Friday, May 6, 2011

Rain or Shine

Rain or ShineCamomile on water

We all grew up with sayings like this but where did this phrase come from?  Certainly not Las Vegas or Southern California – there it’s mostly Shine or Shinier.  But here in New York City you never know from one day to the next or one hour to the next, if it will rain or shine. So you pay more attention to the weather and the sky and the forecast and those Doppler radar displays – and then you try to integrate all that information into who you are and what you’re planning. That’s complicated!  But again, this is not just about the weather.

The way I see it, weather is a lot like relationships, moods, tastes and behaviors.  These can be pretty stable and constant or they can change as often as a Northeastern sky.  
  • Relationships can and should be based on trust and respect gained from growing to know others and this should create a foundation that is steady and secure. But if you don’t put in the time and effort to build this foundation it can end up falling like a house of cards. 
  • Moods should be steady and somewhat predictable so others can rely on you to support or at least not upset what they’re doing. But if your mood changes quickly and often, think about how that can upset the environment and people around you.  
  • Tastes are acquired, they’re cultivated over time and they’re reflected in how you react to what you eat and drink and feel about the world around you. If you don’t know what you like, how will you ever grow to enjoy things fully?  
  • And behaviors – these are embedded in everything you do and they ultimately reflect who you are and how others perceive you. If you want to be trusted and respected, if you want to have the chance to do good things and make great friends, if you want to be a success at whatever you’re doing, then you’ll learn how to behave properly and effectively and pleasantly and humbly and respectfully. Remember: it’s not how you think you’re behaving but rather how others perceive it!
But if all of these change often like some kind of “interpersonal rain or shine” depending on some will or whim, how good do you think you’ll be, how many friends do you think you’ll have, how many co-workers and colleagues do you think will want to be with and loyal to you or how effective or successful do you think you’ll be???
  • The weather may be uncontrollable but these things should not be.  
  • The weather may change often and that may not be a bad thing but these things should be more reliable than that.  
  • The weather may affect how you feel or act but in life you have to always be seen and perceived as steady and trustworthy and true.
  • The weather may change but who and what you are to others should be something far more stable that they can count on.
While it’s okay to live in a place where it rains and shines, it’s not okay to be the kind of person whose behavior rains and shines. Be aware of your behavior and how it affects those around you. Control your interpersonal behaviors and make them shine more and rain less. And see how that affects your personal weather report.

Arte Nathan
This week’s quote and message are about professionalism and how that affects others:

“The first rule of holes: if your find yourself in one, stop digging.“   -Jack Dane

Jack Dane was a character played by Yale Summers in a TV series called Daktari (Swahili for Doctor) that aired between 1966 and 1969 on CBS.

Are you in a hole today? You probably don’t want to admit it if you are but look around and you’ll probably see lots of others in one too. The issue is not whether you are but what you do when you find you are.

Life has a way of creating holes that we might fall in – either because of something we’ve done or something that happened to us. But no matter what, you’ve got to stop and figure out why you’re there, come up with alternative approaches to try and get out and be open to and ready to listen to other’s ideas that may help reverse your fortunes.

The smartest professionals know that blind and dogged adherence to a failed strategy is just plain crazy. There’s no shame in adjusting, especially if it rights the course and ultimately results in success. The key to success in so many things is your ability to be flexible enough to adjust to the changing circumstances in which you find yourself. So stop digging today, be open to suggestions and change today and get out of that hole you’re in!

Stay well!

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