I subscribe to several newsletters. Some fall under the heading of inspirational and/or motivational, some fall under the heading of health news, and some are the true blue “… of the day” variety – recipe of the day, word of the day, quote of the day, etc. Each gives me something I need and something that makes my day a little brighter.
One of my favorite newsletters is the From His Heart Newsletter. Great stuff!
I’m going to pull an excerpt from the recent edition to share with you because it’s absolutely phenomenal:
From His Heart Newsletter, December 3, 2010:
Have you ever played the arcade game Whack-a-Mole? It is a fun little game in which you take a padded mallet in your hand and whack the moles as they pop up from their holes. You have to be observant and “quick on the whack” to do well at that game.
Did you know a lot of us play Whack-a-Mole with our spouse and our children? We notice every wrong thing that pops up in them, and we quickly whack them for it. We are so adept at seeing the negative. We are so good at beating down those we supposedly love. The sad truth about playing Whack-a-Mole is this: eventually those we love stop popping up; they just give up. Their attitude is understandable as they quietly whisper, “What’s the use of trying anymore. It is obvious that there is nothing I can do to please my dad (or my mom or my spouse).”
PUT AWAY THE MALLET
If you have been guilty of playing Whack-a-Mole, the time is now to put away the mallet. Take time TODAY to let your spouse, your children, your loved ones know that you are proud of them. Be observant of what those special people in your life do well and praise them for it. People respond to positive encouragement much better than they do constant correction and criticism. Isn’t that true of you? I know it is of me.
Author: Jeff Schreve
Whack-a-Mole. I love the analogy! I believe that there are two different groups who fall prey to whacking.
- Those who legitimately LOVE to find fault and “tear” others down. Whether it feeds their need to feel superior or simply springs from a love of nitpicking, they seem to love the feel of the mallet in their hands.
- Those who don’t even realize what they’re doing. Think of a tree limb. It doesn’t “decide” which way it’s going to grow – the decision has been made and it goes with the flow. Some people are “bent” in a particular direction. For example, my youngest daughter and I are total homebodies. We’re bent in the direction of staying in, baking cookies, chit-chatting, and watching tv. The rest of our family is bent in the direction of ripping and roaring whenever the opportunity presents itself. They wear us out! Some people are “bent” in the direction of finding faults, highlighting negatives, and trying to FIX everything and everyone. How exhausted they must be at the end of the day, right?
I’m not sure I could ever come up with the right words to give people who get a kick out of tearing people down. Furthermore, I’m not sure I’d have the patience to even try to reason with bullies… which is what these people are if you break it all down.
However, for those who feel compelled to FIX everything and everyone, I sympathize with them. I would love nothing more than to save all of the children and animals in the world. I’d love nothing more than to feed the hungry, right the wrongs, cure diseases, and make sure everyone had money in his or her pocket.
Now, I know what you’re thinking…. Joi’s crazy. She’s finally flipped her top. One overly-caffeinated, chocolate eating, animal loving wife and mother in western Kentucky can’t possibly, possibly, possibly accomplish all of that.
Equally “crazy” is the concept of one individual controlling the thoughts, actions, words, hairstyles, and dress codes of everyone around him or her. Attempting to do so will simply aggravate the individual and create an ever-growing distance between them and those they try to “fix.”
If you’re “bent” in this unfortunate direction… unlike a tree, you can do something about it. When a negative thought enters your mind, replace it with a positive one.
Here’s an example: Let’s say your son is dating a girl and you positively detest the way she dresses. The more you fixate on that one thing, the more often you’re going to complain and gripe about it. Not only will you fail to recognize or appreciate her good qualities, you’ll drive everyone around you mad with your fixating! No one wants to hang out with someone who fixates… their negative energy sucks the life right out of a room.
When a thought enters your mind about her clothes, replace it instantaneously with a positive thought. Does she have a great laugh? Does she make your son happy? Is she smart? Is she what we proudly old-fashioned people would call a “good girl?”
When you develop the habit of replacing negatives with positives, I’ll tell you what will happen: Your world will instantly improve. People will draw closer to you rather than retreat (and, if they’re closer – they’ll be more apt to listen to you!). Think again about the Whack-a-Mole analogy. The moles LITERALLY hide from the whacker. They avoid it at all costs because, come on, who needs that? When you put the mallet down, your world will suddenly be filled with people “coming out of hiding,” you’ll feel more at peace with the world around you, you’ll relax more and even sleep better.
Put simply, walls will come down. Now, if you ask me, that’s a renovation that can’t be put off any longer.