Balancing Act: The Newsletter (No. 151, March 2012 )
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Techniques for balance
But a great deal of fear is simply dysfunctional. Irrational fear can lead to procrastination (fear of failure and/or fear of success); or to intimidation (fear of the someone hurting us who really can't or someone smarter who really isn't); or to vacillation (fear of a wrong choice or disappointing some people); or to paralysis (fear of moving and bringing attention to yourself). Procrastination, intimidation, vacillation, paralysis—more like the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse than the Three Musketeers.
Sometimes my Beagle, Buddy, scares himself to the extent he jumps straight up in the air, like a crazed pogo stick. He retreats to a corner to figure out what happened (he stepped on something that made a noise or his tail knocked something off a table). One thing is certain: He's unlikey to return to that spot anytime soon. (A cat that jumps on a hot stove learns its lesson to the extent that it won't jump on a cold stove either after the experience.)
We can't afford to allow such fears to control our actions, behaviors, and lives. I find people filled to varying degrees with self-limiting beliefs, which are nothing more than false and unfounded fears—they can't face an audience, can't write an article, can't be comfortable in exclusive surroundings, can't confront those who require confrontation.
Self-limiting beliefs, the fuel of fear, can only be removed by performing the acts doubted, or by changing one's attitude about them and finding a better way. ("I don't have to memorize a speech, it's fine to use notes.") Otherwise, they continue to change us, and for the worse, narrowing choices and delimiting opportunity.
This is hard to do unilaterally. Ask others for help, and offer to help with theirs. Don't believe that others won't care, or won't help, or won't understand.
Those are simply self-limiting beliefs.
The human condition: Change (cents)Don't think poorly of me, preludial, but I'm not concerned about change any more. Oh, I don't mean alterations and vacillations in the economy, society, technology, and so on. I mean what's become bothersome coins that don't seem to mean much in the moment.
The new U.S. quarters look like tokens you receive for winning in the arcade on the Jersey Shore. Most of the rest of the stuff is simply filthy. I haven't seen anyone use a dollar coin outside of the slots in Vegas in 20 years.
Habitually, any coins in my pocket I give to my wife every evening and she deposits them in a huge, old, glass water bottle that she intends to donate to charity when it's full. No one has any idea how much is in there.
I don't like carrying change. It tends to fall out of your pockets when you drive or go to the theater. You have to remove change to get through airport security, then scoop it up again. (Charities would make a fortune if they simply had canisters before security that asked for any loose change to be deposited. Or maybe we could use it to pay for interpersonal skills training for a few of those TSA people.)
It's absurd to wait in a line to pay for something while a woman opens her pocketbook, finds her wallet, opens the little change compartment, and counts out 86 cents meticulously—when the bill reads $5.87. Even stores leave loose change in dishes next to the register encouraging patrons to use THAT change and not force the store to make change.
I used to resent tip jars being everywhere, but no more. They're a haven to get rid of change. I tell everyone to keep the change. I just want bills back. (This almost backfired in a small, lobby bar where my wife and I had drinks waiting to see René Fleming, and I gave the bartender $20 for an $8 drink order. "ALL the change?" he honestly asked.)
Attorneys still charge an extra 45 cents for that letter they had to mail on your behalf. They need to "man up" and round it up to a dollar. I'm tired of writing in the cents on checks. It's a waste of time and just adds to the work of a physical or online check.
The traditional change is hard to anticipate and deal with. But this kind of change is simple—we need to stop using it. Before the advent of the euro, coins for small change in Europe were scoffed at, and usually left behind as if contaminated, or waved off with a condescending hand. Surely you feel that way now about small change, and I'm even starting to worry about the dollar.
We need to stick to bills and whole numbers. We need common sense, not common cents.
I'm chatting with the outstanding manager who is taking care of my workshops at the Delano in Miami Beach, Florida. We're having a good time and, having listened to his speech pattern, I decide to lapse into Spanish which I love to practice and feel comfortable doing since I'm constantly told I have a good accent. Besides, every native Spanish speaker I've ever met has been helpful with my attempting to speak the language.
Copyright 2011 Alan Weiss. All rights reserved.
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