Grasshopper Mind



FEBRUARY 2, 2023

This past week I was asked to read and respond honestly to the draft of a new author’s story.  It was an honor. I said to myself in a stern voice – “Remember you were asked to read not edit.”  No correcting spelling or grammar, no deciding a different word would have been better.  Just read.  I did just that.


The story was fun, interesting, relatable.  I learned quite a bit as well.  I enjoyed it.  I enjoyed it because I was not looking for what might be wrong, or ways I would change the story.


The experience made me realize how often we approach life -- people, places, and things with a what’s wrong attitude.   We enter a restaurant – we quickly survey the place.  The wall art is crooked.  The chairs look uncomfortable.  Where are the tablecloths?  Our what's wrong  scan continues.  Why? We're here to dine – not change the décor.


At the expositions our company produces we go through the building like Sherlock Holmes. We're searching for exhibits that don’t meet standards. Looking for anything wrong, something we need to correct.  Why do we do this?  Of course we need to make sure everything is safe and inviting.  Unfortunately, we’re so focused on what's wrong we often overlook the good stuff. 


What happens when we remove our what's wrong glasses?  I don’t know about you, but my mindset changes. Instead of scowling at my car as though it got dirty just to annoy me; I look and think – that’s the best little car. It might deserve a wash.


What  would happen if instead of looking for what’s wrong, we look for what’s right?  If we try to be more like Pollyanna than Chicken Little?  I’m not sure,  I’m pretty sure though that  we – and those around us – would be more relaxed.  We might even discover there's a lot more right than there is wrong.


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JANUARY 13, 2023


When you hear "hoarder" what do you visualize? I see a home spilling over with useless stuff.  I see individuals traumatized by fear of losing any of their stuff.


There is another less obvious kind of hoarder. We see them every day. They may be looking back at us from the mirror. This hoarder is afraid to part with his or her hoard of money and objects; or their intangible time and knowledge. Their physical space is not spilling over. They do have a lot of unused treasure.  Their rationale for hoarding? They might need IT.


When my grandchildren were young, one of my favorite admonitions was 'life works on the law of the boomerang - whatever you throw out, that's what will come back to you.'  One of my quick thinking grandchildren  said 'well yes, grandma, but it might come back and hit me on the head.'  Out of the mouths of youngsters.  It did make me think.  If we throw out ten boomerangs and only one comes back and hits us on the head (or disappoints us) - is that a risk worth taking?   Yes.  These are great odds.


These same grandchildren, now in their thirties, heard my thoughts on giving away spare stuff, money, and time.  Grandma! We don’t have spare stuff, we don't have spare time, and we definitely don’t have spare money. OK. So, would you rather be a hoarder in training or a giver in training?  The results are in for following either discipline. Take your pick.


How much do you need? What do you get delight from owning or doing?  That's what you need to keep.  If it makes you too nervous, give yourself a buffer.


What’s left allows us to throw out more boomerangs.  Odds are most  will come back with rewards we can use.  And the boomerangs keep circling.


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