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Monday, January 17, 2011

I swore I was going to read the manual...

Not Perfect, But Here It Is!
I swore I was going to read the manual. Really! But you know how it is--with my natural style to just jump in and see what happens-- I've pushed a button or two before I've even glanced at the instructions.

Intrigued by getting results, I'm emboldened to push more buttons, and before I know it, I'm immersed in exploring how Photoshop  and digital cameras work instead of reading how they work in the manuals.

Of course it always helps to start out by practicing on something you don't care if you wreck, or delete, if you push the wrong button. That's the case here. I asked my husband to show me how to work the digital camera and upload the pictures on the computer. This picture, one of the first digital photos I took after asking for help, is a little off kilter and the flash shows. It's imperfections make it the perfect candidate to practice on without fear of messing up.

But I know what you're thinking....WHAT? You don't know how to take a picture with a digital camera? As Bill, my photographer friend said:
'It's just like using the old cameras, Sue, but without film. You just point and click.'
Exactly! Bill just proves my point-- the hardest thing about starting to do something you don't know how to do is taking the first step, like asking someone to show you how to do something you know has to be so incredibly easy your pride is sure to be injured the minute you ask for help.
'You click the ON button here, you point the camera in the direction you want to take the picture, and you click and hold this button to take the picture.'
 Easy? Yes. I may not be good at taking the picture but it IS easy to do it. And it IS easy to click a button and see what happens. The freer I feel to practice pushing buttons, the better I'll get at producing outstanding results.This goes for you too!

Don't let fear or pride stop you from stepping over those invisible barriers to taking action. Be willing to learn imperfectly.Make mistakes. Push a button and see what happens. When all else fails, you can always read the manual.....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Competence and Confidence

The Lightarted Buddha Mama
I just got off the phone with India. For the third time since getting my new computer I could not open my document or picture files. The communication from the computer said,
'This file does not have a program associated with it for performing this action. Please install a program or, if one is already installed, create an association in the default programs control panel'.
I've always said computers can smell fear. And although the IT guys always told me that wasn't true, you and I know it is!

At this time in life I have no intention of letting a machine get the upper hand. By learning to communicate with the computer in the same way I communicate with people I believe I can influence the course of our relationship by applying the four messages all people want to hear:

'I'm glad I'm here.
I'm glad you're here.
I care about you.
I know that I know.'
These four messages are at the core of conveying competence, confidence and caring to others. They center me so I can tackle an issue calmly and with the confidence I can find a solution and learn something new in the process.

Today, I was able to talk with the computer professional in India and work through the usual frustrations to get the solution I needed. Why? Because I knew that I knew.....each time I've been locked out of my files the computer has automatically made critical updates. I knew there was a misconnect between the version of my new computer and the version of the critical update that stopped up the system.

This time I calmly persisted with the IT professional and didn't let the language barrier get in the way. He wanted to pass me on to the 'advanced support' (which would cost money) but I questioned his supposition that it wasn't an easy fix.

Here's the fix: click on start, type in restore, choose restore computer to earlier time. My computer had indeed had a critical update on 1-12-11 and I choose to restore the computer to the time before the update. By the way, when you do this, it does not affect your documents or pictures. It restores, then reboots your computer.

Each crisis presents us with the opportunity to increase our competence and develop the confidence we can handle anything that comes up. By staying calm and focusing on the four messages, I not only restored the computer to a fully functioning machine, I restored my belief in my own abilities to be pro-active and solve computer issues on my own.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stop Living for Reason, Time to Start Living for Rhyme

Stop Living for Reason, Time to Start Living for Rhyme
Lightarted Designs Orignal Tile
At the beginning of my career I was referred to as 'The Pitbull'  because it was said, 'she'll grab ahold of your leg and not let go until she gets what she wants'.

I learned from power professionals to 'power dress' and do 'power lunches'. Above all else, if I wanted my work to be taken seriously, as a young woman, I should never enter a room smiling. So I didn't. I was intense and intent, always carrying important papers and books with me (to maintain the image).

But the truth is I am a naturally lighthearted person who enjoys life, work and people. Initially I worked to keep my lightarted side under wraps. But time and experience has a way of exposing our true nature. As I grew older, my authentic self crept out of me-- and then there I was!

Today I enjoy openly and freely being 'Lightarted Sue'. Sure, the pitbull still lives in me, but it is a much more fun animal.

Stop living for reason, time to start living for rhyme is a line out of a musical that is my inner song. I paint it, I sing it, I think it. I give you the complete verse below, and invite you to let your lighter self out. Life is to be enjoyed. Enjoy it today.

Stop living for reason,
Time to start living for rhyme.
I'm on a spree and I'm
Gonna make sure it's a perfectly good waste of time. Lily