Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Saying the Darndest Things

Art Linkletter passed away today. Anyone over 50 might remember his 1960's TV "House Party". Bill Cosby did a version of the show in the 90's. Art was a great question asker.

And, I was one of those kids on the show. I remember loading up in a car with some other kids from my preschool and heading to the CBS studios in LA where we would be filmed. I also remember sitting on the toilet while some production assistant frantically coaxed me to get going. And I remember the little girl next to me getting out of her seat to come over and kiss me on the cheek while on camera. Perhaps she was going to marry me. I don't remember. I do remember having no idea how to answer the inevitable "what do you want to be when you grow up?" question. "Fireman" was my best answer.

So, "What do I want to be when I grow up?" Ha! Now, that's a great question.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

First to Fall

A while back I was having a conversation with a young man attending a conference with his dad. Over the course of the two or three days, I noticed a certain discomfort or awkwardness between the two.

I began to craft the story that both the father and son were waiting for something to happen in their relationship. Perhaps they were waiting for the other to do something, to take some sort of step forward toward the other. It was like I was watching this unspoken game of “who will be the first to fall?” being played out.

“First to fall?” You know, the first to go vulnerable. To speak their truth. To state a desire in the relationship. Without a stated desire on the table it was just a game of wait and see. Of looking to the other person to take responsibility for the relationship.

“What would it look like for you to take 100% responsibility for your part in this relationship? “ I asked him.

“Well, I’d have to get clear on what I want first. Then I suppose I could take responsibility for that.”


It seems to me that there is 200% responsibility in every relationship. I own 100% responsibility for my part and you own 100% responsibility for your part. I can’t own your part and I can’t control you… all I can do is own 100% of my part in the relationship.

When I look to someone else to define or create the relationship I desire, I give up the power to own and define my own life. Better to get clear and ask for what I want… recognizing that I don’t always get what I want. And, sometimes, I do.