Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Question Bug Gets the Answers

Remember to ask, ask, ask...in every situation! It is rare that someone regrets asking a question, yet often it is heard and thought that someone wishes s/he did ask something...even if it is/was just one more thing.

The old adage that there is no dumb question is true...with the exception that the truly dumb question is the one left unasked!

So, without apologies or hesitation, please proudly and firmly ask quick, direct, thoughtful questions. And then, enjoy and learn/grow from the answers!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sure Your Hear This, and Yet, Not That!

Isn’t it curious how expressions become common, and we say them without even thinking about what they mean, or the opposite of them would mean?

For example:

It’s suggested “perk up” when someone is down, but I have yet to hear someone suggest people “perk down” when someone is high strung.

People “pull out all the stops” to make something spectacular, yet there haven’t been the acts of “pushing in all the stops” to slow something down or make something mediocre.

People excuse themselves to “shower off” when dirty or sweaty, and I just don’t ever get to hear that someone say s/he will be going to “shower-on”.

So many people announce they "haven't got any qualms with that" when an idea is proposed, and unfortunately I've yet to experience the time when someone interrupted to state "I have just one qualm with that idea".

And one of the ultimate oddities, is when someone states something is “Out of whack”, and interestingly enough, when the situation or item is fixed, they surely do not announce something is “Back in whack”!

So, in all the words and language choices we have, make your choices count, and have fun with the meanings, and even the reverse of the phrasing of what you are conveying!

No Apologies for these Three, Please…

While I am a huge proponent of excusing oneself and asking forgiveness when appropriate, there are three things where I believe there need not be apologies. These are:

1) For being intelligent

2) For being right

3) For sharing emotion when it comes from the heart

When someone is smart/intelligent (not being smart), it is something about which it is appropriate to have a delicate combination of humility and pride. I hear people saying they are sorry for knowing something. There is no excuse for flaunting things. The truly intelligent person shares things for growth of self and others at nobody’s expense, and therefore, no need for apology.

If there is a situation where one has been challenged, and s/he is correct, there is also no need to apologize. Being right is not about someone else being wrong, so done with kindness and firmness is not only the best thing to do, it should be the only thing to do.

When voice quivers, shakiness in hands, or body or even tears come, there is not a need to apologize if those emotions are from the heart. Sure, if someone uses emotions to manipulate people or get something undeserved, that is not alright, rather emotions that are real and heartfelt make someone both believable and vulnerable…and real.

If you are tempted to apologize for being intelligent, being right, or sharing emotion when it comes from the heart, just take a breath, smile inside and know that you not only do not want to apologize, but that you are proud of yourself for being you!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Give Back While You Get...Exchange-O-Rama!

What a better excuse than an Exchange-O-Rama to get together and eat snacks and drinks and swap clothes, books, CDs, DVDs, photo frames, hair products, make-up, perfume, lotions, shoes, personal items, home goods, purses, candles, etc.?

I just hosted the 17 of these since I created the name Exchange-O-Rama. I have heard of others doing exchanges of this sort in other places, and this message is to encourage you to organize your own, and I am providing the details on how to do it!

So, one of these upcoming days, you will want to go through your home/closet and make four piles: a keep pile, an repairs/alterations pile, a toss pile and a pile for EXCHANGE-O-RAMA!

At that point, if not before, invite some of your friends, colleagues, co-workers...anyone who love to be charitable and shop...and follow these guidelines:

The rules are kind and straight-forward:
1 - HAve everyone RSVP by 5 days prior to the event as a YES or a No (maybes at that time will be NOs). Evite is an easy way to send the invitations.
2 - Each person will commit to bring an appetizer and at least one bag of new or gently used clothes, shoes, home goods, make-up, hair care, etc. NO FURNITURE unless you have a large truck or own a moving company or van!
3 - Nobody can take more in volume than is brought
4 - Once all the items are out (and people put them out themselves - no displays or hangars, just piles, typically), the host/ess gives everyone a bag and say "go"
5 - If someone likes something, take it
6 - If someone does not like something, do not take it and say nothing negative
7 - When everyone is done, everyone will load the bags with the remaining items, and then load the car/vehicle that will transport the donations (we donate to The Spring of Tampa Bay, but any worthy cause is deserving!)
8 - When you see people out in your things, just smile and resist saying "that was mine!"

When people arrive, have them put the food on a table, have drinks ready for them and direct them to the rooms designated for the items (yes, you'll need full rooms for each category...we do three...Living Room (Clothes and Shoes), Dining Room (Health & Beauty), and Family Room (Home Goods like frames, candles, books, etc.).

Enjoy hosting an event and know it is all for worthy causes where maybe bad circumstances impacted good people...and they are in the process of bettering themselves!

Thanks, and happy exchanging at "The Swap" known as Exchange-O-Rama! Please contact me for any further guidance, ideas or successful stories about EORs...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Speaker Phone on the Run?

While training for The 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk Sunday on Bayshore, we were enjoying the weather, the sun and the opportunity our healthy selves provide for us...

That is until a runner came up toward us yelling. Was something wrong with her? Was she hurt? Did she require assistance? We sprung into action quickly...only to find she was yelling because she was on her mobile phone. No, that's not exactly right, as she was running with her mobile phone open with the speaker on.

What? Yes, it is true, this woman was pounding the pavement, sweating in the sun, and carrying on a (very loud) conversation! I was dumbfounded.

Seriously, folks, exercise is key to a healthy heart and life, but carrying a speakerphone is not only dangerous for the runner or walker carrying it and other people in the area, it is inconsiderate to those around who are not able to opt out of the call that should be private. Plus, imagine what message that woman was sending to the person on the other end of the line! The message is that the other person is not worth direct attention, and that there is no respect for privacy or the person.

So, forgive me if I do not run to rescue someone who trips and falls due to her speakerphone distracting her on a run...I'll be the one tossing an etiquette book her way!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Words...Confused, Abused or Diffused?

Sometimes we think and speak so quickly, our language gets blurred, or substituted...often incorrectly. It's easy to get in the habit of using non-words or words inappropriately, and in our passive-aggressive "say nothing" society, rarely will someone tell you to your face, but behind your back, or in the listener's mind, use of words incorrectly or non-words takes away from your positive impact on him or her.

Four of the most commonly heard poorly used language selections have been: flustrated, irregardless, orientated, and waylayed.

Yes, people get flustered (nervous or upset). Yes, people get frustrated (Thwarted or prevented from attaining a desire). People are not FLUStrated. Choose one of the words, and use it. Examples are 1) "She was flustered by the bees around the food and kept swatting at them.", and 2) "She was frustrated when it became necessary to move the picnic indoors." Sure things happen regardless of circumstances.

Regardless means in spite of everything. There is no need to make it the reverse of in spite of everything, and the "ir" in front of regardless does not make it "more so". An example is "I am going to the outdoor concert regardless of the weather."

Orientation is when we go through the process of being oriented. We attend school or work orientations. Getting oriented for direction or position in a location is correct, and is stated as "I got oriented quickly before driving in my rental car." in this example. One does not get orienTAted.

We are delayed, and that can make us tardy for events. We are not waylayed, unless we are first waylayed (surprised/ambushed), and second, delayed. People often think WAYlayed means DElayed, where waylayed means surprised by ambush!

So, imagine these all used together in this humorous statement "The construction detour waylayed me, which flustrated me, but irregardless, I got orientated quickly.", instead of the appropriately stated sentence "the construction detour delayed me, which was frustrating, but regardless, I quickly got oriented to the new routes and roads."!

Have fun with these, and if you notice others, please share them with me for further fun, growth and learning. Make it a well-communicated day...