Nonsense At Work

#88: October 2014 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift

October 2014

Love Treats Make Untidy Goals

Love work health

divorce at workAnother day, another workplace killing. This seems to be the performance model in the USA. Other countries have different models. For example, while Americans tend to kill their bosses and co-workers, the French kill themselves.

The problem business leaders face is not why employees in one country turn on others while in other countries they turn on themselves. The problem is why they feel a need to turn at all.

Even a worm will turn; even the meek will retaliate if pushed too far. Often the reason is a lack of love. Wait, hear me out. Note where these incidents happen – in the workplace. Now consider how Sigmund Freud defined mental health: lieb und arbeit – love and work.

And there you have it. When people have no work, or no longer love the work they have, they run the risk of becoming mentally ill.

Treats capable of becoming

treat-becomingWhenever I see someone in need or in trouble, a commanding voice still booms in my ear, “Treat others the way you want them to treat you.”

However, the older I get, and the wiser I think I am, the more I want to ignore that voice. After all, others might not want to be treated the way I wish to be treated.

Shakespeare offered a different spin. Through Hamlet, he explained that we should not react to others based on who they are, but that we should treat them in accordance with who we are.

Tricky that, because it highlights my real problem: I don’t always know who I am.

Then recently I stumbled onto this advice from good old Goethe. “Treat others as if they were what they ought to be, and we help them to become what they’re capable of being.”

Funny, but that’s how I’d like to be treated.

Make turns to turn up life

Make-turnsHere’s a mind opening observation by the psychologist Roy Baumeister: You spend about 95% of your time driving your car going straight, but it’s the turns that determine where you end up.

If the turns we make on the road are what gets us to where we need to be, why then do we expect life to be lived in a straight line?

Leaves untidy mess

leaves-yardGuess what I like about Fall. No, not the colors of the leaves, although I do like that. It’s the smell of rotting leaves, Mother Nature’s way of stocking her larder to fuel next year’s growth.

Guess what I don’t like about Fall. People who rake their leaves; who work against Mother Nature; who think Mother Nature is untidy; who deprive their plants of natural food. For Pete’s sake, why?

Guess what I really, really dislike about Fall. Those noisy leaf blowers and the mess they make. The mess? What mess? Blowers are supposed to clear the mess! Not the ones I see when I’m cruising the neighborhood, the ones who think it okay to blow their mess into the road or onto their neighbor’s yard.

Why is it wrong for Mother Nature to be untidy in your yard, but right for you to blow her mess into public space? I just don’t get it.

Give goals the laser treatment

social-disharmonyBelieve it or not, there’s still enough time left in the year for you to achieve a few of your goals and resolutions. But only if you give them the laser treatment.

What is a laser? It is a thingy that boosts a beam of light. The more the light is boosted, the sharper and more powerful the laser. A torch is different. The more powerful the torch, the wider and weaker its beam.

If you act like a torch, you will see too many options and none very clearly, making it difficult to decide what to do. Don’t forget that making a decision really means reducing your options to one. And to see the right one, you need to focus your light.

This is why achieving your goal depends more on your ability to say no than to say yes. So, when you are running out of time, it’s time to make like a laser.

Are you a torch or a laser?

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