Figuring it out


You can’t exactly live without it.

And sometimes it’s possible get so upset with it that you feel like you can’t live with it.

What a colossal oxymoron.

But the reality is, you have to keep trying and living with it to keep on the pursuit of happiness.

It sort of goes with the territory of pursuing-figuring it out.

But maybe it’s time to stop trying to be so impatient while figuring it out.

It’s not like there is just one way to do it.

In fact, there are many ways to do and figure out what to do about the things we go through as we go through life.

And even if you feel like you have found a good path to take and that you have figured it all out…

The world can still throw a pandemic or an economic crisis in the way of your plan.

Something out of your control.

That doesn’t mean it’s the end of the possibility of better times and good times with people we love is what we all strive and keep trying for.

Maybe figuring life out is really about figuring out how to find happy moments as we re-adjust and move forward in the stop-and-go parts of life.

There are countless examples that show that figuring out how to be happy is less about the things you chose to do and more about how you adjust to the things that happen.

Because you can be sure things will go wrong.

And you can also be sure that if you keep adjusting and trying-things will go right again.

Since the universal goal we all share is to find happiness we may as well find happiness in the figuring it out.

Until we figure it out.

A conversation about how you feel is not supposed to end in an argument

Voltaire said: “If you wish to converse with me, define your terms”.

An argument is defined as: an exchange of diverging or opposite views, typically a heated or angry one.

In a conversation about how you feel there can be no other feeler of your feelings because only you can discern and speak on how you feel.

No opposite view is applicable.

What is your’s is not someone else’s to give you and the best example of something that is your’s are your feelings.

No one else can tell you how you feel.

You are the only owner of your feelings because only you can experience your emotions.

Any argumentative response to you expressing how you feel isn’t appropriate in a conversation.

Other people can have an opinion (and their own feelings) on why you may feel the way you do but no one can argue that you are feeling that way.

Also, no one should ever tell you how you should feel and expect you to want to talk about your feelings to them again.

It’s a vulnerable thing to talk about feelings and if someone doesn’t have enough respect to acknowledge your feelings for what they are-end the discussion.

Another person can wish or desire that you didn’t feel a way but in terms of challenging your reality of what you feel, no.

No one ever has the right to tell you what to feel because it’s rude and it’s oppressive.

Typically if an argument happens during a conversation where you are sharing what you feel it is because the person you are talking to is taking it personally that you feel the way you are expressing.

That means they are making your feelings about them and that is never appropriate or helpful.

Feelings are not up for debate and sharing them is not supposed to end in a fight.

When someone reacts argumentatively to you telling them how you feel it’s really their own personal problem they are experiencing.

They can get argumentative out of frustration because they do not want you to feel the way you do (especially if it is something they did to cause you to feel this way) or it’s because they feel they should be the one receiving attention and understanding for something they are feeling instead of you.

In this second case it is often that they want you to care more about how your feelings are impacting their feelings than you do about your own feelings and they want you to turn your attention back to them.

Note in the second scenario you may be talking to a narcissist because narcissists tend to get emotionally frustrated anytime you make things about anyone other than them.

And in either case an argumentative response from them is still not appropriate because the purpose of the conversation you started was an attempt to gain some understanding from the person you are talking to so they can understand how you feel, not argue about it right?

When you express your feelings it isn’t up for debate how you feel and it’s not opinion based because the topic (you) is also the only one who can feel first hand how you feel.

Only the person experiencing themselves can have the feeling. Nothing to argue about.

A feeling belongs to one person and it can only be shared in terms of expressing it and describing it.

Nothing has been presented to argue about.

When someone tells us how they feel the appropriate response is to listen, say something that indicates we have understood what was said, and then ask how we can help them feel differently moving forward.

Once we have listened and worked through the conversation then we have the opportunity to also talk about anything we are feeling.

An argument arises when a person expressing how they feel is interrupted by someone who is trying to debate them or blame them for how they feel instead of acknowledging the validity of how they feel.

Getting offended by how someone feels is emotionally unintelligent and it needs to be understood that when someone is expressing themselves it is about them talking and it is for the other person to do the listening and not change the topic to themselves by arguing. otherwise it becomes two people talking at each other and that isn’t a conversation.

Truth without compassion is brutal and blunt.

We have all withnessed someone who disclosed an important sensitive message without compassion and it was just a brutal and blunt.

The virtue that comes along with being transparent is only a virtuous thing to do when it is done through good intention and in good taste.

Your Intention is felt with the words you choose and the way you present what you are saying.

The truth can be morally correct to tell someone or it can be evil and hurtful. The difference will be felt in your delivery which will always reveal the reasons why you felt the truth should be told.

Telling the truth is not what makes someone respectable. The truth is the truth and telling it flat does not carry respect by default.

The when, where, how, why and the way it is done- it all matters.

Compassion and virtue can only be claimed as the purpose for telling the truth when you deliver it with empathy.

When you deliver a message that will hurt someone or disrupt something and you don’t go about it empathetically then you are just weaponizing the truth and you are kidding yourself if you do that and call yourself moral.

And some people even blurt out things on purpose to inflict pain.

Either way it’s wrong to do it without compassion and everybody will know it’s wrong because of the way it was done.

If you use the truth as an excuse to hurt somebody else be it personal or business because your feelings got hurt along your path and you decide to use that as an excuse to be compassionless- that’s called revenge.

It is reckless and inappropriate and it will end up hurting people.

That makes the truth behind the intent worse than a lier who lies for the sake of compassion.

If you ever chose to not take special care when delivering important messages you can’t expect your message to be respected.

There are consequences to everything.

Even (and especially) when telling the truth.

A good conversation

A good conversation is one that allows the people involved in the discussion to come to a conclusion where there is an understanding of what both people want out of the conversation.

An mutually agreeable understanding is what motivates an amicable decision to be made.

The decision that is made out of that understanding often precludes the desired action (and reason for the conversation) to take place.

The action part comes as a result and rarely as an immediate request or a demand.

An action is the resolve of the understanding that was gained by the two people respecting and accepting where the other is coming from. Two things that are impossible to show you have for someone when your into to a conversation is a flat immediate request.

The understanding piece of a conversation is only possible because of the way the two people listen to and acknowledge each other’s perspective in the situation.

Acknowledgement happens when points are delivered and received by everyone in the conversation through language that lets the other person know they were heard which makes them more willing to hear you out in return than any other motivating factor.

The attempt must be made to listen to and acknowledge the other persons perspective if you want to get anything resolved without conflict and delay.

People want to be heard and feel understood. How you listen and respond to people is how you let them know that you have done both.

It’s the way we say things and what we say that matters but most importantly it’s about when we take our turn to speak and how we prove that we have heard the other persons feelings through their words that makes it the most possible to get what we want out of the conversations we have.

The turns taken to speak and the turns taken listening to each other with the other in mind prior to speaking out our requests and rather speaking in response to what was said by the other person first and then saying what we want.

To have conversation that leads to an actionable resolution means you will have to adapt and respond to what you hear a person telling you rather than reacting to how you feel about what they are saying.

The only way to keep from emotionally reacting during a conversation is to not assume what someone will tell you before you actually give them the opportunity to tell you what they have to say and express why they feel that way. Once you have that information you can then respond.

Knowing how they feel let’s you know what you have to overcome when you speak.

When we speak first and the only words we use are requests we are shooting that request in the dark at a person who has their own thoughts going on in that moment about everything but us and our request and expecting them to care.

They won’t care.

How do I know?

Because when someone comes up to you with something on their mind it has never been the same thing or came from the same perspective that is going on in your mind at that exact moment. It is humanly impossible. Due to that fact, your response to a request that is irrelevant to the current things on your mind will have a lower chance of willingly giving a productive response than if the person had started the conversation with an approach with some regard to your state of mind being naturally on something different than theirs. People need to assess your perspective on a topic to discover where you are mentally since they are the one engaging you with something on their before asking you a bunch of questions or making a demand if they want a decent response from you.

It’s human nature to want to be acknowledged and provided context and reasons before someone asks something of you.

So why is it also human nature for us to want to resolve problems with people by telling them what we want them to do as the intro to a conversation?

Because what we want them to do is something that impacts us.

But without providing the same approach we would want to be approached with how can we expect them to want to give us the time of day when we wouldn’t if the tables were turned?

We can’t expect answers to direct questions (and often demands) to be warm and fuzzy when they are ask without any emotional intelligence or awareness about how a demand sounds when give .5 second after the word hello.

However, we all have this tendency to start conversations with questions rather than not and as a result we will hear a lot more no’s than yes’s.

Our brains work like this in conversations because our brains also spend all day looking out for #1 so we don’t run through stop signs and burn ourselves while ironing clothes. We are auto-piloted for self preservation and it’s been that way since we were early humans trying to escape tigers and bears thousands of years ago.

The thing is that for communication to get you what you really want out of it you have to outsmart your instincts and change the way your conversations flow.

Once you do that you will hear a lot more yes than no.

A Story About Perfect

About 18 months ago I did something I won’t do again. I decided to change my process for planning. I started using Slack to automate my organization. Here was the problem-my process wasn’t broken. Yet, I felt I had to fix “it” to stay on trend. I have never stayed on “trend” with anything. I am more of a Buffettologist by nature. I only see a reason to go with a trend if it actually is necessary. So what happened with the decision to change my process? Did the marketing for the Slack platform really work on me? I sat back and put my marketer hat on. From a macro view, Marketers are getting pushy again. This happens when the consumer attention starts to get more expensive in the marketplace. Eventually if the marketplace gets too pushy then the consumer will put their attention somewhere that isn’t as crowded or spammy. But for now, social media advertising has our attention and we are still paying attention. It forces marketers to try harder to make the promise of something perfect outweigh the current good enough. I felt I should change when I should have thought about it instead. Perfect is never the answer over good enough. It bottle necks efficiency. It is a human desire and not a requirement for business. If your good enough is better than what other people brag about being perfect then whatever you do don’t spend any more time on perfecting the thing you already to better than everyone else. Focus your attention on something else…literally anything else is a better use of time.

Here are things to do instead of perfecting the thing you all ready do good enough:

  1. Tell more people about what you do.
  2. Ship more of your product.
  3. Deliver more of your service
  4. Do what you do for people who have more money to spend on you.

Lesson: Change is only necessary when it needs to happen. We are living through a time where we will see many things change. It is good to be ready to change when you have too. It is even more important to know when not to change something. The person who can make wise decisions about change will always be good for the company they work for. The first thing I put at the top of my agenda now is- “Don’t make perfect the enemy of good enough.” #todolist #organizationalpsychology #organizationdevelopment#lists #marketers #attention #agenda #goodenough #mentor #fix

Here is a great post on the topic  “To Do Lists” By Olivia Goldhill


If you build it, they will come

“If you build it, they will come.”

This is how business worked in America for a long time.

A store would go up, and people would go to the store.

There were fewer choices of stores to shop and spend money in.

There were also fewer products to choose from.

Customer service did not have to be a priority because customers had fewer places to take their money.

The tables have turned over the past 50 years.

Today you can go to millions of stores without leaving your couch.

It is your choice, any and everything you could possibly want to buy is at your fingertips because of the Internet.

This is a massive marketing challenge for even major name brands.

So where does that leave the contractor/agent/freelancer?

How can you compete with everyone else in a sea of consumer choices?

How will you get prospect/clients to find you, much less pick you?

Relying on “If you build it, they will come” does not work anymore.

The rules that applied 100 years ago do not exist any more but it is still possible to be the go to person in your field of work.

The new rules for success require you to do more than build a good presentation.

You have to connect first.

Find people and engage with them.

Connect with people.

Before you ask for a sale, start a conversation.

People can get anyone to sell them a service.

It is harder for consumers to find people who care about how outcomes will impact them and their family.

People refer people to service providers who make them feel taken care of and safe.

That is how people decide now.

Passive Aggression

Passive aggression is sugar-coated anger.

It is a cover-up.

A sneak attack.

A covert way of getting someone back.

Some people turn it into a behavioral art form they become so good at it.

But passive aggression is a no-win power struggle.

A no-win means no productivity, and there is usually some form of pain involved.

Passive aggressive people satisfy their own anger by pushing another person to publicly displaying anger.

It is nothing more than a coping mechanism.

Displaced anger stemmed from a long time of being directly ignored.

Before you label a colleague, client or partner as passive aggressive and throw your hands up feeding the negativity with more negativity…

Try assertive communication.

Call a spade a spade.

Talk about the elephant in the room, and resist any urge to do this with sarcasm—passive aggression’s evil twin.

The reality is that a person who is passive aggressive is not being heard and acknowledged like they deserve by someone in their life.

They may never admit it.

But it hurts them.


They may never feel like they can say what they want to say in the moment.

And eventually, all that bottling up becomes too much.

They tried being heard and were ignored.

Again…and again…and again.

A person can only take so much; so one day they stop asking for people to listen.

They make people listen by taking their cooperation away.

Although this may be frustrating, talk to them.

Talk to them assertively.

Make it known that you want to make a collaborative effort to achieve the same goal.

Above all, mean it when you say it.

Be willing to connect on a genuine level.

The situation won’t get worse if you try this approach.

It might even get better.

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares news about TED Talks and TED Conferences.

%d bloggers like this: