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Look around you

Take a look. Wait! I mean, really look. Do you see it? It is staring you back in the face. Come on. Average is everywhere. Is that what you want? It is EASY to be average. You don’t believe me. But think about it. To be average you really do not have to do much. Just breathing may actually get you there, depending on where you plant your feet. Some people think it is difficult to be average — I call that being lazy and not wanting to challenge yourself. Good luck with that type of mindset. Who cares if you fail at something, at least you made an attempt. I fail every single day and I am okay with it because it means I am living. If we are to be okay with being average, then we might as well just build our coffins now and lay down inside.

So do me favor and pick something to work on today and again tomorrow. Something that you want to be better at. It can really be anything. From the way you talk to your spouse, to your golf game, or even your efficiency at work. If you give it your all, I have a feeling you will surprise yourself, and I bet you will be far from average.

Compliments are easy

Just the other day, after a couple of hours of sleep following a night shift in a community Emergency Room, my kids and I headed out to get new hearing aid molds (the piece that fits in the ear to hold the hearing aid in place) made for the youngest in our family. A rather routine event every 4 to 6 months in our household. Within seconds of getting out of the car, an older couple that was patiently waiting for the next available parking spot, powered down the passenger window and simply said in perfect unison, “You have such a beautiful family.” They were obviously talking about my girls. I instantly returned a thank you and told them to have a blessed day.

It took them little energy to say something so kind. Total strangers. It was that simple. This just made me wonder how difficult it often is for us to spit out compliments, yet when it comes to criticism the words just flow, often very eager to leave our mouths. What we don’t realize is that it takes no effort to say something nice to another person, but with criticism we often mull ideas around in our minds. There is no reason to be shy when handing out compliments. We must be INTENTIONAL about such action.

When you realize the power that a compliment has upon the receiver, you will begin to not think twice about giving them out. You will feel good about doing so, and the return on your investment will be something you would never expect. So take this as a challenge and seek out as many people as you possibly can today and pay them a compliment. I tried it myself with every person that I walked past at work today and it felt great. Odds are your attitude and perspective about the day will be so much brighter.

It is so easy for us to judge others, and I will admit that I am no saint when it comes to this. I wish I could erase it from my list of character flaws. If only it were so easy. But honestly, I believe the way we judge others is directly related to our perspective that has been developed through time. I was recently working at a Sports Medicine Clinic on the military base at Camp Pendleton and one morning I decided to park next to a group of Chevy and Ford pick-up trucks. Those same ones you often find pulling horses, hoisting big state and/or confederate flags, loaded with motorcycles or just playing in the dirt. These particular trucks were owned by young enlisted Marines that were visiting the clinic. My 1990 rusted, paint-peeling, no muffler, Chevy pick-up fit right in.

In this particular row there were three “Patient Parking Only” signs and three “Doctor/Nurse Parking Only” signs. The three trucks were in the patient parking spots and two of the other spots were also occupied (by some luxury cars), so there was only one spot remaining. I usually just park far away from the front, but today, and only today, I decided to park in this row. I did not even think about who could park in the spot. I would have gladly let some war fighting young Marine take one of the “Doctor/Nurse” spots. I hate labels, especially for parking and I wanted to remove the signs.

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Throughout the morning, while periodically looking out the window at the beautiful day that was developing, I saw what appeared to be a pleasant lady examining my truck. I thought nothing of it. Perhaps she was a Chevy fan. But then around 1200, when the morning clinic ended, I went outside to get in my truck to head to the main hospital. As I walked around the front of the truck I found a note on the windshield. As I started to read it it appeared that I had upset somebody, and that my truck did not belong in the “Doctor/Nurse” spot, even though I was one.

At first I did not know what to think. The other cars had no special sticker or tag showing that they belonged to a doctor. One a BMW, another a Mercedes. And there were surely no notes on those cars. But my truck was different. It was worn and torn from end to end, rearview mirror missing, and to most it did not appear to be the mode of transportation for a physician. At least not in Southern California. If this was not judgment, then I don’t know what is. Of course, instead of just getting in and driving off, I had to confront the lovely lady. After all, she wanted an answer. She took one look at my uniform, my rank and the note in my hand. She looked embarrassed. I was just simply wanting to let her know that I was in fact allowed to park in the spot, even if my vehicle looked like it belonged to a different “type of person.” She quickly snickered with “Well, it looked like another young Marine had parked in one of those spots. You don’t typically see doctors or nurses driving those types of vehicles.” I just looked deep into her eyes. There were no words that needed to be said.

Judgment stinks. Next time you feel compelled to throw judgment at something, think twice. Try to be a bigger person, and try not to judge a book by its cover because what lies within its pages just might surprise you.

It is finally here, THE PROCESS has come to life. I have been working on getting it started for quite some time now. The goal is to change lives, and at the very least develop a few daily smiles. Many of us think we have the answers when it comes to solving other people’s problems, while the truth is that the answers to most of our problems lie within ourselves. We might just need someone else to help us bring those answers out. Getting this blog started is just the first step. I plan to share funny stories, daily thoughts, perhaps some wisdom, and in the end I really want to help you be truly excited each and every time you wake up in the morning (or the middle of the night) and take a breath. Life is meant to be lived, not waited for. You should not be waiting for things to happen. Here is to you my friends.

 

The journey has begun

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