You are Not Fine!

Mel Robbins, author, speaker, criminal lawyer, wife and mom, amazing career and relationship expert, wrote “Stop Saying You’re Fine” to alert us to how to get what we want. It begins by abandoning that word “FINE.” When we say “fine” we are saying we’ve settled for not getting what we want. If we had what we wanted in our lives we would be “fantastic” or “very frustrated” at not having it. When Mel spoke at TEDxSF recently she pointed out the whimpy word “FINE” is our problem. With scientists calculating the odds of any one of us being born as one in 400 trillion, each of us is here for reason. If we are not living a fantastic life it’s because we’ve settled for fine. Watch her talk on the video below and give me your take on it. Better yet, do what she suggests at the end, then tell us about it in the comments below. 5-4-3-2-1. Do it now!

A Happy Puzzle for You

Lies, Damned Lies and Our Way of Life

Mark Twain said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. ”

Where does that place advertising and politics? We all know advertisers lie. We expect them to lie.

We may act appalled when one of their lies is uncovered, but we know full well, for example, that no safe product will cause us to lose 10 lbs in three days. That’s why that disclaimer (that regulations force them to provide ) written in fine print races across the bottom of the screen during weight loss TV commercials. Some argue that we are co-conspirators with advertisers since we allow ourselves to be deceived.

I agree. We so much want to believe that we allow ourselves to be deceived.

Just as we suspend our belief to enjoy a movie, many of us suspend our belief for sustained periods of time.

Advertisers are the most clever liars of all because they find out what we want most and promise to give it to us. Even when their lies are discovered, we forgive them and buy their products again and again.
We all seem to want things that are fast, cheap, and good.

The truth is that we can only have two of these at a time. If something is fast and cheap, it’s not likely be good. If it’s cheap and good, it won’t be fast. And, if it’s fast and good, it definitely won’t be cheap. And yet, we keep hoping for all three.

Politicians are not as clever as advertisers at lying. Like advertisers, they try to tell us what we want to hear, but they don’t have as much money and time to craft their deceptions. So, they take the short cuts of evasion and distraction.

There is no law forbidding politicians from lying. It’s up to us to determine to believe, confirm or discover the truth of what they say.

Before we look down on advertisers or politicians for lying, you must know that lying is a common part of our everyday life. We are socialized to lie from an early age, and sometimes punished for telling the truth and rewarded for lying.

As a child, for example, it was in my best interest to tell my mother what she wanted to hear, such as when she inquired “Are you calling me a liar?” rather than to tell her the truth that she was lying. Because I lied to her, I lived to tell you this story.

What’s your take on deception? Tell the truth now.

Learn. Forget? Oops! Relearn. Forget? Oops! Repeat

ParcGuellWhen I arrived in Europe to join my daughter for vacation, she insisted that we visit Parc Guell in Barcelona to see the amazing stone sculpture of Antonio Gaudi, the museum that was his home for a while and the famous multi-colored undulating mosaic seating area created by Gaudi’s assistant Josep Jujol.

Even though she had lived in Spain for a few months, visiting this amazing attraction was still on her to-do list.

Determined to plan our trip as we went along rather than sign on to guided tours, my daughter insisted that we take the Metro. We were told that we’d have a 20 minute walk to get to the park once we arrived, but we were unprepared for the reality of that walk.

Baixada de la Gloria, the 200m street leading to the park, was so steep that it was almost vertical. As I gazed from the bottom to the endless shallow steps stretching upward, I was fast losing interest in seeing Gaudi’s masterpieces and the reported breathtaking view of Barcelona stretching to the sea.

But my daughter had bent my ear so much about this must-see wonder that I resolved that I was going to make that climb.  While I was making this decision, my daughter who is much younger and more fit than I am was losing heart.

“We don’t have to go to the Parc, if you don’t want to,” she said nervously. “I didn’t realize it would be this much of a climb.”

Much to her surprise, now I was the one insisting on seeing Parc Guell.

“No, we’re going. We will take just a few flights at a time. OK?”

She reluctantly agreed, and so we began our climb toward what I renamed Parc Gruel between huffs and puffs. Fortunately there were occasional landings where we could pause to rest before resuming our climb.

Whoever designed that street had a cruel sense of humor. When we almost at the top there were not one, but two escalator rides for the remaining short distance to the pinnacle.

Only after we finished our climb and made our way to Parc Guell did we learn that we were at the back entrance and could have gotten to the impressive front entrance without the steep climb if we had taken a cab or bus.

I relearned things I already knew.

  1. Do your research before you begin a journey.
  2. Even when you do your research, there will often be nuances of your journey you can only discover along the way.
  3. The things that don’t kill you will make you stronger.
  4. It seems that some things we can only learn the hard way.
  5. A long journey begins with one step.
  6. Big goals are achievable when chopped into manageable steps.
  7. The reward of achieving something very challenging is sheer exhiliration.
  8. If you don’t remember #1 and #2 don’t worry, life will give you as many lessons as you need.

First published January 9, 2009

Enjoy Your Climb or What’s a Journey For

no roses-resized

“It makes no difference how many peaks you reach if there was no pleasure in the climb.”

We’ve heard this expressed many ways. Some say stop and smell and roses or the best part of the journey is what you see along the way. But why are these things true?

1. By observing the things along the way we appreciate the destination so much more. Have you ever heard someone recount the fun they had camping, for example? The best part is their account of getting lost, finding their way, choosing the best resting spot or encountering critters who decided to enjoy the campsite as well. If you don’t enjoy the things that lead up to your destination, you’re likely to be singing “Is that all there is?” because you missed the juicy part.

2. By feeling the exhiliration of a journey, our joy at the end is intensified. When I was returning from visiting my oldest daughter I had planned to read a book on my flight. It was a great book, but because I chose a window seat I decided to enjoy the view instead. When we left San Jose the sky was overcast, but as soon as the plane reached its altitude we were floating on meringue clouds. I was in awe thinking about what an amazing creation our planet is with its many features depending on the perspective from which you view it. Wow!

Later as I waited for my luggage at the turnstile, I felt so peaceful and thankful to have absorbed nature’s beauty.

3. By observing and making note of our activities along the way, we build skills for future events and journeys. Take going to school, for example. The classes that challenge you to stretch your mind and learn new techniques are the ones that best prepare you for not only future classes, but other life tasks and challenges as well.

Each time I must stretch my abilities to learn how to master even a small task with my websites and blogs, for example, I’m better prepared for the next challenge. While I sometimes get frustrated and even break into tears over garbled code that stands between me and a new blog theme, I have learnedthat I won’t die from it. Once when moving to a new host, I lost a blog with years of rich content. (That felt like a death for a few minutes.)  I lived to meet another challenge and accepted it as a part of the process.

What about you? Have you tried one of these ways to cnjoy your climb and your trip to your goal? Tell us about how you overcame a fear or met a challenge.