Dec 032012

As anyone who’s happened upon this site will likely be able to figure out, I’m a big fan of TED talks.  They’re like 20 minutes of inspiration.  And, you can find a talk on just about any subject you care to learn about.  As a result of watching them pretty regularly on YouTube, my YouTube recommendations are usually full with TED talks that I’ve not seen.  One such popped up, and I found it pretty good.  It’s a talk given by Mel Robbins.  She talks about the reasons that you are screwing yourself over, and the steps you can take to avoid doing so.

There were a couple of things that really struck me within the talk.  The first was when she mentions a “5 second rule”.  Not the one where you have to pick up dropped food within 5 seconds, either.  She explains it as you have to take “action within 5 seconds to marry it with an idea”.  Any idea/thought that you have, you have to take some action on it within 5 seconds, or it’s lost.  The action doesn’t have to be anything super special, just something like writing the idea down in a notebook, but you have to take action on it.

The second thing that really struck me was when she said: “Your problem isn’t ideas; your problem is you don’t act on them.  You kill them.”  How many ideas have you killed by not taking action on them?  I know my list would be super long.  She also talks about having to force yourself to change in order to take those actions.  Our first instinct is to remain on “autopilot” and let things go along as they are.  That, she explains, is why so many of us are unhappy with our lives.  It’s not that we lead terrible lives, but that we’ve become bored with them because we’ve let them remain on “autopilot.”

What do you take away from watching the video?

Apr 142011

Too often, the only time we give people any kind of feedback at all is when we’re unhappy with them.  The drive-up gets our order wrong so we call to tell them about it.  Somebody cut you off in traffic, so you yell and make unkindly gestures at them.  When was the last time you gave someone feedback for a job well done?  When was the last time you got feedback for a job well done?

The truth is, we very rarely praise people for a job done well.  We’ve grown accustomed to expecting a good job.  We should expect a good job, but we should also recognize people when they’ve done a good job.  We should make it a point, especially, when someone has gone above our expectations.  But, we often do not.

I believe that the reason is that we’ve grown to be a disconnected society.  We used to live in a society that depended on our neighbors (or, even knew our neighbors) and would show our appreciation when our neighbors helped us out.  We also knew most of the people who were providing services to us.  It wasn’t just a pimply faced kid that delivered the dry goods from the store, it was the son of Tom, the store owner, who lived next to Sam, your cousin.  In short, we cared.  We knew the people, and we cared that they knew that we appreciated their work.

It shouldn’t be different now.  We may not know the service providers as well as we used to, but it’s no less important for them to know that we appreciate their work.  We certainly don’t have to invite them over for supper, but a little extra tip, or just a few genuine words of appreciation will work.  Someone who has provided superior service deserves it!

Often, the people who deserve such feedback are the ones least likely to accept it.  They’ll take it, then reply with some reason why it wasn’t such a big deal, or was no trouble.  But, the very fact that they honestly just did what they did because they thought it was the right thing to do makes them so very deserving of the feedback!

Take the time to thank people for doing their job well.  You’ll feel better for having done it, and the person you thanked will feel better knowing that their hard work was recognized.  If we want to be 21st century humans, it doesn’t just mean being smart, educated, multi-talented humans.  It means being better humans overall.  And, treating those around us with kindness and compassion is a part of that.

Thank you for doing what you do.  Today, you stopped by my site, read this article, and who knows what else!  I can’t speak for anything else you’ve done today, but you read this article with great style!  Thank you for being such a great reader!