Microwave instructions

I noticed someone wrote and posted instructions on how to use a microwave. Who needs instructions on how to use a microwave? Even if it is a new microwave no one needs the manual. You just do it. You do it because the risk of failing is small. You are not going to be crushed if you can’t figure out how to use the microwave.

It’s also important to ask why. Why was it so important that these instructions needed to be written, edited, printed, laminated and taped next to the microwave?

Step 1) Cover your food.

Stop right there.

Someone had wrote the instructions in hope that someone would cover their food so they (whoever wrote the police and procedure) did not have to clean up after someone else. That is why policies and procedures are written. They are not written to keep us safe but to make sure that we clean up the mess we make so someone else doesn’t have to.

Customers are worthy of your time

It is difficult to help someone after a long day. Ordinary people will say, “I will do it later.” This is a natural reaction. Instead of reacting try responding. You may be tired but can you give just a little more? It may only be answering one last phone call or sending one more email. It will only take a minute. Can we give 60 more seconds of our time and attention to help someone? Consider the message you are sending by not helping. I could help you right now but you are not worthy of my time, attention or labor.

In that moment, you can be extraordinary to someone. Be extraordinary enough times to enough people, they won’t see you as ordinary person anymore.

Draw a line in the sand

Be careful what compromises you make.Shave a little here, a little there; no one may notice except you. It’s a slippery slope though. A better path, a hero’s path, is to never make compromises on your integrity. Everyone has to draw that line in the sand. That line that says this is as far as I go. Draw the line once and never cross it. Villains on the other hand will draw a line, cross it and draw another over and over again.

Your integrity is not for sale. It is far too valuable. Make the decision now on the type of person you are going to be. Later when faced with a temptation you won’t have to make a decision. You will have already made it.

Sprinting and pacing

In our 20’s we tend to sprint everywhere we go.

We sprint to get to work.

We sprint while at work.

We sprint to get back home.

We sprint while at home.

We even sprint in our sleep.

How many of us actually get 6-8 hours of sleep each night?

The Wasatch 100 mile endurance run finished last month in Salt Lake City. You can review the results of those who completed the race here.

Out of the 313 runners that started, 203 completed the race.

What was the average runner’s age to finish this year?

42.

There were only 9 runners under the age of 30 that finished the race.

The occasional sprint now and then to hit a deadline is a useful skill to have but most winners pace themselves. Our endurance increases with time. Our careers need to do the same thing.

Try nothing you will succeed every time

Try nothing you will succeed every time.

Trying nothing means there is no risk, failure or shame.

We already “know” it’s not going to work. By raising the white flag you bypass the whole experience and go straight to the end. If your only goal is to reach the end then by all means don’t try. Why bother right?

Try nothing and you will succeed in getting nothing.
Try nothing and you will succeed in changing nothing.
Try nothing and you will succeed in learning nothing.

Try something and you will succeed in getting, changing or learning something.

Enabled generation

Every generation has adults worried about the youth not living up to their potential.

In the 60’s we called them Hippies.
The 70’s they were called Burn Outs.
The 80’s? Airheads. Gothics. Head Banger.
In the 90’s they were Punks.
Now we are here in the 00’s and 10’s and we are hearing the Entitled Generation.

Most of us have good intentions but we need to ask ourselves: Am I truly helping this person? Is this the right thing to do?

Instead we are worried: What will they think of me? I don’t want to upset this person.

The synonyms of the word entitlement include qualify, make eligible, authorize, allow, permit. Maybe the better question is to ask are we qualifying, authorizing, permitting this behavior?

The foolish choice is the easy choice. No one is immune to entitlement. It is an epidemic. The truth is we all have a child in each of us that we need to teach to behave.

Entitlement, the behavior, is the symptom not the problem. The problem is enabling someone.

Remove the scoreboard

What if we weren’t going to keep track of who did what for who today?

Externally someone may not do their fair share of the project. Internally this creates frustration. Frustration that we have lost something (pride, time, money, etc.). Someone may have crossed you the wrong way, looked at you and said something that didn’t make you feel good. So you keep count. If the score improves then they can be back in our good graces.

What if we removed the scoreboard? What if instead we start keeping track of what we have done to help someone else today? No more even steven. No more going half way, instead we go all the way.

What have you done to create something beautiful for someone to enjoy? What have you done to make someone’s life a little easier or better? What have you done to make someone feel better about themselves?

How many of our relationships at work, at home, in our marriage, in our schools, churches could improve by simply not keeping track of the score of the opposing team?

Start keeping track of what good you have done in the world. Stop worrying about everyone else is score and just keep improving your own.