goals

It’s Okay to Be a Sore Loser

What? Did I just say it’s okay to act like a bad sport after you lose? Well, not necessarily. We live in a culture that unfortunately discourages success. Kids now play sports where there are no scores and some schools are doing away with grades so that the kids that don’t perform well don’t feel bad. Now as adults, we run into situations all the time where we have the potential to be the loser: competing for an account or a promotion, putting an offer on a house or an item on ebay, dating, looking for work or any other situation where there is more than one person vying for the same limited resource.

Society tells us we should lose gracefully, and some personal development “gurus” tell us to change our meaning of “losing” be something ridiculous like “not competing” so that the act of just going for something automatically makes us a winner. But deep down, it hurts to lose. I’ve seen grown men weep after their team has lost a big game – and it’s not just the players, it’s the fans too. While that may seem silly to many of us, we all have competitive areas of our lives that we take seriously.

How I Stopped Dying

I don’t usually put personal posts on this blog but given that I haven’t posted anything in a while, I figured it’s time to at least let you all know that I’m still alive. Like most people in the US (and especially in the Northeast where we literally have wicked weather), December is a busy time for me. On the personal side, I celebrate Christmas and several birthdays of close relatives and friends. And this year was especially hectic because I actually did some traveling – I spent ten days at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Judging Others

Have you ever been in a situation where someone is unexpectedly rude to you? Of course you have. And you know that rotten feeling that you get when it happens. You did nothing to provoke it, so why you? Should you be rude back? Is it worth a conflict? Sometimes it’s tempting to lash out in return, but that’s not always a good idea.

A wise older friend once shared with me after such an incident that most of the time when someone blows up at you for seemingly no reason, it’s almost always someone else (including themselves) that they’re mad at. We all handle stress differently. While I do my best to never take out my anger on someone who isn’t responsible, I’d be lying to you if I said I’ve never done that. We all try our best, but sometimes the moment gets the best of us.

The Trouble With Thinking Big

Many people that keep up with the latest trends in personal development find themselves surrounded by fads. These fads are often started by a new book, film or web site and then spread like wildfire. Some of them work while others are just noise.

One that I’ve been seeing and hearing over and over again is the concept of thinking big – if your goal isn’t big, throw it out and find a bigger one. To me, it’s just another way for people to feel like they’re moving towards their goals when they’re really not.

The Power of Habits

My first job out of college was at a media company and one of the things I found interesting was the addiction to coffee that many of my coworkers had. I stopped drinking coffee several years prior to that so I didn’t understand the need to add an extra thirty minutes to my morning commute for something the company offered for free in the kitchenette. So I asked a coworker why one would waste time and money in such a way and was enlightened by her answer.

She explained that there were two types of coffee -the good stuff that you get at the Starbucks and the like, and the cheap stuff that companies try to pass off as coffee (and a benefit to employees). Someone else got wind of this and decided to replace the coffee at work with the good stuff. They got a local premium coffee company to set up a station in the kitchenette at work with one of the highest quality coffees available and a number of their best flavors. One would think that this would have been a big hit but it only lasted for about a month.

Don’t Blink

There’s a song by Kenny Chesney called “Don’t Blink” that has an interesting message to it. It’s about a guy watching the news where a man that just turned 102 is being interviewed. The reporter asks the man for advice on how to reach 100 years and the man essentially tells the reporter to enjoy life because “100 years goes by faster than you think. So don’t blink.”

The message from the song is so true. You’re a kid and then before you know it, you’re a young adult getting married. And then all of sudden you’ve got children, and then grandchildren and then you and your spouse have reached the 50 year mark.

Why You’re Not Worthless

There’s nothing more saddening to me than to meet someone who truly feels worthless. Sometimes, they’ve made a mistake and have allowed it to eat away at their self-worth. Other times, they missed out on something they were vying for – perhaps they lost on out a client, job opportunity, promotion or something else they were competing for or were bullied or abused to the point where they feel worthless. In most cases, there’s a way to reclaim your worth.

The bottom line is that no matter what happens to us, we still have the same self-worth and potential that we had the day we were born. A great way to visualize this is to imagine you’re a $100 bill (or whatever the greatest value of your country’s circulated money is). When a $100 bill gets soiled, crumpled or ripped it has the same value. Even if it is shredded and then taped back together, you can bring it to a store and purchase $100 worth of goods.

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