“The scholars who research happiness suggest that more money stops making people happier at a family income of around seventy-five thousand dollars a year. After that, what economists call “diminishing marginal returns” sets in. If your family makes seventy-five thousand and your neighbor makes a hundred thousand, that extra twenty-five thousand a year means that your neighbor can drive a nicer car and go out to eat slightly more often. But it doesn’t make your neighbor happier than you, or better equipped to do the thousands of small and large things that make for being a good parent.” ~ Malcolm Gladwell, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
I find that as a leader I am more often wanting growth and development for people more than they want it themselves. For instance, I want so badly for them to want more, be more, do more, and to have more. What I have found is, when I run into an individual that is working on self development I get a little overboard with excitement. Like the case with the 4 Hour Body. When a friend was excited about reading it I bought it and read it in one day. So, when a colleague mentioned he was reading David and Goliath, by Malcolm Gladwell I downloaded it immediately on Audible. Reading the reviews and doing a little research on the book I found that it was a perfect fit for discussing in a reading group on LinkedIn. If you would like to join in on the discussion click here Art Van Reading Group. The group is open to everybody. We only ask that you don’t just visit; you participate!
The Laws of Attraction
The Laws of Attraction (you draw to you what you think about) were at work when I listened to Malcolm discuss how happiness can increase when income increases, but only to a certain point. At that point any additional income is meaningless to your overall happiness and in fact can make matters more difficult for you. In the case of parenting the difficulty comes in having to explain to your children why we won’t do something versus why we can’t do something.
Can’t is Easier.
Can’t is easy for both parties. The deliverer of the message simply cannot do what is requested and is not faced with having to make a decision at all. They only have to explain that it can’t be done. The receiver just has to understand that can’t is can’t. Disappointing, but there is no bad guy.
Won’t Travels a Much Slipperier Slope.
Won’t involves decision making and influence. The requested party must decide and then be able to defend the decision. It also requires the discipline necessary to stick to your guns. The requester must be open minded and able to accept no for an answer. Not so easy for young ears who want what they want when they want it.
Here’s an example from my own experience.
I was confronted with this on Sunday night. We were shopping for school pants for my son. He has blown through the knees in all of his and while struggling to get him into anything but athletic wear my daughter asked for a pair of Converse. If we couldn’t purchase the shoes I could have explained to her that we simply can’t buy the shoes. It would have been honest and easily understood. Disappointing, but end of story. Instead, I was faced with having to explain to her why we won’t buy the Converse. Not as easy to do and not as easily understood. In fact, I must have blown it because the Converse matter came up the next day.
How do you balance working parent guilt with not spoiling your children? Comment below.
I love living in Michigan for a couple of reasons. I love the full scope of having four seasons. The color changes in the fall, the sparkles of fresh white snow, the excitement of spring finally coming after the wonder of winter wears out its welcome, and then there’s summer. We treated the family to an amazing spring break vacation to Jamaica this year. Our son wanted the family to relocate and make this our permanent residence, but our daughter had a pretty good argument against it. She argued, “but where would you go on vacations if you lived here?” I love her logic. I think that Michiganders can appreciate the summer more. It’s short here and the second reason I love living here is the long summer nights. When friends visit they always marvel, “Wait. It can’t be 10:00. It’s still light.”
Another love of mine is the Farmers Market (really, I am a sucker for any roadside stand). This weekend I picked up some beautiful Swiss chard and prepared it tonight. (Check out the link for all of the awesome health bennies). Here’s the recipe:
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 garlic clove
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup raisins
Wash the Swiss chard very well or it will be sandy. Cut off the thick stems and discard and then chop the leaves.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet
Add the garlic and cook 1 minute
Add the Swiss chard and chicken stock
Season with salt and pepper
Cook on medium heat for 15 minutes
Add the raisins and cook on low until the Swiss chard is very tender
Note: Swiss chard will cook down to about 1/4 it’s original size. 2 cups uncooked will be about 1/2 cup after cooked.
Happy Valentine’s Day!!! We had our celebration a day early and while grocery shopping I came across frozen Lobster Claws. I bought them thinking I could just Google directions on how to serve them. No luck. If you see them, buy them. They are so yummy and here’s how to prepare them. It took me two tries to perfect this.
Previously Frozen Lobster Claws (with arms)
- Defrost completely
- Heat oven to 400 degrees
- Bundle claws together and wrap in aluminum foil
- Place on cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes
- Shells should be pink when they come out
…then drink Shakeology for breakfast the next 7 days :).
p.s. Where to buy lobster claws? Most grocery stores have them in the frozen section. I found mine and Costco. They have them with the frozen seafood, but if you’re lucky, you’ll find some that they have already thawed in the refrigerated seafood section. Less time for you and they cost less, added bonus!
Find a clock or watch with a second hand. Now watch it for an entire minute. Wait, wait, wait while that second hand makes it all the way around back to where it started. That was painful wasn’t it? The next time you tell someone “wait a minute”, remember how painful that minute watching the clock was.
A minute may seem like a reasonable request, unless you’re the one waiting. Then a minute seems like an eternity. What are you doing that is so important? Are you really engaged in something you can’t break away from? If what you are doing is so important is a minute really enough, and if you do break away in a minute are you committed to giving someone your full attention or are you still distracted by what you were previously doing?
The next time you’re about to ask for a minute (an eternity) instead decide if you can give the person your full attention now or if you need them to return at a different time when you can be 100% engaged in what they want to discuss. Both parties will feel much better about the interaction when you are both fully engaged.
“Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t
own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep
it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it
you can never get it back.”
We had just returned to the car with a cart full of groceries and my liftgate wouldn’t open. I tried the remote, then the handle, and then I opened the driver side door and tried the button. No go. I looked at my daughter and said “thank goodness we weren’t at Costco”. Since it was just the two of us it was no problem to stuff the bags in the backseat and head for home.
Weeks ago this would have been a disaster. I would be pouting for days complaining about how inconvenient it would be to go to the dealer to get it fixed. Ah, but this is not for me. I have found the Power of Home Depot. Ever since buying a table saw my mantra has been
I Can Do Anything!
For the first time what would have been a do-not-attempt-this-at-home moment was an I can do anything
moment. I didn’t even consider taking my car anywhere for help. I have found the power to try and do things on my own by starting one DIY project. I don’t even have the project complete yet, but just the fact that I am doing it starting has been my source of self-empowerment.
Try something new. See what else it leads to.
Where do you get your confidence?