Archive for the ‘Decisiveness’ Category

Which Side Are You On?

So many times in life we find ourselves standing in the middle of a conflict, being asked to pick a side.    I like to maintain peace and take the middle ground…to hold hands instead of going head-to-head with side picking. 


Sometimes, however, it’s impossible to stay in that peaceful place.

When taking a position on any serious topic, most people believe that their decision is based on fact.  In reality, picking a side can be as random as putting on a blindfold, spinning in a circle, and doing the ol’ Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe routine. 

That got me thinking….how does God pick sides?  That might seem like a silly question because the easy answer is that God always selects the correct side.   So, let’s toss out a difficult question to God…because we can do that here in blog land. Cue the heavenly angelic harp music….

Dear God.

In war, both sides ask for your help. Which side will you help and why?


Stop the music.  Interesting question, isn’t it? 

I don’t have a hotline to God’s throne  so I couldn’t get a direct answer (drat!).  The below reflects my opinion and imagination about what God would say.


God does not pick sides.  He helps every person individually, giving each person exactly what he or she needs to reach heaven. If a person rejects that help, for example by being a terrorist or murderer, then they no longer have God’s help…not because God took it away, but because they rejected it.

Although wars usually have only two “sides” (and sometimes more), God is interested not in “sides” but in the individual people involved.  He is watching each and every single soldier and civilian involved in this war, regardless of which “side” they are on, and offering love and assistance to each person there. 

The question should not be “which side is God on?”  Instead, the better question should be “who is on God’s side?”

When standing in the middle of a conflict, how do you chose which side to take?

Have a WONDERFUL week!

For everyone who submitted a suggestion for The Beating of the UNs, thank you so much!  The collection of ideas is AWESOME and we created it together, which is a double dose of awesomeness!  I’ll soon be posting a separate page to keep track of the 12 tasks and providing updates as these tasks progress and complete.  Stay tuned…

X & Y: The Midlife Axis

My friends and I have been engaged in some chat about what I call the Midlife Axis. 

On the X axis (across the bottom) is your age. 

On the Y axis (down the side) is the level of investment you’ve put into whatever you’re doing with your life right now (a working professional, stay-at-home parent, student, retiree, etc.). 

 Think about your own Plot of Investment.  I plotted my investment (of time, energy, emotion, education, money, etc.) as a small business owner, assuming it was zero on the day I was born.  You can do the same for your own job, your role as a mom, dad, volunteer, superman or woman, or any other role.  Mine looks like this:

By mid-life, many of us  have invested a great deal into our jobs and other positions in life.  Because we’ve invested so much, we can become scared about making a major life change (a move, a career change, a divorce, etc.).  We’re afraid to start from the bottom again.

What we forget to consider, however, is the equally important Plot of Happiness.  Do another Plot, but change the Y axis to your overall level of happiness.  Mine looks like this, assuming I was off the chart baby-high at age 0.

Next, overlay the two Plots.

If you are smack-dab in the middle of this cart and your Happiness level is below your Investment level, you might be going through a midlife evaluation period.  I am.  It seems like I’ve put a lot of extra effort into my business lately, but my level of happy has taken a nose dive.

If you’re like me, you could be wondering if all the investment you’ve put into your life position so far as been worth the effort…wondering why…after all the hard work…your happiness level is not sky-high.  Some people never have these thoughts, but many of us do. 

We feel like we’ve flat-lined and don’t know quite what to do about it. 

I’m not going to make any specific suggestions on how to handle it, because I’m a far cry from Dr. Phil.  Changing paths may be right for you, while charging ahead on the current course might be right for someone else.  My point for now is that many of us get to this stage in life.  It’s common….it’s normal…and it frequently happens after age 40. 

Whether you take baby steps or one giant leap, it’s never too late to bring your life into X/Y Axis Balance.  If you feel out of balance, then this may a perfect time to re-evaluate….to take stock in your accomplishments…and to take charge of your future.  What makes you happy?  Are you investing enough in that?

What do your plots look like?  Do you have any advice for making major, midlife decisions?

Tomorrow ends the A-Z Challenge, so don’t miss the final post!

P: The Paralyzing Plethora Problem

I had a plethora of ideas for this post, inspired by the Letter P.  This presented a problem because I hate nothing more than to have too many choices.   

Important life decisions…no problem.  Confidence…yes…I have it.  But, if you really want to torture me, lay 1,000 different colors at my feet and ask me to pick a favorite.

Imagine you are on a reality show.  At the front door of a Super Wal-Mart, you are handed this note:

  • SITUATION:  Your regular shampoo has been discontinued.
  • TASK:  You must purchase a new bottle and use it every day for a month.
  • EVALUATION:  If your hair does not fall out, frizz out, or be mistaken for the hairdo of Donald Trump, you will score 1,00o points for your team.
  • TIME:  You have 15 minutes to complete a purchase.  The clock starts NOW.

Would you win the points?  Not me. 

I would stand in the aisle, completely paralyzed.  Aside from the billion other reasons why I don’t like superstores, there are too many things to pick from. I’d stand there all glassy-eyed, wondering “should I get this shampoo, or that one, or that one, or THAT one?”   I know I’d leave the store empty-handed…after spending a ridiculous amount of time reading labels and price tags and worrying about being mistaken for Donald Trump’s love child if my choice was WRONG!  

I don’t remember there being thousands of product brands to pick from when I was growing up.   Take shampoo.  I remember having Prell, Breck, Head and Shoulders, and Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific!  Maybe Trump uses that last one, although I never got close enough to take a whiff.  🙂

Are you a good, every-day decision-maker? Are there too many choices out there in the world? 

Negotiating in Business-Land

The Boss-E side of my personality is making a major appearance this week.  I’m in Southern California at my corporate office for meeting after meeting after meeting.  Actually, I’m typing this on the airplane….wishing the mild gut-wrenching turbulence would stop.  For my own safety and the safety of those around me, I better remain seated.  After all, I don’t want to spill this plastic cup of Minute Maid on the nice man beside me, causing widespread panic like Snakes on a Plane. 

For most of the week, my company will be updating its Business Plan and Business Model.

  • Business Model = spreadsheet that shows a company’s budget and cash flow.
  • Business Plan =  how a company operates in its field (marketing, staffing, production, sales, etc.).

For my entire career, I’ve always been at the negotiating table with men.  I’ve worked hard to get where I am, but I still think they need me there to balance out the testosterone levels.  All I can say is, it’s been both interesting and frustrating. 

If most women are like me, we simply don’t approach negotiations the same way.  For men, it’s a battle to be won…against the economy…against the competition…against the forces of nature.  If my business partner shows up to the meeting tomorrow in a suit of armor, I wouldn’t be surprised.  Women, on the other hand, don’t come bearing armor.  Plus, it’s not very fashionable in this century.

If you think about it, a lot of situations require negotiation…

Man:  I want barbecue ribs for dinner.

Wife:  I’d rather have baked chicken.  I have a new dress on today and ribs are too messy.

Man:  I said I want ribs.

Wife:  Well, I said I don’t.

Man:  Then I guess you won’t be eating, because I’m making the damn ribs.

A lump forms in your throat.  Tears well up behind your eyes.  Your man doesn’t care about you or your new Ann Taylor halter-dress.  He didn’t even notice that you spent half the day doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen.  Your face feels hot.  You can’t hold it back…and….

Wife:  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Man:  Okay, we’ll have the chicken.

The thing about us girls is that it’s hard for us to take the sappy emotion out of an argument or heated negotiation.  We want peace.   We want to find the middle-ground.  The guys can get in each others’ faces, name-call, and still be best buds when it’s  all said and done.  I can’t even imagine crying at a business meeting, but it’s still hard for me to be an emotionless shell just because I’m in a conference room talking arguing about budgets.  Come to think of it, maybe the armor would help.  At least no one would see my mascara running behind the face shield.

How do you react when your opinion is challenged?  Are you are good negotiator? 

The Decision Bell

When you are contemplating a major decision, does your heart take the lead… 

(c) Yuriy Nossenko

Or your brain… 

(c) Nicole Weiss

I received an e-mail yesterday from a reader who has been unemployed for a while.  She was offered a high-paying job, but it requires that she move to a place where she doesn’t want to live.  Her heart is telling her to turn down the job but her brain is telling her to accept the offer and go. 

Here’s what she wrote: 

My dad died really young, barely 58. The guy loved life and he loved to work. I think he was a workaholic.  He always talked about work and constantly put his work obligations above his family.  But as he was dying, he stopped talking about work altogether. In the end, all he wanted to talk about was us, his family.  I realized then that life is not about what you do for a living or how much money you make; it’s about what you feel in your heart and the people around you. 

I am reminded of this because this week I am forced to make what feels like a hefty decision. I’m in my mid-40’s, single, and unemployed.  My finances are strained and I need a job.  A good company just offered me a great job, but it comes with a sacrifice.  I’m not sure what to do.  On my decision plate is: 

Option A – listen to my brain.  Take the job I was offered that comes with a big salary, advance my career, and pull myself out of financial difficulty.  But, I would be forced to move across the country and live in a remote area for at least a year, leaving the place that I love. 

Option B – follow my heart and stay where I am, in a place that I love but unemployed.  I’ve moved around a lot in my life and my heart is telling me that I’ve finally found a place to call home.  This is the first place that’s felt like home in a very long time.    

Tomorrow morning, the decision bell rings.  

I fear not listening to my heart. I’ve made decisions before that went against my heart, like marrying the wrong person.  Listing to my brain quite frankly scares me more than Nick Nolte’s mugshot. Have you seen that? Scaaaarry. But, I need a job and this is a great offer.  

So, should I follow my heart or should my brain be the boss?  Have I learned my lessons? Should I spin a roulette wheel and see where it lands? 

What do you think she should do?  

Do you follow your own heart or your brain?  Does it depend on the situation?