11 Things We Learned From Failure

11 Things We Learned From Failure

Or…Some Lessons Are More Expensive Than Others

Joel’s Blog

[This blog first appeared September 27, 2015]

If you have been following along the past few months, you know we have been winding down operations at the office suite we’ve occupied for the past year. In a few days, our business operations will be run from our dual home office. Janet’s recording studio is upstairs. My coaching (and writing) office is downstairs.

To say it has been a “learning experience” kind of doesn’t even get close to it. “Failure” does. (more…)

Beginnings & Endings: A Love Note

Beginnings & Endings: A Love Note

~Joel’s Blog

New Beginnings: Starting College Is A Big One

The day has arrived. It’s a day we have all been aiming at for 18 years. All of your hard work in grade school, junior high and high school—and it was a lot of hard work—paid off in a big way.

You’re entering as fine an institution for higher education as we could have hoped for you. You have a strong foundation of success that will serve you well. You have established positive behavior patterns and habits that will support you when facing new academic challenges. You’re going to be fine.

Even though you don’t totally believe that. (more…)

6 Reasons You Must Be A Human Doing

6 Reasons You Must Be A Human Doing

~Joel’s Blog

A Human Doing vs Human Being

You’ve heard it, right?

We come into the world as a human being, but then once we grow up, we turn into a human doing.

There’s truth to that. We feel the truth of it because we’re living it. Seeing it. You don’t have to look very far. Maybe no further than the mirror.

Our work world easily mutates until it becomes outsized. And we risk losing touch with our human nature. We get busy. Really busy. In fact, insanely busy. Running from one thing to the next. Creating long lists of things that must be done…if only we could find the stinking list again! And while we’re at it, we’d like to find the missing Costco card and mailbox key (both currently lost in our house). (more…)

Opportunity, Gandalf & Why I Miss Our Single-Wide

Opportunity, Gandalf & Why I Miss Our Single-Wide

~Joel’s Blog

Opportunity came knocking…or was that Gandalf?

Ten years ago, this week, an opportunity came that we could not ignore. As a result, our family began an adventure of epic scale. At least, it felt like it. A job promotion took us away from our family, friends of many years in a community that we really liked, and moved us to another state. Of course, this isn’t much of a unique story. Lots of people take this adventurous road. Some make it a habit. (more…)

Black Crab Syndrome, Part 1

Black Crab Syndrome, Part 1

~Joel’s Blog

The Lesson of the Crab

Dan Miller, in his terrific book, The Rudder of the Day; Stories of Wisdom to Kick Start Your Workday recounts the story in Robert Kiyosaki’s, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, about black crabs. If you have ever gone “crabbing,” you can easily visualize someone ambling down a beach, toting a bucket of fresh, vigorous crabs. Once you have learned the trick of catching crabs, it’s pretty fun to go collect enough for a special dinner.

The premise of the story is that the crabs crawl all over each other in the bucket. Once in a while, an intrepid crab will reach up to the lid, working hard on an escape to freedom. But the other crabs won’t have that, and pull the would-be escapee back into the bucket. This, of course, leads all of the crabs to the same fate.

The moral of the story, however, is that we all have “black crabs” in our lives, people who negatively influence our performance, intentionally inhibit our attempts at success or actively impede our enthusiasm. These people can be family, frieBucket of Black Crabsnds, or coworkers. Dan writes,

Small thinkers find it much easier to tell you why something won’t work than to help you find a solution. People who feel trapped and are struggling at a low level of success are seldom ones who will cheer you on to a new endeavor.

Crab R Us?

Before I’d heard this story, black crabs meant nothing more to me than crabs darker in color than the ones I used to go crabbing for. But I immediately recognized the “black crab” characteristic among some of the people around me!

In my family, countless times that I expressed a desire to try something, the idea would be challenged—and sometimes mocked—by an older sibling. Or by a friend. Or a teacher.

But, it is hard to imagine that anyone hasn’t had a similar experience. In fact, I wonder who hasn’t experienced the “black crab” syndrome in their life? Of course, it is important to put these kinds of comments—and the people who make them—into a context where they don’t hold us back from striving for something more, something better than what, where or who we are at this moment. It may take time to grow beyond the naysayer’s point of view. But it does no one any good to empower those “black crabs” and allow them to control our choices and limit our reach in life.

What are your thoughts? Have you experienced “black crab” people in your life? If so, how did you deal with them?

Next time: what if you are the black crab? 

Engage here.

[Also read Black Crabs & Vampires]

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