Only Concern Yourself With What You Can Control

I was on a roll last week. After reading a post on Ileane’s Basic Blog Tips I was inspired to write a post titled Is Your Work Worth Nothing. It seems that, for this person, just because he didn’t understand something he felt it prudent that the people doing SEO work for him should be paid based on results and not based on the fact that they did the work. Of course when I asked him if he wanted to be paid that way he said no, but that SEO work is different; no it’s not.

My comments on that post and then my post here got me an invite to write a guest post for Ileane, which I’ll do when asked, and I came up with one I called 5 Ways Your Blog Might Be Irritating People. That post got a lot of responses, and I appreciate everyone who participated; it was a lot of fun. And I didn’t gripe about anything I haven’t griped about here every once in awhile, but it ended up being a pretty long post; I’m glad Ileane was okay with that.

I had been on a pattern of criticism, all of which started with how my grandmother was treated while a patient in the hospital. Oh, people were nice, but overall competence wasn’t up to standard; being a health care consultant, I know. I even wrote a small bit of that criticism here.

Funny thing about criticism; once you’ve opened up your eye and started looking for things that aren’t going well, you get really good at it, focused on it, and suddenly all it seems you’re seeing is incompetence everywhere. And man, it’s easy to find. It’s a place that’s easy to get into, but in the long run it might not be all that much fun.

Hence, the day after writing that post, being on Twitter and complaining about the weather. Yeah, the weather. lol In central New York, it’s like we jumped from winter to summer and totally skipped spring except for the rainy part. The temperature hit 92° (33C), and I’m sorry but that’s just way too hot for me. It was already over 80° around 9:30, and I was griping about that as well because I had hoped to cool the house off before it got really hot.

That’s when one of my online friends, Shirley George Frazier of Solo Business Marketing said: “Concentrate on the things you can control, and the rest will fall in line”. Goodness, what a thing to say to me at that moment. She hadn’t known what I’d been going through and what I’d been like, yet it was a very timely statement. I needed to see it and hear it; heck! Of course, being cool, I wrote back with “You mean I can’t control the weather?” She wrote back “Controlling the weather — something to add to your wish list!”

Funny lady, but the point was taken. It’s easy to complain about things, but harder to think about those things that we could actually do something about. There were a lot of things I was complaining about that I actually did something about, but others that I knew there wasn’t anything I could do. In an odd way I didn’t get all that depressed about any of it, but I also wasn’t as content and happy as I could have been, as I had been before my grandmother got hurt.

An important lesson for those of us who blog is to not get so into complaining about things that we don’t try to fix and resolve what we can. For all the complaints I wrote in the post on Ileane’s blog, I could control only what I do on my blog, and I don’t do any of the things I find irritating. For what happened to my grandmother I had a meeting with a representative at the hospital, and so far have also ended up talking to a couple of department directors on how things could have been improved. I feel good about that because I know that everything I say, if they fix it, will help the next patient that they encounter.

If you’re going to complain, do something about it as well; otherwise, maybe channel those thoughts towards something more positive. I think I can say that most of the time when I complain about something I’m also about to do something about it as well, or have done something about it, like when I talked about our smartphone issues. Are you making sure you’re doing something about those things that irritate you? Are some of those things on this tolerations list (it’s a pdf)?

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Decluttering My Online Life

I haven’t talked all that much on this blog about decluttering things, but I have talked about it on my business blog. Every once in awhile we should all take some time to clear our “space” of things that aren’t working for us anymore.


by Karl Sinfield

The first time, in 2006, I said it was time to take the clutter out of my life. At that time I cleaned out a lot of material from my office, then decided it was time to go through all the emails I had accumulated up to that point, which was about 11 years worth, and eliminate any that weren’t beneficial anymore. I also went through about 4 years of business cards then as well; I’d kept every business card I’d ever been given, and that can really accumulate a lot.

The second time, in 2008, I wrote about addressing your clutter, but in that case it was concerning the fact that you know you have to do something because it’s not working, and instead you just let it keep going on and on until you find out you have a major mess on your hands. At this point you might just have to kill everything and start all over again; what a waste of time that is.

This time around, since I write about blogging here more than anything else, I’m talking about blogging declutter. Last year around this time I wrote about clearing away irritations and I figure it’s time to do that sort of thing again. Most of you haven’t been treated to this pdf file I’m linking to that’s called 1001 Tolerations, so I’m sharing it with you. No, some aspects of blogging aren’t on the list, but I think they might be if it were written today. I love blogging; I love visiting other blogs, and I love commenting. I know many of you do as well. But we put up with stuff that impedes our joy and wastes our time. Hey, early in the new year is as good a time as any to set something up so I’m not being irked anymore; who’s with me on this one?

So here we go, my short list (well, short for me) of things I’m going to do and not going to put up with anymore unless I really like you already; you’ll know who you are later on, obviously.

1. I will not subscribe to anymore Blogspot blogs. I might not even look at any more new blogs from that site. Even those where the only account I have with them will be missing me. As I wrote in another post, my business email isn’t appropriate as my only venue for leaving comments on those blogs, so why go there and find out and then have to leave, right?

2. I will not subscribe to anymore WordPress.com blogs. This ties in with my post on why I might not comment on your blog. Almost every one of them sends you an email asking if you want to subscribe to comments; I already checked the box so that should be obvious. Why put myself through that decision anymore.

3. If your blog has something that pops up while I’m either trying to read or write a comment asking me if I want to subscribe to your newsletter or whatever else, I’m gone and not coming back. I don’t care if it comes up immediately or 30 seconds later. I don’t care if it’s been said to increase subscribers to newsletters for those of you who are doing marketing. I’m done; it’s irking me, and really came to light two weeks ago when I was trying to write a comment and in the middle of it that stupid box came up and wouldn’t let me continue until I clicked it off. Nope, I’m done.

4. If I’m trying to visit your blog and suddenly I’m redirected to something telling me I have to turn off my adblocking software to view your comments, I’m done permanently. That tells me you’re more interested in making money than in engaging with people, and frankly, I go to the store when I want to buy something. I will not be forced into it. This seems to be a new thing, by the way, and I’m not having it.


by Kenneth MacLeod

5. I’m not subscribing to anymore Disqus, Intense Debate, or other blogs of that sort. I had actually continued subscribing to those blogs because some of them have pretty good content, but I like commenting, and I’m not signing up, and I don’t want to get those stupid emails; done.

6. I’m not subscribing to any more blogs that won’t show my gravatar because I haven’t signed up for their service. This seems to be the way with many Typepad blogs, and frankly, though this is minor, I can live with it. I went through the time to add my image through Gravatar, and by golly if you don’t care then I don’t care to visit again (I know, I said it, “by golly”).

7. If I notice you’ve never responded to a single comment I’ve made, I’m dropping your blog from my reader and moving on. That probably means you’re not looking at comments anyway, so you won’t miss me, and I won’t miss your blog either.

8. I’m not subscribing to any more blogs that moderate comments. I’m sorry you’re worried about too much spam because you don’t have the time to run your blog properly, but I’m not the one. What happens is that you never know if your post was seen or commented on until suddenly you’re deluged all at once with tons of comments that are just now being approved by the blog writer. Nope, don’t need that in my stream; I like real time comments and the like. It might be minor, but it’s irritating me, and I need to keep my irritation level down.

9. Of course if you don’t accept comments I’m not coming back. Having said that, I’ve been to some blogs where a person wants to write something really personal or controversial, and doesn’t want comments on that post. I’m not overly crazy about that idea, but I actually understand it and kind of respect it at the same time so that doesn’t count. But some folks don’t accept comments at all; that’s not interaction, that’s sitting through a lecture.

10. If you don’t always agree with me and love me and tell me how great I am, I’m never visiting your blog. Okay, this one’s a lie to see if you’re paying attention, and to satisfy my little OCD bit because I just had to have a 10th point to write, and I couldn’t think of anything else bothering me. Actually, the number 9 is one of my favorite numbers, but for a list post it just wasn’t going to work for my mental state. Sorry about that. 🙂

Now, does this mean I may not pop in from time to time? No, I wouldn’t say that. After all, I mentioned in yesterday’s post talking about CommentLuv that I like scanning through comments on other blogs that have it to see if there are topics that match things I’m interested in. So I might end up there, but whether or not I leave a comment is my prerogative. However, I probably won’t; if I like it enough, I would probably just write a blog post and link back to it. So, you’ll get a trackback that you can come here to see what I had to say.

Yeah, that’s a whole lot of fussing, which is why I threw in another image to break things up. What are you tolerating, other than long posts every once in awhile from someone like me, that you need to declutter from?

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