Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Logic vs Emotion

In recent days I received two gift cards to two different bookstores, and also a gift certificate from the publishing company where I work. I immediately used the gift cards and selected my company gift books. I'm overloaded with great books just waiting to be read and enjoyed.

One small book I chose is entitled Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart. The title caught my attention and then the thirty chapter titles clinched my decision to get that book. This is one book I have already read. It's great. Yes, I'm definitely too soon old and too late smart.

One of the best chapter titles is "It is difficult to remove by logic an idea not placed there by logic in the first place."

We couldn't quit laughing at that one. I'm well known for being a logical, practical thinker and speaker. When a problem arises, I immediately shift into the non-emotional, practical and logical way of looking at things. Drives the people close to me, who are more attuned to their emotional side, a little crazy.

The author of the book, Dr. Gordon Livingston, makes some interesting points and observations:

In fact, it sometimes seems that we are so trapped in ineffectual life patterns that we are playing out the old military adage: If it doesn't work, double it. The motivations and habit patterns that underlie most of our behavior are seldom logical; we are much more often driven by impulses, preconceptions, and emotions of which we are only dimly aware.

He ends the chapter with:
Finally, when struggling to overcome maladaptive behaviors by the use of logic, one is often confronted with the fact that some ignorance is invincible. People can become so wedded to their particular view of how things should work that they ignore all evidence that suggests that change is necessary.

So what is the reality check here? For me, a logical person, it helps me understand that I'm coming at things quite differently than other, more balanced friends and loved ones. I need to get more in touch with my emotional side, I need to listen and understand other's emotional viewpoints, and I am helped by understanding that logic sometimes leaves others feeling misunderstood and not heard.

It's true that others may need more logic in their outlook on life, but I'm realizing I need a more balanced approach to communication and connecting to the important people in my life. It's a great lesson and a fun one to learn and apply.

I want to share more fun things I'm reading in this book. Hopefully, it won't be so long in between posts. We'll see.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Big Three

Have you ever heard in business that there are three basic things a business wants and needs as it produces products, but in actuality can only have two of those.

The three are: good quality, fast service, low cost.

It's common knowledge in business that you pick the two you can have because having three is impossible. You can get good quality and have it quickly, but it will cost you. If you want something quickly and cheap, you won't have good quality. And finally, if you want good quality but you don't want to pay so much, you'll have to wait for it because it will not be done quickly.

Then what happens when you're with a company is you soon learn what their emphasis is, or what their two choices are.

The company I worked for a few years ago obviously chose quality first and foremost and second they chose a good schedule or fast service no matter the cost. The founder had a story told about him that when one of his books was published and he found numerous mistakes in them that he built a big bonfire and burned them all. He then had the team start over and produce a quality book. At that time excellent quality was the one and only consideration.

I've worked for several different companies since then. Nowhere has quality been the number one priority since that first experience. That was quite a culture shock. I was continually called on the carpet because I was taking too long to make sure there were as few mistakes as possible. The transition was quite frustrating and actually somewhat painful.

I've now adjusted and I tell my work team: Let's do what we can the best we can within the time we have. We often have to let too much go by, and once a mistake is in the product it almost takes an act of Congress to get it corrected. It becomes extremely important to do excellent work from the get-go and then let it go.

How does this apply to a reality check? We are in relationship with a God who does all three. He is the epitome of quality, the very best. He always delivers on time, exactly on time. And do we even need to discuss the "cost"? Having this relationship as a foundation makes the rest of life, including the allowances that have to be made in other areas, acceptable because we know that the things that really matter are covered.

My thoughts at this time-