Put a Spring in Your Nagging

Because repetition turns growth into development

Moving to another continent in another hemisphere plays havoc with your habits and expectations. Who knew?

During the first fifty years of my life I knew my left from my right, my spring from my autumn, and the time of day. After almost 20 years in the other hemisphere on a different continent in an unfamiliar country, I still get confused on the right side of the road, surprised that Christmas is cold, expect spring to be autumn, and find myself out of sync with a time that changes every six months.

But I have learned that it is not my habits that hold me back. It is my history.

History is heavy. And it is very sticky.

Lighten up to put the spring in Spring

Don’t let your history take the spring out of your step. (free public domain: clipart-people.com)

One of the first new skills I learned after arriving in the USA was time management. No, not productivity management, but how to time my falling back and springing forward.

That’s right. I had to learn how to save daylight because my land of birth had not yet developed the power to change time.

Now that spring is finally here (I think), let me tell you in three words how to really spring forward into spring.

Put It Down.

I could say take it off, but you might misunderstand me.

During winter, we add many layers to keep warm. Come spring time, you must start shedding the extra bits. They just add weight and make you too heavy to spring lightly into spring.

Winter is history already. And history is heavy. Put your history down, else it will weigh you down, take the spring out of your step and the fun out of your future.

Redundant communication gets nagging results

It matters that you say it again and again. (free public domain: clipart-people.com)

It’s Saturday morning, you have a list of must-be-dones and your dear old side-kick is still sound asleep. Try this. Become a deliberate, redundant communicator.

Research has finally shown that your mother was right all along. According to professors Neeley, Leonardi and Gerber, redundant communication gets results. Redundant communication gets results. Redundant communication gets results. Do you hear me now?

Redundant communication happens at work when you bombard your team with the same message over and over. Yes, if you try that at home, it’s called nagging.

By the way, how clearly you express yourself matters less than how often you repeat yourself. In other words, it’s not the message, stupid. It’s the frequency of bombardment.

Now repeat after me: Nagging does work, but only when it’s called redundant communication.

And it does not matter what you say again and again. It matters that you say it again and again.

Got it?

Let Spring remind you that growth is not development

Growth and development springing into action. (free public domain: clipart-people.com)

Be patient, people. Spring is coming. With it comes plentiful growth, which, of course, you will have to cut and prune. As your garbage heap expands, you will realize that growth is really just more of the same.

More of the same is growth. It is not development. Development is about improvement and betterment. Growth is about expansion and enlargement.

Growth can have negative connotations, whereas development is normally positive. For example, we speak of a cancerous growth, but the development of the personality. We worry about population growth and try to solve it by encouraging population development.

The fact is, although a garbage heap can grow, it cannot develop. That’s the bad news.

But it can mature. With time, garbage in means compost out. And compost out means healthy harvest.

That’s the good news, as I sit here quietly maturing, watching others prune and hack away.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.