Treat Everyone As Your Equal

At a writing conference, I asked a writer about advice on networking. And she said to treat everyone as your equal.

There are certain situations you get it that have a hierarchy: at a writing conference, there are presenters and attendees. In college, there are teachers, graduate students, and undergraduates. Often, you are surrounded by people who are not on the same plane as you are.

But treat them as your equal anyway.

Treat the grocery store clerk as your equal. Treat your students as your equal. Treat your bosses as your equal. Treat your children as your equal. Treat random strangers as your equal.

When you start to really love other people and see their worth, you can make better connections with them. Your conversations are fuller and more vibrant. You gain empathy and can help others who need it.

You can learn together. You can feel like you are on the same team. You can find better confidence in yourself and better ability to encourage others.

Treat everyone as your equal.

Sidestepping Barriers through Positive Thinking

You might have some big barriers and walls in your way to accomplish what you would would like and what is right. In your relationships, maybe there is contention and incompatibility that seems insurmountable. In your goals, maybe you have bad habits that always seem to ruin your productivity. You might simply not have the right opportunities. You might not have enough time. You might feel like there is no way to make this work.

But sometimes instead of spending the effort to overcome those huge obstacles, you need to step around them instead.

It’s good to have a destination in mind. You need to determine what you really want: greater peace, greater love, unity, productivity, achieving certain goals.

But then realize that there might be a unique pathway to bet there that makes everything a lot easier.

It’s really hard change certain habits: but can you still achieve my goals with your bad habits intact? Maybe it’s okay to stay up late or watch movies or get distracted–how can you work around those thing instead of having to eliminate them?

It’s really hard to stop arguing with someone all the time: but can you still build up a loving relationship, even with those disagreements? Maybe it’s okay to fundamentally disagree about certain things–and instead look at what you have in common and build on that.

Sometimes you might have to adjust your end goal a bit, but you can still hold on to the things that really matter to you.

And when you have enough hope in that destination, that hope can help you see a way around obstacles that appear insurmountable. When you are determined to make things better, you can see different pathways that you didn’t notice before.

Three Random Thoughts Lately

We should all have our own coaches and cheerleaders to help us get through life. People who encourage us, who help keep us accountable, and who help us press forward when it gets tough. Sometimes I don’t share my goals, which is not helpful for me or for others. It’s better to share so we can all help each other.

Sometimes I hate cleaning up just as much as my children do. I have to make it fun for myself too. I see how much I can clean in five minutes. I time myself to see how long it takes to deep clean my kitchen. I record time lapses of myself cleaning, or text my husband before and after pictures. And I always either watch a movie or listen to an audiobook while folding laundry.

I have generally been taught not to gossip, but I would rather live in a world where people gossiped about each other than a world where no one talked about others at all. I hope people do talk about me behind my back, because then they at least care in some way about me. Sometimes gossip can lead to helping other people. It can lead to a sense of community. Gossip helps us keep in contact and informed about the people around us.

Gossip can be mean, founded on lies and meat to make other people hurt. But talking about other people is an important part of life and living and being neighbors and friends.

This is a picture I took to prove that I had cleaned my floors. My youngest daughter spilled both flour and sugar on the floor shortly after the picture was taken. My oldest two kids did their best to clean it up.

The Penalty Box

The Easy Way to Simplify and Delete

Like many of us, I have a hard time letting go.

I don’t want to let go of some things I own. I spent money on those things. I really liked them. And even when they no longer fit into my life, I want to figure out how I can save a space for them.

I hate deleting something I’ve written. Even if a paragraph doesn’t fit into a blog post or a chapter of a book, it may still hold insight that I really like.

And I really don’t want to delete things off of my to-do list and the goals that I have for myself. I may not be quite capable yet, and I may not really have the time, and there might be higher priorities, but I really wanted to accomplish that thing.

There is a common phrase in writing to “kill your darlings.” This phrase has been floating around since 1914–so writers have been hearing it for over 100 years now. But at a writing conference recently, I heard a writer say that instead of killing his darlings, he puts them into a penalty box.

So if I’m not quite able to get rid of my possessions, or the things that I create, or my goals and to-do list, then I can put them into a penalty box instead.

A penalty box might be a cardboard box in the garage. Or a drawer somewhere. Or a separate computer document that never gets looked at again. Or a new textbox in OneNote with the label “Penalty Box.” Or a folder in your Inbox.

Your penalty box might expire at some point, but it doesn’t necessarily have to either. You can decide the rules.

It’s really painful to get rid of some things from our lives, things that we love, even if they don’t serve us well. And a penalty box sort of cheats that pain on both sides. It allows us to remove something from our daily lives and move forward, but it also defers the pain from losing it completely.

What do you need to put in your penalty box right now?

52. Why is consistency important and how do I become more consistent?

There are three things that I am very consistent about:

  1. I read my scriptures and say prayers every day.
  2. I shower every day.
  3. I got to church every Sunday.

The rest of my life, I’m not always that consistent. I think consistency is important, though. It’s a lot easier to do things all of the time than to do things some of the time. And consistency helps reduce worry and chaos and keep balance and productivity.

I’ve been trying to be more consistent about quite a few things: Exercising. Keeping the house clean. Not watching too many movies or checking social media too often.

I want to consistently spend quality time with my children and serve others.

I have a morning routine that helps keep my consistent: I started to write for 15 minutes every morning at the beginning of the year after I read my scriptures, exercised, and showered. I got a whole lot more writing done because of that.

But sometimes building consistency takes a lot of effort and patience, and I have to get back up and keep trying even though I’ve missed a few days. Sometimes I need to reanalyze when I do things, or why I’m doing them.

What helps keep you consistent?