When a mistake happens at work or at home, do you dwell on it, or do you experience it, let go of it and move forward from it?
When we let something wash over us, we experience it and are changed by it, but we do not stay immersed in it.
It’s not always easy to let go of a bad experience, but we always have the freedom to choose whether we dwell on it, or move on from it.
A bad experience gives us the chance to learn from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. It gives us reason to listen carefully in conversation about what went wrong and to listen carefully in conversation about how to handle similar situations differently in the future. Continue reading
What if we viewed all of life’s hardships as natural, and took it as normal that our struggles with them should be tackled in full view of and with open support from our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers?
Just as a sail is too heavy to hoist alone, grief is too heavy to bear alone.
I got to thinking about this after I heard Alix Spiegel on NPR report on how differently Japanese and Americans tackle classroom education. In America, the brightest student is held up for peer praise and respect, while the one struggling to learn is left alone, nearly shamed and shunned. In Japan, the student who is having the most difficulty is brought before the class and learns in front of his peers, with their encouragement. They all share in the student’s accomplishment of conquering the difficult lesson. Struggling to learn is seen as a natural part of the journey to become educated.
I am struck by two facts. One is the open acceptance of the struggle. The teacher and peers openly give their support and it is openly received by the student. The other is the recognition that learning is a journey and eventual success is expected and perhaps inevitable. Continue reading
Do you ever feel really frustrated by a situation and with the people who are part of it? Of course you do. It happens whenever there’s as a gap between what we think we need and what we perceive is happening.
Frustration + Anxiety = Stress
As I write this on Sunday, we are in the midst of moving the contents of four rooms – big, heavy furniture, pictures, rugs, knick-knacks, and lots of books – in what at times feels like a grand game of musical chairs. I’m not sure everything will have a seat when the music stops.
Keep in mind we both work at home, so all of this disruption affects both of us around the clock. Talk about frustration! Talk about anxiety!
There was a time when speaking up about my needs in this kind of situation would have meant to me that I was being selfish. So I would have stayed silent. Looking back on those times, I realize my actions did a lot of speaking for me.
Fortunately, I’ve learned to follow a four-step process that involves a lot of speaking and only a few actions. When we speak what we feel, we often are rewarded with actions that close that gap and eliminate the frustration, anxiety and stress. Continue reading