Playing With Loaded Dice … ?


“I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe.”

Albert Einstein in The Born-Einstein Letters (1971).

Number seven in the great-quotes.com 100 most popular quotes list.  The direct quote is “I, at any rate, am convinced that He does not throw dice,” but Einstein often used variations of this quote and indeed spoke it differently to different parties.
 

A comforting thought and much in line with current scientific thought which places an order on the universe, even when we cannot see it.

We do seek order in our universe, don’t we?

When things happen that affect our sense of safety, stability, and reason, we look for answers, for causes, for reasons why things are the way they are.

When our careers go all awry, we wonder why our plans have derailed.  When the causes are global, we see a lack of ability to affect those global causes and feel helpless.

When relationships go south, we ponder on the deeper meaning of the dissolution.  Human nature being how it is, once a relationship has changed, returning it to a former state is just not possible.   

When we fail in any respect, we often feverishly look for answers.  We mistake the knowledge of why we failed with the action we need to avoid future mistakes.  These are not always the same things.  

However, not everyone seeks reasons for why things are the way they are, do they?

In some recent posts, I’ve ranted just a bit about the popular use of phrases such as ‘It is what it is” and “There it is”.  Besides all the vague pronouns which cloud communication in these phrases, the underlying message of helplessness also irritates me.

Maybe Einstein was speaking to that tendency to feel helpless in the face of events and situations which do not fit neatly into most of our lives.  When we feel helpless, we fall back on a shrug of the shoulders and an innocuous statement about the whims of the universe.

Both the constant seeking for answers and giving in to the helplessness are less than ideal responses, at least sometimes.

The trick is, as it so often turns out, to find when the cause of something is not knowable to us and when we are just afraid we can’t deal with whatever is happening.

Solutions come after you figure out which situation you are in.

Feeling alternately competent and not so much in the Heartland ….

John

 
 

INTERNATIONAL COACHING WEEK


 

 

 

 

 

February 5~February 11, 2012

This yearly event lifts up the role of professional coaching in leadership, business, careers, and life.

Coaches help others change and grow through online, telephone, and face-to-face modes using proven techniques for behavioral and attitudinal change.

The INTERNATIONAL COACH FEDERATION (ICF) sponsors this event.  For more information about professional coaching, visit their website by clicking the link above.

What You Do is What You Get . . .


“Success in life comes not from holding a good hand, but in playing a poor hand well.”    Denis Waitley

Many folks these days are feeling the stress from long-term unemployment, underemployment, a flat and unpredictable economy . . . on top of the normal life stresses that go with work, marriage, children, parents, and to say nothing of worrying about which  celebrity will meltdown next.

However, not everyone is playing their “hand” the same way  . . . Continue reading

Our Box of Stuff . . .


We keep our stuff in a box . . .

I like a good children’s sermon . . . the theology is on a level I can grasp and the message is usually simple.  Sometimes it is profound.

A recent one had to do with things in a box.  The things in the box were mementoes of a life, miraculously preserved after a disaster.  As each thing came out of the box  to show to the children, a memory was revealed.

Sometimes the memories were of big things, but sometimes they were about minor happenings, those short sparks that light up our lives.  Some brought forth instant “oohs” from the children, while others drew little immediate response.  When something is not our memory, we tend to pay less attention. Continue reading

Chain Link Leadership Development . . .


“No chain is stronger than its weakest link”  Anonymous

Yeah, I agree with this one on both a technical and an emotional level.

When we work in teams, as so many of us do so much of the time, we are always eventually faced with one important question:

“Do we cut them or do we try to save them?”

The same question applies to someone new to your management team.

Think about your new supervisors, your new managers, and your new directors.  Whenever someone moves up the “food chain” in an organization, for a time, they  usually are “The Weakest Link“, sometimes simply because they have to adjust to a new role, a new set of expectations, a new relationship with others. Continue reading