In many of the novels we read, or in movies we have watched, there are scenes of dying persons doing a monologue of what they would have wanted to do, if given a few more days to live or a chance to live their lives again.
At this time of the year when we commemorate our dead, I am sharing with you an article that Erma Bombeck wrote before she died. Erma is a columnist and humorist who has influenced millions of readers worldwide. She lost her fight with cancer in April 22,1996.
I hope you will get something out of this article.
If I Had My Life To Live Over
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
I would have eaten the popcorn in the "good" living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed. I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.
I would have cried and laughed less while watching TV – and more while watching life.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.
When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, "Later. Now go get washed up for dinner."
There would have been more "I love yous"…more "I'm sorrys"…
But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute…look at it and really see it…live it…and never give it back.
– Erma Bombeck
Now, why should we wait for our last days to say all these? Live a better life now! But, If you were to write your own version of "If I had my life to live over" what would it be?!
It is item number one in a charismatic leader’s toolkit: (1) calling people by their first names; (2) having firm handshakes; and, (3) sharing an interesting anecdote or two about the person they are talking to. Do #1, #2 and #3 and the person you are talking to will feel important. The reason is simple: remembering a person’s name tells him that he is special enough for you to remember him. A firm handshake will seal the impression that you are warm with the person; and; recalling an anecdote about him makes him feel at ease and comfortable.
The most basic of the three of course, is the ability to remember a person’s name. Fail to do it and you will be put in a most awkward situation. At worst, your career may be in trouble.
Imagine if this happens to you.
You are in a cocktail party with friends and some pretty lady walks up, greets you by your first name and waits for you to introduce her to your friends, but you can’t remember her name!
You are chatting with some friends, when you notice that a prospective client of yours is walking towards your group. Obviously, he wants you to introduce him to your friends: The problem? You forgot the guy’s name.
You are running for public office and in the middle of your campaign speech you are supposed to mention a good thing or two about the political leader in the area: and then you realize you forgot his name.
What to Do When You Forget a Name
Most people feel more offended to have someone say their name wrong than simply being asked for their name again. So, my rule of thumb is not to try to guess the name. That leaves me with two choices: to face the problem head-on or to gamble with the situation.
If I decide to be honest, it is as straightforward as this: I will just politely and apologetically say, “I’m terribly sorry, but I’ve forgotten your name. What is it again?” This will spare me from sinking into a deeper hole since the more time we spend together; the more offended he will be when he realizes I don’t know his name.
However, if I will decide to push my luck a bit further, I have the following options:
The simplest option is to ask the person, “Excuse me, what was your name again?” The person will likely respond with their first name. I then respond with a charming laugh and a smile, and say, “Oh no, I meant your last name.” Of course this little trick can backfire if they respond by asking, “My first or last name?”
As the person walks up and waits for me to introduce him to my friend, I would say to the person, “Have you met my friend Orly?” Most of the time, the person will say to Orly, “No I haven’t. Nice to meet you, I’m Triccie.”
When the prospective client is about to join my group, I will turn up to him, stick out my hand, and say my name. “I am Nic. We met at the Ad Congress last month.” They’ll likely respond in kind by saying their name. And if he or she had forgotten my name too, by taking the initiative, I remove their burden of anxiety as well.
I may also decide not to make any introductions at all. I could just continue to talk, laugh and drink with the person. But before we part ways, I will ask if he has a business card so that I will have something I can take out and review at home.
Finally, if I were a politician and I forgot a key political leader’s name in the middle of a campaign speech, then I better wiggle my way out of the situation via a joke, a song and dance act or whatever antic that will make the situation light and funny. Failing to do this, I might as well consider backing out of the election contest. Such a situation will not only embarrass the political leader but will also show the crowd how suddenly I forget things – my election promises included.
Alright. Now it’s your turn. What tricks do you use to remember people’s names? Share them with us in the comments.
You have choices in life: You can stay single and be miserable, or get married and wish you were dead.
At a cocktail party, one woman said to another,
‘Aren’t you wearing your wedding ring on the wrong finger?’
‘Yes, I am. I married the wrong man.’
A lady inserted an ad in the classifieds:
Next day she received a hundred letters.
They all said the same thing:
‘You can have mine.’
When a woman steals your husband,
there is no better revenge than to let her keep him.
A woman is incomplete until she is married. Then she is finished.
A little boy asked his father,
‘Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?’
Father replied, ‘I don’t know son, I’m still paying.’
A young son asked,
‘Is it true Dad, that in some parts of Africa
a man doesn’t know his wife until he marries her?’
Dad replied, ‘That happens in every country, son.’
Then there was a woman who said,
‘I never knew what real happiness was until I got married,
and by then, it was too late.’
Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
If you want your spouse to listen and
pay strict attention to every word you say — talk in your sleep.
Just think, if it weren’t for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all.
First guy says, ‘My wife’s an angel!’
Second guy remarks, ‘You’re lucky, mine’s still alive..’
‘A Woman’s Prayer:
Dear Lord, I pray for: Wisdom, To understand a man , to Love and to forgive him , and for patience, For his moods. Because Lord, if I pray for Strength I’ll just beat him to death’
“The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed time; and the turtledove, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the time of their coming.” — Jeremiah (8:7)
Last weekend, I saw 2011’s first set of southern hemisphere-bound migratory birds. It looked like a flock of geese and the grace at which the birds cut through the horizon was spectacular. The sight is one of the benefits of people like me, who frequent places that are along the route of these migrant flyers.
Birds follow a regular migration schedules. They fly south from late September to December, during the season of the Amihan (the northeasterly winds). They head back north from March to May, during the season we call the Tag-init. Understandably, they fly towards the warmer regions during the cold winter of the north and came back to their breeding grounds during spring-time. They do make brief stopovers in certain fishing grounds and swamplands in the Philippines, but do not stay for long in these places.
One can almost be certain whether a flock of birds is about to make a stop-over or is still set to fly a longer distance. Those that are set to land on the swamps and stay a while to eat and rest will break from their flying formation, while those that will continue to fly away retains their distinctive V-formation like those of a group of fighter planes we see in the movies.
The V-shaped formation serves two important purposes:
One reason is that the V formation allows each bird in the flock an unobstructed field of vision. This allows flock members to see each other and communicate while in flight. I am sure that the fighter pilots have learned this technique from a study of the birds’ flight patterns.
The other reason is that the V-formation conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds that follow the leader have an easier flight. The leader breaks the wind resistance, and the birds following can fly more efficiently. Without the V formation, most migratory birds will never have enough energy to make it to the end of their long migration.
But are the birds following the same leader all the time during the migration?
The answer is no. It is not the same bird that leads the formation. Every few minutes, one of the birds from the back of the flock will break away, fly to the front, and take over, giving the previous leader a chance to move back and take a break.
Is there something that humans can learn from the migratory birds?
A lot of things have been written about what humans can learn from the behavior of the birds. One of those I particularly liked is that of Tanveer Naseer a business coach and writer who wrote about it in one of his blog posts; (http://www.tanveernaseer.com/migrating-geese-a-lesson-in-leadership-and-collaboration/). I quote verbatim below that part of his article that refers to the lessons we humans can learn from the migratory birds (which in his case are the Canadian geese).
1. Leadership is about helping others, not just yourself
When the Canada geese travel in V-formation, the lead bird’s job is not simply to guide the other birds as to which direction to fly. Rather, the lead bird’s primary role is to help reduce air drag so that the flock can fly for greater distances without expending more energy.
The same approach applies to the role of leadership, where the function is not to get others to simply do your bidding, but doing whatever is in your abilities to help others succeed in reaching the shared goal.
2. Everyone has the ability to lead
There was a recent survey I read about where the majority of respondents related leadership to a title; that to be a leader in an organization, one had to be a CEO, director, manager, etc. Now if we look at how the geese designate who will take the front position, we see that each bird is given a turn in leading the formation. For the geese, it’s not a question of their position in the pecking order. Instead, it’s a matter of which bird has the ability in that moment to offer the support needed by the rest of the flock for them to reach their destination.
In looking at the behavior of how geese migrate, we can appreciate that leadership is not a position; it’s a disposition that people can exhibit regardless of whatever formal title they might carry in their organization.
3. You can accomplish more working together than working apart
Scientists have found that when geese fly together in the V-formation, they can cover 70% more distance than if the birds were to fly alone. Given the long distances geese have to travel in the spring and fall, it’s clearly advantageous for them to work in a collaborative fashion, with each of them taking turns to reduce air drag while the others rest.
While some in management positions might prefer to focus on maintaining the leverage they have over their employees, the reality is that their business won’t go very far unless they work together with their team and foster an understanding that there’s a shared goal between the company and its employees. As with the geese, pooling the strengths and abilities of a company’s workforce will allow businesses to cover more ground than if they were to leave internal silos in place.
4. Working together means having each other’s back
If you’ve seen the Canada geese flying in V-formation, you’re probably familiar with the fact that it’s hardly a static formation, like what you’d see with fighter jets at an air show. Instead, it’s constantly shifting and changing. This is a result of the fact that the birds in the flock are taking turns flying in the lead position in order to give the other birds a chance to rest near the back of the line. This also ensures that the flock evenly distributes the workload so that they can easily make the long journey to their target destination.”
Similarly, when leading a team or group of employees, it’s important that there’s an understanding that everyone on the team has each other’s back and that the workload will be shared to make sure that no one wears out before the team can reach their objective.
For the Canada geese, the act of flying in V-formation has certainly been vital to their ability to migrate over vast distances as the seasons change. As with so many other examples in nature, this behavior can also serve as a valuable reminder for businesses on how to approach leadership and team collaboration.
So, aside from the four lessons discussed above, what do you think are the other things we could learn from the migratory birds? Share them to us in the comments.