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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Don't Be A Groundhog

Hey All - looks like January is all but over.  So coming up next in February, in addition to this being a Leap Year, we've got love in bloom on Valentine's Day and patriotism to spare on President's Day. But even sooner than that is Groundhog Day.

Remember that movie from 1993?  Bill Murray's character is inexplicably caught in a day that repeats itself over and over.  He uses it to his advantage to avoid things that he knows will happen, and eventually, given enough opportunities to correct the mistakes he made the first "day," eventually "gets it right."

Believe it or not, even if the same day is not repeated, we still have the same opportunities to "get it right" that Bill Murray's character did with the repeating day in the movie.  We already know, most likely, what to expect from our usual affairs.  Accordingly, we know what we can do to improve them when that is warranted.

As Betas, we are often end fooled into believing that every day we live is identical and meaningless, and that each one will remain the same until we disappear.  Or as the more cynical among us say, work, work, work, and then you die, and there's nothing else to it.


Every single day we live is an opportunity to change the game.  A chance to avoid the pitfall we might have stepped in yesterday.  A chance to talk to whomever it was we passed by without noticing last week.  A chance to do our job even better than we were already doing it to begin with.  Yes, the date on the calendar is changing, instead of trapping us in a time loop, but we can choose to learn and improve tenfold before each individual day ends.

Don't wait for Punxsatawney Phil to tell you whether or not winter is getting sliced in half.  Decide to let your seasons of learning continue through spring and beyond!



Sunday, January 24, 2016

When To Let It Go.

Hey All - Hope you're enjoying the AFC/NFC Championship games -- sometimes they're more exciting than the Super Bowl itself!

One weakness that we as Betas have that makes us less Bold is our propensity to dwell on things.  We make mistakes and beat ourselves up for it.  We get so nervous and upset when being confronted that we don't come up with the good idea, or the crushing comeback, or the winning argument, until after the window to do so has closed.  We relieve negative experiences so many times that we don't actually realize they're over.

We assail and curse the misdeeds of the alpholes because they have no moral compass whatsoever.  Unfortunately, this deplorable trait enables them to get over their mistakes and transgressions lightning-fast. So fast, in fact, that they already have an excuse, alibi, or beyss story to cover themselves without a thought.  As much as it pains me to say it, this is something it pays to do because no amount of guilt, second-guessing, or self-flagellation ever solves a problem.

So how do we do it?  

(1).  If you know that someone has been hurt or wronged by something you did, apologize, once and only once, as soon as possible.  If you can, make it right.  Then, it's over.  If they don't accept your apology, or they start haranguing you, guilt tripping you, or go on an all-out critic-fest, walk away.  Some people are too self-righteous for their own good and have a sorry need to bash others to make themselves feel good, and are quick to justify it as "only being honest."  Their need to run their mouths is not a directive to self-immolate.  Shut it out and leave them with their grudges.
(2).  If you made a mistake, even a painful one, learn from it.  It's ok to stop feeling bad about it, provided you find ways to prevent it from happening again.  And guess what - the more exposure you have to whatever caused that mistake, the more opportunities you have to get better.  And better.  And even better than that!  But if you beat yourself up, you're condemned to screw it up again every time because your confidence is shot.
(3).  If someone else did you wrong, think about the example of the unforgiving type in Example (1).  Is that how a Bold Beta acts?  Nasty and critical?  Stuck up and self-righteous?  Mouthy and moronic?  That's not our way.  I'm not saying you should shake their hand and say all is forgiven - they might think you're "cool with it" and keep doing it all the time.  But I am saying that we need to be the opposite of those high-conflict types who need to give you a dressing down.  Control the anger.  Armor your heart.  Detach yourself.  And consider either removing the individual who wronged you from your life, or taking actions to minimize your exposure to their future wrongdoing.  Chances are, they may be just as inhuman and imperfect as you are, and are unlikely to make that mistake again.  If not, boot 'em.
(4). If you really are that unhappy with someone else, find a way to tell them when it's actually happening.  If they're decent at all, they'll apologize and it'll end.  If they're not, they'll give you a million excuses, and you'll dismiss them.  And instead of giving them unlimited free passes, start telling them that it's not ok.  That way you won't have to "tolerate" them, or feel bad about missing your chance to set a boundary.

Yes, it's ok to stop feeling bad, angry, resentful, guilty, or stupid.  If it's your bad, try to make it good.  If others think they're better than you and keep pointing fingers, forget them.  If it's their bad, make them see why.  If they can't own it, then own your dignity and dismiss them.  Bottom line, take actions to prevent negative feelings from remaining.  And most importantly, if they do remain, dispose of them.  Feeling bad solves nothing.