I finally figured it out. My wife and I have gone out to dinner many times and have observed a young couple sitting there with perhaps one or two young children. The sad part is the parents, both, are on their cell phones doing whatever killing the wait time electronically. The children on the other hand are sitting there so innocent and lost, looking around at everyone and everything, being totally ignored. The two people they love the most and who have brought them there have now left them completely alone even though they are sitting right next to them. They have finally got the kids away from the all the distractions at home and have them all to theirselves and what do they do? They choose to kill the wait time electronically instead of enjoying a family occasion interacting with the them. The parents don’t even interact with each other. Traveling not long ago I saw all four on cell phones from the time they came in to the time their dinner arrived. I could see the wife’s phone and she was playing a game. I can no longer chastise the kids when they sit at dinner, or anywhere for that matter, on their cell phone because I know where they got the habit from. I finally figured it out.
Bullying has been going on forever. Has there ever been a society that has not encountered some form of bullying? That’s the way wars start. Common sense dictates that the he only way to stop a bully is to stand up to him. Show him or her, as the case may be, that that crap doesn’t float with me. I’m not encouraging throwing hands or going to war but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. With some bullies that’s the only thing they know. A large part leading to the unfortunate circumstances of what occurs after a bully has set his sights on someone and the victim does something drastic, is that the young generation today is soft. By that I mean the majority of their interaction with others is through texts, tweets, twitter, e-mails, cell phones and etc. Lack of face to face contact with others makes your social skills very lacking and when the online bullying starts and the pack mentality ensues the victim has no idea of how to react. They feel sorry for themselves with the thought that everyone seems to be against them. Some have ended their lives with this thought in mind. Many have ended the lives of others. There is no doubt in my mind that a bully online is a totally different bully than in person. I’d bet he’s a bit more brave online. Generations back there was no electronic communication devices outside of phones so interaction was in person. When disagreements occurred they were settled, without adult intervention, and usually no punches were thrown. How many social skills were learned by young people on the sandlot just playing and interacting with others? Young folks learned others personalities, how to negotiate, so to speak, a settlement when a rift did occur. When you got picked last or not at all for something, you learned to get over it. You’ll learn no social skills sitting in front of an X Box or on a computer or cell phone. Parents need to quit buying this crap, stop protecting their children and get them out into society. Society and the ills that accompany it will prepare them for life. I see the side effects of this lack of interaction in society and daily life occurring with the workforce that’s now coming into place in America. These potential employees have a hard time having someone tell them what to do, regardless of what it is or how their approached. There are many horror stories of workplace violence as well. Why are all these young people taking guns to school? Why indeed? Because their soft. They can’t cope. They have not interacted with others enough to learn to cope with all the ups and downs of everyday life much less the workplace, school, teachers, bosses, co-workers, fellow students and etc. If someone sends a bullying e-mail why wouldn’t the person receiving it get to the bottom of it in person? No, today’s generation just fires off an e-mail in return, and so it continues until others join in the melee and in some cases all this piling on has ended in tragedy. My God I know a few people if you sent a bullying e-mail to you’d better grows eyes out the back of your head. There would be no back and forth e-mails. Bullying is not going anywhere anytime soon, it’s going to continue. Stand up to it in person. Parents teach and prepare your children and stop protecting them from society.
Enjoy the Journey. It’s a phrase I use every day of my life now, especially when I get caught up in the everyday details of work. So often we forget to take a step back and enjoy the day we’re having, the conversation we are engaged in, the moment we are enjoying with our family or friends. Are we always so busy checking our phones for texts and emails that we forget to appreciate the good things that are happening right in front of us?
I’ve found that by Enjoying the Journey, I hold myself accountable in a positive ways. For instance, it forces me to take stock of where I am, where I’ve come from, and the progress that has been made. Too often we live in the future, worrying about the next meeting, the next assignment, the next message we must get to. We are often so eager to get to the end that we forget to appreciate what’s going on around us. In the words of Ernest Hemingway: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
Here are three things I’ve been doing to Enjoy the Journey:
- Keep a journal. Three of four times a week I’ll sit down for just 15 minutes or so and record what’s been happening in my life; and, more importantly, I’ll note what I’ve learned from it. I put tickets to sporting events and plays in the journey, notes from friends, and currency from countries I visit. I’ll include photos to remember a holiday or a dinner with a friend. And every now and then I page through the journal as a reminder of where I’ve been and how I became who I am now.
- Ruminate with trusted advisors. If they are true friends, your best and most trusted advisors will always be honest with you. They are on the journey with you and want you to be successful and happy. And when I have ideas — and I have a lot!—they help me decide if they are viable and on target with my core goals. All of this helps me keep things in perspective.
- Include your family. My wife Heidi is my north star, my rock of Gibraltar. Without her and my four kids there would be no reason to be on this journey. Too often we separate our home and work lives, but I’ve found we are happiest when we take our families along on our journeys. Taking time to reminisce and dream out loud with your loved ones can be the sweetest part of life.
I understand that “Enjoy the Journey” may sound pretty simple, and it probably is. But those three words had a profound impact on me. Again and again they remind me to keep things in perspective, to be fully present, and to make sure I am headed in the right direction for happiness. As I write in my journal, council with friends, and include my family, I know my odds of enjoying the journey and enjoying my life increase exponentially.
Now, I’d be interested in the best advice you’ve ever received, and especially how you keep yourself on the right path in life.