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Mastering Forgiveness, One Vexation at a Time

From Volume 7, Issue 9:”The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.”
—Thomas Szasz

This past month has been a maelstrom of angst for a lot of people. Maybe it was the supermoon we had last week. Or maybe it was everybody getting back into the after-summer routines. Kids back to school. School buses clogging up normally simple commutes. Bills coming in from that two-week vacation back in early August. These things can really stack up.

Whatever triggered it, a lot of people in my world, myself included, felt “victimized” by something or someone, and we were mad about it. We’ve all reached a breaking point at some time or another, where we’ve just had enough. Anger becomes the reaction of choice. But it’s not the only option—or the best one.

Sabotage

From Volume 7, Issue 9:When you hear the word “sabotage”, what comes to mind? Some may remember the Beastie Boys tune: “Listen all of y’all, it’s a sabotage.”

Or maybe that Arnold Schwarzenegger movie from earlier this year? (You didn’t see it either?)

Sab-o-tage
/ˈsabəˌtäZH/

verb: sabotage; 3rd person present: sabotages; past tense: sabotaged; past participle: sabotaged; gerund or present participle: sabotaging

1. deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage.

synonyms: vandalize, wreck, damage, destroy, cripple, impair, incapacitate;
obstruct, disrupt, spoil, ruin, undermine, threaten, subvert

I’m guessing you don’t consider yourself a “saboteur” (one who sabotages), yet I think we are all such vandalizers on a regular basis.

Get Unstuck from Your Story

From Volume 7, Issue 8:We all have a story. It’s what we tell ourselves that gives us our identity, our place in the world. It summarizes who we are and what our capabilities and limitations are. We start writing this story when we’re very young, and it becomes an ingrained part of our self-talk. But when you peel away the layers, most of our stories involve at least as much fancy as fact—whether they’re about ourselves or the world around us.

When “OK” Is Only Skin-Deep

From Volume 7, Issue 8:The recent passing of Robin Williams has me thinking about how much of what we believe we know about each other relies on surfaces. Many illnesses, both mental and physical, can torment people without the slightest outward appearance. So when we learn about their suffering, we’re shocked. “But he looked so good,” we think. And that’s the problem—looking good is not the same as being OK.

Quitting for the Win

From Volume 7, Issue 7:“Quitters never win and winners never quit.”
—Vince Lombardi

“Never say never.”
—Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers

I tend to differ with Coach Lombardi and agree with Dickens on this one. Quitting is the tactical execution of the strategic positive power of “no”—in order to make a “no” stick, you have to be willing to quit.

Rewriting History

From Volume 7, Issue 7:A father’s entry in a journal found in an attic:
“Wasted the whole day fishing with Jimmy. Didn’t catch a thing.”

Jimmy’s diary entry from the same day:
“Went fishing with my dad. Best day of my life.”

I used this story to make a point with a friend of mine at breakfast this morning and got to thinking. Most of us, including me, aren’t so lucky as to have a journal from our early childhood. But can writing a journal of our memories about our formative years also offer insight into how we came to be who we are?

The stigma of assessments

From Volume 7, Issue 6:At some point in our lives, we either have participated in or we will participate in a behavioral assessment.

Let me be very clear: Behavior assessments such as the DiSC® Profile, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®, and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (the assessments representing the nomenclature above) all have tremendous validity. Thousands of people have subjected themselves to them, and their predictive value is rarely questioned.

There’s Another Train. (There Always Is)

From Volume 7, Issue 6:The lore of “success training” is full of stories of knocked-down heroes who somehow summon the gumption to keep getting back up.

Traveling the Unexpected Road

From Volume 7, Issue 5:“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark… and we’re wearing sunglasses.” —Elwood

What happens next? Jake and Elwood—the Blues Brothers—are forced off their Chicago-bound highway by a huge barricade across the road and the word “DETOUR.”

Generally, we see detours as disruptions in our status quo—changes we didn’t bargain for or plan around. But even when a detour is unavoidable, we have a choice about how we handle it.

What Part of “No” Do We Not Understand?

From Volume 7, Issue 5:When I assembled a group to write The Positive Power of No: How That Little Word You Love to Hate Can Make or Break Your Business back in 2003, I had no idea it would be the foundation of most of the Clarity work I do today.

We had a credo when we were crafting the book: “‘No’ is the foundation of freedom, the cornerstone of clarity, and the icon of integrity.” So why are we so hesitant to pull out that powerful little word? And how you can use it to your advantage?