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The Quiet Ones

Persevering tenderheartedness outweighs glowing charisma over time, every time.

In college I was nearly as much an outcast as I was in High School, but there were times when people gravitated towards me. Typically when they felt their life was at their lowest. When all their buddies were only hanging around to poke fun of their mistakes.

I expelled onlookers, cleaned their vomit, bought them medicine. At times, inconspicuously undid brash pranks and destroyed harsh notes before they could have the chance to know of them so these people would never know the pain such artifacts cause. I’m not sure what compelled me other than a real, personal understanding through experiencing cruelty and unkindness from many of my peers and superiors, even though at times it was deserved.

I urge everyone to show this kindness to others. Pay it forward when it hurts you the most and when the recipient either can’t see it or is in too sick of a state to even thank you for it.

And when they deject you on every other front and consistently pick you last for their team. Remember that they are victims of the very peer pressure they create, and live their lives in that wretched illusion. Those who choose reality – who live kindness, meekness and charity through trial after trial will eventually get great rewards.

It’s only the heart that can be broken – that sheds a tear at the pain of others, rather than becoming harsh and indignant – that is truly whole. And it’s only the whole heart that can experience the full delight of love that life allows. These are the people you see happily married 50+ years. These are the people who are loyal, dependable and honest. We are also the quiet ones. The wallflowers. The often ignored. Most business have little use for our reserved behavior, but we are the glue that holds people together through sweat and tears and blood. Though ignored, without the cohesiveness we bring, there would be no loyalty anywhere. Business would lack sincerity and humanity.

Our lives are are a reminder to others that they are also human, and as much as they might hate us for that reminder and wish to rise above that “weakness”. We see what they call a weakness as the greatest strength of all.

You can learn more about us, our strengths and what makes us tick by reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

The Telecommuting Family Man

OFFICE door
Leo Reynolds / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

As someone who has worked from an office in his house for nearly 15 years, I have the experience to help others find the discipline and configuration they need to enjoy the comfortable benefits of telecommuting that many companies are now feeling inclined to provide.

That’s not to say, however, that working from home doesn’t have its host of issues and challenges; this post provides one tip that could make that job with a daily pajama commute a happy memory – it’s one of the more important rules to telecommuting that you need to address.

The most important aspect of telecommuting from a home office is the office door and a solid end-of-day routine. There are times that telecommuters will feel the urge to return to work after sitting down to a family meal. Don’t blend your personal life with a business other than your own or you’ll look back with regret. If you are heading back to your office, spend that time on building your personal brand, a personal skill, or your personal business, not on daily grind. There will always be one-more-thing that work will demand of you. You need to budget and spend your time like you should be doing with your money.

Multitasking is dead. The trick to multitasking effectively is to not multitask. You break your day into blocks of time that are given to each of the projects individually. Consider personal growth time in the same way. Sometimes the two coincide (and it’s exhilarating when that symbiotic relationship is in full swing), but there still needs to be that separation for your family. This is another reason to have a separate place for personal growth, such as a laptop in the bedroom, so you’re not tempted to return to the office after hours, which inevitably leads to sitting back down to work several hours more while the family is pining for your company. This is the main reason I appreciate personal laptops and iPads and I keep mine out of the office. Better than that, I’ve grown a fondness to books over the past year because I can’t get pulled out of it as easily as I do when reading online.

A routine with feedback builds habit. By replacing your workaholic habit with one that gives priority to your beliefs and the ones you love, it makes you a better, smarter, healthier, guilt-free worker (during business hours) and a fantastic community helper, parent and spouse.

The times when the lines blur a little is when you’re running your own start-up business, in which case, as I’ve heard several entrepreneurs discuss, you’d be better off with pen and paper, discussing ideas in front of a coffee shop with highly talented people and friends than sitting in front of a computer in an isolated room.

One-Up

It wasn’t until I was in college that I found out one of our family secrets that both my Grandfather and Great Grandfather were on the initial construction crew for Disneyland.

It’s one of those things that when you tell someone you get one of two responses: “Yeah, Right!” or “Wow, Neat!”, though the first response is usually silently spoken behind a polite smile.

My grandpa would come home from work and try to describe what they were building and the details that went into it. Nobody at the time could understand what he was talking about “Your building a … castle? For real? You built a … tree? Why not just plant one?” He and Disney actually had a personal relationship as well. Disney would sit on one of the docks for lunch. None of the other construction workers felt comfortable enough, but my grandpa would sit right next to him and have lunch together talking about families and dreams.

Disneyland has far more educational value than half the school slums in our country, but you have to dig for it. Try reading a few books on how Disney performed his work before the next time you visit… or just to learn a few tips and pointers to improve your own personal business and achievements. Our family favorite is the “One-Up”.

When Disney walked into a room to see the story boards (a concept he invented and everyone uses today) he would listen to people’s ideas and envision something fantastic. When it came down to building the parts, whether it was a ride in an amusement park or a frame still for a movie, he would look at it and say to the engineers and artists … “That’s great. Now one-up it.” One-up means to overachieve… to excel.

When we build something we get stuck in the forest and can’t see it through the trees. When we step back we can see areas of improvement. “One-Up” means changing how we see things for a minute… to step out of our mind, or to step into a fresh mind depending on how you view it … and making the experience better.

With the common proverb (by Julius Caesar) that “experience is the greatest teacher”, it makes sense that walking through one of the greatest creations of the greatest teacher of details, magic and experience (speaking of Disneyland and Disney) would lend to teaching a thing or two.