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Maintaining Perspective in Turbulent Times

Face your obstacles head on; you are more resourceful than you currently presume

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From an array of insane Leftist activities designed to destroy the nation, to the lingering coronavirus, to lockdowns, to umpteen Biden administration blunders, these are times that try people’s souls!

Upon an unexpected setback at work or in life, some people fall into a “justice trap.” They think that somehow, some way a cosmic sense of justice will prevail. Yet, consider the 12 million people who starved in Ukraine in the 1930s, under Josef Stalin of the USSR. Is that cosmic justice?

Babies who die one day after birth experience no cosmic justice. Justice, like fairness, is an ideal. In the endeavors of humankind, fairness is certainly worth seeking, but, like justice, it is largely illusory.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Department of Two-tiered Justice

Disruption Happens

Events of varying magnitudes can disrupt one’s sense of homeostasis. Disruption and reintegration occur often, even simultaneously. Yet for each of us, notable increases in our level of resilience can occur in mere moments, or over the course of several years, depending on what we experience and how we process it.

Perhaps the quintessential example of the resilient individual is none other than the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was defeated in his bid for Congress on many occasions. Even as late as 1858, two years before he won the presidential election, Lincoln lost his bid to become a senator from Illinois:

1831 – Failed in business
1832 – Defeated for legislature
1833 – Again failed in business
1834 – Elected to legislature
1835 – Sweetheart died
1836 – Had a nervous breakdown
1838 – Defeated for speaker
1840 – Defeated for elector
1843 – Defeated for Congress
1846 – Elected for Congress
1848 – Defeated for Congress
1854 – Defeated for Senate
1856 – Defeated for Vice-President
1858 – Defeated for Senate

Following all of the setbacks written above, in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States.

A Benchmark for the Ages

Anyone studying Lincoln’s life could draw the conclusion that until 1860, when he was 49, he was largely a failure. Did he let election defeat after election defeat subdue his willingness to serve? Apparently, not at all. The resilience he exhibited during his decades-long quest to to serve in public office was rewarded when he was elected  president.

Once in office, Lincoln’s resilience became the benchmark of his tenure, during perhaps the most harrowing time in our nation’s history. The Civil War, in which a divided America slaughtered itself by the tens of thousands, is unprecedented in our history.

All other mass casualties from wars or attacks on Americans came at the hands of external enemies. Only Lincoln, amidst all other presidents, governed during a time in which Americans fought Americans; in some cases, literally brother against brother.

Fail Forward

Undoubtedly, Lincoln had one harrowing experience after another, as he lost the runs for U.S. Congress and for the Senate repeatedly. Somehow, as he processed his experiences, he managed to “fail forward,” drawing upon the reflections and lessons that he gained. Indeed, many successful people in history experienced career setbacks before ultimately achieving their greatest triumphs.

Drawing upon his inner strength, his lessons from childhood, his marvelous, self-initiated version of home-schooling, the philosophy and resilience he had developed over the years, and his legal education, he was able to maintain perspective and equanimity, over a four-year period, that would have broken other men.

Albert Einstein, for example, worked as a lowly clerk in the Swiss Patent Office when he developed his Theory of Relativity. Thomas Edison made 8000+ unsuccessful attempts to find the proper filament for his lightbulb. Babe Ruth struck out more times than anyone on his way to hitting more home runs than anyone.

So, face your obstacles head on, and realize that you are more resourceful than you currently presume.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

The People Who Size You up Instantly

Beware of people who conveniently assess what you need, while missing the boat about their own needs

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I went to a social gathering and, arriving early, few others had arrived. So I took out my notepad and pen, and leisurely started making notes. A lady who saw me, asked what I was writing, which, of course, could be either a friendly way to start a conversation, or intrusive, depending on your point of view. I took it as the former, and shared with her my predisposition to take notes outside of my office where I generate ideas that don’t readily emerge at my desk.

Apparently my explanation was not satisfactory for her. In rapid succession she told me, ‘You need to get a drink. (Actually, I don’t drink.) You should to stop making notes. You ought to relax. (Making notes is relaxing to me.) You need to get a life.’

Paradoxically, I am the author of the books, Breathing Space and Simpler Living, and the audiobook, Get a Life. I also own the registered trademarks for the programs, Relaxing at High Speed and Managing the Pace With Grace. I have delivered 1,060 lectures on these topics for three decades.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Department of Two-tiered Justice

Quick and Wrong

It’s beyond strange when someone at a social gathering, in such short order, will assess what I need to do, with one pronouncement after another. When told that I needed to relax, I said, “If I was any more relaxed, I’d fall asleep.”

I came away from that experience recognizing that people who will readily tell you what you need are the ones who need what they’re telling you. You might have noticed a somewhat similar phenomenon in the workplace.

Suppose you work in a company that is crowded, noisy, and busy almost all the time. However, in your own office or cubicle, whichever the case might be, you’re able to maintain order.

Perhaps you have installed some sound barriers, if that is appropriate, and have crafted a workspace where you can get things done. People who walk by notice that your office equipment, resources, and possessions are organized. Guess what? Some office mates won’t tell you this, but they are uncomfortable with your organizing skills.

If they could find a simple way to articulate it, they would tell you, “Loosen up.” You don’t need to be so neat and orderly.” Why are they itching to tell you this? Because your level of organization makes them feel inadequate.

Be Like Me, I’ll Feel Better

Much like the lady at the social gathering, who told me ‘what I needed,’ some people in your immediate environment, in observing your capacity for taking charge of your space, and perhaps noting your higher-than-average level of productivity, would rather that you acted and proceeded in a different way. You might not hear that from them, but that is some might be thinking.

Beware of those people who so conveniently assess what you need, while completely missing the boat about their own needs. They fail to realize that what they’re telling you, is probably what they need to address for themselves.

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Education

Myths and Lies That Permeate Society

If myths can survive for decades, is there any hope that the Left’s current manufactured myths will ever die

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To anyone with an ounce of objectivity, it is apparent that the Left is fueled by myths, purveyed by Joe Biden and the mainstream media. Consider the “fine people on both sides” myth or the “Trump hates immigrants” lie that they routinely draw upon to slander Donald Trump.

Consider the myths and lies that Jen Psaki seeks to initiate at every press conference — the withdrawal from Afghanistan went accordingly to plan, school children need to wear masks, Biden doesn’t advocate open borders, $3.5 trillion in spending will cost nothing, inflation isn’t rising, etc.

Non-political myths, however, have circulated for years. More than a quarter century ago researchers for Nova, aired on the Public Broadcasting Service undertook an exhaustive examination of the myths surrounding the Bermuda Triangle. They found absolutely no statistical deviation in the incidence of disaster or disappearance of planes and ships in that area. The team concluded that those people who propagate the myth do so with limited, anecdotal “evidence,” usually for considerable commercial gain.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: The Department of Two-tiered Justice

Full Moon

Rising crime with the full moon – Several studies in scholarly journals have found no correlation between the incidence of a full moon and aberrant human behavior. More people tend to be out on nights with a full moon, which correlates directly with mishaps, accidents, and predictably, crimes.

A similar phenomenon occurs during holiday seasons. Since more people leave home and drive long distances, more burglaries, admissions to hospital emergency rooms, and arrests by police occur. Yet no one suggests that Christmas or the 4th of July are directly linked with abhorrent human behavior?

Ancient Aliens?

The great pyramids of Egypt – The Learning Channel aired a program in 1988 in which a team of scientists and engineers visited Egypt to determine how the great pyramids were built. Recreating the activities needed to build a pyramid, the team found that with arithmetic equations – without the knowledge of pi – the Egyptians built the structures that many people erroneously believe involved aliens. In fact, construction of the Great Pyramid requires only seventh-grade arithmetic.

The Egyptians were masters of moving stone by using sand and working in coordinated teams. Rather than using slaves to build the pyramids, the researchers deduced that an inspired citizenry, seeking to be part of the first great nation, chose to offer its labor.

A Bogus Industry Thrives

JFK conspiracy theories – These won’t die, but they should. There is no question as to who shot and killed President John F. Kennedy. It was Lee Harvey Oswald, and he was acting alone. This is explained in intricate detail by Gerald Posner in his landmark book Case Closed (1993).

Mr. Posner dislodged every conceivable stone (including Oliver Stone) to show why it was Lee Harvey Oswald and only Oswald who committed this crime. After illuminating Posner’s work in 25-page feature in its publication, U.S. News & Word Report declared it would never review another book on the topic because the case, indeed, was closed.

Yet, people are invested in having JFK’s death be surrounded by controversy. Since 1995, JFK conspiracy theories annually support a $250,000,000 industry.

The Thing That Wouldn’t Die!

If myths and lies can survive for decades, or even centuries, is there any hope that the Left’s current manufactured myths and non-stop will ever die?

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