Thursday, June 30, 2016

Never Knew a Pig That Could Sing...

Have you ever had a number of experiences that all seem to spin around the same issue? When you recognize the connection you have that “Aha!” moment?

One of my friends says that’s God/Spirit talking to you and showing you something you need to learn.

Recently, a woman told me she was “54-years old and I’m not going to change.” At about the same time I saw a quote that said, “A person who is satisfied with where they are is difficult to change.” During the time I had the previous two experiences I was in the middle of reading research showing that the mindsets of most people can be divided into Fixed and Growth. (search online “Fixed versus Growth Mindsets)

Fixed mindset people believe, “I’m either good at it, or I’m not. When I’m frustrated, I give up. I don’t like to be challenged. When I fail, I’m no good. Tell me I’m smart. If you succeed, I feel threatened.

Growth mindset people believe, “I can learn anything I want to. When I’m frustrated, I persevere. I want to challenge myself. When I fail, I learn. Tell me I try hard. When you succeed, I’m inspired.”

Which mindset fits you? It’s easy to congratulate ourselves for having growth mindsets, but a better measure is to ask people around you for a verdict. Tell’em, “You won’t hurt my feelings. I need to know the truth,” and then stand back. You may be…mmm…unpleasantly surprised.

Trying to get a Fixed mindset person to understand the importance of change can be maddening. It’s like you’re speaking a different language.

In fact, I recently saw a quote that perfectly describes the effort. It’s attributed to both science fiction writer, Robert Heinlein, and  Mark Twain: “Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

What lessons is life trying to teach you? What are the signs you're seeing/hearing/experiencing? You can believe that life will continue to show you the lesson until you finally learn it. And that takes a Growth mindset.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Riding the Bull

Bullriders strive to stay on their raging, twisting, dangerous mounts for 8 seconds. 

Microsoft and some Canadian researchers recently discovered that the average American has an attention span of…you got it, 8 seconds. And, that’s down from 12 seconds five years ago.

Think about that. The average American can’t concentrate on one thing for much more than 8 seconds before…SOMETHING SHINY!!!…and their attention jumps elsewhere.

You probably think you’re different. I know I think I can concentrate longer than that, but I just realized that, with the TV on in the background my mind jumps back and forth from writing this to listening and looking up to catch what’s on.

For most of us, information coming at us in so many different ways is the bull we are all trying to ride. We’re so afraid we’ll miss something!

Here’s an interesting thought: So many of the most successful people I read about and contact don’t watch news broadcasts on a regular basis. Increasingly, I think they’re on to something. 

Maybe our attention jumps around because we are looking for something positive.

Think about it…8 seconds. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

And Then the Gun Came Out.....

I’d never had a gun pulled near me—and with the owner looking at me—until yesterday.

Considering that I’m from Lumberton, listed by a variety of sources as the most dangerous town in North Carolina, you’d think it wouldn’t be the first time, but it was. I’ve had knives pulled on me a couple of times, but mostly it was because I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been or I had done something I shouldn’t have done. Luckily, the events didn't escalate.

It was such an innocent thing. I was at a stop sign and a law enforcement car pulled up behind me. I needed directions to a government office and immediately thought, “Here’s someone who’ll know.”

So, I hopped out of the car, held up my hands to show I had nothing in them,gabegave ga and quickly walked back to the officer’s car. He rolled the window down and when I leaned over to speak to him I noticed that he already had his weapon out of the holster and resting on his thigh.

I kinda offered a half-hearted laugh and joked, “You’re not going to need that! I just need to know where the town administrative offices are.”

He gave me what looked like a nervous smile and was open enough to say, “When you got out of the car and started walking back I thought, ‘This isn’t good.’”

He was wonderfully courteous, gave me the directions I needed, and wished me a good day.

I was back in my car and had driven a couple of blocks when I started thinking how different the whole episode could have gone if…it was at night, he wasn’t extremely professional, I was African-American/Hispanic/Middle-Eastern-looking/bigger and rougher looking, or any of a number of other variables about him/me/the situation.

Again, let me emphasize that he was very professional, exactly what I’ve always expected from his agency. And, considering what seems to pass for public behavior today, I could absolutely see his point. 

But, I also thought: If our society has come to a point at which law enforcement officers are so on edge that they pull a weapon when someone who looks pretty innocent (which I think I do) walks up to their car in broad daylight…well, we need to calm down and start asking who we really have become…and why?