Friday, June 27, 2014

1 to 10

Long ago a friend listened to my ranting about a situation. She listened quietly until I took a breath.
"May I ask a question?" in her calm voice. "On a scale of 1 to 10 - ten being death - how important are these things?"
On a scale with death, they were not so very important.
Often I was caught up in my own whirlpool of emotions and attaching way too much meaning to the lack of reaction to my emotional need and not objectively assessing the importance of the actual issue. In other words, acting like it was a life or death situation when it was really small - on a scale of 1 - 10. The issue usually grew into "if the person cared about ME, they would..." type of thinking.
We've all heard stories about couples getting into great arguments over toothpaste lids and toilet seats. One side or the other cannot get over needing to have it their way. Of course, one side or the other has to give. Otherwise, what sounds like a very small thing remains a constant source of tension. The consequences of the issue grow larger than the issue itself.
Once we've wound ourselves up, it's really hard to wind back down. Maybe the 1 - 10 scale can help. It kind of helps think a bit further and consider consequences. 'Is this really going to kill me?" Maybe even more importantly, 'How is this affecting those around me?'

Monday, June 23, 2014

Taking Stock can be a Good Thing

Sometimes we just need to take stock - measure where we are, review where we need to go, and count what we have achieved. It used to annoy me that we had to create objectives and review them regularly at work. But now I see there is great value in setting a formal time to measure progress and discuss things. It's a forum for ensuring that everyone is on the same page and it can be a time to celebrate progress together.
Being blessed with a great team of dedicated people makes this kind of "taking stock" a great pleasure. Six months ago we thought we would achieve XY and Z. As we review those plans and compare them to the reality of what we accomplished, we are able to see where we need to put more energy. Most enjoyable to me, is the discovery of how very much was actually achieved.
Maybe we need to set aside days - several times a year - where we take measure of every aspect of our lives. Celebrate accomplishment. Review where we can do better.