Category Archives: Indirect Issue

Day 14 NaBloPoMo; Drop the Competition

Take one day and count how many times you felt the pang of competition.   All of it; from you and against you.  No one has to know what you are doing, just go through your day being aware.

There are so many different kinds:

Racing against time

  • be on time
  • to get it all done on time.
  • besting your former time

Competition between people

  • one on one
  • team competitions
  • someone trying to win you over
  • someone trying to be better than you
  • to be better than others
  • proving intelligence

Competition with self

  • improve performance
  • perfectionism
  • do more

The challenge is to take a couple of days and drop all competition.  I’m not talking about making any life changing changes from now on.  All I am saying is to take one day and get curious.  What would a whole day without being competitive be like?  Now, I didn’t have as huge of a shift as I did from You Can Care Without Worry, but it was big enough.  Well, from that, I didn’t worry about not being competitive.

This has been a huge relief, because I am not a competitive person, although I acted like it because that’s what I was taught, or I felt that everyone was competing with me whether I wanted to or not.

As I look back on my life some of my worst, uncharacteristic moments had come out of a sense that everything was a competition and everyone was involved, so I am glad it is over.

It felt like I erased competition, then rebooted it and found my good sportsmanship.  I’ve been able to take part in some good-natured teasing.  I’ve been able to support opposing players.  I’ve been able to stay on task and not worry about everyone else.  Having fun is fun again.

After the fact I still have problems when people try to compete with me, so I rely on the fact that I can only control myself and not others.  Although I find it humorous that people compete in a noncompetitive situation.

Day 11 NaBloPoMo; You Can Care Without Worry

quote: Corrie Ten Boom

quote: Corrie Ten Boom

If I could eliminate one thing to worry about? It would be worry.

One of the most powerful epiphanies I ever had, one where I literally felt my universe shift, was that I can care without worry.

They are two different things!   Worry is worry and caring is caring.  I don’t have to demonstrate worry to show that I care.

I actually had to take a couple of days to work on this one.   I had to catch myself when I felt I had to demonstrate worry, and think quickly, okay I’m not worried, don’t be worried: just care …  how do I care? … why do I care?  … what do I do because I care?   And the biggie, if worried is not involved; what is caring?

Most of the time the “shift” was about taking my focus of me and what I do and say and place my focus on listening to the other person or pay attention to the situation.

  • Simply put, I shut up and nod when other people talk.
  • I quit trying to prove that I understand by telling my story when they are telling theirs.
  • I quit trying to cover all bases and answer questions before they were asked.
  • I quit trying to prove my intelligence, in the face of whatever is a concern to them.

The result is they feel cared for.

If it is a situation, plans formulate to take action, but only after a complete understanding of the situation. No wasted time.  No wasted effort.  No explanations of, “I thought.”  No embarrassment.

I do dishes and clean the floors because I care about my house, not because I am worried about what other people think.  Or worry that things are getting out of control.  The surprising thing, is this comes in really handy when I don’t have time to get it done.  Since I know I care, I just find a time to do it when I can and get it done then.  No regrets about what I did instead.

Furthermore, now when I care, I actually care.  I am more formidable because I have passion instead of worry.  I can act swiftly because I don’t have the weight of the world on me.  I don’t worry about being wrong.  If I truly care, I am staying on topic and moving forward.


In the spirit of Veteran’s Day, if we could eliminate one worry?  That would be to resolve the conflicts and bring our troops home.

Day 9 NaBloPoMo; My Work in Non-motivation pt. 2 of 3

I spent some time working on “non” motivational skills before I quit smoking.  I was looking for something to sustain myself through the withdrawal.  In the past when my motivation had waned, I’d quit quitting, and would decide to try again later when my willpower was stronger.

With the False Quit Dates, I was getting tired of relying on motivation.  It was a frustrating lesson because motivation is so fleeting.  Motivation has peaks and valleys of energy flow.  If my to-do list consists of exercising and cleaning house, motivation may have me expending my energy to one so I can avoid the other.  Sometimes, when I was sitting around waiting for motivation to manifest itself, I could have done the chore.  There were times where motivation had never come.

Instead of waiting for motivation, I was training myself to just get it done.  I’ve never been in a job that I particularly loved nor was a natural extension of myself.  I’ve never been motivated to go to work.  Except I do, everyday, rarely call in sick, and do my best while I am there. I also may whine all the way through it, but! I show up, do my job, get paid and pay my bills.

Why am I doing this?  Honor.  Integrity.  Money.  Fear of being lazy.  I want to succeed. (Although success has more to do with my back up plans.) But seriously? Because when hired, I said I would show up and do the work.  I made an agreement with my employer, I’m told what time to show up and I show up.

Overlay this onto cleaning house. A lot of my lessons in motivation centered around household chores and adjusting my attitude towards them. First I had to ignore the urge to look inward for that quickening that brings energy and excitement to mundane things.  You know, when all done to go, “Wow, that was fast!  And so easy!” — Don’t search for it.  Don’t wait for it. — I say I’m going to do the chore.  I allow enough time for the chore. (It’s not race nor competition to best any times set in the past.)  I do the chore, because I said I would and it is time.

I did keep it kind of loose, like…  I need 20 minutes before work, after work, before bed, but, I had to get it done that day.

Again, overlay this lesson on to quitting smoking.  I continued with the False Quit Dates because I knew being ready wasn’t just going to come from nowhere.  I learned how to be ready and be ready without a doubt in my mind.  I was making some big moves, such as putting money down on a cabin.  I was going to leave my family for two weeks.  I was to be by myself with no distractions and no excuses.  Most of all, no cigarettes. I was also giving myself every opportunity to quit without those big moves.  If I didn’t quit at the end of this, I was never going to quit.   But I did.  Because I was ready and because I didn’t rely on motivation or will power.  I quit because I wanted to quit and I said I was going to quit and I allowed enough time to finish the quit.  (the withdrawal)

These days, I overlay this lesson on exercising.  Even though I have all this knowledge, it is hard keep it routine.  I haven’t done any real exercising for over two weeks now, but in the meantime, I got a lot of other stuff done.  Does that make it right?  Does that make it okay?  I can say that it’s different from exercising a few years ago, I’m not so negative about downtime.  I know I will pick it up again.  I also believe the downtime is shorter in duration.  I don’t wait for motivation to schedule a time to exercise.

Working on my “non-motivational skills” has been one of my best time savers.

My Work in Non-motivation pt. 1 of 3

Hating It Is Not Relevant

Nebraska storm by Anne Goforth

Nebraska storm by Anne Goforth

Today, I’m cleaning cupboards, doing laundry, dishes and cooking, all while still feeling the effects of the time change.  I’ve spent most of the day alone and winter is threatening to appear on Monday.  Now I am feeling the pressure of completing my November goals of NaBloPoMo and doing something on my timeline before midnight. All in all I have to say I’m having a pretty good day. It has been four years since I’ve done the work to quit smoking and back then I wouldn’t have said that about today.  I’d be in a panic, spurring to get everything done and would stay up until 4:00 am if I had to.  If I went to bed without finishing my projects, something might have come up and I might start another project before finishing the first one.

Today I’m more trusting that I am going to finish a project after getting some sleep, but the biggest impact I had for a day like today is, hating it is not relevant, because you have to do it anyway.

How often do you hear someone say, I can’t stand doing dishes.  I hate dusting.  I will not do windows. All I get in the mail are bills, I hate bills.  How often in a day do you say and hear someone say I hate ___.  Just take one day to listen for it.  You don’t have to do anything about it, just listen for it.  Then take into consideration does it make a difference if you hate it or not?  You still don’t need to do anything about it, just be aware.

For instance, I hated doing dishes, so I never wanted to do them.  I’d put them off, but then there would be more.  Soon, I would run out of dishes and if I wanted a dish I would need to wash it.  There were always other things that I needed to do, but I always had to stop and wash dishes.  The solution? Quit hating it.  Most people think that they can’t help if they hate it or not.  I found that wasn’t true. The trick was that I wasn’t forcing myself to like it. It is not a one or the other deal.  All I had to do was to quit hating it. If dishes need to be done everyday, why put in the time to hate it everyday.

There was a transition period where I had to give myself constant reminders to not hate it, but eventually the not-hating won out.  I found rhythm and routine and now I can get it done without getting all bent out of shape.  It’s been nice.

Day 5 NaBloPoMo; Goodness Excerpt

The next installment of my “Rumination of the Fruit of the Spirit” series is about ready to be published.  I would love to do a free book give away on Black Friday and another one on Cyber Monday.   Fingers are crossed and I’m keeping my head down on my work.  Today’s NaMo post is an excerpt from GOODNESS.

To recap, once it had occurred to me, “What if, you can’t find the love, joy and peace until you actually worked on patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?”  The very next day I woke up and said, “I will find any and all ways to use patience for this day,” and I did.  It worked so well I did a second day.   This excerpt is what I had learned from taking a couple of days to practice nothing but Goodness and … you can tell, going into this project, I about had it with accountability.

Chapter 2 Accountability vs. Responsibility

Accountability and responsibility are practically interchangeable words. It seems you can almost always use responsibility in place of accountability, but you wouldn’t always use accountability instead of responsibility. For example, you wouldn’t say that someone grew up to be accountable; you’d say that person grew up to be responsible … labeling someone accountable, gives a slightly different image. To me the definitions become vastly different when I notice that I don’t have a problem telling people to stop being accountable, but I have a huge problem with telling people to stop being responsible.
By the time I had come upon this fruity experiment, I was so disenfranchised from everything: I had trouble getting through a simple conversation. Come on! I’m blonde, blue-eyed, a bit top-heavy, I sprinkle powder blue and Barbie pink everywhere I go. Now I’m spouting Bible verses. What do you think I’m consistently challenged with?
I previously thought all I had to do was to be patient and work around this perception of the “dumb blonde” until we’d get back to the matter at hand. Then there was an inexplicable shift in my life when conversations deteriorated before they even began. So, I started there: What would happen if I shut up and let others do all the talking? I was amazed at the results. Some of my relationships changed and I found out who was toxic and who wasn’t. That started a cascade of testing the opposite of my usual perspective.
What would happen if I didn’t take the lead?
What would happen if I didn’t accept accountability?
What if I wasn’t involved in everything?
What if I didn’t speak up?
… If I didn’t work extra hours?
… If I didn’t share?
… If I didn’t do my part?
… If I didn’t apologize?
What would happen if I didn’t go above and beyond what was called for?
… If I only did the minimum?
… If I only did what I had the time and energy for?
What would happen if I quit worrying about others and I watched out for me?
What would happen if I did the things that I liked but nothing else? Without having to withstand all the b.s. of “earning” those things.
Resolving each of these questions took a lot of patience and self-control as I watched for the outcome. It was a struggle because not taking action invites fear of subsequent fallout, for which I’d be accountable. I was putting up a fight against the fear of being labeled one of “those” people … those lazy people who don’t earn their keep.
Through it all, I wondered what went wrong until it made my head spin. You know, I grew up a couple of decades ago and I still get into trouble. What is that? What challenges your perception of being an adult and says you’re naughty? No matter where I was in life, or what job I had, or how old my kids were, I always felt the same pressure to invite accountability in the name of being responsible; not just for me but for other people, too. We circle around that pressure and feed off of each other.
Since when did accountability become a badge of honor? What IS that? What is it that makes you want to do, and do, and do, to upset the balance in the name of finding the balance? Can’t you be responsible without being held accountable?

Day 2 NaBloPoMo; Quitting Smoking, Direct Issues and Indirect Issues

Most of my work with the False Quit Dates was to activate triggers and deal with them while I continued to smoke.  I captured the triggers, or issues, and dissected them into the most basic concept … I pondered them.  Triggers are issues related to smoking that makes a person fail to quit.  I divided these triggers into Direct Issues and Indirect Issues.

Direct Issues, basically are habits.  Smoking after a meal.  Get in the car, start it up and light up a cigarette.   Wake up, grab a cup a coffee, go on the porch to watch the sunrise and have a smoke.   You may have the idea that if you quit smoking you’ll never be able to go on the porch with a cup of coffee without clinging to the memory of having a cigarette.  This is especially hard when it comes to the after dinner cigarette … you need to eat.

Indirect issues are triggers that make you stomp off to go smoke.  Having a bad day at work.  Upsetting a customer.  Getting into a car accident or at least having a close call.  Getting angry that after taking care of everyone else, there is no time for your stuff.

Usually when I set a False Quit Date, a couple of issues would come up.  First, I would pick the easiest ones to work on.  I figured if I worked my way up, the hard ones wouldn’t be so hard when I got to them.  Second, I would try to pick a direct issue and an indirect issue.  I figured the first one was practice and the second one was an attitude adjustment.

Yes, I would get on myself about screwing around and I should just get busy quitting.  Except unlike before where I tried to quit and failed, I felt like I was actually doing something about my quit, instead of giving up and continuing to smoke.  This way, even though I was continuing to smoke; I didn’t give up.  That is why I kept setting another False Quit Date.

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