Not So Easily Bruised

Friends

Photo courtesy Stu Seeger

There are so many times in my life where I have worried about something I have said or done that involves a family member or a friend. Maybe I’ve said something and I’m not sure how they took it. Maybe there was something I did and I’m not sure if it upset them. I worry about whether they’re upset with me or if I’ve hurt our relationship.

If they are truly my friend, should I be concerned that I’ve done irreparable damage? I mean obviously if it was something very serious that might be the case, but I’m just talking about day to day missteps like I haven’t called them in a while or I forgot to say “hi” last week at church.

So much of my life has been wasted on purposeless worry. If you are truly my friend, then I would expect that it’s going to take something pretty big to damage the relationship. And the reverse is true too. I’m not going to hold it against you for the little missteps.

I just hate it when I’m not sure if someone is upset with me. Real friends should be friend enough to come up and smack me upside the head and tell me not to do that again. Going off and sulking in a corner is just too ambiguous.

And if you are upset over something small and petty, should I really be concerned about the loss of your friendship if there really was one to start with? Perhaps I’d do better to focus on the friendships where I don’t have to walk on eggshells to maintain the relationship.

Let’s agree together that I won’t be mad at you, and you won’t be made at me so that we can both sleep better tonight and know that we’re forgiven. That’s the kind of friendships I’m looking for. The others are just too easily bruised and I just can’t continue to expend the effort it takes to maintain one of those relationships.

Two Simple Words

Thank You Sign

photo by rustman

Two small words. Yet so much power. How often do you use them?

Have you sincerely told someone “thank you” recently?

How about to someone who really was just doing their job but deserves a little appreciation anyway?

Try it. I’ll bet you’ll be pleased with the results.

Just think how that person is going to react the next time you make a special request. All it costs is a couple of extra seconds of your time, and maybe a little swallowing of your pride.

By the way, thank you for reading my blog. It means a lot to me. I hope that by sharing what I’ve learned or am learning, that others can benefit too.

What’s the Big Deal?

Baseball in glove

photo by adwriter

Have you heard about the recent Detroit Tiger’s game controversy? The umpire, Jim Joyce, blew the call on the last play of the game costing a rookie pitcher for the Tigers, Armando Galarraga, a perfect game. Jim Joyce called the runner safe on first when he clearly did not beat the ball to the bag.  But that’s not the big news. Controversial calls are made all the time. The big deal is what happened afterwards.

The umpire later reviewed the play in the locker room due to the uproar, and he saw that he was clearly in the wrong. He then took the initiative to apologize to Armando Galarraga for the blown call. Armando then graciously accepted the apology. Isn’t that simply amazing?

The real question here is “should it be amazing?” Both men did what they should have. The umpire recognized his error and apologized for it. The pitcher saw that he was being honest and sincere and accepted the apology at face value. That’s how we should react, right? So why is it such big news? It’s because we see so few examples of it in this day and age. Egos get out of control. Everyone things they’re right. Everyone thinks the other guy shouldn’t make any mistakes.

What is your reaction when something like this happens to you? When someone wrongs you but then apologizes in sincerity, how do you react? Do you send them away without accepting the apology? Do you half heartedly accept but still hold it against them? Take a lesson from these two honorable men and make a difference.

Why Failure Can Be a Positive

Failure

Photo by Sap Beast

We don’t often think of sharing our failures or our weaknesses do we? Why would we want to let others know we aren’t perfect? Even superheroes have weaknesses though. Superman couldn’t stand kryptonite. Green Lantern had no power against yellow. Daredevil was overwhelmed by loud noise.

There are several reasons to actually share our failures and weaknesses. First of all, it makes us human. None of us are perfect. We need to learn to accept that and allow others to see our humanness. It makes us real to them. It keeps us from seeming like we think we’re better than others. It keeps us humble.

Another reason to share is that others can learn through us. In the case of failures, it may prevent others from having to make the same mistakes that we did. Failure teaches us what doesn’t work and helps lead us toward what does.

Our weaknesses may help others to recognize similar issues in and around them. My wife had shared with a friend that I suffered from depression and that I was able to overcome it by talking with my doctor and finding the right medication. Later this friend was able to recognize the same symptoms in her husband. This helped her to deal with it better. If my wife hadn’t shared that with her, she might have struggled with the situation more and would not have been as sympathetic about the situation. It helped her to know she wasn’t the only one dealing with this.

By being open and honest with those around us, we can help them to grow and we can help ourselves to grow. It requires us to be humble and transparent, but it is who we truly are and there is never harm caused by being ourselves.

What Are You Investing In?

I’m going to cheat a little on this post. I’m going to use it for both of my blogs. Honestly, it applies to both.  In case you haven’t checked out my other links before, I have a Personal Finance blog and a Personal Growth blog. This post covers both topics.

Right now my wife and I are travelling to a camp near Colorado Springs. When all is said and done, this extended weekend trip will end up costing us around $3000. But I don’t view it as a “cost” actually. It’s an investment. We are heading to an intensive business retreat that is being held there. I will be meeting together with a group of fellow, like-minded, entrepreneurs there to work on our businesses together. There will also be “professors” there who will be covering various topics on how to grow our businesses. I expect to have my “investment” returned many times over the course of the next few weeks and months as I put into practice the things I learn at this event.

So what are you doing with your money? Are you just spending it, or are you investing it? What areas of your life could you use some help in? Find someone who is an expert and invest with them.

P.S. If you have a business or have thought of starting one, you can find out more about the group I am involved with at Free Agent Underground.