One Thing & Another

Notes From My Journal

The Importance of Being Earnest

He had accepted the opportunity to become a partner in our Jiu Jitsu studio, but a week after he started he realized he couldn’t do it. He had two other jobs, a sick mother, and a car that seemed to break down every other day.

He wrote a long letter of resignation, apologizing and explaining his decision. Because he felt guilty about breaking his commitment, he made the letter formal and expressed his excuses in a sort of legalese, thinking they would carry more weight.

Before posting it, he read it again. It wasn’t doing what he wanted it to do. It sounded defensive and almost pompous. He tore it up and started from scratch. This time, he wrote from the heart:

Dear Mark,

 I fucked up. I should not have said yes to your kind offer so quickly. And now I’m afraid you are going to be really angry, and I don’t blame you. I have to quit this job…

 And rather than post it, he walked it in. His hand shook as he handed it to me. I read it. I wasn’t surprised. I suspected he had bitten off more than he could chew.

I didn’t feel anger. I felt compassion. More than that, I was so impressed with the honesty and authenticity of his writing that I offered him a scholarship to take the American Writers & Artists beginners program for copywriting

He went through the program lickety-split. And now he’s working as a part-time copywriting apprentice. My bet is he’ll be making six figures in less than two years. Then he can quit all his other jobs and do Jiu Jitsu for fun.

Today’s Word: tub-thump (verb)

To tub-thump is to promote something or express an opinion vociferously. Example from Jean Zimmerman’s historical novel Savage Girl: “Ever eager to tub-thump America’s vast superiority, local civic chauvinists wanted our homegrown exposition to outstrip them all.”

Worth Quoting

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response.”

– Viktor Frankl

From My “Work-in-Progress” Basket

Is Someone Abusing You?

Here’s How to Claim Your Power Almost Instantly

He was the kind of person that leaned into you when he spoke. Poked you in the ribs to emphasize his enthusiasm and never laughed at your jokes. When he met K for the first time, he put his arm around her waist. I didn’t like him, but I was making good money from him. So I put up with it. For a while…

Tony Robbins once told a story that went something like this:

He was on a flight in the first-class cabin when he was identified by a well-dressed, middle-aged man who said, “You the power guy, right?”

When Tony acknowledged that he was, the man confronted him. “I’ve watched your infomercial, and I think it’s crap. The way I see it, everyone falls into one of two groups: the powerful and the powerless. Ninety-nine percent are powerless. And regardless of what you promise them, they’ll stay powerless.”

“You’re missing the point,” Tony said. “Everyone has an untapped power center, and I show people how to unleash it and use it to fulfill their dreams.”

“Bull!” the man replied. “You want to see real power? Watch this!”

He picked up his drink and poured it slowly into the lap of his traveling companion, his lawyer.

The embarrassed man jumped up, brushed himself off, and looked at Mr. Big in horror.

“It’s only gin, George,” said Mr. Big, laughing. He handed the lawyer his napkin. “It won’t stain your suit.”

George forced a smile and retreated to the bathroom.

Mr. Big turned to Robbins and said, “That, Mr. Robbins, is power.” He then reclined his seat and promptly fell asleep.

When George returned, Robbins handed him one of his books. “Maybe you should read this,” he said.

“Thanks,” said George. He glanced at his sleeping boss, opened the book, and began reading.

When the plane landed, Mr. Big jolted awake. He turned to George and said, “Get down my bags, won’t you.” He then looked at Tony as if to say, “See what I mean?”

But then something delightful happened. George looked Mr. Big in the eye and said, “Get it yourself.”

Mr. Big glared at him. “Just remember who you work for!” he growled.

“Not for you any longer,” said George. “I quit.”

I like Robbins’ story because it illustrates several important facts about power and abuse:

* There are many kinds of power and there are also many kinds of abuse.

* Sometimes there is no escape from an abusive relationship, but more often there is.

* The first step in ending an abusive relationship is to decide that the benefits are outweighed by the pain and humiliation.

* Once the abused person is willing to leave the relationship, he gains power. Instantly.

Think about how and when you feel powerless. Is it when you get into certain situations? Is it when you are with certain people?

Ask yourself: “What is it about these situations/people that I feel I need? Couldn’t I live without them?”

The answer is almost certainly “yes.”

Keep that in mind the next time someone does something that triggers that powerless feeling. Remind yourself that you don’t need the relationship and respond accordingly. You are no longer willing to eat shit, and you are prepared to quit. Prepared to quit the negotiation. The job. The friendship. The marriage. So stand your ground and defend yourself. Say something strong. Not crazy. Not reactionary. Strong and calm. You’ve already left it/him/her emotionally. You don’t care. In fact, you may feel pity.

Speak with the compassion of someone who’s already free and gone. It will be noticed.

One of two immediate outcomes awaits you: You will get the power and respect you need or you will quit for real. In either case, you’ll be very happy with yourself. And the rest of your life will be better for it.

Fun Fact

A single drop of water contains one hundred billion atoms.

Look at This…