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Posts Tagged ‘Thoughts’

When making decisions, what is the one question you ask yourself?

Now that all that election stuff is over and I probably won’t be seeing the strong political opinions of others on Facebook (thank goodness), it got me thinking about the candidates campaigning and debating and why people make the decision to vote for a particular candidate. I didn’t really do any deep, deep thinking about it but it did bring to mind the phrase from that old Janet Jackson song, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” along with the questions, “What are you going to do? How will it affect me/my family?” and “How will it affect others (non-family)?”

Whether consciously or subconsciously, when we have a decision to make, the one question we want answered is — What’s in it for me (WIIFM). The answer isn’t always about what you will get, it could also be “how will I feel.” Years ago my father told me “people want to know WIIFM – What’s in it for me.” It wasn’t something I had ever really thought about before but it made sense to me. Many years prior (when I was much younger) to him sharing the WIIFM principle with me I had a frustrating experience at work. The head honchos of the directorates (major work divisions) decided they wanted to reorganize and place all the financial type people who worked within their organizations into one office within their individual organizations. At the time we had a main “Comptroller” directorate and the rest of us were financial people who interacted with the Comptroller organization. We were spread out amongst the different directorates and offices within those directorates. My directorate head called those of us affected into a meeting to tell us the news of our being reassigned but also said, “If you find someplace else you’d rather go within the agency, you’re free to go.” Well this was music to my ears. My immediate supervisor knew someone who was looking to fill a position and I interviewed with him and got the job. I waited. And then one day he said he was told that my directorate head was not going to let me go. I was a little disappointed but kept on going. An acquaintance of mine was looking to hire another budget analyst. I gave her my resume, we talked and she wanted to hire me. I waited. The news came back that Mr. X and my directorate head had made an agreement that they would “not steal” any of their budget people from one another. I was a little ticked. This was twice now that I had been blocked from taking another job. I kept looking. I knew a director in another directorate that had some budget positions available. A good friend of mine and I applied for the positions. They wanted both of us. Great news I thought — we’ll be able to work together. I waited and waited. Finally my friend received the “official” telephone call from personnel (Human Resources) offering her one of the budget positions. I was wondering why I hadn’t received a call. I called one of the guys I had interviewed with who had said he wanted me for one of the positions and I called personnel. In a nut shell I was told, “The directorate heads have all made an agreement not to take each other’s financial people.” Now I was really upset. They were messing with my career! I remember saying to the nice lady from personnel, “If that’s the case, why bother applying for any jobs?” And she said, “Don’t give up. You never know, things can change.” It was just what I needed to hear to keep me going. About a day later my friend received a phone call telling her that personnel had offered her the job by mistake and that she was not supposed to have gotten that call. So, my friend was stuck too. She ended up taking a job outside the agency. One day, not long after, I saw a job announcement via email and I knew the job was mine. I can’t explain how I knew it, I guess it was just a feeling, plus the fact that this position was in Corporate Operations. That was the directorate that was a direct extension of the Office of the Commander (the Admiral) of the agency. And I knew that if he wanted me, he out-trumped the other directorate heads. The Admiral was the head honcho of the agency. In essence, everybody worked for him. I knew if he wanted me, he had the power to make it happen. And I was right. I got the job without any problem. They brought another women in to fill my position and I trained her for awhile before I moved on to my new position. The whole time I had been looking at things from the perspective of “What’s in it for me?” but so had my immediate directorate head (I believe he was looking at it from the perspective of what was in it for his organization) – and he had decided that he didn’t want to let me go those 3 previous times. Live and learn.

While I had this WIIFM thing on my mind I decided to surf the web to see if I could find any information on it. This is one thing I found:

What’s In It For Me?
Written by Steve Martin
President, Natural Encounters, Inc.
Presented at the IAATE Conference
Toronto, Canada 2004

What’s In It For Me? That question drives most every decision you make. From the moment you wake up in the morning, “What’s in it for me” is the subconscious mantra playing quietly in the back of your head. These five words help you choose what clothes to wear, what food to eat, what people to hang around with, what movie to watch, and so on. They also help you evaluate risks: do you dare walk across that fallen log, do you try to make that traffic light, do you ask for a raise, do you ask her out, do you get a Bald Eagle, do you find a new job, do I go on with these examples, do I write do I go on with these examples….?

What’s in it for me is not always about what we will get, it is often about how we will feel. We are often inspired to do things for the feelings of pride, compassion, sharing, safety, security, thrill, excitement, etc. Our subconscious mind helps us make appropriate decisions based on our experience, motivation, and our prediction of the rewards and risks associated with our actions.

Source: naturalencounters.com


Think about it. Businesses, advertisers and politicians all get to us by using the WIIFM principle. They appeal to us with the lure — if you buy and use this product or purchase this information — your life will improve and/or your dreams will come true, you will look better, you will lose weight, you will smell better, your hair will smell better and look better, you will make more money, you can win by playing the lottery/gambling (if you win big you could become so rich that you can quit your job and live happily ever after, your problem(s) will be solved, you will meet the man/woman of your dreams (think internet dating sites), you will have a happier relationship, you will feel better emotionally and/or physically (think about all those ads for drugs, ads for energy drinks & so-called “healthy cereals,” feminine products, sex products), you will feel safe/safer/protected (i.e. alarm systems, carrying guns or having them in your home), you will become happy or happier, etc. Negotiations even happen using the WIIFM principle. Even your family and friends will sometimes appeal to you using the WIIFM principle. I remember whenever my father would break the news to us that the military was moving us once again, he also used to point out all the benefits he could think of that would appeal to us about moving to the new area. Bless his heart, he just wanted us to “feel better.” It helped to ease the pain a little but I was still upset about having to leave my friends and once again be the new kid at school. I would remain upset until the time we moved and I made new friends.

I say all this not to say that people don’t do things for others. Sometimes we can really come together as a country. Especially when it comes to donating items and raising money for a cause (but even that comes with a tax write off). I think some people are only concerned with getting, with receiving for themselves and their family and don’t really care about others or giving to others. Some people give just so they can get — they are trying to manipulate you to get what they want/have things their way. Some people give because they care about others but it also makes them feel good, feel happy inside to give by their choice. What’s in it for you? What’s in it for me? I’ll wrap this up with these two Bible verses about giving:

Deuteronomy 15:10-11 (New International Version (NIV)) – Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (New International Version (NIV)) – Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.


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Happy Mother’s Day!

The longer I live the more I appreciate my mother. As a wife and mother, there have been times when I felt underappreciated, taken for granted, and felt like I’m just the fix it and clean it up person. Yeah I know, right now some of you are probably thinking… “Welcome to my world.” It’s during some of those times when I felt the most frustrated that a little voice in my head would say “This is probably how mom felt. Wow! She never let on. She did everything without complaining.” Just having that thought prevents me from having a pity party, and it is moments like that that make me appreciate her all the more. I am truly amazed by my mother. Maybe it takes being a mom to really recognize and appreciate the many, many, many things our mothers did (and maybe even still do) for us. So for mom’s everywhere, these videos are especially for your viewing pleasure:


The Mom Song (what a mom would say in a 24 hour period condensed down to 2:55 minutes)



“Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same; and most mothers kiss and scold together.” – Pearl S. Buck


Mommy Rhapsody
(NOTE: You will see the performers appear in the video at the 10 second mark)



“Being a mother is undoubtedly and inarguably one of the hardest, if not “the” hardest job a woman can ever do.” –Lyn Lomasi, “The Hardest Part About Being a Mom: Moms Speak Out


Life Lessons from Moms:

Life’s Lessons from Your Mother
Life Lessons I Learned from My Mother
Readers Respond: Life Lessons My Mother Taught Me
‘Don’t Screw Up!’ and other advice from moms


“All mothers are working mothers.” –author unknown


You might also like:

25 Things My Mother Taught Me
Poem: Things My Mother Taught Me
Mother’s Day Quotes and Sayings
A Mother’s Day Tribute


What life lessons have you learned from your mom? What is the hardest part about being a mom?


“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” –Sophia Loren, Women and Beauty


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“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”Soren Kierkegaard


We all have those moments in our lives when we look back and say…”What was I thinking?” Maybe if we had just asked ourselves one question — like the one here in this video clip from the tv show “The Office,” we could have prevented some of those moments from happening. Although the advice is meant to be funny, I still think it’s some good advice.



“Wise men profit more from fools than fools from wise men; for the wise men shun the mistakes of fools, but fools do not imitate the successes of the wise.”Marcus Porcius Cato


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Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold – but so does a hard-boiled egg.” –Author Unknown


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“Just because fate doesn’t deal you the right cards, it doesn’t mean you should give up. It just means you have to play the cards you get to their maximum potential.” – Les Brown




I was watching a show on tv last week and near the end of the show they had a segment called “Words of Life.” The guest speaker shared this bit of life advice from her great-grandmother. When I heard it I thought “this is so true.” So now I share it with you.


You’re not always going to get what you want,
when you want it,
how you want it,
from whom you want it.

Life is not always going to be convenient,
and life does not revolve around you.


What’s some good advice you’ve received about life?


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There are two ways of exerting one’s strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up.” –Booker T. Washington

Just some food for thought — how are you using your power? Are your words, thoughts, and actions lifting you up — or are they wreaking havoc in your life?

What is the impact of your words/behavior in other people’s lives? Some people seem to take pleasure in criticizing others, in tearing others down. This can occur face-to-face (like during an argument), in writing, or behind your back. Why do they do it? Here’s what I think: 1 – They really do want to cause you some pain. Have you heard the phrase “misery loves company?” If they are in pain they want to inflict pain on you because they can’t stand seeing you happy when they aren’t. 2 – Payback – they blame you for causing them pain so they want to get revenge by hurting you. 3 – They are envious of you/others. 4 – Insecurity – maybe they feel inferior to you so they think tearing you down kind of makes things even. If they succeed in tearing down your self-esteem, maybe you won’t leave them. 5 – Maybe they do it to make themselves feel better, to feel superior to others. 6 – Maybe it’s a way of distracting themselves from dealing with their own issues.



What are your thoughts on this topic?



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Do you recall a time(s) when you felt envy or jealousy? Why?

Something we are not taught in school is how to handle emotions like envy and jealousy. One of the bits of wisdom that my father shared with me many years ago is… “Not everyone will be happy for you. Not everyone will be happy for your good fortune.” He spoke the truth.

Occasionally a friend has told me to my face when they felt jealous or envious towards me. And I’ve heard people actually admit they felt envy towards another because of the other person’s looks (beauty), their weight, or because they just bought a big house. An old supervisor of mine was divorced, owned her own home, owned two horses, owned a BMW and an SUV, was thin and well dressed, and traveled wherever she wanted, but I noticed that she just didn’t seem to be happy for anyone else. I could tell this by her snide remarks, or other little things she would do, or not do. I just couldn’t understand it. Why was someone else’s good fortune, relationship (spouse/significant other), Tivo/DVR, or vacation, a problem for her? Maybe she liked to feel that she was better off than others. It just goes to show you that you never know what someone’s self-talk is or what they are really thinking.

The words “jealous” and “envious” are often used interchangeably, but they mean different things.

Jealousy is the emotion when you fear something or someone might be taken away from you.

Envy is the emotion when one wants something that someone or something else has. For example: I’m envious of his car/her clothes.

Other definitions of Envy:
a. A feeling of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with desire for the possessions or qualities of another.
b. The object of such feeling: Their new pool made them the envy of their neighbors.—American Heritage dictionary

a. feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.
b. an object of envious feeling: Her intelligence made her the envy of her classmates.
c. to regard with envy; be envious of: He envies her the position she has achieved in her profession. — dictionary.com


“Envy is pain at the good fortune of others.” (Aristotle, Rhetoric, Bk II, Chapter 10)

Envy is widely agreed to be a symptom or instance of the human tendency to evaluate one’s well-being comparatively, by assessing how well one is doing in comparison with others.

Envy is a propensity to view the well-being of others with distress, even though it does not detract from one’s own. [It is] a reluctance to see our own well-being overshadowed by another’s because the standard we use to see how well off we are is not the intrinsic worth of our own well-being but how it compares with that of others. [Envy] aims, at least in terms of one’s wishes, at destroying others’ good fortune. (Kant, The Metaphysics of Morals 6:459) http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/envy/


Envy – You want what they have –Paths of Envy and Jealousy Map
http://www.emotionalcompetency.com/envy.htm


The Rival Shopkeepers

Once upon a time there were two shopkeepers who were bitter rivals. Their stores were across the street from each other, and they would spend each day sitting in the doorway, keeping an eye on each other’s business. If one got a customer, he would smile in triumph at his rival.

One night, an angel appeared to one of the shopkeepers in a dream and said, “God has sent me to teach you a lesson. He will give you anything you ask for, but I want you to know that whatever you get, your competitor across the street will get twice as much.”

“Would you like to be wealthy?” said the angel. “You can be very wealthy, but he (your competitor) will be twice as rich. Do you want to lead a long and healthy life? You can, but his life will be longer and healthier. You can be famous, have children you will be proud of, whatever you desire. But whatever is granted to you, he will be granted twice as much.”

The man frowned, thought for a moment, and said, “All right, my request is this: Strike me blind in one eye.”


“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.”
–Harold Coffin

“Envy is an insult to oneself.” –Yevgeny Yevtushenko


Why do we Compare ourselves to others? Here’s one man’s perspective:


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