08 October 2007

A Picture Of Me

Next to the definition of the word 'Insanity' in Wikipedia, the modern day dictionary/encyclopedia, that's exactly what you'll find. Although I haven't seen it, I'm sure it's a picture of me doing something very ordinary. Perhaps I'm vacuuming while the kids are still awake and admiring that "freshly mowed carpet" look that I know will last 42 seconds. Or maybe I'm asking Lily to keep the back door closed while she plays outside and I cook dinner. Whichever shot the webmasters chose, it's certain to fit the definition perfectly: 'Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results'.

While I'm not a big believer in Astrology, I do fit the Stubborn Goat stereotype of my sign pretty well in this respect. No matter how many times I have the Dr. Phil "How's that workin' for ya?" dialog with myself, I continue to attack certain issues the same way, getting more and more of the same unsatisfying results each time. I had this issue working in restaurants . . specifically, I'd try to ask people to change their behaviors in a very non-confrontational, diplomatic way and with the kind of predictability matched only by the sunrise I'd get the same exact results nearly every time . . that is, people went straight back to what they did before. Time and time again, I told myself I was done being nice about it. Demand what you want and impose serious consequences if you don't get it, otherwise nothing will change. People do what's in their best interest, and 'what's easiest' will fit that description every time if there's no real downside to resisting change.

So why is this such a difficult behavior pattern for me to break out of? I know precisely what kind of results I can expect from this textbook form of passive aggression. People will continue to impose their wills on me whenever they choose. My objections will continue to be minimized by those who are reluctant to make difficult choices and respect the ones I've made. They in turn will make immature rationalizations and bury their heads deeper in the sand. No thanks. My approach to saying 'No' when the time is appropriate will change TODAY. Dave Ramsey's catch phrase for how he approaches life seems really poignant in light of this post . . he teaches his listeners to "Live like no one else, so that later you can live like no one else." He always asks people who have reached their goals if their friends made fun of them on their journey to Financial Peace, because he knows that most people will think you're weird if you deprive yourself of stuff. Dave references 'The Ancient Word' a lot, the one he feels America needs to rediscover if it wants to win with money. Today I will begin to take command of the Ancient Word in a whole new way. The Ancient Word is "No". When I master it, I'll call Wikipedia and have them remove my picture.

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