4. I was 13 years old, trying
to teach my 6 year old sister how to dive into a swimming pool from the side of
the pool. We were at a big, public pool, and nearby there was a woman, about 75
years old, slowly swimming laps. Finally she swam over to us just when I was
really putting the pressure on, trying to get my sister to try the dive, and my
sister was shouting, "but I'm afraid!! I'm so afraid!!" The old woman
looked at my sister, raised her fist defiantly in the air and said, "So be
afraid! And then do it anyway!"
6. I was sitting in a bus once,
and we came to the railroad tracks. There were some cars sitting inbetween us
and the next red light, so if a train came, we'd be stuck until it had passed.
That was always a couple of annoying minutes.
Then the light turned green,
and the bus went across the train tracks without having to wait for a train.
Pheew, crisis averted. Then, behind me, a mother said to her small child:
"That was too bad, we
didn't get to see the train today."
That was the perfect way to
frame that. Why not enjoy what you get?
8. I'm the
oldest of three kids. I'm older than my little brother by 2.5 years and my
little sister by 9.5. When I was about fourteen or so, arguing with my dad in
private about something I don't remember, he, being the second-oldest of eight
kids, told me:
"Any decision you make in
this household, you make three times. Once when you make it, once when your
brother makes the same decision after watching you do it, and once when your
sister makes the same decision after watching you and your brother do it. How you
treat your brother will tell him how he can treat your sister; and how you
treat your sister tells her how she will expect to be treated for the rest of
her life, even as far as her future boyfriends."
That kinda shook me up and
made me rethink my role as the oldest child; I started taking my
responsibilities as the role model a lot more seriously after that.
11. My old boss, the CEO of a
small hospital, told me a story from back when he was a lab technician (for
simplicity, let's call him Dan). Dan had forgotten to check some sort of
mechanism on a piece of equipment he used, it malfunctioned and broke the
equipment which ended up having around a $250,000 repair bill. The next day
Dan's boss called him in to talk about it, and he was sure he was going to be
fired. His boss asked him why he didn't do a proper check, made sure he
understood what happened and sent him back to work. Dan asked him "Am I
not getting fired? I was almost sure that's what this was about." His boss
said "No way, I just spent $250,000 teaching you a lesson you'll never
forget. Why would I fire you now?"
It seems silly, but that
attitude always resonated with me. Don't make professional decisions based on
emotional responses. Always know what your goal is when dealing with someone,
and what exact problem you are trying to solve. Everyone makes mistakes, and
yelling at them just makes them resent you and become defensive. Being calm and
understanding will make people look up to you.
15. "There's no
point trying to track down your SO when they go out, or even asking them not to
go, just because you're afraid of being cheated on. If they want to cheat on
you, they will. They will miss a day of work, or lie about visiting their
parents, or even fake a medical appointment. There's nothing you can do about
that. The only thing you can do, is being a loving, caring person. This is the
most effective way of obtaining someones love and trust."
17. "We judge others by
their actions and ourselves on our intentions." Really made me think about
people and I try telling myself that when the fucking idiot in front on me
doesn't indicate when merging.
18. When I was 38 I contemplated
beginning a two year Associates Degree in Radiography. I was talking to a
friend and had almost talked myself out of doing it. I said "I'm too old
to start that. I'll be 40 when I get my degree." My friend said "If
you don't do it, you'll still be 40, but without the degree." I'm nearly
60 now, and that degree has been the difference between making a decent living,
and struggling to get by.
19. I met a
person who was in a wheelchair. He related a story about how a person once
asked if it was difficult to be confined to a wheelchair. He responded,
"I'm not confined to my wheelchair - I am liberated by it. If it wasn't
for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my room or