3 Thoughts 3.9.2021

I have been working on a new training module focused on mindset. In the last few months, it has been a central theme for me, and it seems to be a hot topic for speakers, authors, and coaches right now. As I have worked with my clients, the topic of mindset has also surfaced organically. With mindset in mind, here are my 3 Thoughts for today:

  1. Negatives do not exist. Darkness, cold, hate, death. These are words that describe a lack of something else, something good, an energy. Darkness is the lack of light. Cold is the lack of heat. Hate is the lack of love, and death is the lack of life. “Failure” does not really exist either. Rather, it is the lack of success. However, failure doesn’t prevent success any more than darkness prevents light or hatred prevents love. Something else must block these free-flowing energies. For light it’s an opaque object. For success it’s an ineffective mindset. For love it’s fear.
  2. Communication is pretty important. It is a broad topic, and there are many nuances that deserve elaboration. Some of the most useful concepts I have learned to understand and improve communication include: Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages, direct vs. indirect communicators, internal vs. external processors, and introverts vs. extroverts.
    • The 5 Love Languages are physical touch, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and words of encouragement/affirmation. These are the ways that most people will demonstrate and receive love. While understanding yours and your significant other’s is a life-changing tool, knowing this ideology will help with your children, parents, co-workers and employer/employees too.
    • Direct vs. Indirect communication is simple, but it goes a little deeper. Generally people are either direct or indirect speakers AND either direct or indirect listeners. This means that you can be a direct speaker / direct listener, indirect speaker / indirect listener, direct speaker / indirect listener, or indirect speaker / direct listener. Again, simply understanding this concept will help communication. Know yourself, and then begin to recognize others. This won’t solve every communication problem, but it will help mitigate miscommunication and frustration when communicating with people who do not share your communication style.
    • Internal vs. external processors came up recently in a conversation. Some of us are internal processors; we work through problems, solutions, conversations, ideas, etc. in our heads. Other people “talk it out”. They process externally, usually through conversation. To be fair, we all do both. But some of us are more prone to internal, while others are more prone to external. Understanding this will help you to be on the same page when it comes to important conversations.
    • The terms “introvert” and “extrovert” get tossed around a lot, and their true meaning is usually lost. An introvert is someone who gains energy from quiet, alone time. They usually prefer to be home and avoid large crowds. For an introvert, social engagement is draining. Extroverts, however, are the opposite. They are energized when they are around large groups. Being alone or away from their people for too long weighs on them. These terms have nothing to do with sociability, friendliness, social awkwardness, or even liking gatherings. It’s all about the energy. I am an introvert, but I love public speaking. I network and attend large gatherings, and by all outward appearances, most people would label me an “extrovert”. Even though I enjoy some of that activity, it is draining. I’m tired afterward. Whereas being home, in the quiet with my immediate family (or alone), I recharge. The opposite is true for my wife who is extroverted. She begins to get really stressed if she is cooped up in the house too long or if she hasn’t seen her extended family in awhile.
  3. I once heard a pastor say, “All that is required for conflict is two people in one room.” We are all imperfect. We all struggle with inaccurate thoughts, ideas, opinions. We are all selfish to some degree. One skill that so many people lack is how to handle confrontation well. Another module I will be creating soon (related to mindset) is “Building Relationships with C4”. Rather than C4, the plastic explosive, I’m talking about Compassionate, Constructive, Conversational, Confrontation. We all encounter conflict, but fight or flight is an ineffective response. We need to confront situations with gentleness and humility, but also directly and with firmness WITH THE ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE OF PRESERVING (OR EVEN BETTER, STRENGTHENING) THE RELATIONSHIP.