I have a really good memory, it seems, for what other people say.
Not for everything everybody says, of course. It’s amazing the things I’ve forgotten over the years. But I think I still have a pretty good memory for what people say.
Certain things people say really grab my attention, including these:
- Anything that indicates danger to somebody.
- Things said by people I respect.
- Comments about me, about what I’ve created, and about how I’m living in this world.
This is a partial list, but those are on my mind, this morning.
Because I’m realizing, again, that some things people have said, over the years, have gotten “stuck” in my memory. They loom too large. And they’re not helpful.
I’m not blaming the people who said those things, right now.
In some cases, these people may not have even said what I heard.
It doesn’t matter, though, does it? Those things have stuck.
And I’d like to let go of those things, or at least reduce their power.
I have an idea! How about if I write a few of these things down, and put them in a “magic” wastepaper basket?
That’s not helping me these days. So let’s crumple that one up:
Here’s another one, that hasn’t been helping:
Let’s crumple that one, too, to reduce its power.
That felt good, I must say.
Next, let’s throw these two things away. That means I need to choose a wastepaper basket. Decisions, decisions.
I know! This one:
Perfect! Now, let’s throw those things away:
They’re in the magic wasterpaper basket! Hooray!
Before I end this post for today, I would like to share something else I heard somebody say. Opposed to the two things I just threw away, this is something
- I heard recently and
- I would like to stick in my memory more (not less).
I heard this yesterday, when I listened to this TED talk by lexicographer Erin McKean:
Here’s what she said that I especially want to remember now*:
“When parts of your job are not easy or fun, you kind of look for an excuse not to do them.” (At 1:54 in the talk.)
That’s much better, rather than labeling myself …
Hey! It’s another job for the magic wastepaper basket!
Thanks to Erin McKean, all the people in my life who’ve taken the time to tell me something they thought would be helpful, cool wastepaper baskets everywhere, and to you, too, for reading today.
*Erin McKean refers to something else, in this talk, which I found incredibly valuable when somebody told me about it many years ago. At 5:00, she describes what she calls “The Ham Butt Problem”, which also relates to letting go of old, unhelpful ways of thinking!