My Thoughts on a “Power of Positivity” Post


NOTE: Originally posted on

I want to share my thoughts on a Power of Positivity post from my Facebook subscription. For me, as I started to read it, a fleury of ideas surfaced. The messages from the post should have been obvious and I guess they were / are. But the story and images shared were ‘OMG’ / ‘WOW’ inspiring for me. I know: “What took so long?” More on my reactions to the post later; first, some background … I’m thinking some of you might find this background material familiar.

Remember back in school (for me that’s so long ago, I believe dirt was clear’ as it hadn’t become dirty as yet), we had the standardized tests; our teacher would announce: “Next week on the 24th, we’ll be taking the XYZ Test.” No practice tests, no home prep, no computer administering (had no computers — electricity was reasonably new (again, I’m old…). I certainly don’t remember higher stress levels for anyone involved.

But I digress. On those tests, there always seemed to be a ‘reading comprehension’ section. Probably the tests still do today as well. We were supplied a piece to read, after which we were given questions to assess our comprehension skills. I’ll share another fact about my life. I studied engineering including being awarded a PhD. I was a true geek — > i.e., my comprehension piece was not that different from a simple rewrite of what was supplied; multiple-guess questions, if used, were mostly just that: guesses.

Why? Because I was never required to write pieces that forced me to honestly Consider [Shameless plug for this blog — my thoughts on Considerations / Considering]!!! Other than our final report after a summer NSF Traineeship, the longest paper I believe I was assigned in undergraduate college was three pages. High school most certainly required more. Graduate school changed that of course. I had to learn how to Learn Effectively  — to Consider pieces and their possibly related material in order to be able to use that learning to address meaningful situations. Again more of my thoughts and efforts on these topics posted on this blog.

OK, back to the Power of Positivity post … The image of the holes remaining in the fence really hit home. Yes, we apologize, yes we hopefully learn and refine our words and actions. But the holes remain … My thoughts and plans:

  • I must do my best to eliminate the initial issues as much as I can — fewer nails driven, fewer nails to be removed, fewer holes remaining.
  • Neither I nor anyone else can ever get to a point where no nails are driven and thus no holes to be dealt with. We are all human and perfection is a valuable target but one never reachable.
  • Therefore, whether it’s in the initial period when we’re Effectively Learning through Considering or when our imperfections happen, we will have holes remaining  B— which I believe should be our responsibility, beyond and not in substitution for the absolutely critical seeking and receiving forgiveness.
  • What would / could we do in the case of literal holes in the fence. We could locate / mark the holes. We could fill the holes with compound. We could then sand the compound / fence as needed and paint using matching paint.
  • Depending upon our selections made and skills used, the holes would likely disappear at some distance from the fence, especially with shorter glances. But close-up study would still reveal the locations of the original holes.
  • Likewise, for the figurative driving of nails, the location of the ‘holes’ cannot be completely eliminated, regardless of efforts made. With the impossibility of eliminating the behavior holes completely, hopefully fewer of them will arise — testing the forgiveness offered, especially for those really tough ones that cause the re-identification of the previously mended behavior holes.

Bottom line then: There has to be an upgrade of trust between both parties … The offended must trust the offending to be empathic and diligent to eliminate most of the behavior nail driving. The offending must trust the offended to accept that efforts are being made but that perfection won’t happen. Ideally they can support each other in addressing and understanding the behavior nails driving and holes — keeping them from becoming issues / wedges between each other.

I trust this discussion of my Considerations might be of some value to you. Maybe at the processing level, maybe at the behavior level, maybe both …


An Addition to ‘School vs. Learning’


Yes, it’s the same featured photo used for my blog post of a few days ago… It’s been an important one to me since first discovering it. Very presumptuous of me I know, but I have a suggestion for an added comparison for the list in the photo.

Today at the Y, I was about to begin my regular exercise-bike ride. My routine is to exercise while listening to podcasts on my iPhone. I subscribe to a number of series and just, sort of randomly, start whichever is the first one in line. Today’s was titled “The Future of Happiness” from Amy Blankson, part of the Unmistakable Creative series. Her fundamental thesis is that “Happiness Leads to Success, rather than Success Leads to Happiness.” [The title of the podcast in fact is the name of a book she has written.] The portion of the podcast most directly linked to innovation and learning begins at about the eleventh or twelveth minute. My thoughts: Ms. Blankson provides great suggestions about the importance of happiness to success. That happiness is in large part shaped by our perception of the world. Circling back, our perception of the world associated with opportunities to help others (through innovation) leads to happiness – while leads to success.

So here’s the suggested comparison: School is connected with stress. Learning evolves from happiness.