Small Realities

Inside the mind of Lance Schonberg

Lance’s Guide to Life, Part 3 (Rules 6-8)

I hadn’t really originally planned for this to be a series of posts, but… 

6.      Honesty is preferred.

Even though not everyone appreciates it, honesty generally is the best policy.  But you don’t have to be a jerk about it.  “Wow, that was a giant clusterfü¢k.”  Not exactly subtle, hmm?  Maybe something more like: “I wonder if we could find a better way to do that next time.”  Or: “Ouch. Let’s try that again.”  Language is key, and it’s not about spin at all.  Do you like being pissed off?  Probably the person you’re about to criticize doesn’t either.

But pay attention.  Sometimes, when someone is asking you a question, they’re not looking for an answer, especially an honest one, they’re looking for reassurance or even a compliment. 

Example: you’ve been assaulted by a teenage rock band for half an hour.  During a pause between songs, the man next to you leans in and says, “That’s my son on the drums.  Isn’t he great?”  He doesn’t want your opinion and he doesn’t need to know you’re developing a headache.  “Yeah, they really rock,” is a response that costs you nothing and might even make you a friend.

Example: “Does this dress make me look fat?”  Guys, you better all know the answer to this, but just in case you don’t, she doesn’t care about the dress.  She cares that you’re paying attention.  Pick your own words and tell her she’s beautiful.

7.      Strive to do what is right.

Damn, this is hard sometimes because the right thing is, at least half the time, different from the easy thing or the expedient thing.  I’m not going to define what is right and what is wrong.  Work with your own definition.  Just make sure it’s unselfish and you’ll probably be okay.

8.      Try to leave something in better condition than you found it.

This sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?  For a lot of things it is.  Pick up one more thing than you drop.  Carry a basket of laundry upstairs.  Smile at someone who’s having a bad day.  Clean up behind yourself and make sure you take care of a little extra.  Fix something that’s broken and leave it for the next person happening along.

It sounds very easy.  The trick is to make this an active part of your mindset.

Easier Said Than Done

Do you sense a recurring theme?

Again, no one ever said life was easy, but if you can make someone else’s life just a little easier, that’s probably going to come back around to you, and probably in ways you don’t expect.


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