Beth's Ponderings If you are a member of an organization, or are employed, you may have noticed a trend in the past few years. This trend is the increase in the usage of forms, which in days of old, we called “bureaucratic red tape.” These forms may appear on their own, or they may be part of a large manual of “rules.” The purpose of the manual and forms is to make sure nothing bad happens, and nothing goes wrong, however if it does, filling out the massive amount of paperwork involved will prevent it from ever happening again. This may come as a shock to some people, forms DO NOT prevent anything from happening. Forms, filled out in triplicate or quadruplicate, do not prevent accidents. They do not prevent crimes of any nature. They do not prevent death. Forms also cannot account for every since possible variation that could occur. Life happens. Yet, more and more, we see people - usually in a higher management position and not on the frontline - insist that forms are necessary to prevent whatever calamitous event they dread. By the same token, we continue to see an INCREASE in accidents, fraud and/or embezzlement, deaths, and more. There is an old joke that the cliché “Fight fire with fire” is wrong and you should use what firemen use to fight fire…water. Fighting what you do not want to happen with forms just creates more of what you want to avoid. If someone isn’t doing something now, making them fill out additional forms certainly isn’t going to make them do it. People’s time ends up consumed by finding the right form, filling out the right form, submitting the right form, filing a copy of the form, repeat ad nauseum, that they are unable to deal with the situation in front of them. Which is (statically speaking) rarely life-threatening. Forms do not prevent bad things from happening, people do! And when people are allowed to be present in the moment, they generally tend to make decisions that will naturally prevent many undesirable events from happening - including filling out unnecessary forms!
Beth's Ponderings “Trying to prove something to someone is never a valid reason for doing anything.” - Iyanla Vanzant Whether you make formal New Year’s Resolutions or not, all of us spend at least one fleeting moment at the beginning of each new year imagining how we’d like this year to be different than the previous one. The difference we wish for could be simply to have some good moments continue, or it could swing to the other extreme as we wish for a complete overhaul as the previous year was one heartache after another. Whatever your wish may be, WHY do you wish for this change? Many times in our lives someone else will say or do something to us and we’ll respond by saying, “I’ll show them!” (This phrase is often followed by “and then they’ll be sorry!”) While proving we are not what the other person said we were, or that we would never treat anyone they way we’ve been treated, may occasionally provide a kick in the pants to jumpstart a personal change, as a long-term motivation technique it doesn't work. This is because we are investing our personal energy in the “other person” and not in ourselves. If you only want to change to “teach another person a lesson,” you are doing yourself a huge disservice. You will probably end up investing valuable money, time, and energy into something that you have no passion or desire for, and if you have a stubborn personality, how many years will it take for you to admit you headed down the wrong path? Because at the end of the day, the “other person” won’t notice or care as they have their own stresses and worries and people to prove things to. On the other hand, if you wish to change to enhance your own life, regardless of the opinions of others, you will find that the change will be easier to accomplish and maintain, even if it is physically, mentally, or emotionally challenging. Opportunities surround us each and every day. But not all those opportunities are right for us. We need to figure out who we will really be investing our energy in and why. True investments in ourselves and our futures are never wasted. May 2015 be an incredible year for you all!