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Why can't the glass be both half-full and half-empty?

by Rick Baker
On Aug 14, 2018

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Is your glass at least half-full and half-empty?

Rather than limit people to 2 ways of thinking and claiming one is optimistic and the other pessimistic, we ought to encourage people to view Situations and People's actions from multiple perspectives...by, for example, encouraging people to use tools like Edward de Bono's 'Six Thinking Hats'.

In some Situations, it is appropriate to consider what has been added while in others it is appropriate to consider what has been subtracted. Sometimes we need to consider possibilities. Other times we need to identify the need for urgent action. 

This goes beyond optimism, pessimism, and realism. While that 'mindset' differentiation may be important, with people or with situations, it also may not be important.

Situations & People deserve a lot more thinking than optimism/pessimism tests.

PS: That glass-half-full-glass-half-empty saying has always annoyed me. It is too cliché and it puts people into a 2-dimensional box when all of us know we live in at least a 3-dimensional world.

Band-aids don't ease the discomfort of negative thinking.

by Rick Baker
On Mar 30, 2018

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Shape up, Man, you gotta improve your attitude!  

Great advice in theory - useless advice in reality. 

If you want to help people with negative thinking, think first about your own attitude, thoughts and action then learn how to improve by replacing negative thinking with new thoughts.

 

Optimists pave the paths so pessimists can rule the world

by Rick Baker
On May 16, 2017

Now isn't that a fine piece of ‘mob thinking’...debatable, yet mostly true, and too often rather disappointing. 

Optimists stand out. Their curiosity leads to the creativity of new things that help take the world toward their vision of a better future. Then pessimists figure out how to use those optimist creations to rule that better world, often to serve their self-focused views and needs. 

Optimists favour freedom in its various forms, especially freedom laced around curiosity and creativity

Pessimists favour discipline, rules, and controls.

The common ground where optimists and pessimists can stand together and self-actualize together is – Growth....all entrepreneurial leaders love to build and grow things.

A key to success: find the growth that aligns with both the pessimists’ good habits and the optimists’ interests in new things

Criticism, Adrenalin Spikes & Improving Relationships

by Rick Baker
On May 15, 2017

Some people naturally repulse criticism. These people may show outward signs of their repulsion. These people may not show outward signs, or their repulsion may hide so well it would take a professional observer to notice it. Regardless, internally, these people churn in reaction to criticism. For these people - even small, innocuous pieces of feedback can trigger intense internal reactions, floods of adrenalin – adrenalin spikes.

  1. Do you know people who show vehement reaction to tiny criticisms…people who have zero tolerance for incoming criticism?
  2. Do you know people who, at first, show no outward reaction to criticism then, later, strike excessive reactionary blows against the person who delivered the criticism?
  3. Do you know people who have the habit of claiming they are the victim of undue criticism?
  4. Do you know people who repulse criticism yet deliver it to others with gusto and righteousness?

These are four common reactions to criticism.

I have personally exhibited at least three of these four reactions to criticism…and, probably, many people would think I’m selling myself short by not admitting to all four.

Why?

Why would I have had such reactions to criticism?

Not having much knowledge of physiology or biology and only dabbling experience with psychology I answer that question this way:

  • When people criticized me, I experienced adrenalin spikes [or was that cortisol?]. I felt strong, churning, tightening sensations in the gut…quickly followed by combinations of anxiety and anger, often intense anger...then excessive negative thoughts and behaviour.
  • This reaction must have started when I was a very young child. I have no memory of reacting any other way to criticism [until the last decade, that is].
  • Perhaps, my criticism-repulsion was are due to genetics? Perhaps, my childhood environment? Perhaps, my early experiences with authority figures? I expect it was some combination of these things.

Here’s a curious thing. When you experience criticism-repulsion as a child you can be quite oblivious to other people. And, this can cause challenges…a large variety of interpersonal challenges. Left unattended, these interpersonal challenges can last a lifetime.

Here’s some good news. It is possible to gain self-understanding and create strategies to overcome the interpersonal challenges. The starting point, or at least one starting point, is recognition of the physiological changes that signal less-than-ideal reactions to criticism. People, perhaps most people, can alter their bad habits [including adrenalin spikes] if they choose to make the changes and do the work required.

 

PS: Perhaps, the people who experience the criticism-repulsion I have described are most capable of identifying it in other people? ... and helping others?  

getting at the Maybe rut

by Rick Baker
On Apr 6, 2017

Somewhere between the Pessimists and the Optimists there is a group of people who live lives of Maybe.  

Procrastinators are in this group...sooner or later they may get around to starting, doing and finishing stuff. Procrastinators live lives of Maybe - maybe that bad thing will happen if I do this? Maybe it won't? Not sure. Uncertainty. If you are a salesperson you will agree many prospective clients fall into this group. They would rather say "call me back" than "no". 

Sometimes, Maybe-people believe it is better to say Maybe than No because No tends to hurt others' feelings. 

And, of course, there are those who simply have the habit of being indecisive: they make up the majority of this Maybe group of people.

It seems to me, the major cause of indecision is lack of self-confidence. There are other causes for indecision, as examples - distraction, lack of interest and lack of consideration for other people's interests. However, if we spent enough time digging we would likely find a lack of self-confidence close to the roots of all these other causes.

The Effects of Maybe:

  • Maybe eats up time. When their time gets eaten up, Maybe-people think they don't have enough time. Of course that's wrong-thinking. Regardless, of course, it sours the ability of Maybe-people to accomplish constructive things. I call this, getting in the Maybe rut
  • Maybe generates anxiety and stress. These things permeate Maybe-minds and eat up space for logical thinking. This is another debilitating aspect of the Maybe rut. 
  • Maybe-people are allergic to peace of mind. It's like Maybe coats their minds in Teflon...when peace of mind tries to visit it is deflected and doomed to never become comfortable enough to establish roots. 

Tags:

Optimism & Pessimism | Personalities @ Work

Common sense: easy to see in self but tough to find in others. A pessimist said that. I have no idea why.

by Rick Baker
On Apr 3, 2017

The Thinking Behind The Tweet

Or was it an optimist...

Tags:

Optimism & Pessimism | Thought Tweets

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