottom of the screen where it asks for your info.

Resources and Links

It’s Never Just One Thing

Life is a perplexing endeavor. And (almost) everything about it can be viewed in a variety of ways. And (perhaps) should be. Sometimes.

We don’t always have time to carefully parse everything that comes our way. We don’t need to. We should be aware, however, that if we’re only seeing something or someone in one way, there is probably more to it.

Take, for example, the birth of a child. Or, the birth of your child! Congratulations! It is a miracle!

It is. And, it is also one of the most mundane events there is. If we limit ourselves to human births, there were, on average, 254 other births happening the same minute (2014 estimate) as whatever particular birth we are concerned with, according to IndexMundi.

Can the birth of a child be both a miracle and monotonously commonplace? Sure.

It’s never just one thing. And, sometimes it is two things that seem diametrically opposed.

 

Resources and Links

Search “It’s Never Just One Thing” and you’ll get many results (what can you search for which you won’t?), but these two caught my eye:

For information about the world we live in:

 

[update 3/2/2016]

A corollary: You are special AND you are not special.