Showing posts with label Constructive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Constructive. Show all posts

April 13, 2018

Why Worry?

So I had an interesting conversation with a colleague, and they tell me their philosophy about worry, as follows:
Worrying is suffering twice!

I thought this was pretty smart. 

With worry, we suffer when we worry and then we suffer again if the thing we are worrying about actually comes to fruition. 

So in essence, we are doubling up on the suffering.

Yet, worry can be constructive if we use it to spur us to positive action such as in confronting and dealing with challenging situations. 

But when we worry just for the sake of worry because we can't control our anxiety and moreover, it actually may paralyze us with fear, then this is obviously a bad thing. 

Do I worry?

Sure do, but like my dad, I use worry to try and think out-of-the-box, to plan, to problem-solve, to figure out coping mechanisms etc. 

Worry is suffering for sure. 

However, if we can channel the worry to positive impact, then the worry can be worth the pain it inflicts on us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 1, 2015

Guillotine, Other Options Plz

I took this photo of a bumper sticker on a pickup truck in Washington, D.C.

"Stop Bitching. Start A Revolution."

So I'm thinking this is not the type of message you like to see in the capital of the country. 

But looking beyond the call by whomever for a forcible overthrow of the government (yeah, hopefully they don't mean it)...

Perhaps what they do mean for people to do something more than just complain about the things they see that are wrong or broken, and instead to do something positive. 

Not a real revolution, but an evolution of change--incremental change, even baby steps, but leading to positive and constructive betterment! 

Stop just huffing and puffing about this and that.

Consider speaking up, coming up with new and better ideas, advocating for something more, and actually helping to build it. 

The guillotine is normally not the solution (French Revolution aside)--but that doesn't mean you can't do squat. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 8, 2012

Poisons Anonymous

One of the Buddhist teachings is that there are 3 poisons in this world: greed, anger, and ignorance

But that by turning these poisons around into generosity, compassion, and wisdom, we can create life-healing. 

While this is sort of simplistic, it does point to a number of important things:

1) We can have an impact on our destiny. We can choose our direction and work towards something that is good or we can fall harmfully into some bad and destructive ways.

2) Everything has an antidote.  While we may not know the antidote at the time, generally everything has its corollary or opposite and we can find healing by moving towards that. 

3) The answers in life are not so far away. How much of a stretch is it to turned a clenched fist into an open hand or to quench ignorance with learning--these things are doable.

If we look at people and events at face value, it is easy as times to get angry and feel hatred at the corruption and injustices out there--but I believe, the key is to channel those feeling into something positive--into change and Tikkun Olam--"fixing the world". 

By channeling our feelings into constructive actions, then we are changing not just ourselves, but can have a broader influence--one deed at a time.  

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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December 12, 2011

Words Matter A Lot

This is a great video on the power of words, but also on the caring of one for another.

We can make a difference with our words!

Words can help and can hurt, they can pursuade and they can punish, but the most important thing is that we are responsible for how we use them.

While we can say we're sorry for hurtful words, they can never really be taken back (i.e. unspoken).

And just the opposite holds true as well--when we use words constructively, the impact for good reverberates.

I still hear the words of the most important people in my life guiding me, always.

Use your words with care, deference, ingenuity, and most important with kindness for others.


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March 21, 2011

Surround Yourself With Positive People

This blog contains a powerful poem called Whispers.

It's about the destructive effects that negative people can have in our lives.

Each of us has lots of challenges, but with great inner strength and surrounded by good people and positive energy we can overcome and thrive.


Whispers

By Rebecca

I turn my back I hear the sound of a pin dropping but then something disrupts it

The sounds of whispers spin my head like a marry-go-round

I turn around to see lips pressed against her ear

Suddenly a feeling of paranoia goes upon me

A bunch of thoughts go through my head all at once

“Are they talking about me?”

“If they are talking about me what are they saying?”

“Is about my hair, my face, my outfit?”

“What could they possibly be saying that I’m not allowed to hear?”


Then time freezes and I start to hear laughter

Now I’m not even sad or angry I’m curious

Not only can I hear the whispers I can almost smell them

They smell of perfume and toxic air

It’s so strong I can almost faint


They stop talking and walk away

Even then they are still whispering and laughing

Like they don’t realize talking about someone behind their back is mean

So mean that an aura of evilness surrounds them with their perfect clothes, ornate makeup, and flawless faces.


Then I ask myself “why is it me they always pick on?”

But actually I know the answer or at least I think

It’s because I’m smart, fearless, and beautiful


Even though I don’t think so myself


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January 2, 2009

It Time to Stop the Negativity and Move towards Constructive Change

Recently, there was an article in Nextgov (http://techinsider.nextgov.com/2008/12/the_industry_advisory_council.php) about the Industry Advisory Council (IAC), a well respected industry-government consortium under the Auspices of the American Council for Technology, that recommended to the incoming Obama Administration the standup of an innovation agency under the auspices of the new Chief Technology Officer.
The Government Innovation Agency “would serve as an incubator for new ideas, serve as a central repository for best practices and incorporate an innovation review in every project. As we envision it, the Government Innovation Agency would house Centers of Excellence that would focus on ways to achieve performance breakthroughs and leverage technology to improve decision making, institute good business practices and improve problem solving by government employees.:”
While I am a big proponent for innovation and leveraging best practices, what was interesting to me was not so much the proposal from IAC (which I am not advocating for by the way), so much as one of the blistering comments posted anonymously from one of the readers, under the pseudonym “concerned retiree,” which I am posting in its entirety as follows:
“Hmmmmm...."innovation"..."central repository of new ideas"......can this be just empty news release jargon? Just more slow-news day, free-range clich├ęs scampering into the daily news hole?.. .or perhaps this item is simply a small sized news item without the required room to wisely explicate on the real life banalities of the government sponsored “innovation” world...such as: 1)patent problems - is the US going to be soaking up, or handing out patent worthy goodies via the "innovation" czar or czarina? Attention patent attorneys, gravy train a comin’ 2)"leverage technology to improve decision making" – wow! a phrase foretelling a boon-doggle bonanza, especially since it’s wonderfully undefined and thereby, prompting generous seed money to explore it’s vast potential (less just fund it at say, $20-30 million?); 3) the "Government Innovation Agency" - -well now, just how can we integrate this new member to the current herd of government “innovation” cows, including: A) a the Dod labs, like say the Naval Research Lab, or the Dept of Commerce lab that produced the Nobel prize winner (oh, I see now, the proposal would be for “computer” type innovation pursuits – oh, how wise, like the health research lobbyists, we’re now about slicing “innovation” and/or research to match our vendor supplier concerns, how scientific!, how MBAishly wise); B) existing labs in private industry (e.g. former Bell Labs. GM-Detroit area "labs"/innovation groups), C) university labs – currently watered by all manner of Uncle Sam dollars via the great roiling ocean of research grants. Finally - given the current Wall Street melt-down and general skepticism for American business nimbleness (this too will pass, of course) -- what's the deal with all the Harvard Grad School-type hyper-ventilation on the bubbling creativity (destructive or otherwise) of American capitalism - -surely the GAO/Commerce/SEC could pop out some stats on the progressive deterioration of expenditures -- capital and otherwise--on "innovation". Or perhaps the sponsors of the "Government Innovation Agency" - will be happy to explain at the authorization hearing - how all the dough to date spent to date on development of the green automobile has yet to put a consumer friendly one on the road from a US corp -- a fact that argues either for a vast expansion of the GIA, or, the merciful euthenasiaing of this dotty idea. See you all at the authorizing hearing?”
What’s so disheartening about this retiree’s comments?
It’s not that there is not some truth intermixed with the blistering comments, but it is the sheer magnitude of the cynicism, bitterness, negativity, resistance to ”new” (or at times reformulated) ideas, and “been-there-done-that” attitude that unfairly provides a bad name to other government workers who are smart, innovative, positive, and hard-charging and want to continuously improve effectiveness and efficiency of government for the benefit of the nation and to serve our citizens.
Sure, we need to listen and learn from those that preceded us--those with age, experience, expertise, and certainly vast amounts of wisdom. And yes, those of us who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat it. So we must be mindful to be respectful, collaborative, inclusive, and careful to vet new ideas and changes.
However, those that have served before or have been serving a long time now should also give hope, innovation, change (not for change’s sake, but based on genuine learning and growth) and continuous improvement a chance.
It is always easier to be a naysayer, a doomsday prognosticator, and to tear down and destroy. It is much, much harder to be positive, hopeful, and constructive—to seek to build a brighter future rather than rest on the laurels of the past.
Unfortunately, many people have been hurt by past mistakes, false leaders, broken promises, and dashed hopes, so they become resistant to change, in addition to, of course, fearing change.
Those of us in information technology and other fields (like science, engineering, product design and development, and so many others—in fact all of us can make a difference) need to be stay strong amidst the harsh rhetoric of negativity and pessimism, and instead continue to strive for a better tomorrow.

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