Why is it that some people are just not good for their word? In a work environment it can be so frustrating to expect something then the ball gets dropped. Realistically we’ve all done it. But in practicality some people have a reputation for it. In our personal lives we tend to walk away from some people (if the relationship allows it), but at work you are left holding the bag.

I call ’em Big Mouth Frogs.

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What is it about talking through an issue that gives it clarity? It can seem that I have wrangled with an issue in my head over and over, explored every possibility, and yet oft times when I say it out loud I see something I did not see.

Sure, discussing the said issue with another person can lead to different viewpoints but I am talking about something even more basic than that. There is no other person involved, just me and my thoughts. I can be in the car alone or walking down the street with the same result. Speaking it out loud often causes me to see differently.

The “issues” can be life goals, career, relationships or personal character issues. It doesn’t seem to matter, the phenomenon is the same.

I have seen others who struggle with issues such as forgiveness be advised to write a letter then throw it away. Many times these same people have struggled for years trying to forgive and not getting there but somehow writing a letter they know will never be read brings person the healing they are seeking. Muttering about a perceived injustice to myself has often brought me the realization that maybe I had a lot to do with the situation or at least helped me to clarify what the real issue is so I can address it vs. the red herring I thought was the issue.

So why does “getting it out” cause this? Thoughts?

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As I continue to work through my psychology text, I find typical behaviors, and therapies to address those behaviors, quite fascinating.

Self-defeating behaviors are by far the most interesting. As people we adopt a behavior to protect us from pain, yet this selfsame behavior becomes our cage which keeps us in pain. The behavior usually “seems” to ease the pain but in the end it tends to isolate and only hide the pain rather than deal with it.

Here’re just a few self-defeating behaviors that jump out at me.

Procrastination – Putting off tasks that intimidate or overwhelm — ignoring the fact that the more they’re put them off, the harder they become.

Not admitting a mistake – I can’t learn from what I don’t acknowledge had anything to learn from

Insistence on being right – Even if the other person agrees in principle, he/she will feel stomped on — and is likely either to fight openly or to sabotage quietly.

The list goes on. My real question is, “How do I know if a behavior is self-defeating?”

My feeble attempt at answering would go something like this.

Begin be thinking before reacting. Easier said than done. What am I wanting right now? What am I wanting long term? Do the two agree? Is the behavior self-serving?

I don’t believe I can ever find true joy and contentment with my life if my only goal is to serve myself. Yes, I can “think” I’m happy getting my way but time has always proved that this thinking is flawed and doomed to despair.

That explains what is going on when I exercise a self-defeating behavior and I still feel empty so I do it even more. Like a hamster on a wheel, I think running faster will get me somewhere.

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I’ve been looking into defining respect over the last few weeks. Tuesday evening John McCain gave a most awesome example of what respect looks like in action.

My friends, we have — we have come to the end of a long journey. The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly.

A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him … on being elected the next president of the country that we both love.

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.

Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth.

Senator Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and for his country. I applaud him for it, and offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day. Though our faith assures us she is at rest in the presence of her creator and so very proud of the good man she helped raise.

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

It is natural. It’s natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again.

Tonight, more than any night, I hold in my heart nothing but love for this country and for all its citizens, whether they supported me or Senator Obama — whether they supported me or Senator Obama.

I wish Godspeed to the man who was my former opponent and will be my president. And I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties, but to believe, always, in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.

Americans never quit. We never surrender.

We never hide from history. We make history.

Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. Thank you all very much.

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In common usage respect has many of these connotations:

  • morally to revere;
  • to swell up (to be proud of);
  • to lift;
  • to value;
  • to desire;
  • to express costliness (as in pricelessness);
  • to give weight to (a good thing on a balance scale);
  • approve of;
  • to invert (or do the opposite of what is expected);
  • honorable;
  • precious.

Antonym = to think against; to despise; to devalue.

I don’t believe there’d be any disagreement that respect is given. It can’t be taken.

In common practice respect is earned. But what is the price?

Therein lies a problem. If I only need show my respect when it’s earned by you, then you have a moving target. You give me what I need and I’ll give you what you crave. Creating a win-win relationship can never be around an I’ll do, if you do attitude. Best I can do with that is meet somewhere in the middle of mediocrity.

By “being”, for good or for bad, everyone is worthy of respect. Do they earn it? Nope. Sad to say most of us don’t, and sometimes are at a place where we’re unable to. Truth is none of us can measure up – consistently, all the time. There are times when I flat out don’t deserve respect. But when it’s withdrawn from me, I tend to do more things that are undeserving of respect, initiating a vicious cycle in which there are NO winners.

Inherently I know this. I know I “should” respect a police officer, the mayor, the president. But when it comes right down to it I withdraw that respect because MY needs are not being met. Isn’t that what it’s all about – I’ll give it when I’m getting? My withdrawal of respect by saying “You’re not worthy of it at this moment” is nothing more than saying “I don’t think you deserve it.” How selfish can I be? If others did this to me when I didn’t deserve respect it would tend to cause me to act out of rejection – and that doesn’t instigate goodness in me.

From a scriptural standpoint, respect is given “because.” It’s not conditional. For me to give someone respect that does not deserve it is the surest way to reach them. Does not guarantee they’ll live up to it? No. But to withdraw respect is a surefire way to bring out the worst in someone.

I can choose to be selfish or selfless. I can choose to be defeated or choose to risk the possibly getting what I desire.

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Have you noticed that there seems to be something in our culture today that requires people to have some kind of diagnosis for why they are the way they are?

– My mind races and I have a hard time focusing on one thing.
– My joints ache and I am constantly in a state of fatigue.
– I drink too much because I was too controlled growing up.
– I’m into risky behavior because I’m seeking someone who cares about me.

What’s wrong with me? If only I knew what it was called or what caused it I’d somehow feel much better. Why does our society need a label for what we’re dealing with? Why not simply pursue the solution?

If our body cannot tolerate years and years of artificial this or artificial that – well, then stop it. Why would I want to pill that masks the symptoms but leaves the underlying problem? That would be like covering my decaying house with a fresh coat of paint. The house is only made prettier, not more solid. The “fix my life” pill seems to be the goal for physical problems. But for emotional ones the route seems to be fault finding with someone in our past.

Personally, I believe there is a lot of room for introspection, but only for the purpose of understanding and correcting today’s actions. To spend too much time in the past keeps us from living in the present. True, many have been harmed in many ways either directly or indirectly, but to somehow relentlessly pursue some kind of apology has only limited benefit.

Yes, it would be great if every breech in relationship were mended and both parties asked for and received forgiveness. But, hey, that’s not life. People are people, some are gracious, some are not. Some hold a record or wrongs, some do not. To desire repaired relationships is a worthy pursuit – to not let go of a grievance until the other party apologizes is nothing but selfish and putting self-interest first. It’s an entitlement mentality.

Why does the world owe us? Why do my parents owe me? Why does my second grade teacher owe me? Fact, they messed up. Fact, I will mess up too. It’s not about looking elsewhere to set to world straight. It’s about looking at the one person we have full control over.

Why is everything about us? Why is it always “what you did to me” and not “what was my part?”

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Salt is a seasoning, as such it enhances the flavor of what is being eaten. Salt is a preservative, it allows us to maintain food in an edible state.

When it comes to positive or negative influences, how can one be salt to others? Too much salt is distasteful and although it may preserve what it preserves is also inedible.

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If you ask me, I’d say that truth is timeless. Truth is absolute. Truth does not change. Truth is not subjective. Truth is truth regardless of any other factor.

Today’s society seems to have the idea that truth is what’s right for the here and now. That truth is what suites me. I would argue, “If it’s truth, how can it change?” Disregard all that is presented as truth as truth until you have looked into it more deeply.

MY former employer, which is now my current employer, is have a global sales meeting and its refreshing to see this company tell it like it is. There are things that are not a pretty picture, and its too easy to sweep it under the carpet, but they’re not. IT IS NOT a time for bashing, it’s a time of reckoning to see where we are as a company and how we need to improve in order to meet established goals. Truth is nothing to shy away from – it’s something to embrace.

Oh that our relationships would be based in such a solid footing.

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