Have you ever felt dissatisfied with a space in your home, but aren’t quite sure why? You’d like to re-do it, but don’t know where to begin, because it isn’t clear exactly what’s wrong: is it the layout? The wall colors? The decorations? Whatever it is, it just isn’t working for you.
Before spending a load of money experimenting with throw pillows and new art, let alone expensive furniture or wall removal, there’s one essential design question to ask yourself.
What is the purpose of this space?
If you don’t know what you want the space to do for you, it’s hard to know how to make it work.
Is saying “no” difficult for you? I’ve always struggled with being a people-pleaser, so learning to say no has been a hard-won life-lesson for me. It’s much easier to say no when you know your yes. But this past year I have been learning to say no without feeling guilty about it, and it has been a life-changing.
Guilt can be useful when it alerts us to the fact that we have done something wrong: we want a child to feel guilty when he has punched his brother, for example. But people-pleasers struggle with a kind of false guilt that can accompany every instance of saying “no” – even when saying no is the right thing to do.
The difficulty is knowing when saying no is the right thing to do: especially when we are saying no to good things.
Can you imagine a business that decides to implement a new set of policies without considering whether or how any of the current policies are working? And can you imagine the results if that business had no concrete way to measure whether or how any of the current policies are working? Obviously, it would be a disaster.
But what about our personal lives? Do we ever stop to consider how and why we are doing things the we do? From our daily habits, to family living, to hobbies and skills, we can learn a lot from taking time to reflect back on what is and isn’t working, and why.
Good resolutions start with good reviews. Have you paused to take a good look at 2018?
News is out that Amazon will be making a new Lord of the Rings series, and everyone I know is excited. But back when Peter Jackson’s adaptation wasn’t so old itself, I found myself in an interesting discussion about every girl’s heart-throb, the King. Was Aragorn really the way Vigo Mortensen had portrayed him? Was he really that wishy-washy?
One man in the book group (where this conversation took place) insisted that the movie portrayal was a disservice to the character. The cinematic Aragorn just couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted to live as the king or not. But the real Aragorn – of Tolkien’s imagination – was courageous.
It wasn’t that Aragorn lacked the strength to make a decision, insisted my friend. It was just that future King wasn’t sure what was right. Once he did know, he could, and did, act accordingly.
This is a careful distinction, and one which authors Chip and Dan Heath consider in their book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. (Well, they don’t talk about Aragorn specifically…) Continue Reading
I once went to see a specialist doctor – this person had been recommended to me and was given rave review, so I had high hopes. But after our first meeting, I started to wonder. He hadn’t read the results of my previous tests and bloodwork with care. He didn’t have answers to my questions about underlying causality. Instead, he shared with me his protocol for treating all patients: since I had already done numbers 1 and 2 on the list before seeing him, so now I could try number 3.
It wasn’t a bad protocol- it was actually very good compared to what other doctors had offered. And by all accounts, it was generally effective for many of the patients who went to see him.