Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Truth about Jerks

The Truth about Jerks
We’ve all either been a jerk to someone or we’ve been on the receiving end of someone else’s jerk-like tendencies.  We’re all human.  It happens.
People are jerks sometimes; no question…it’s an unfortunate reality.  The fortunate reality, however, is (or can be) how we choose to react when people around us are…in a word - a jerk.

Some OneMoreStep thoughts on Jerks:

They may NOT know better
Though it may be hard to believe, that person on the other end of the phone, across the aisle, across the conference room table, or in the next room, may not know how to act or react in certain situations.  In some cases, even if they know what’s right, they may not know how to show it, say it, or do it.
Something else may be going on in their life
Jerks are not indigenous to our current location, current place of employment, or current city
Despite our natural tendency to romanticize ‘the next season’ or ‘our next place of employment’ (you know…’that’ place or ‘that’ company where it ‘would’ be so much better), the grass isn't greener (with fewer 'jerks') someplace else.  Jerks have a funny way of surfacing, no matter where we find ourselves.
They're probably scared of something
One of my favorite authors and guru on Leadership and Marketing, Seth Godin, published a blog post several months ago entitled, “Snark and Fear”.  The main idea of the post was that if/when people get snarky with us; we should ask them what they’re afraid of. 
Jerks may have needs
They may very well need help.  Whether it is financial assistance, someone they can call a friend, someone to make them laugh, or perhaps just something or someone to put their mind at ease…they may have a huge hole the size of Texas in their life, and they may need something or someone.
Wait…maybe…in reality they're not a jerk after all
It could be that they may not be as bad as we think. 
Not sold?  Still not buying it?
I wasn’t either…until I remembered that I, too, have been a real jerk to people at one time or another.  Then I thought, “wouldn’t it be nice if people gave me the benefit of the doubt when I was a total jerk…”
That's reason enough to be that person to the "jerks" in our lives, because they're no different than us.  I bet deep down, they're not really jerks.
So when people are total jerks to us, going OneMoreStep, smiling right back at them, meeting them where they are, and perhaps even figuring out a way to help them could be way more fun and productive.
Too often we try to get back at them or win the argument or prove our point.  Every time I do that I get myself in trouble or make matters much worse.  Then…who’s the jerk?
That’s the truth about jerks.
Have a great day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Beauty of Now

The Beauty of Now
I dream about the future; many say I do so far too often.  I’m guilty as charged…it’s true.  I love the opportunity of the future – what we can accomplish, where we could go, how we’ll get there, and with whom we’ll take our adventures.

However, last week my girlfriend and I took a quick weekend trip to Southern California, and of course spent most of our time at the Disneyland Resort.  On several occasions, she asked me, “What’s been your favorite part of the trip so far?” 

Every time, I answered, “right now…” 

Each time the question was posed, I literally couldn’t think of a better moment than the very moment in which the question was being asked…each time.  (A possible milestone in my own personal growth and development, as I'm usually obsessed with everything BUT what's happening right now…but that’s another story for another time…)

I felt compelled to share these OneMoreStep thoughts on the ‘beauty of now’Perhaps this rings true for you, people on your teams, loved ones at home, colleagues at work, or maybe even for our friends…No matter what we have going on in our lives, right now, these truths apply:

We’ll never be younger than we are right now.

If that ‘imminent’ thing we’re dreading is looming, it’s still just that, looming.  It isn’t happening just yet.  Why worry?

The annoying disappointments of yesterday are long gone; in the past. We don’t have to deal with them now.

Most of what we’ve ever learned in school or in life can finally be put to use, right now.

Even if we haven’t quite accomplished our goals, we can hustle and work toward making our dreams realities, now.

If we’re in a rut, or a rough patch; it’s only a season…it won’t be this way forever, it’s only this way right now.

If life is good, and we’re really enjoying it, then we’ll soon miss the way things are, right now.

Moments that make us happy are never more wonderful than when they’re actually happening.  Sure we always have the memories, and pictures capture an image of what was happening in those moments, but our most cherished moments capture our hearts and minds, right now, when they’re happening.

So instead of worrying about what’s yet to happen, or the unfortunate things that have happened, we should focus on what is happening…right now.  Too often we don’t enjoy what’s happening right now, and pretty soon we find ourselves asking “what happened…” and all we can think about is how good we had it back then.

I like what our friend Andy Bernard says in one of his last monologues on NBC’s The Office – Series Finale:  

 I wish there was a way to know you’re in the ‘good ole days’ before you’ve actually left them.”   – Andy Bernard

We can dream about how it should be, how it’s supposed to be, or how we’d like it to beOR we can accept and embrace the way things are, right now…today.  Because what’s happening at this very moment is real…it’s not a dream. 

And that’s what makes NOW beautiful…it may be a mess, but at least it’s not a fantasy, it’s real.

Embrace it.  Accept it.  Enjoy it.  Love it.  Love the NOW…because down the road we may look back and wish we had embraced more, accepted more, enjoyed more, and loved more.  If we all truly go OneMoreStep, doing all we can do, TODAY, for people around us RIGHT NOW, imagine living in that world…imagine that fullness of life, every day. 

Talk about a standing ovation.  Everybody take a bow.  But don’t talk about tomorrow tonight.  I love the now…” – Jimmy Buffett, “I Love the Now”; Floridays album - 1986

Enjoy the season…enjoy the now.