Are You Racing to the Bottom?

By Seth Godin (Go to his blog to read the post)

Shameless vs. shameful

There aren’t many fundamental human emotions, and shame is certainly one of them.

Shame is usually caused by a collision between our behavior and our culture. Society uses shame to enforce norms and set standards. When you’re alone in the forest, there’s not a lot of shame.

Too often, marketers, politicians and others with money and power use shame as a cudgel, as a harsh tool to gain control. And it’s usually directed at those least able to thrive in the face of this sort of onslaught.

I’m not sure we’d want to live in a culture where shameful behavior is completely accepted, where sociopaths and selfish short-term people abuse our trust.

At the same time, I think we need to be really clear about the difference between shameful behavior and shaming a person.

_shutterstock_648807352Shaming a person is a senseless shortcut. When we say to someone, “you’re never going to amount to anything,” when we act like we want to lock them up and throw away the key, when we conflate the behavior with the human–we’ve hurt everyone. We’ve killed dreams, eliminated possibility and broken any chance for a connection.

The alternative is to be really clear about which behavior crossed the line. To correct that behavior at the very same time we open the door for our fellow citizen to become the sort of person we’d like to engage with.

“How dare you,” is a fine way to establish that people like us don’t do things like that. It is a norm-setting device, a clear indication that certain behaviors aren’t welcome and demand an explanation.

shamingAs the media available to each of us turns just about every interaction into a worldwide,hyper-competitive conflict, there’s way too much shameless posturing and division. If you want to “win” in social media or politics, you’re no longer trying to be the class clown among twenty high school students, you’re racing to the bottom among a hundred million teenagers or candidates. Multiply that by every endeavor and you can see why there’s so much shameless posturing.

Racing to the top is far preferable. Because the problem with a race to the bottom is you might win. Or come in second, which is even worse.

The 5 Greatest Habits!

Our lives are ruled by habits. Creating awesome habits is the key to Creating a Life You Love!

Ask yourself these valuable questions

Are your habits working for you? Are you gaining what you want in life? What is your level of peace and joy? Are you stuck? What habits do you have that

You can’t change until you start here

I met with a great long time friend last night. He’s a serious student of fitness. He’s 68 years old and looks 40 with 6% body fat. During his day he was a great marathon runner who has a Boston Marathon finish.

Then, unfortunately, developed a condition and had to have a knee replaced. That ended his running career.

Now he’s changed his focus to building muscle. He’s a self described gym rat.

He declared to me that he’s always wanted those “six pack” abs but that goal has been elusive. I asked him why he can’t do it.

He said he needs to give up a few of his bad nutrition habits he’s had for years.

He’s hooked on ice cream and sugar.

I asked him why he can’t quit.

He said, “I’ve tried. I’m hooked on it. If I could eliminate that from my diet, I’d lose the weight and my abs would show.”

Then I introduced him to the 12-Step Addiction Recovery Program that I run for our church. He looked at me kinda strange and shocked. But he listened. He never considered that the reason he can’t give up ice cream and sugar is that he is addicted to them.

I told him Step One is where you start.

The first step is Honesty. It reads, “Step 1: Admit that you, of yourself, are powerless to overcome your addiction and that your life has become unmanageable.”

 

Change always starts with with being honest. Most people who can’t change have excuses why. Excuses are deflections from some emotion inside that they do not want others to see.

Looking in that mirror of life and seeing the true reflection of yourself and affirming with complete honesty that you can’t change, you don’t know how and need help, is the first step to change.

Being honest is change and it’s the first step forward.