Archive for December, 2012

27
Dec
12

Are you Slacktose Intolerant?

dilbert-slackerOffer the lazy an egg, and they’ll want you to peel it for them.

– A Proverb

Slacktose intolerance, also called loser phobia and hypomalaisa, is the inability to digest poor performance, lack of initiative, and failure to accept responsibility. Slacktose-intolerant individuals have insufficient levels of desire to digest those who display repeated bouts of negativity, an inability to digest any amount of responsibility avoidance, and suffer from chronic aversion to thumb sucking. Symptoms include disgust, irritable bowel syndrome, and even the primal fight-or-flight instinct in those with a heightened sensitivity.

Recommended treatments include speaking to the infected individual regarding their condition. If they do not seek immediate aid they are to be removed from your world. The Centers for Disease Control should start including laziness in their list of highly infectious-diseases due to the amount of damage slackers can do to an entire organization. The good news is, once the affected area has been cut out, recovery rates are 100 percent!

I can remember hearing the late, great Zig Ziglar say, “Are you a SNIOP? Someone who is Sensitive to the Negative Influence of Others?” Why, yes I am!! That described me to a “T”! I am a flexible, easy going person, but when faced with lazy or indecisive individuals my righteous indignation meter gets pegged! I am sensitive to the influence of negative and lazy people! In fact, I am so highly allergic that I suffer violent reactions! Charles Horace Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo clinic said, “You must avoid sloth, that wicked siren.” Amen brother, even the medical field recognized that laziness is a horrible disease!

It’s a universal truth: if you are unwilling to learn to help yourself, how on earth am I going to help you? In the world of psychology, it’s called “enabling”, i.e., doing things for people that they could or should do for themselves. This can happen in both our professional and personal worlds and is a recipe for disaster. Nothing good ever comes of this, not in a million years. Once you accept there is no cure for the afflicted you can lay off taking guilt trips and the repetitive rationalizations. They simply must heal themselves.

An organization that is slacktose tolerant suffers from weak management. A relationship that is slacktose tolerant suffers from enabling behavior. In each case the person provides excuses or otherwise makes it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior through the sound of silence, i.e., indifference.

The greatest battle is the one within the self so stop trying to “fix” other people’s issues by allowing their type of behavior to continue to manifest itself. Don’t refuse to take action for fear of their angry response to you cutting them off and out. And be proud when they call you intolerant and self-righteous because that’s exactly what you are; slacktose intolerant with a supreme respect for the power of the individual self to control their own destiny. There is not going to be any meeting of the minds. But then again, you already knew that. Saint-John Perse said, “The only menace is inertia” and that’s one menace we can all take immediate action to avoid.

24
Dec
12

my most blessed christmas ever by charlie “tremendous” jones

Baby James and Little CharlesI was nine years old and the depression was still in full force. We came from Alabama and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in a little row home, which my father managed to rent. It was getting near Christmas and my dear dad had nothing to spend for Christmas for his five children ages 1 to 9. In desperation, he went to the bank to try to persuade them that he was a safe risk for a small loan. He explained his predicament, no job, no collateral, and 5 small children with Christmas approaching.

As he should have known, the banker would have to decline his request, but he had an alternative offer for my dad to consider. He explained that if dad could postpone celebrating Christmas a day or two, the children wouldn’t know it and everything would be reduced in the stores. Then he would only need half the amount he was requesting. He said if this was agreeable, he would approve the loan for a smaller amount.

Of course my dad gratefully accepted his offer. That Christmas eve, after we were all in bed, the downstairs front door sprung open. There was a lot of noise and my father rushed down the stairs to see what was happening. I followed a few minutes later and saw him sitting on that bottom step with his head in his hands. I couldn’t understand why he was weeping.

When I reached the bottom step, I could see no one in the hallway, but the hall was lined with boxes. There were boxes of food, clothing, and candy. There was a riding fire engine and a four-foot folding white paneled dollhouse. We didn’t belong to a church and the friends we had were as poor as we were. My dad returned to the bank to repay the loan. The banker surprised my dad by telling him that there was no record of this loan.

I only understood that Christmas experience years later when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. How blessed some of us are to see God’s love working in and through His children. John 3:16 is where this love story begins and those unknown servants were practicing I John 3:16. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, how He laid down His life for us: so that we ought to lay down our lives for others.”

20
Dec
12

It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel tremendous!

endofworld“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

According to the ancient Mayans, the world will end on Friday, December 21st, 2012.  Even if this prediction does come to pass, I’m cool with it. In fact, I think it’d be a tremendous time to go! I had never previously felt this way before but that was before I lived every breath with a committed purpose beating in my heart and pushing me forward. I’d always lived life hoping to find a better job or boss, make better choices about people in my life, and get certain aspects of my life together for once and for all.

My life previously consisted of working to make money to live a certain lifestyle, to solve problems and fix things, and to take care of people. And while these are all noble desires and outcomes, in the grand scheme of things they didn’t amount to a hill of beans. Money talks, but it doesn’t say much. No matter how many problems you solve, there will always be more. And the only person who can really take care of someone is themselves! Not to say that I wasn’t on a good path and did good deeds, it’s just that I wasn’t on THE path that mattered most: the purpose-driven path.

Then I threw everything I knew away and charged full-bore toward a singular goal, to change the world one book at a time. I no longer cared about job titles, active security clearances, living in a hip town, or even having a social life. I no longer worry about the trouble others have gotten themselves and their companies into by not doing the right thing and have no desire to come in and “fix” them. I no longer allow people who will not accept responsibility for their attitudes, no matter how many hardships they’ve endured, to be a part of my life. You see, I just can’t anymore. I can’t do that and be true to my purpose.

To persuade others that everything we need to literally live like there is no tomorrow is found in the people we meet and the books we read, I’ve got to live it. And if there really is no December 22nd, I am perfectly fine with that because I am no longer trying to become something in the future. I am just finally in tune with being what I am meant to be right here right now. And if the universe decides that since I’ve finally achieved total consciousness and it’s time to wrap up this leg of the journey, then so be it!

Has it been easy now that I’ve dialed into living each day as if it’s my last? No! I’ve lost some of the people I’ve counted nearest and dearest to me along this journey—some of them were family members! I’m still single. I haven’t found that magical person to complete me…I’ve truly realized that the only person who can do that is myself! I have added more adopted fur babies into my life, which has made it richer because they reflect unconditional love! My purpose is fed by allowing only the richest books and people into my life. So every day, I dine as if it’s my “last meal”.

So bring on the end of the world as we know it. I not only feel fine, I feel tremendous!! And I know the universe is smiling down on me knowing that I can finally exist within it without feeling the angst of the perpetual question, “what the heck am I supposed to be doing with my life and when am I going to get off my butt and do it??”

Goals are great, mentors are marvelous, and dreams are divine. But until you dial into living your life with an all encompassing purpose, you’ll always be hoping you have more days ahead until you can get it right. Frank Tyger said, “Your future depends on many things, but mostly on you.” If you are at peace with yourself and in tune with your purpose, the timing of the end of the world matters not.

13
Dec
12

Deconstructing the Bull

PicassoBullI recently attended a board meeting where the members discussed whether or not the organization should purchase a building. The overwhelming majority of the room was in favor of the acquisition based on the simple fact that “all the pieces had fallen into place” so how could this not be the desired course of action?

Now I’ll admit that I’m more analytical than your average bear, but I also trust my heart and instinct as well. However, the line of reasoning the group used had some glaring errors. There is a spirit of truth; there is also a spirit of error. There is a spirit of light and a spirit of dark. Just because something looks good and attractive doesn’t mean you should go there. The simple fact that a building is available at a good price does not mean that a purchase is automatically a wise decision. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

It seems the ability to think with a discerning mind is almost a lost gift among leaders these days, which may explain why people in positions of power make such awful decisions. They are not looking past the present moment. They want “it” bad and that’s how they get it. We all face things that seem like possible paths or options in our lives, be it in our personal, professional, financial, or spiritual lives.

In 1945 – 1946 Pablo Picasso produced a powerful series of eleven drawings collectively titled Bull. When viewed in sequence, each drawing is a simplification of the previous one, moving from the realistic to the abstract. You can see how he worked away at the complex image bit by bit reducing it to a single fluid line that still posses all the power of the bull itself. His single line drawings are simple yet powerful as they create so much using a single unbroken line.

Picasso got down to the essence of the animal, the true reality of what defined it. We should all be so able to pare down the noise in our daily lives and decisions. My father always told me, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” I used to laugh at this when I was younger but as the years went by, I discovered that this was absolutely critical to my life. Debby Boone has a line in a song, “It can’t be wrong, when it feels so right.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

Do you run from person to person seeking fulfillment? Do you allow other opportunities at work to derail you from the real work at hand because it just seems too good to be true? There are many great deceivers out there that convey a counterfeit message. They have their mission; the true test of leadership is determining if it is compatible with yours. Saying no out of fear is cowardice; saying no out of discernment is truly brilliant leadership. Can you deconstruct the bull?

06
Dec
12

The dangers of an empty mind

meatin-minds-final1It is not enough that we purge negative people and things from our lives; we have to put something in their place. Nature abhors a vacuum so unless you begin the process of filling it up with positive things, the negative will seep back in and multiply!

In spiritual terms we call it backsliding. In terms of addiction, we call it “falling off the wagon”.  Anyone who has dealt with purging a demon, literal or symbolic, knows that it is a never-ending battle where you must walk very close to the source of the light lest you end up tumbling back deeper into the infinite darkness.

I remember meeting a Marine Colonel when I was in my early 20s. He was tough, as Marine Colonels should be. I clearly recall his comment to me about the importance of disciplining what goes into your mind. He said, as only a Marine can, “Trash in, trash out.” Meaning, you better watch what you watch on TV, choose carefully which on friends you let into your life, and censor your reading list. And he didn’t mean just now, he meant every second of your life.

The battle for the mind is the most important struggle any of us will ever be involved in. If we do not make a continuous effort to fill our minds with good things, evil things will return and multiply with a vengeance. Spend all your time in front of the boob tube, you become a boob.  Read trash and you become a trashy talker of trash. My father had a witty way of putting it: “Hang around great people and you’ll be greater person. Hang around givers and you’ll be a better giver. Hang around a bunch of thumb-sucking, complaining, griping boneheads and you’ll be a better thumb-sucking, complaining, griping bonehead.”

Don’t let negative influences rent space in your head; they will soon possess your whole body! The transformation of character begins with the renewing of the mind. Make 2013 the year you decide to make your synapses sizzle with great people and great books. As Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Make sure they are both able to fill the vacant spot between your ears with the best of the best and forget the rest!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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