“When nobody around you seems to measure up,
it’s time to check your yardstick.”
— Bill Lemley
“I’m never pleased with anything,
I’m a perfectionist, it’s part of who I am.”
— Michael Jackson
If you’re a student, everyone is a teacher. That includes people who are among the most negative around you, and that is a wonderful way to look at others that you don’t like being around.
I had a boss once who was probably the most unhappy person I’d ever met. He was mean-spirited, condescending, sarcastic, loud-mouthed, demanding, constantly disappointed in others, and more. Not a pretty picture. At the time, I would go home and just let all my frustration out about this a**hole and what a terrible excuse for a person he was. Yet, he was a teacher to me and I was a student, though I certainly didn’t look at it this way at the time.
One of the most powerful things he taught me was the kind of person I never wanted to be. Knowing what you really do not want is powerful learning.
Sometimes we would have lunch together. I love having a meal with people because you learn so much in that environment. People tend to let go a little. Maybe it’s being away from the work environment, or the personal closeness, but it is powerful. At one lunch meeting, he said to me that “no one ever lives up to my expectations.” That was a very telling statement and it demonstrated where his attitude came from.
In this case, the best thing would be to immediately lower his standards. He had himself so high on a pedestal that no one could be praised, since everyone fell short.
The best thing that I learned from him was what I wanted. I wanted to praise others and encourage them to be the best that they can be. The way I found to do that effectively is to find things to praise them about. There is always something to praise people for when you look for them. What ends up happening is that you find you love them the way they are because they are a unique person and each of us has our own special talents and virtues.
The last thing that he taught me is that life is too short to go around being unhappy. He died an unhappy man, but I have decided to be a happy one. What a wonderful series of lessons to learn. I am so grateful for this man coming into my life.
If People Disappoint You. It May Be Your Fault.
Spread Some Joy Today–Find some uplifting things to say to two or three people today. Maybe their hair looks great, they’re dressed especially well, their smile is bright, or their eyes are shining. It is so easy to find things to praise when you look for them. If that doesn’t spread joy, nothing will.