Tuesday, May 28, 2019

SNAPlife: Are You Telling The Wrong Story? - s2e126

What is actually the main "story"?

For your customers, the main story is the products or services you provide. How those things came to be isn't really as important to the customer as is the actual delivered goods.

Yet, the backstory is important to you. What you do to get to the main story is important. Just as having a good backstory grounds fiction, having a backstory contributes to the significance and satisfaction of a setting or character, the "backstory" of your product or service make a huge difference.

The customer is not impressed by how you organized your back room. They are not impressed by your mop-washing system. They care about the main story. The service you provide.

This is true with relationships, too. All of the events leading to who you are, now, are important, but very few people you encounter are interested in them. People care most about how you act in the present.

While focusing on the backstory—the experiences, systems and processes that lead to the actual here-and-now—is not important to the customer or to the person with whom you have a relationship, they are important all the same. But the focus needs to be on the final result, the finished product.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

SNAPlife: Are You Prepared? - s2e124

Are you ready?

What does it take to be prepared for the future? There are essentially two things.

First, you need to have some reliable view of what the future will be like. Insight gained from research and interviews, like a sports team scouting the competition, will give you some idea of what to expect. Carefully investigating the situation into which you anticipate going is vital.

With that done, you need next to have some idea what to do when you face it. You need to have a plan of attack, a plan of approach. What materials do you need (clothes, tools, devices…)? What skills are required? What are the expected social behaviors, and are you equipped to operate within them? Knowing what the situation will demand is the next vital component.

Being prepared is not something to assume just happens. Preparation and readiness are the result of effort and intentional action.

Monday, May 20, 2019

SNAPlife: How Do You Want To Be Characterized? - s2e123

What is your character like? In fiction, characterization is important. Characters need to be understood by the readers. The author, therefore, creates a consistent display of the character that, though changeable, is something the reader can figure out and observe. Think of James Bond. No matter the actor, the character is very similar.

In life, characterization is also important. How the world sees you is a direct result of what you display to the world. Live the way you want to be characterized!

Are you dependable? If you say you'll do something, do you do it?

Are you responsible? If something is expected of you, do you do it?

Are you accountable? If you do something—or forget to do something—do you acknowledge your action or inaction?

How you live—your honesty, your integrity, your dependability, your responsibility, your accountability, your view of others, your interactions with people—creates your character. It tells people what they can expect of you.

Live in the way you want to be perceived.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

SNAPlife: What You Seek Is What You Find - s2e122

There is an expression that claims "what you see is what you get." It means that the thing presented is exactly as it appears. There is no secret under-layer. It is what it is.

Similar to this is the idea that what you seek is what you find. If you are looking for… antique stores… barbecue joints… gas stations… The thing you are looking for is most likely the thing you will find.

This is true, not only in travels but also in your experiences with other people and institutions. If you are looking for the flaws, you'll find them. If you are looking for the good things, you'll find them.

Evaluators, parents, teachers, coaches… All can focus on the gaps, not the gains. Anyone can pick out the rough edges and overlook the assets.

While identifying the growing edge of things—people and institutions, systems and methods—it is a vital aspect of growth and improvement, it is equally important to identify what is good and what is working well. Otherwise, changes may blot out those good things trying to improve where the weaknesses lie.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

SNAPlife: Being Grateful Does Not Mean Giving Up On Goals - s2e121

Being grateful for how things are is not the same as being satisfied and ceasing the pursuit of better. A heart grateful for the now does not quash the desires for a better future!

Being happy with what you have—being grateful for the "things" of the now is a huge gateway to peace and contentment. Research has been done (Google it) on the connection between an attitude of gratitude and feelings of peace and happiness.

But, just because you are grateful does not mean you have to stop looking to the future and setting goals for things.

A traveler once was walking a long a rough rocky path that twisted along a curvy path. He had some choices to make. He could complain because his path was rough. Or, he could look off to his right where the path wound its way through the muddy mire of a bog riff with biting insects and poisonous snake and be grateful that he was on a better path than that.

He could rest in his gratitude, or look off, up to the left, up the ridge a little, to the nicely groomed path free from rocks and rubble. Indeed, it would be a little work to get to that path, but in the long run, it would be easier and faster. Just because he is grateful for not being in the bog does not stop him from seeking a better course. /#metaphor

You can be grateful for what you have and still have the desire to grow, improve, and get better. Gratitude and complacency are not the same thing.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

SNAPlife: Gratitude Is A Decision - s2e120

If you ask me, gratitude is a conscious decision. It's a choice you make wherein you look at what you have and focus on the good things, the good circumstances around you. You make a concerted effort to think about things for which you can be grateful.

It is more natural to notice the short-comings. "Painful stimuli" call out loudly prompting us to avoid, change, divert, move… Often, we let the painful drown out the good around us.

By stopping and taking appraisal of what is around us, we can, for a short period of time at least, bask in the good. We can see that we are out of the quicksand, at least. Though things could be better, they also could be worse, and that the are not is cause to be grateful.

Having an attitude of gratitude is something you should practice. Thinking about those things for which you can be grateful is something you should intentionally do, and do so often.

Monday, May 13, 2019

SNAPlife: Sometimes You Need To Clean Out The Garage - s2e119

Too much stuff can be as big a barrier to success and productivity as is not the right stuff.

Materials, tools, and supplies are all important aspects of getting a job done, and doing it well. But if the physical components of a task are not organized and arranged well, they themselves can become a barrier to getting things done.

There is a similar comparison available with time. Filling our schedule with too many things gets in the way of doing those things that are important and meaningful.

To maximize efficiency, it is necessary to have some degree of organization (and a plan for using it). Clutter and chaos work directly against this.

Sometimes, you just have to take time to organize and arrange things (also true for time management) so that subsequent attempts to get things done are more effective.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

SNAPlife: Just Because You Can (Eat It) Doesn't Mean You Should

Sure. A lot of things are possible. But, should you do it?

Just because something is edible does not mean it is healthy to eat it. Just because something is edible does not mean it is pleasant to eat it.

The fact that something CAN be done does not mean it SHOULD be done. And what defines what should or should not be done?

Values, ethics, and your moral code should define the boundaries in which all activities fit. Just like taste preference and nutrition needs should define what you put in your mouth to eat.

That something is possible is only one factor in deciding what to do. That it fits with who you are and what you stand for is a powerful aspect of deciding what should be done.

Don't let the fact that something can be done be the only reason behind doing it.

SNAPlife: Don't Get Hung Up On The Label - s2e118

What's in a name? A rose by any other…

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it's probably a duck. You can call it a cow, but it's still a duck.

If you allow the labels and titles to stand on their own (or the lack of a label) you are failing to see things realistically. The role or status is actually defined by the actions. Just saying someone is a leader does not actually make them a leader. Likewise, not having the official title of leader does not preclude someone from being a leader.

The actions are more indicative than a label.

Two people who act like they are a couple—who do all the things a couple does—are probably a couple, even if they haven't officially embraced a status or label to describe themselves. A person who leads others, who mentors, who organizes is a leader, regardless of what position the hold in an organization.

Don't get hung up on the words. Listen to them, but trust the actions.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

SNAPlife: The Other Side of the Coin - s2e115

There is an expression that there are two sides to every coin. The central idea of that expression is that everything can be viewed from different perspectives.

However, some people seem to think that it mean that if they are in a situation they don't like, the opposite situation—the other side of the coin—would be better.

In truth, the opposite is not better. In fact, the opposite is not always opposite. Just because you find a situation undesirable does not mean that the opposite situation will be better at all.

Two sides of every coin does not at all contradict the old say that the grass only appears greener on the other side of the fence. Sometime, things get better. Sometimes they don't.

Before you decide to change a major aspect of your life think about one more idiom that might apply. Could your change be an example of out of the fryer and into the fire?

Change can be good. Or it can go terribly wrong. Before making changes, be sure to investigate what both sides of the coin are like. (And if there is more than two sides… investigate everything.) Make your decision based on real information and facts.

Don't end up jumping from the pan to the pot! It might not be better, but rather only different.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

SNAPlife: Live The Way You Want To Be Remembered - s2e115

Being dead is not a cheery place to start a discussion, but just bear with me. It is normal, upon death, for those who survived to say things about the one who had died. Epitaphs and obituaries recap the fondest memories held of the one who has passed away.

Have you ever thought about what someone would say regarding you?

What do people think of when they think of you? Is it something you'd want on your grave stone? Is it something that you's want printed in your obituary? The very first thing people think of should be the thing that most accurately defines you as a person.

What do you want to accomplish with your life? If you were successful at that, is it the thing you want written about you after you are gone? Is the thing you are pursuing the thing you want to be remembered for?

If so, are you living in such a way as to attain that thing? If you keep living the way you live, will you be remembered in the way you want?

Your personal life mission should guide the things you do. And everything you do should align with your personal mission. Live in a way that leads you to that thing you have set, that thing you want people to think of when you come to mind.

Live the way you want to be remembered.