Sunday, May 17, 2009

More than Measuring

There's a saying Vern's often quoting (Covey?): "You get what you measure." (No, Covey said: "When performance is measured, performance improves." Don't know who said "You get what you measure.")

Today, the Yarn Harlot put a different spin on it: you get that upon which you focus. (My words, her idea.) Her words:

"I really believe that you get more of what you pay attention to. This has been my theory for some time now, and it has proved true with toddlers, teenagers, money and yarn. In keeping with this theory, I try not to complain, or focus on the crappy things that happen to everybody. It's just crap, and it does happen to everybody, and complaining about it really only makes things crappier and makes sure that you spread it to more people."

I'm reminded of a Buddist master (is that the proper term? Maybe teacher?) I met in Sandpoint. He was working in a pizza stand just off of the Farmer's Market, next to the pizza oven, in mid-July. (It gets pretty hot in Sandpoint in mid-July. Believe me.) Instead of sweltering in discontent and laboring under the idea he would melt, or something along those lines, he repeated to himself, in a cheerful tone: "I'm cool. It's all cool. I'm fine." He looked to be late 40's, early 50's, and did not have the build of one who takes heat well. And of the handful of people crammed into that pizza stand, it clearly showed on his face that he was happiest.

I wish more people in the world would take the truly civilized route, and not complain about whatever happens to be their momentary cross. Whether it's a sigh (that's my bad habit), or a short sound, body language, or actual words, we all communicate our displeasure or frustration far more than necessary. Here's to keeping that under better wraps, allowing it to pass unvocalized, instead of infecting all of those around us with a measure of our own discontent and malice before the mood passes.

Civilization is handy that way.