Archives for March 2023

It’s not an apology if it comes with an excuse

You read that correctly. When you apologize for some action or inaction there may well be a reason. If you explain that reason as part of the apology you’re making an excuse, not making an honest apology.

An easy example is when you’re late to pick someone up. The reasons could be the drive was longer than you thought, you lost track of time and left late, you were stuck in traffic, or some similar reason. Of course there was a reason or you would have been on time (or even early). Does it matter why? Not when it comes to saying you’re sorry to someone for being late. By explaining yourself instead of just apologizing you cheapen your apology. The person may ask why you were late. If so you can decide whether to explain yourself or just say “it doesn’t matter, again, I’m sorry I was late.”

Many people offer the reason/excuse first and then apologize. This is no better than providing it after apologizing. It may be worse too. Let your apology stand alone. It means something because this is about you making an honest apology, not how it’s received.

The person you apologize to may not acknowledge your apology or accept it. All you can do is put it out there. Once you do that there is no guaranty of anything other than you put it out there with sincerity, intent, and no excuse. The next time there is reason for you to apologize to someone, do it and see how it feels.

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Don’t let chaos be the default mode of life

It’s important to try to maintain some level of organization and structure in your life, as this can help you to feel more in control and reduce stress. However, it’s also important to recognize that some level of chaos and unpredictability is inevitable, and it’s okay to embrace it to some extent.

There are many different ways to organize your chaos and therefore your life. The best approach for you will depend on you. Here are a few suggestions to avoid chaos being your default mode:

  1. Make a schedule: One of the most effective ways to stay organized is to create a schedule for yourself. This can help you allocate your time effectively and ensure that you are able to get everything done that you need to.
  1. Use a planner: A planner can be a helpful tool for staying organized, as it allows you to keep track of your schedule and appointments in one place. You can also use a planner to set goals and track your progress. There are many apps you can use for this purpose or go old school with a physical planner you can carry with you, but just make sure not to ever leave it anywhere!
  1. Set priorities: It’s important to prioritize your tasks and focus on the most important ones first. This can help you avoid getting overwhelmed and ensure that you are making progress on the things that matter most.
  1. Get rid of clutter: Physical clutter can be distracting and overwhelming, so take some time to declutter your space. This can help you feel more organized and in control.
  1. Use technology: There are many tools and apps available that can help you stay organized, such as task management apps and calendar apps. Explore some of these options to see if they might be helpful for you.

Remember, organizing your life and lowering the amount of chaos is an ongoing process. Don’t be afraid to try new strategies and approaches if something isn’t working for you. It’s important to be flexible and adaptable, especially when things don’t go as planned. Try to find a balance that works for you and helps you to feel grounded and productive, without being too rigid or inflexible, and by doing so you can hold the chaos in check.

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Be slow to judge people, and quick to help them

I recently read this good piece of advice. It’s easy to jump to conclusions or make judgments about people without knowing all the facts. Making assumptions isn’t a good idea, as pointed out to all in the old movies and television shows:

It’s generally a good idea to be slow to judge others because jumping to conclusions about someone’s character or motivations based on limited information or how they look can lead to misunderstandings, may cause harm, and may cause you to lose opportunities. It’s important to give people the benefit of the doubt, get to know them, or give them a chance to explain themselves before making judgments about them. Additionally, being slow to judge allows you to get to know someone better and to see them in different contexts, which can give you a more nuanced and accurate understanding of who they are. It can also help to foster more positive relationships with others, as people are often more open and willing to share with those who are not quick to judge and instead take time to get to know them better, as well as their motivations, intentions, and interests.

On the other hand, it’s good to be is quick to help others. There are several reasons why. Helping others can be personally rewarding and can strengthen relationships. When you help others, you often feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from knowing that you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

Being quick to help often helps build stronger and more positive relationships with them. This is because people often feel a sense of gratitude and appreciation towards those who have helped them, which can foster feelings of connection and mutual support. It also can be good for you and your mental health because helping others can reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve overall well-being. Think about how you feel after volunteering. The same good feeling comes from helping others in any context.

By taking the time to understand someone’s situation, let alone if you help them, you can create the opportunity for positive and meaningful connections with others. It’s also important to be mindful of your own biases and try to approach situations with an open mind and a willingness to listen and help. By doing so you can create a broader network involving better and deeper connections you may otherwise have missed. And, you will feel good doing so.

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Endless curiosity will take you far

Curiosity is an essential human trait that drives us to learn new things, explore the world around us, and seek out new experiences. Being curious and having a desire to learn makes life more interesting and can help you to go far in life. Curiosity drives us to ask questions and seek out new information, which can lead to new insights and understanding. It can also help you to stay engaged and motivated, and can lead to new opportunities and experiences. Encouraging a sense of curiosity in yourself and others can be a great way to foster a love of learning and a desire to continue growing and improving.

When you’re curious, you’re motivated to seek out information and knowledge, which can lead to new insights, understanding, and personal growth. Curiosity also helps you to be more open-minded and receptive to new ideas, which can lead to creative thinking and problem-solving. Additionally, it can add a sense of adventure and excitement to your life. It can also help you form new connections and relationships with others who share similar interests.

Many of use creative thinking and problem-solving in our work. Every deal or dispute my clients are involved in requires me to use these skills. In law, curiosity is about understanding what happened that brought my client to me, what needs to happen to place my client in the best possible position, and then working to achieve a positive result. Of course my opposing counsel is doing the same thing and the playing field is always changing. That makes it interesting and challenging, and keeps me engaged.

Curiosity also helps you to better understand yourself and the world you live in. This can lead to the development of new ideas and goals, which fosters personal or professional growth and helps you to stay engaged and motivated. This can lead to increased happiness and satisfaction with life, and who doesn’t want that?

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Write it down if you want to remember it

I think I have a pretty good memory. If I dial your phone number few times I will likely remember it. I remember many stories and random details people tell me. But I can’t remember everything I want or need to, and neither can you. For this reason I regularly write things down, makes notes in my phone, or email myself. I try to do something to make sure I remember things so they don’t slip through the cracks.

You can put in systems that work for you to help you remember things. I have emailed myself while hiking many times on to dos, ideas on matters I am working on, or even ideas for this blog. Sometimes when I am out there, even though I likely am listening to music or a podcast, something comes into my head or I have the space to think something through, and then I don’t want to forget. The little computers we all have in our pockets, purses, or backpacks sure come in handy for this. Taking advantage of the resources at hand to help you remember makes things easier. When I am at home or at my office, I may use post-it notes or a piece of paper.

One thing that works for me is keeping a single calendar for professional and personal meetings, deadlines, and obligations. Another is keeping a to do list for all the matters I am working on and for items I want to complete in my personal life. When things fall through the cracks it really is because I didn’t keep up with a to do list or calendar something in the moment. Sometimes I feel to busy to do so, but I know if I don’t I may miss things by mistake. I try to avoid this, but it does happen occasionally.

Think about what you do to remember things and see how you can improve on it to make things easier on yourself. In the long run it will save you time, prevent missing something you need to complete, and avoid spending your time apologizing for not getting something done. Figure out what works for you and invest time in yourself to stay on top of your life.

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