Let Your Passion Lead You

Have I mentioned before that I’m not a big cook? Even that is probably an overstatement, since if I can avoid cooking, I do. I’m fortunate to have a husband who loves to cook; yet, part of me is ashamed of how little I cook. Part of me even wants to cook. I will do some baking from time to time – especially at Christmas time when I try to make several batches of cookies. Do you know what happens though when I go into a store with gobs of kitchen gadgets? I yearn to take them home – if I had that thing, then I might cook. If I had this thing, I could make more desserts.

I’m tempted to purchase things for a life I’m not leading. Granted it’s a life part of me wants to have, except that a few of those things that have come into our home are neglected. Owning those cool tools has not changed my behavior or actions. My life is fine without my cooking more.

Do you have things in your home that do not support the life you’re living? There are two sides of this: the things for the dreams you have and the things for what you’re not doing (and really have no drive to do). Only you can decide which category those things fall into.

Are you buying clothes for a life you’re not leading? If you’re a stay at home mom and your closet is filled with clothes meant for fancy outings which you never go on, then there’s a discrepancy. Is this a dream you have for yourself – to have events requiring formal wear? Is it what you truly want? If you actually had a chance to lead that life, would you be happy?

Do you have loads of supplies for a hobby that you wanted to start, yet somehow have never started even the first project? Sometimes this is more about having too many distractions or not enough space to feel able to begin. Or it can be about trying to lead a life that’s not yours.

If you had all the time and energy you desired, what would you want to do with it? How would you spend your time? Where does your passion lead you? The truth is that if the only thing stopping you from pursuing that hobby or activity – there are ways to solve those struggles. You just need to know what is interfering first.

The truth is that we all probably have some of both types of things in our homes. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you can recognize when you’re buying for a life different from yours, you can cut down on the things coming into your home that will inevitably become clutter since you won’t use them. While on the other hand, you’re buying for what you really want to spend time on, you can hold off until you make the time and space for doing them.

One side note: if you’re overwhelmed already, you might actually be too critical of yourself to be objective. I’ve seen too often the judgment of an “I’m never going to…” that doesn’t seem to accurately reflect their interests, and is more suggestive of how their time and space feel out of control. In that case, I recommend holding off on a too aggressive response and waiting until the process has moved further along and we’ve had a chance to create additional space and potentially time.

We Must Always Change

One of the reasons I moved back to Wisconsin was the seasons.  In southern California, I could appreciate the buds appearing in the spring, but I missed the bright fall colors in autumn and the snow in winter. If you were in one of the many states hit with the recent storm, you might be thinking I’m especially odd right now!  Yet even with the blizzard we got locally, I appreciated the snow.  As I walked around the next day, I was amazed by the textures and shapes created by the snow and wind.  It was beautiful.

Drift of snow

Drift of snow in our backyard

Texture in the snow

Beautiful texture in the snow

The evening when it all started my husband and I were sitting there listening to the wind howl and gust.  We talked about being a little anxious about whether some damage might happen, yet we both knew there was nothing we could do at that moment, the storm was here and we just had to wait it out.  As it turned out, there was no damage.  We did have snow in places that went over his 6-foot head as well as a buried garage door.

Change is inevitable. One of the reasons that I adore the changing seasons is that it’s a constant reminder that things change.  We might wish it and even try to minimize those changes.  The truth is that there are transitions that we’ve adapted to already.  If you’re a parent, as your child grows, there are more changes in a year than you’re counting.  When you pause to think about it, you’re amazed by how big they’ve gotten – and not just their size.    “Nothing is permanent except change” Heraclitus

Attempting to control change is useless. Change is about moving from a known place –where you are right now – to a place that is relatively unknown.  If clearing the clutter is the change you want to make, you might have ideas of what that will look like, but the reality is likely to differ from your imaginings. The truth is that as you begin, your vision can change and better ideas will emerge, like the buds in spring.

Life happens in the meantime.
You’ve created great plans, you know just how you’re going to handle your time and stuff.  Then life happens.  Someone else interferes with your schedule – those unforeseen things happen.  It’s here that I personally struggle the most – not from other people changing things, but rather from expecting too much of myself!  Except this is what life does, and finding a way to go with the flow minimizes our stress.

Embrace opportunity for change. It’s too easy to be hard on ourselves.  We’re hyper-aware of how we’ve failed and ignore the opportunity to improve things.  I’m always on the lookout for things that aren’t working the best.  I’m even eager to find ways to simplify and improve the way we do things.  It’s easy to put on the blinders and ignore things.  It takes time and energy to figure out what needs to change and most importantly, in what ways it needs to change.  Frequently only parts of the system aren’t working, so scrapping the whole system isn’t the answer.  Yet, if we can be eager to change, we’re open to how to improve.

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.” Alexander Graham Bell

Change = Growth.
Maybe not immediately, but eventually!  Each time we make changes, we learn things – sometimes only what NOT to do, but nevertheless, we’re learning.  Often it’s painful and the changes can be the opposite of what we want.  Yet, it’s still movement.  As frightening as change can be, stagnancy is terrifying.  I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want is to be stuck anywhere.

Before long, the snow will melt away and those buds will arrive.  Change is all around us, whether we look for it or not.  It happens whether we want it or we don’t. It is inevitable.  Nevertheless, it can be something for the better and the more we can embrace what life brings our way, the happier we can be.

“We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden.” Goethe

Find Your Curiosity

I’ve talked before about dealing with that other person or persons in the home that just can’t seem to be organized.  It is naturally a complex issue and I’ve written some on this already in “Help, My Partner is a Slob.” Since this isn’t simple enough to be covered in one sitting, here is another piece of the puzzle.  Can you get to a place of curiosity? Really curious, not pretending so you can complain and dictate how things need to be?

If you’ve recently been frustrated with how “they” don’t actually put things away, this is not the time to do anything other than process the feelings.  After some time has passed though, you might think about asking some questions as long as you are approaching it from sincere curiosity.  Do they know why they don’t put those things away?  Can you brainstorm together to see if there is a solution that would work for both of you?

I worked with a woman who was annoyed about how things did not get dealt with by others in the home.  As we worked on an area, there was a place I mentioned we could leave empty, with the idea that she could observe what ended up there.  Knowing what items were problematic would help start a talk about what the struggles were.  Was it that the item had a “bad” home for that person?  Was it just sloppiness, it was easy to drop it there, so it was thoughtless?  Was it a reminder for them that they wanted to act soon?  Her response was “nope,” and she piled some items up there so nothing could be put there at all.

If you can actually find a way to be curious about what is going on for that other person, you might discover that there is a simple solution that works for both of you.  Or you might find some additional compassion for that person and be willing to step up and do certain things.  It can be amazing what a difference understanding what happens for the other person can make in how you feel and react.

I’ve applauded the book, Crucial Conversations before, and they spend some talking about curiosity also.  There are challenges and when we can be and stay curious, we might find out what is at the bottom of things.  The key is that we need to be genuinely curious.  Approaching things with that sincere curiosity, it lessens the possibility the other person will respond defensively, and therefore that understanding can be achieved!

This can apply for us as well.  Do you ever stop to wonder why you do something in that particular way?  If you avoid the place of blaming yourself, and approach even yourself with curiosity, you might find answers.  Just like with dealing with others, if you are berating yourself, you’ll likely struggle to find why those challenges exist.

As I stated above, dealing with others, whether they are our spouses or our children (or even our parents!), is a complex issue.  I’ll probably be writing more about this again!  In the meantime, if you can find genuine curiosity for why the other person is that way, you might be able to start a dialogue and make some discoveries that can lead to less frustration.  It can be extremely challenging to find that curiosity – especially if it’s been building for years – yet if you can, you’ll be open to hearing about them, and that can lead to solutions and that is always a good thing!

Evaluate While In the Moment

I recently visited Concord, Massachusetts where the Transcendentalist movement took off.  Many places had merchandise with the words “simplify” and other variations.  I could not help but smile.  Yes, simplify!  One of the things that I find myself looking at is how efficient things work – is there a way to make it easier?  And who doesn’t want things to be easier? As technology tempts us more and our time feels so fleeting, there are steps we can take to be more effective in how we use our time and energy – to simplify.

In a previous post I talked about being “in the moment” as we do things.  As we do our dishes, we can focus our mind on what we are doing.  It forces us to do a good job and save us time by not needing to do it again.  Yet there can be more to this process, as we focus on the task we’re doing, we can think about whether there is another approach that might move it along more smoothly.

We’ve probably all seen the commercials that talk about washing the pots and pans last.  This makes sense from more than one perspective, not just from dirty water.  Those pots and pans are larger and often can rest easily on top of other dishes as the last things to get washed.  In loading the dish rack, making it easy just helps the whole process along.  There is no need to take time to rearrange things or throw things in haphazardly.

Each dish rack is different, as are your needs and situation.  Making an evaluation of how smoothly things work as you are working in it can be a sort of meditation on the very task.  In many ways it becomes systematized, you get into a “flow” and it all happens easily and with little thought, yet it’s done well.

I’ve applied this to mowing the lawn as well.  I focus on what I am doing – mowing the lawn, in this case, and find the rhythm of it.  As I follow that rhythm, I consider if there would be a more efficient approach.  When we first moved into the house and I started mowing for the first time in my life, my energy was a big factor.  I noticed that my energy changed depending on whether I started with the front or back yard, so I made sure to start with the back yard since I had more energy when I was done.  These days energy is less of an issue, yet I’m still evaluating if there are ways to be more efficient.  Am I backtracking to get at that weird area off to the side?  Or when I mow in that direction, cut grass does not cover the sidewalk, so it looks nice and doesn’t take more time.

This can be applied to any activity you do – from the routine tasks to those you do infrequently – and it will help you be in the moment while you’re doing them.  You can save yourself time, energy, and increase your productivity!  All these tasks, which we all have, can become easier – and we can all appreciate that.  🙂  It might sound too simplistic, yet each small step we take can help us.

What can you do with your tasks to simplify them?

Following Through

Did you know that when I started writing this weekly blog that I was not sure how many I could write?  I had a several ideas I was excited to share, but doubts crept in.  Did I really have enough to write something EVERY week?  I knew I was passionate about sharing my ideas, wanting to help people.  Despite those doubts, I jumped in, figuring that if I did run out of ideas, I would deal with it at that point.  This is not unlike deciding to make a change in the way we handle something – like setting goals to be more organized.

This very blog is my 52nd – I have now been doing this for a year!  There have been times when I struggled to write, the inspiration faltered.  Yet as with many things, the motivation can be halfhearted and what you decide to do with that feeling is that matters.  Even if few people were reading my blog, I felt the obligation to push through and write something.

When we set up new patterns, there may be times when we’re faced with that “I just don’t wanna” feeling.  What are you going to do about it?  What you end up doing is the most important thing.  The truth is that part of you does want to, otherwise you wouldn’t have set out to make changes.  The motivation can falter and to keep on the path of making changes, we need to push through those moments.  Remind ourselves why we embarked on the path we chose.

Too often I struggle with the drive to be perfect.  Everything needs to reflect the best of myself.  For more than a decade I’ve accepted that this is too much to aim for, that it interfered with my ability to get things done.  It’s one of the classic reasons people struggle with procrastination – I was no exception.  This blog has been posted sometimes with less than perfect results.  I still cringe that this or that post was rather blah.  I’ve struggled with seeing how inadequately it feels like I’ve expressed my thoughts.  What matters is not that I am perfect, but that I continue.

If you set out to work on organizing for x amount of time a day, there may be days that you get less done than other days.  Everyone has off days.  You might even find that you need to re-do some things, you forgot how you set something up, or whatever.  It is not about being perfect; it’s about following through on the resolutions you decided on.

I’ve mentioned before that it typically take 21 consistent days before it becomes a habit – and even longer if you struggle with attention issues.  The key there is the 21 days in a row.  I’m doing this once a week, so in some ways it is not habit.  I do get a feeling each week, the knowledge I need to do something, though the day on which that happens varies!  A few times I almost posted on Tuesday, or sometimes forgetting until late on Wednesday to get everything posted.

When we are looking at changing the way we handle something on a more sporadic basis, anything less than daily – I promote linking it to something else.  I have whole posts just talking about this idea and how helpful it can be setting up new routines.  The lack of a daily routine for some things can make it that much more challenging and finding a way to still implement it is important.

I’m excited that I’ve reached a year of posts and although my inspiration falters from time to time, I’m in this for the long-term.  It matters to me.  Persistence is critical to creating new patterns.  Getting tripped up sometimes is unfortunate, but need not stop you from trying again.  Now there’s a year of posts that outline many different approaches for handling various struggles you might face.  Always remember there’s hope to make a lasting change for the better.  🙂

Judge Not, Even Yourself

When I meet people and they find out what I do, they want to know, “Have you worked with hoarders?”  “You must see some strange things, don’t you?”  Aren’t you shocked/disgusted/ etc by how some people live?”  Occasionally this is about their own space, and reflects how they feel about themselves or their homes.

Sometimes they then ask, “How can you NOT be disturbed by the extreme situations?”  Every so often, “Was it just a good moral upbringing?” – judge not, lest ye be judged.  Although this was integral to my upbringing, it was not what crystallized the significance of how we look at others, or even ourselves.

A novel, Demian by Hermann Hesse, solidified it for me – where in the middle of the book someone says, “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself.  What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”  This statement disturbed me and took a while for the depth of this to sink in fully.

Before long, I realized this truth for myself.  When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I struggled a lot with feeling that I was being a bum, I was sick, though I did not look it and in many ways did not feel it.  I found myself suddenly very critical of people griping about work, or complaining about not getting enough things done.  My hackles would rise, I was intense about “helping” them and adamant that they just needed to this or that.

It was not about them.  It was about me.  I was struggling with those very issues in myself – I was desperate to get back to work; I was depressed about how little I was getting done; and I wanted solutions and answers, though it was not so simple.  Just like it is not that simple for anyone else!

When I was disturbed by someone or by something they did, it was about ME, and not them or their actions.  The more I started applying this idea to whatever was generating strong reactions in me, the more clear that it spoke to my own struggles.  It could be simply fear that I was perceived in certain ways.  It was fear that I was a certain way.  It was something I was struggling with inside myself.

Now, if I find myself reacting or even feeling intensely about something, I stop and ask myself how it relates to me.  Sometimes it is simply that I am on edge and less tolerant – when I find myself getting frustrated while driving – I now recognize this as a sign of my level of frustration in general and rarely is a true reflection of the other driver.  It is time that I take some time to refocus myself, rejuvenate and focus on some self-care.

My reactions at other times can be more extreme, yet it still comes down to a reflection of me.  The more that I recognized this; the less I reacted to things.  Now compassion wells up and I give everyone, myself included some lenience.  We are all human and therefore fallible.  The best we can do is work at growing and improving – perfection is unrealistic – so let’s make the best of what we have.

The things people can struggle with are not always obvious by looking at them.  Crohn’s Disease is not something that reveals itself in appearance, and there are so many things that do not manifest themselves visibly.  We cannot truly know what others are struggling with and the complexities they face.

I am not perfect, even often flawed.  As we all are.  For me, by recognizing what the real issue was, I was able to find compassion.  When I use the word compassion, I think of the Buddhist definition of “loving-kindness.”  This is what I aim to offer to everyone, including myself.  We need to be able to love ourselves even with our flaws and find our way to “judge not, lest we be judged.”

Being Organized is Not Necessarily being Clean and Vice Versa

Do you want to know a secret?  It’s not something I’m proud of – I dislike cleaning.  I love organizing and always clean as a process of organizing.  There’s no better time to get everything spic and span than as you set up new systems.  Sometimes clients will ask me, “Of course, your house is always clean, right?”  There is a big difference between being organized and being clean, though both flourish with being part of a routine.

Do you know anyone whose house is always immaculate, yet if you get a glimpse of one of their drawers, it is overflowing with stuff?  Or there is a room that is off limits, while the rest of the house is pristine?  Then there’s our house – you will probably see fuzz balls in corners and décor items will not pass that white glove test!  Of course, there are people who have both or neither mastered.

Dusting every week is something I just don’t want to do.  As I looked at my behavior and feelings, it occurred to me that I was trying to make myself do the cleaning like my mom had me clean – each week we’d clean the house, all in one day.  Here we are back to the idea of finding what works for you, we can change the ways we do things to fit with our personality.

First, I looked at where I cleaned easily.  I get the dishes done regularly, though not the way my mom would do it.  It works for us.  Vacuuming certain areas of the house – where the cat hair dominates – is done fairly regularly.  I congratulated myself for the things I do well, even in the realm of cleaning.

Then I examined my preference for cleaning as part of having things cleared out.  A great time for cleaning the bathroom was when I washed the towels.  The bathroom was cleared of them then and was a great time to dig in and get everything spic and span before I put the fresh towels back in.

Next, I found FlyLady and she presents the idea that we can do a little bit of cleaning each day and break the house into zones.  In the way she developed this system, over the course of a month your house is actually cleaned more thoroughly than if you set aside a day for cleaning each week.  I tweaked her set up to fit with our house and my style, but the idea of doing a little every day I could actually enjoy doing!  For those who need it, she includes de-cluttering in her system.

Have I mastered cleaning?  Nope, but it is a process and in setting up new systems, it takes time. Also, I continue to look at what is not working, with curiosity, to see if there is another piece I could tweak.

Maybe you do not struggle with cleaning, though this is an example of how to approach whatever you might struggle with and discover an approach that will work for you.  Make sure you recognize where you succeed and give yourself a congratulations.  When you identify how things fit for you, you can develop systems for getting a handle on those things you’ve struggled with.  If you can limit the self-criticism, you can keep an open mind about finding solutions, as you need them.

Passing Up the Good Deals, or Not

I’m a sucker for a good deal, like many of us out there. Are you one of those that can’t pass up a great deal? The thrift stores and yard sales offer these products at a fraction of the price – it is so cheap. Even the stores offering us huge sales can tempt us.

My husband was reminding me of many years ago being inside a Michael’s where they had a huge clearance aisle. I stocked up on this various items, “it is just a good deal, do you realize how much these things cost at regular price?” We came home with many items, and as he reminded me of some of the specific items, most were ones I had not used. I even had some that I had put into a give away pile because they would not be used.

This came up because I had just gone to a couple of thrift stores the previous night with a friend. I was telling him what I had bought. Some of that old temptation for the great deal was still with me, yet I had resisted many items. My mindset and approach have changed.

First, I knew that I would be heading to the thrift stores with my friend. I planned – I thought about what it was that I needed and wanted. I had a couple of specific things, including size and style, which I wanted to look for. I had a purpose for going though just a couple of small items. I did not even grab a basket or cart when we entered and started wandering.

I perused the store offerings, pleased at how I was avoiding the temptation to get more and more things. Then a couple of things I was not looking for caught my eye. I stopped and looked and moved on. Then I walked by again. And again.

As I was admiring these two items, I thought about their practicality. One was a beautiful wall shelf with cubbies, only $1.79. I could not believe how inexpensive it was; especially considering the condition it was in. I liked the style. I was not crazy about the color, but painting something is so easy. I ended up leaving it there. I “collect” shelves, or I should say that I have collected them. I already have a couple sitting in storage and it is almost guaranteed that I will ooh and ahh over any that I see! As I was admiring it, I knew there was no perfect place for it to go in our home.

While on the other hand, I did go home with an elephant planter type thing. (Now I really like elephants, and have remarkably little knickknacks of them.) Yet, as I was looking at this elephant, I wanted to pet his trunk. He made me smile as I walked by him. It looks like he was never used, and the planter type feature can be functional in other aspects, since it is essentially just a bowl. He also was a good deal, only $1.49, and he now has a new home with me.

Here he is:

I also picked up the couple of items I was hoping to find. I am even excited since I had been thinking about getting a basket at a retail store, but I found the size and style I needed at the thrift store. That certainly saved me some money. Now I don’t even need to look at another store. Yeah!

As we consider what to spend our money on, and are offered these great deals, we need to stop and think about the consequences of what we bring into our homes. Obviously, I’m not advocating resisting all temptation. I shared how I bought something I was not intending to, yet it was more practical and more about a love. Go in with a plan and control how much excess stuff finds its way into your home!

But It’s Free…

Can you say no to something you’re offered?

I mean, it’s free.
I don’t have to spend any money.
It’s in decent condition.
I MIGHT use it one day.
Why not?

Simply put, it’s more clutter unless you actually want or need it. If only this actually removed the temptation for taking it anyway! I am not immune to the effects of “free.” My husband laughs at me, especially when it comes to my personal downfall of media – I can rarely say no. Nevertheless, this is a struggle worth fighting and at least minimizing what comes into your home by these nefarious means.

There are certainly people who somehow are not affected by the allure of that offered item at no monetary cost to them. As with virtually everything, personality varies and there are any number of reasons why people are simply not tempted just as for why some of us struggle so much. One person I know who adamantly refuses those free offerings is proud, wants to save up and buy the exact item wanted and not settle for less. Both my parents have never seemed to struggle with temptation, both appreciate a sparse environment, and dislike too much stuff around them – though where that characteristic comes from, I have no idea.

Therefore, this is for those of us who drool over the idea of getting something free. A good friend of mine struggles with this, and I see those items I’ve offered her sitting around her home for months (even years sometimes). It makes me sad since I feel like I have inadvertently contributed to clutter in her home. This is the last thing I actually I want to do.

First, we need to recognize that this is our tendency. Simply becoming aware of how thoughtlessly we accept those offered items could help us curb bringing in more stuff. If it has been so automatic, we may not even realize the extent of how much is coming in by this means.

Second, we need to think about any items coming in with the same criteria as if we were spending our hard earned money. I discuss some questions to ask (and answer) for yourself before you buy something in “True Purchasing Power.” To quickly recap the major points: do you know whether it fits – from clothes to furniture, do you know where you will put it (including removing something else to make room for it), and finally do you need it.

Just because something is free does not mean we don’t need to consider those things with the same standards as if we were spending money. If you could actually use that free thing, know it fits, and where you will put it – there is no reason you need to turn it down.

There are other steps we can take to curb our taking what is offered and you know yourself better than anyone else does. Find steps that fit your style and start applying them. Discover how freeing it can be to turn down those items you don’t actually need or want, since in the process, your home will stay uncluttered and you will be able to find what you want when you want it – the real goal.

Everyone Should Read … Crucial Conversations

In case you haven’t noticed, I do not make such absolute statements often. In fact, I dislike and disagree with most statements that leave little room for flexibility. Yet, I keep finding myself thinking that this book, Crucial Conversation: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, & Al Switzler, is a book that everyone should read. Period.

The first time that I was aware of thinking that everyone should read this book was at one of my ToastMaster’s meetings. I approached one of the members after the meeting. I was not angry or frustrated, I felt compassion for the situation I knew that person was in, and that I needed to speak up about some of my own limits. They ended up walking away from me after looking down dejectedly and saying “yeah.” I felt bad; it did not go the way I had intended. In no way did I want that person to feel bad, what I did want was for certain things to not happen again.

This is one of the reasons I am sure that the book stresses that it should be referred to regularly, using it as a workbook. Many pieces play into having a successful crucial conversation. Then you have to factor in the other person and their state of mind. I had managed to use some of the tools they talk about, but definitely needed to pay more attention to some others.

One of the things that I appreciated about the book was that it did not feel like they were blaming anyone. What mattered was that it was a situation between two people, and both people needed to be in a place to have the conversation. It does offer some tools to help you set the stage so that the other person can feel comfortable having the conversation. In truth, we know that we can only change ourselves, so the focus is on providing skills to us, the reader.

Throughout the book, there are stories, from the business setting to the home. These show how to use the skills they are talking about and illustrate their points well. Those examples helped me stay interested. Although it is a “business” book, it was an engaging read. Anybody can apply these skills in whatever situation.

A lot of us probably know many of these points, yet it is put together in a cohesive way that can increase the success of the conversations we have. Even if we do know all the information, it does not mean that we could not use some refreshers on those points. Having a successful crucial conversation is a complicated process. I would wager that not many of us do it as often as we would like!

Given my interaction at ToastMaster’s I had an immediate framework for what I had failed to do. The timing/place was wrong, since I approached at the end of the meeting while there were still a number of people milling around, it would not be as private. I also think that I did not make it “safe” enough, I was not as clear as I could have been that I sympathized with the reasoning behind their actions. Of course, I was also not finished with the book; I was apparently eager to try the things I was learning.

I appreciate the Crucial Skills newsletter from VitalSmarts and have been enjoying seeing the authors answering questions about different situations. It keeps many of the various skills in the forefront of my mind. I am also excited to read the next book, Crucial Confrontations: Tools for Resolving Broken Promises, Violated Expectations, and Bad Behavior.

If we could all master the skills presented in this book, the world would be even more amazing place with much less conflict. We would probably all be much happier too since we could comfortably speak up about the things bothering us and be heard. It all starts small; will you pick this book up?