WWBD? Ignore the Naysayers

Baileys, c. 2014.

Another in the What Would Baileys Do series…

The dogs in my parents’ neighborhood barked as we took our post Memorial Day barbecue walk. My mom and I were walking Baileys. A lot of their neighbors have dogs who were enjoying the nice weather outside, as well. When we passed by and they caught sight of her, clearly stressed out by new situation, circumstances, and people they protested.

You’re not from around here, they seemed to growl.

Unruffled, Baileys held her head up high and trotted along with us, sniffing the flowers, thoroughly enjoying the walk.

Impressed, my mom commented, “She doesn’t seem to hear them.” [Sidebar: When we first got her, I thought she might be hard of hearing, but it turns out she just has selective hearing].

She heard all of the barking, yet chose not to let it affect her. It went in one ear and out the other. She could have let it ruin her walk, her day but she didn’t.

I, on the other hand, will often let a careless bark fester all day.

All day long people are barking for attention, validation. You’re doing it wrong. Do it my way, they growl. This often stems from their own insecurities than any kind of aptitude.

I would be willing to bet that the majority of the time there is no value to their bark. They are just empty words.

We can choose to be nonplussed by it, or we can be like Baileys and choose not hear it.

Bark less, wag more.

c. 2015


Mistakes : Don’t let your past determine your future

image credit:  c. www.globalnpsolutions.com

Sometimes I see big things for my life. There are times when it seems everything that I want is going to work out. Almost inevitably when I am on the cusp of some big adventure, the negative voice of self-doubt creeps in speaking louder than any ray of hope I might have.

It will start as a small helpful voice of caution. But it will replicate itself, growing larger with each incarnation. Pretty soon it takes over. Why would you think you can do that?

You always…

You can’t ever…

You never…

It can [and has] inhibited progress. I find a writing opportunity or project that I’d love to do, but turn it down because I’m not sure I can do it, or follow through with it. When presented with said opportunity, HDTV flashbacks of all of the other times when I have failed will hijack my imagination. In choked panic, I say, “No, I’m much more content to stay stagnant where I am, thank you,” than to even give it a try and risk certain failure.

I know my patterns. I’d rather wring my hands and pout about how I can’t do it, than try to change them if it involves moving out of my comfort zone. Ignoring the glances of others expecting failure.

In these instances, especially when I’m just starting out, I find I need to make myself do it. Eschew distractions. No procrastinating. Just do it. As I am just doing it, I will be blazing new trails, creating routines, making templates or models, making it easier on myself for the future.

“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.”
― Rita Mae BrownAlma Mater

There is no need to fear mistakes. They can be very valuable when you think about it. Some of the best discoveries were made from mistakes. Make lots of them. A well- rounded person needs to know how not to do things as well as how to do them.

Start every day, every endeavor with a clean slate. There are no mistakes. There is no past. This requires an open mind. Don’t overthink it. Just move forward, lest we suffer from paralysis by analysis. If we mess up, so what? Count it as “research.”

“We learn from failure, not from success!”
― Bram StokerDracula

c. 2015


I’m So Busy



“Yeah, uh, huh, yeah, I gotta go…”

“Right, yeah…I got a million things to do.

“I know, I’ve gotta run…I’m really busy”

“Yeah….Gotta run, I’ll talk to you later…”

I was listening to a child playing with her mother’s phone. I chuckled a little, because it could have been me when I was younger playing with my toy phone. That’s what we heard adults do on real phones. So when we pretended, we did the same thing.

It gave me a sense of importance even then. My parents didn’t do it a lot, but I heard other adults do it. They must be really in demand I would think, a little enviously.

Us Americans, we like to be busy. We don’t like to be mistaken for someone who doesn’t work hard. We frown on those people. So we take on more than we can handle and it is very easy to get overwhelmed.

When I think about the most valuable people in my life, in terms of practical career influence, they were probably the busiest of all, but didn’t let on. Probably because, to them, it wasn’t tedious. They loved what they were doing, so the energy was not sapped out of them. They were super-busy, no doubt, but instead of wigging out about how busy they were, they paced themselves so that interruptions weren’t as dire.

We tend to feel busy when we see things are a chore; when we’re overwhelmed. But what if we changed our mindset, so we saw past the actual tasks or chores to the end results? Sure, there will still be some urgency; I’ve gotta get this done, I’ll be so glad when this is done; but if we breathe through it, keeping our eyes on the prize, as they say, it will come much more naturally.

I don’t want to be busy anymore. I don’t even like the word. I like the corresponding feeling even less.

Someone once said, pursue your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life. If you are not able to do your passion at work, think about why you are doing it. Make the necessary move to never being busy.

c. 2015