I heard this snippet at a talk given by Bill Burnett, Executive Director of Stanford University’s Design program and co-author of Designing Your Life. It made me pause because it highlights that there are different types of problem in our lives:
Burnett maintains, if you just want to complain about something, repeat how stuck you feel, or wish an aspect of your life were different, you’re not owning your problem and you won’t be able to make progress with it.
But if you admit to yourself that if you’re feeling discomfort, you can probably take steps to address it, and then commit to taking some of those steps, you have a decent shot at making a change. It reminds me a bit of a concept mentioned in the classic Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, about how women sometimes just want to talk about an issue to feel better, whereas men are more oriented to what to do about it.
I’d say both modes are valid, just as long as you know which one you’re using, and why. Maybe you’d like a Friday night glass of wine and a whinge about your cranky boss, knowing that next week you’ll be doing exactly the same. Or maybe you’re so sick of morning traffic, you resolve to find a gym closer to home. I challenge you this week to notice whether you’re content to live with a problem in the former way, or whether it’s appropriate to switch gears into action.
A Spoonful of Serenity
As usual, here is a short listing of wonderful articles which caught my eye.
- If the above-mentioned problems are just too plentiful for you to know where to begin, here’s some encouragement for what to do when life sucks.
- This piece also has in-depth advice for when life brings you down.
- The current serenity topic of Pep Up Your Wardrobe advocates that less is more. I agree heartily with all these reasons to get a colour analysis.
- Brenda Kinsel’s fashion blog is always worth a look, even if you don’t consider yourself to be “older”. This article, on looking like yourself, reminded me how important it is to be authentic with your style.