Speaking of Money

Speaking of Money…

Why don’t we?

We all tend to agree that we need Money to do certain things, but is has become a secretive endeavor.

Sometimes the opportunities present themselves, but we have been trained, conditioned, or accustomed that Speaking of Money is not polite, appropriate, or “right.”

I was reflecting on two recent opportunities.

Opportunity #1: The back porch.

While vacationing with family recently we tended to sit on the back porch and have conversations that ranged from the silly to the sacred (A shout out to Iain for that riff.) Conversations included the weather, our plans for that day, what we liked about the previous day, what to eat, what to eat, and sometimes where to eat.

But it was the questions that came from the youngest ones that were the most fun.

“So you are my dad’s older brother?”

“Yes.”

“Really, so you grew up together?”

“Yes.”

“So you are saying that Grammie was your mom, and my dad’s mom?”

“Yes.”

This went on for quite sometime. But then there was another question.

“So, this place we rented to all get together is pretty nice, how much did it cost?”

“Um, Uh, Hmmmm, Not too much.”

“No really, I was wondering what it cost, like how much money?”

“Hey, what was your favorite part of yesterday?”

Opportunity #2: The Menu.

Recently we decided to go away for holiday and instead of the traditional making of a big meal with all the prep, serving, hosting, and cleaning, we just wanted the simplicity of showing up, eating, and leaving.

To help those involved know what we were having for dinner, I shared the menu. But instead of sharing the whole menu, I folded over the part with the pricing and shared the folded version instead.

Unsurprisingly, most people who took the menu, immediately unfolded the piece of paper.

It was my youngest who asked the questions this time.

“So this food seems good, but how much does it cost?”

“Well you know, not too much.”

“Why did you fold over the menu and the pricing?”

“Hey, did you pack an extra jacket in case it is cold?”

Two opportunities. Two total misses.

The conditioning, training, or whatever it was overrode the opportunity in the moment.

Speaking of Money shouldn’t be so awkward.

Speaking of Money shouldn’t be something that freezes us.

We should look for opportunities where Speaking of Money helps provide perspective, insight, or understanding of how things work.

We may need to embrace this awkwardness and start Speaking of Money when the opportunities come this way.

We want to convey why we spent the money on vacation because connecting with family was that important.

We want to convey why we spent the money on a holiday meal so that we would not have the typical stress associated with holiday preparation.

We want to convey a healthy understanding of the costs, the sacrifices, the choices, and the reasons.

In order to do that, we are going to have to start Speaking of Money a little more often.

 

Decisions versus Feelings

Whether running or life in general, I have noticed a pattern. Feelings can interfere with our decisions

Feelings can disrupt us.

Feelings often provide the much desired excuse to stop moving forward.

Recently I have just been observing how often I hear myself or others verbalizing how feelings have the veto power over our decisions.

Here is what I found: we say these things all the time.

“I am not sure if I will feel like running later.”

“I will let you know how I feel before I decide.”

“I don’t know if I feel up to doing 6 miles today.”

“Let’s see how we feel before we say yes.”

Who gave feelings this power over us? Who said feelings are ahead of everyone else in the line of importance? I understand that feelings are part of the mix, but when did feelings take the chair at the end of the table? The corner office? When did feelings start running the show?

After noticing this pattern during a recent conversation, I couldn’t help but bring it up.

“I heard you say multiple times that this decision is dependent on how you feel. What is preventing you from making the decision now?”

“Multiple times? Really?”

“Yup.” (I know, I know, great follow-up.)

“Well, I guess it is really fear. Fear of not being able to do it. Fear of not being successful after I put myself out there.”

Fear.

One of the most disruptive of feelings. Fear seems to be elbowing its way to the front of the feelings line.

There is a little secret to put feelings in their place.

Decisions.

Decisions to go for that run ahead of time.

Decisions to take on the project.

Decisions to take a risk.

Decisions to push yourself.

I heard a great quote about feelings:

“Feel what you feel. But do not trust them as objective reality.”

When feelings start elbowing their way to the front of the line, try making a few decisions to put them back where they belong.

P.S. Our little running team made the decision to run the other day when it was below 20 degrees and dropping almost a degree every 15 minutes.

Hard Choice Ahead

Hard Choice Ahead

(Images created on roadtrafficsigns.com)

The interview went well. They answered the questions. They were hired. After a few months their performance begins to fade.

You hear from a few people around the office that deadlines are missed. Others are covering the work that is not getting done.

RESENTMENT IS BUILDING

A few of your peers come and talk to you about the issues and what you are doing to correct the problems.

YOU ARE BEING QUESTIONED

Your boss sends you an email asking about your department’s performance.

YOUR TEAM IS UNDER SCRUTINY

There were signs.

Looking back you may be able to see them.

Unfortunately, signs don’t always show up along our journey with bright colors and with enough repetition so they cannot go unnoticed. Failing to see the earlier signs prevented corrective action.

Maybe it was a relationship. Maybe it was a project that has not taken off. The specifics are yours to fill in.

Missing the earlier signs tends to result in one final sign: Hard Choice Ahead.

The choice won’t be easy.

But it needs to be done.

The choice will have consequences.

But it will bring the resolution.

Maybe next time we will become more attuned to watching for those earlier signs.