Adult Bullying Creates Child Bullying

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Adult bullying is not a place I've gone to very often-directly anyway. I usually leave that to Asher Adelman over at eBoss Watch. He's good at looking at bullying in the work place. However, this story from a couple of days ago got me thinking. As tragic as that story was and is, you can't help but think about the things children are doing these days.

My conclusion on the subject of bullying is; adult bullying creates child bullying.

Modeling over a consistent period of time is what I'm pointing to.  The influence that comes from our modeling is a guide book for our children. Our children learn and take their cues from our modeling. Since childhood is a significant period of development we are not surprised by this reality. No prescription for perfection here, but if we adults want to seriously impact bullying in our children, then we need to stop bullying too. We adults do the same shit as our children and we know better.

Scary when you think about what our modeling has done to our children.

Time to turn around…

Changing People

I've never been able to change one person in my entire life.

I've been told by men and women greater than me, that trying to change people is a road to futility. You might be able to create conditions where someone might want to change. Life could make an impromptu appearance and crush someone to a point where they see no other way but to change. In the end change resides inside each and every one of us. Inside is the keyword here.

So what's with organizations trying to change people?

Organizations can become enamored with their own marketing and brand appearance, not to mention their profit engine. Just like someone who is told repeatedly how great they are. Here that often enough and some will think greatness is theirs. The next-door neighbor to arrogance is power and both work to will over people. It's really a facade, but these types of groups force and intimidate. Like walking a dog that doesn't want to go, they just pull them anyway and can't see the folly of dragging.

So are you in the business of changing people?

Maybe we'd get more if we just started looking at our people as they truly are and then realign, remove, restructure so that the band is playing together and in-tune. This is a courage-based endeavor that few leaders have a stomach for.

Find the courage.

Gaining Perspective

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Ah, the beauty of gaining perspective. I'm certain if we (including me) took more time to take a step back, our lenses would be clearer. The kind of clarity we long for in the midst of our daily madness.

I have gained much perspective in the these early days of 2012. Ironic, given my kicking and screaming in the last part of 2011. Forced perspective is a good thing too. I now have a peace about not just knowing, but of understanding. This needs to happen in-order to move to behavior change.

The following are some perspectives I've come to lately:

  • Clarity of mind is played before an audience of One. It doesn't matter if nobody else understands. Embrace the clarity and keep moving.
  • Money is important. But treat it as a soulless animal. It can't make anything better, it's just a tool for support and sustainability. 
  • There is no ending until you've breathed your last. Life is a series of chapters. I want my choices to frame a story that will flow into a great legacy, whether I get to see it or not. I feel good about this.
  • I am limited and will never be limitless. I operate under the reality that God is limitless and a bigger Freak than me. This implies that He will ask me to do things that will blow my mind.
  • In certain circumstances, I must stand still in the hurricane. No looking for shelter, no panic, just be there, even when it feels like the end is looking me right in the eye.

Our Children

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I've been thinking a lot about our children lately, specifically my own. I've spent much time wondering what the world will look like when they're (Lord willing) adults and how I can help prepare them.

The following are some thoughts:

  1. I need to pour into them wisdom about handling money and power. Looking around me it's clear this is not taught in the university or the business arena. I think we know what happens when people don't know how to handle these beasts.
  2. I can't depend on the current education system to provide significant support. I often think our education system is teaching in a form appropriate for 30 years ago.
  3. Our government (America in this case) is content to make it difficult (massive debt)for my children to prosper economically. I don't want my government to help my children with their careers, but I do want them to manage with excellence the resources given and to get out of the way.
  4. I need to, on an exhausting and repetitive basis, remind them that they are unique and should live life accordingly.
  5. I need to teach them the value of loving God and loving other people (regardless of who they may be).
  6. I need to model everything I teach every day, every day.
  7. I need to encourage them to be risk-takers.

Letting The Story Unfold

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I am prone to excitement. Give me an idea, a vision or a dream and I'll plug in. I never want to change that about me or lose it in age of skepticism. In the last few months I've started to move to a more patient and steady approach in how I evaluate ideas.

In many ways I would describe it as letting the story unfold.

In the past week I've started to get lift on a few projects and goals. All of these are in process. And the keyword process is important. I have made a conscious decision to let them unfold to a logical conclusion-good or bad. No predictions, just one step at a time.

For you, you might say "duh, Eric." But I am a man who is learning. Learning what is sustainable, learning what is viable and learning what I believe God is pointing to. If you're not careful, you'll miss a key step if the story is not allowed to unfold.

Paying Attention to Your Role

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"All the world's a stage. And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages."

                               -William Shakespeare

If Shakespeare was right, and I believe he was, then the implications are vast. Not because it's some kind of complicated riddle. It's really quite simple, and hard. We live in an age where human beings willingly give up their role in the spirit of conforming or just plain fear. In our limited mind we see no other way, so we punt telling ourselves that we could be worse off or we're lucky to have a job. You can fill in many more blanks here. The trading of identity is a no-excuse game. I don't recommend it.

In my last year, I've had some experiments that didn't go as I had hoped. But I am undaunted in playing the role heaven gave me. Sets change, production units revise the scenes, directors are replaced, but I have a part to play. You and I are alike in this.

If your alert and awake, here's what can help you in the art of paying attention to your role:

  1. Faith
  2. Perseverance
  3. Optimism
  4. Vulnerability
  5. Communication

The Life and Work Awaiting

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I've always been a persevering type of human being. That has served me well in the dark times and in the times where a vision was in sight. Today, I have found myself in that place where a new life and work are awaiting me.

Anna Farmery once said to not keep your struggles a secret from your audience. I admired her for stating that, while not sure if it fit me. But of course, those who've followed my blog know about my father, my former life in corporate America and my spiritual side. In some ways I gave you a glimpse. I just never gave you a view of my business model struggles, except the somewhat vague challenges I faced as an entrepreneur.

Now is the time for you to get a deeper view into my current state.

2011 was a year that I needed to see great business/revenue success. After being on my own for 5 years, it was clear financially that a rising tide was needed. Bluntly, I had no more money and enough clients to sustain Epic Living beyond another year.

Last year did not unfold the way I'd hoped.  

As 2011 came to an end, I made plans with my wife to look at other roads to change the state of things. I am in the midst of that now. What will it look like? I don't know for sure, but whatever it is it will have to do 2 things. One, be sustainable from an income/revenue perspective. Two, be something that requires me to show up. That's my prayer anyway.

To you the reader, I want to be clear on a front not easy to write about. I've always been the type, for better or worse, of entrepreneur that believed great work was the best cure for financial needs. Indeed, that is true, and it took me a long time to learn that marketing and sales can be a help if not left to run amok on their own. If you expected me to be more aggressive in selling Epic Living or being more vocal in letting you know that things were rough, I'm sorry.

The life and work awaiting me is a bloom formed out of my experiences from the last 6 years. But that does not mean an ending. It will just look different than today, so I do intend to continue to write in this blog and offer my expertise where appropriate. The other Epic Living services will go quiet in the coming weeks.

As always, you can contact me directly if you want to know more this transition or to pass on some wise input. Thanks for joining me on the Epic Living journey.