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Showing posts with label Reflection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reflection. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Being Vulnerable Can Be A Good Thing

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Succeed By Helping People

Adam Grant from the Atlantic has a great piece up about how people succeed professionally by helping others in the workplace. While the short term benefits seem slim (especially if you are a woman), the long term benefits become apparent very quickly in the form of higher sales and revenue. Why?

When I wrote the book, I attributed the long-term success of givers to two major forces: relationships and motivation. From a relationship perspective, givers build deeper and broader connections. When a salesperson truly cares about you, trust forms, and you’re more likely to buy, come back for repeat business, and refer new customers. From a motivation perspective, helping others enriches the meaning and purpose of our own lives, showing us that our contributions matter and energizing us to work harder, longer, and smarter. When medical students focus on helping others, they’re able to weather the slings and arrows of long hours and devastating health outcomes: they know their colleagues and patients are depending on them.

Even more important than this is the fact that people that help out more are reflective and learn. Taking on more duties and picking up the slack for other workers translates into a larger skill set and the perception of being indispensable.

Perhaps all of this means that nice guys actually do finish first!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Birthday Reflection

Today I turn 47 years old and I have to say that, despite how much I gripe on here, I am pretty fucking happy. I have two beautiful children and a wife who makes me feel like a teenager with puppy love. I have a ton of friends who amaze me every day and live in a city that offers all that I require and more.

In terms of politics, sex and religion (the three main focal points of this site), everything seems to be heading in the right direction. I can't say that I'm fully satisfied with how we are tackling the political issues of the day but there has been marked progress and you can see it happening incrementally. Our economy is improving, we are still militarily strong, immigration will be reformed in the next few years, education is improving, climate change will be addressed, gay marriage and pot will be legal across all of the country, and the gun debate will finally be put to rest.  Thanks to people like Pope Francis and moderate leaders of other faiths, we actually seem to be evolving spiritually and leaving antiquated notions of religion behind. So, too, are we loosening up about sex and realizing that being more relaxed and open about it is much more healthy.

If I could pick one area that we should really focus on, it would be mental health. We need to remove the stigma that is associated with caring for our brains and emotional well being. Improving the mental health of our citizens would solve most of our problems. Despite the constant drone of bad news and my occasional bitching, we really are doing quite well. Simply compare our standard of living today to 20 years ago. Or 50. Or 200.

Awesome, right?


Monday, January 03, 2011

New Year's Housekeeping

As we begin the New Year here at Notes From the Front, I thought it might be wise to throw out a few housekeeping items.

First, this blog is not important. Seriously, I mean it. Lately I've noticed a few commenters that seem to have substituted the comments section for a social life. Living your life and interacting with people is more important than posting here. If you don't have time to write all that you want, so what? I know I don't.That means your time is better spent doing things with friends and family than posting on this sixth rate (seventh rate?) blog. I put up a post every day but some are now from Nikto because I have other stuff going on.

This brings me to my second point. I think it's time that I reminded people why I post here. I do so because I love to write. It helps me work out my frustrations. It's also a heck of a lot of fun. I think it's pretty amusing that some of you feel that I am humiliated continually when I post here but I never am. Not at all. I have a pretty thick skin and school yard bullying, which we see all the time in comments, doesn't even come close to making a dent. A few weeks back I was working with some junior high school kids and had one student slice another student in the face with a scissors. Having someone call me stupid is pretty paltry compared to that.

My other main goal is for reflection and critical thinking. We've recently had a concise definition of critical thinking submitted in comments. Here it is again.

The ideal critical thinker is habitually inquisitive, well-informed, trustful of reason, open-minded, flexible, fair-minded in evaluation, honest in facing personal biases, prudent in making judgments, willing to reconsider, clear about issues, orderly in complex matters, diligent in seeking relevant information, reasonable in the selection of criteria, focused in inquiry, and persistent in seeking results which are as precise as the subject and the circumstances of inquiry permit. Thus, educating good critical thinkers means working toward this ideal.

I suspect I will be putting this up quite a bit as several of you are avoiding it. I'd like to see each one of you turn inward and honestly assess how well you match up this ideal. This would be the reflection part. You should know that every time...every single time...some of the commenters here blow a bowel about something I write, there is no doubt in my mind it's because they are resistant to reflection.

Something else...I had a regular commenter in here (a libertarian one, btw) make a note to me regarding staying on topic in comments. If this person wishes to state this with his name attached, that's fine but I thought I would let them remain anonymous for now. Essentially, said person complained that we whir off topic in threads and it would be nice to stick to the subject. I thought about it for awhile because I really do respect (and love) the person that suggested it but it's just not my vision for this blog.

Comments to me are about near total freedom. I post about climate change and you want to link a video about Obama as Hitler? Fine by me. You have a business or product you want to hawk and you are a regular poster here? Put it up. I have about 200-300 unique page loads a day. Talk about anything on your mind. This blog is an outlet for reflection, venting, and discussion on a wide range of topics. I live in Minnesota and have had it up to here (Mark puts his hand way above his head) with people telling me to be polite and not discuss certain topics. Fuck that. That's why ALL of you get the same honor and privilege. It's my way of telling my fellow Minnesotans to pound salt hence the byline above, "Where politics, sex and religion are always polite to discuss."

Of course, if everyone wants to stay on topic, then that's fine too. I will, however, generally delete spam comments if it is from a source I don't recognize. If it turns out to be someone we know, I will put it back up. Porn is also usually out unless it stars one of you and/or it's really hot.

One last thing about comments....sometimes Blogger is wonky. Since everyone seems to have a different experience with this, more than likely it's the relationship between individual settings and Blogger. Remember to cut and paste your comment off line and then if it vanishes, try again. As I have stated above, I don't block any one's comments or delete them.

So what will the New Year bring? Well, we already have the GOP putting health care repeal front and center. That's smart....NOT. I know climate change is going to come up a few times. We should have some GOP hopefuls for president soon. I predict Mitt Romney will be the nominee if he runs.

More importantly, though, we will have the start of a conversation that I hope will change this blog forever. It's the evolution of many of my thoughts that I have been putting up here since I started. It's why our country is so fucked up. It has to do with what I have been dropping here and there of late: The Michael Jordan Generation.

Stay tuned!