“Under my thumb is a squirming dog who just had her day…” (Stones)
Do you suffer from the heartbreak of envy?
Are you jealous of friends and colleagues who attain success, while you continue to struggle?
Would you like to learn a simple cure for feeling inferior to others?
Well, then step right up…
Here’s the story: I grew up with the definite impression that ambition was a moral failing. The operative phrase was “Don’t get too big for your britches”…
… which was a cold warning to anyone who dared attempt to rise above their (vaguely defined) place in life.
And one of the greatest joys was to gleefully watch the collapse and humbling of the High & Mighty. I believe there’s some evolutionary fragment left in our systems that wants a solid check on keeping folks from leaving the pack.
Now, if you risk failing and succeed, that’s great. We were there for ya the entire time, Bucko. Rooted for ya. Got yer back.
I think our innate need for leadership allows for a select few to “make it” without hostility. And, as long as they provide whatever it is we need from them — protection, entertainment, intellectual stimulation, decisive action, look good in a tight sweater, whatever — they get a pass.
But we seem to have a ceiling of tolerance for others moving up the hierarchy too fast. Whoa, there, buddy. Where do you think you’re going?
And when the unworthy grab the brass ring, it can trigger a hormone dump that’ll keep you up all night. Because, why did HE make it, when he’s clearly not the right dude to Continue reading
Here’s a quick bit of wisdom ripped from the ongoing coaching in the current Simple Writing System program.
It’s actually a tactic I’ve been sharing with consulting clients and mastermind colleagues for decades. I haul it out whenever someone expresses frustration on what next decision to make.
Key point: It doesn’t matter what the situation is. This works for business, love, revenge plans, shopping, starting wars, arguing with idiots, wondering what to do on a nice afternoon…
… any situation at all where you need to make a decision.
It also works even if you’re looking at lots of “gray” area… so you’re not facing an either-or, or a fork in the road, or a choice between two clear options.
In fact, it probably works best when you have no idea whatsoever of the POSSIBLE decisions to make. You’re clueless. Frozen. Absolutely blank on the next step.
(This is, by the way, a common reason serious small biz owners come to me for consultation.) (In the larger corporate world, another long-observed excuse for hiring a consultant is to have someone to blame for making a decision you either can’t or won’t make. CYA. Not the best reason to bring in an expert…)
So here’s the tool… Continue reading
“Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book!” (Gen. Patton, ambushing Nazi’s before they could ambush him)
Early Halloween memory: I’m getting ready to go extort candy from the neighbors with my older sister (cuz while I’m starting to suspect that Santa Claus ain’t real, I’m still pretty convinced that ghosts and witches are out there, thus requiring a bodyguard)…
… and, putting my worldly experience to work, I choose the biggest bag available to carry my haul in.
Dreams of endless sugar-rushes have my 5-year-old brain twitching like a junkie as we join the throngs of vandals and kids outside, and I’m raking it in.
However, just before calling it a night and heading home, I realize that my bag was a little TOO big… and I’d been dragging it along the ground, and all that glorious booty had fallen out in the street somewhere behind me.
It was unfair. It violated every code of how kids should be treated by the universe that I knew about. It was a memory-scarring traumatic event.
And I’m pretty sure that was my first lesson in empathy. Because it sucked to feel like I’d been cheated out of something.
Sucked, sucked, sucked. I’d headed out that evening snickering to myself about being so clever with the big bag… and… and…
Well, I can’t even talk about it anymore. It’s just too painful a memory.
And from that moment on, I have nodded in solidarity and sympathy whenever someone else was cheated. “Yeah,” I’d say to myself. “Been there.”
In fact, there are three lessons here:Continue reading