Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Can!

I’m irritated, angry, perturbed, wrathful, irate and just generally pissed off. In my last post I alluded to being a witness and minor player in another person’s experience. My patience is weakening and my anger is ballooning.

There are two things that push my buttons.

First is the phrase “I can’t!” My father made the statement “a hero is just someone who does what he has to do”. That definition stuck with me because he was an example of its truth. Whatever needed to be done, he did it without fear or complaint. I try to follow his example and tackle any problem. I have an immediate negative reaction to someone who says “I can’t”.

Years ago I saw a PBS program that interviewed men who were out of work. One man was in tears because he has lost a union supported job. He had to take his children out of private school. He had no money for gas to take his motorhome on vacation. When asked about taking a job at a lower wage he replied “I can’t”. But he could sit home earning nothing and cry for the camera. Bullshit! No job is beneath me. I can do anything that needs to be done. Rationally, I know that’s not literally true but it’s the only attitude I’m willing to accept.

My second button concerns criticizing potential solutions without offering other solutions. When trying to solve a problem I like to list several possible solutions and evaluate each one to pick the best. If none are viable solutions then I search for other possibilities. I don’t appreciate coworkers or others who immediately discount possible solutions, tell why they won’t work but never offer positive criticism or other ideas. My reaction is to tell people who do this to go away and come back after the problem is solved. Every problem has multiple solutions and my task is to find one. Once again, rationally I know this is not true literally but it’s the only attitude I’m willing to accept.

OK, now you know my buttons. Don’t push them!

I don’t like feeling angry so I’m doing something about it. Remember I can do anything and every problem has a solution.

I’ve written this which has taken my anger down a few notches. I’m listening to some soothing music, drinking coffee and having an excellent scone baked last night by my loving and calming wife. Finally, I’m thinking about boundaries, responsibilities and the gift of life. I know my boundaries and they don’t encompass changing other people. My responsibility is to be and become the person I choose to be. Life is a gift. I’m not going to waste it by being angry.

Last time I wrote “Life is a series of self management choices”. To that I’ll add “Life is 99% attitude. I can and I will!”


Blogger Steve said...

With my injury I am often ask what I can an can't do.

My answer is always the same.
"There is nothing I can't do there are just things that restrict me."

I believe there are no such things as problems only opportunities.
Trying to find the opportunity is the problem.

2/19/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I hate when people are a waste of the oxygen they consume. Especially mature people who have had the time to get some values and priorities straight.

2/19/2008 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

Hey Paul,

Wow, that was a fast mover!

Hope you're back in a better place again.

BTW, mind if I push button #1 and #2 every once in a while? Why? Oh, just for the simple perversity of it. :):)


2/19/2008 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Alex Pendragon said...

I agree! Please don't hurt me......!

2/19/2008 05:30:00 PM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

Every problem does have a solution. Sometimes the solution isn't one we particularly like, but it is a solution.

2/19/2008 09:12:00 PM  

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