I like being called “sir.”
I don’t mind being relegated to the category of “older generation.” I appreciate it meaning that the speaker will generally be friendly and probably not a dick.
But there’s a certain way to deliver the word “sir” that’s different. Like when you’re addressed by a CHP officer, or by military personnel if you’re visiting a base.
Foremost, they’re tasked with a job, and uncooperative civilians can interfere with that (sometimes, dealing with uncooperative civilians IS the job). Politeness is in the job description, but not at the expense of getting the job done.
This comes across loud and clear in the delivery of the “sir” or “ma’am,” unless you’re tone-deaf. I have a job to do, and whether you like it doesn’t enter into the equation; it’s nothing personal.
It’s nothing personal
Personal in this context means negotiable.
Come on, this is Johnny you’re talking to — you know I’m good for it.
Or maybe you know the front door security at a club, so you can jump the line with a smile. Personal means you have a relationship with someone who can bend the rules on your behalf.
It doesn’t have to be sleazy. From the dawn of time, being part of a group meant members of that group naturally wanted to help you, and vice-versa: a necessary species adaptation to a hostile world. The ground still does not rise to meet our feet, and apples still don’t fall from trees into our hungry mouths. You and your extended family, coworkers, and friends would help each other out of jams in ways that you wouldn’t for complete strangers.
Nothing personal implies the opposite. Johnny won’t get a dime, and no buts no cuts on opening night at The Whisky.
It’s not about you, cupcake. For the universe — everyone and everything outside your circle of trust — rolling on without you is nothing personal.
No corners cut, no rules bent. It’s going to be by the book, whatever the book may be.
You want your health to be this kind of Nothing Personal
A health program is supposed to be ultra personalized. You should design it to fit your goals, with your medical history, vulnerabilities, and social circumstances in mind.
At the same time, there’s something to be said about an impersonal approach to operationalizing your program.
You’ve decided you’re going to track macronutrients and limit yourself to 75 grams of carbs a day. So download that app and start tracking, sir.
You’ve done the math and decided on 30 minutes of Zone 2 cardio, 4 days each week, and you know that your joints can take it. So get on the bike or hit the road, sir.
You know that your BP and cholesterol are upping your risk of stroke and heart attack, that you’ve maximally optimized your diet and exercise, and that there are meds to get you to target within weeks. So pardon my French, sir, but please take the danged pills — or get more serious about your lifestyle mods.
Your planning should be personalized, but the execution of said plan should be impersonal.
Think of decluttering
I’m not a fan of spring-cleaning, and my opinion on the matter doesn’t matter.
Spring (or, as my wife would say, Sunday) is a periodic reminder that keeping a home livable means more than daily maintenance. It means attacking that pile of books in the corner that you never read, or clearing out the closet you can’t step into, or debulking the fire hazard that’s an older relative’s hoarded bedroom.
Decluttering used to take forever. Because when I started picking up the books, I’d realize, This is a really cool read, I shouldn’t chuck this one, followed by This one is practically brand new, maybe I can give it away or sell it online? Ditto with the old clothes: Sure these pants are big, but knowing how I yo-yo, they’ll probably fit again in 6 months, throwing them out would be such a waste. And debulking hoards? OMG, I remember this! This tchotchke is from when we went to Disneyland on the last birthday the whole family was in town!
Tossing these items, these things, feels like throwing out emotional investments. By the roots.
But if you’re in Busy Guy Out Of Time mode, throwing things out becomes the work of a moment. Your face goes flat, and your mind starts calculating how quickly you can move the mass from here to the garbage bin, or the giveaway pile in the car trunk (answer: about 10 minutes). A professional mover can do it in less time, with a polite smile, while even boxing things if you pay for the service.
Because it’s all about getting the shizz done. They’re not paid to emote over stuff, they’re paid to move it. And it gets done (clapping hands) like THAT.
When Vulcans are right, they’re right
Emotions are an integral part of our makeup, but they can really block us.
What I see most commonly is folks treading water, while wrestling with their emotions. Like staring at a book instead of boxing it, it’s getting caught up in the moment, and stopping all forward movement. It feels like a ton of stuff is going on, and there is, in terms of neurotransmitter and stress hormone surges.
But when you shake your head and notice that 40 minutes have passed, you’re still sitting on the floor with a book in your hand, staring at a 99% untouched pile of books. Or still sitting in the kitchen after arguing politics, still shaking your head over how another day passed without working out, or still eating another take out meal after a stressful day, as the case may be.
Dealing with emotions is honest work, no argument. But if the end result is no change in your status quo while you were busy FEELING STRONGLY — frustrated, tired, depressed, vindicated — nearly all the work was you grinding your gears.
Lots of heat and not much light, as the physicists say.
Is. The pile. Getting smaller?
If you’re getting shizz done, your pile of whatever should be shrinking.
Going into Iceman Mode can help, if getting caught up in the feels is where you get stuck. Could someone fix the situation who wasn’t personally involved, and probably pretty quickly? If yes, then it may be time to develop the Iceman ability.
Healthcare piles are numerous and, like all things biologic, stunningly complex. There isn’t a simple Iceman/Moving Guy solution to a childhood of bent parenting, or a lifetime of chronic conditions.
But if you can’t get off zero, you’re not going anywhere. Motion begets motion, momentum builds, and seemingly insurmountable problems start to dissolve.
If your process keeps stopping at the emotional response stage, work on being chill. No nonsense, all business to get it done.