What I’m Grateful For: Dichotomies 

I have always had a fascination with opposites, especially in conversations or debates. It’s fun and challenging to have to switch sides and try to examine why the opposite “side” might also have merit or value. Intellectually, it’s a great brain exercise. Emotionally, it can help expand one’s empathy for other ways of thinking or experiencing the world.

More recently, I’ve been practicing doing a “180” on recurring complaints or negative issues. This is a rich opportunity for both personal growth and gratitude. Basically, you take an issue you’ve been dealing with – for example, say your boss is demanding and unappreciative — and you sit down and write out ten (or more!) GOOD things that have emerged (usually in yourself) because of this situation. For example, you might come up with the following “good” things about a “bad” boss:

  • I have pushed myself more than I would have with a lenient boss
  • I’ve learned to stop procrastinating
  • I have created a network of friends to turn to when the boss is especially negative
  • I have learned how to appreciate myself instead of waiting for others to appreciate me

Why is this helpful? It allows you some emotional distance and a little more freedom in the situation. You get to step back a little and see how the circumstances have perhaps a tiny silver lining. It gives you access to new ways of thinking and expanded ways to consider the situation.

I’d love to hear any feedback on this if you have time…..

What I’m (still) Reading: The Medici Effect by Frans Johansson. The premise of this book is simple: breakthrough creativity and innovation happens at the intersections of different fields, ideas, people and cultures. How do you try to implement this in your own life and business? In your own life, branch out and read a variety of different disciplines, focusing on ones that are new or unusual for you. If you have a team, try to pair up team members with different fields of expertise to tackle problems and imagine solutions. Look for experts in different fields and apply their way of looking at things to come up with new solutions. Do you have any ideas or experiences with this kind of thing? Please let me know, I’d love to hear!

Quick Web Tip: Add some new content! Don’t procrastinate – just add something. It’s so valuable to get in the habit of doing it regularly, but if that seems daunting, just add something new TODAY. If that seems to be too much, just go read a couple pages on your site and correct and errors or update anything that’s out of date. Then make a task in your calendar to do it again next week!

What I’m Pondering: The opposite of faith is not doubt: It is certainty. It is madness. You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. – Anne Lamott