The Three C’s
The Three C’s
I had the great privilege last week of videotaping a serious thinker as he sermonized about what he calls “The Five C’s”. If you want to hear about those five C’s, just email me and I’ll put you in touch with my friend, but I warn you up front, it’s going to cost you lunch, or at least coffee. I’ll also tell you up front, it will be the best lunch money you ever spent.
But that’s not what I want to talk about. His brief pontification got me to obsessing about the “C”s in the world and it dawned on me that the letter “C” pretty well sums up the three basic kinds of personalities. They each have their assets as well as drawbacks.
The first category (see how I worked in another “C”) is what I call the co-existers. These are the hippies driving around with those hokey bumper stickers that spell out “COEXIST” using symbols for different religions. (Hey James, that gives me an idea.) They really do seek to get along with everyone, but their message seems to be that if we all just get along and merge all of our world views into one, we will create some great and harmonious society.
First of all, did you ever try mixing several vivid colors of left-over paint into a single new color. You get brown — and not just brown, but a butt-ugly version of brown that reminds you of something with a stench. Every one of those previously striking colors gets lost in the new mush.
Like it or not, we already co-exist with a wildly diverse human race, encompassing every kind of personality from Mother Theresa to Mall shooters. Some of those folks are worth co-existing with harmoniously. Others, not so much. Sometimes, “getting along” is not the answer, but for better or worse, we’re stuck in this whacky human race.
Vitamin C number two is the person committed to confronting every wrong. They’re bright and clean on the outside, but they have one, misguided internal goal — fixing you. Did you ever have one of those friends who tries to confront all your issues, or to re-interpret your words to everyone listening? Do you really look forward to spending time with that person?
Those folks may honestly mean well but the standard they’re trying to conform the rest of us to is themselves. Sure, they can quote the Bible or quote the constitution, or quote the Dalhi Lama, but those quotes always end up emphasizing their personal interpretation and the quotes always come with an undertone of “you’re not as good as me yet.” Approach C2 with caution.
Hint: I always save the best for last, just like dessert. Collaborators are people who want to work with us rather than work on us. They know how to genuinely listen before they speak. And they rarely blurt out “solutions”. That can be frustrating if we’re looking for easy answers. Sometime ago, I spent a couple years collaborating with a psychotherapist who never once provided a direct answer to my requests for advice. None-the-less, he navigated me through some tough times and into a place of vast improvement.
Collaborators have no need to be seen as the star of the show. They’re happy to let others get the credit. In fact, helping others attain success may just be their primary motivation. Collaborators don’t judge. They just see a hierarchy of options and help steer the conversation towards the best solution. Surprisingly, collaborators don’t get angry when their primary option doesn’t make the final cut. They know there’s always tomorrow, and they weren’t looking for the credit anyway.
The shortest path to becoming successful is to surround ourselves with collaborators. The clearest path to finding contentment and meaning, is learning to be that collaborator.
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How Environment Changes Your Biology
— Charlotte Mykura
Malcolm Gladwell is the Master of Milestones. He has a way of focusing attention on critical events in our past that shaped our destiny — events which determined the direction of the path we would follow. We all have those events whether we take time to recognize them or not.
A very close second to those experiential milestones are the pillars of Truth we encounter along the paths that the milestones set us on. Sometimes, we don’t recognize the pillars of Truth until years after they’ve shaped our experience. Sometimes, we see them for what they are the minute we encounter them.
If you’ve read Francis Collins’ “The Language of God” and/or “The Language of Life”, you’ve probably run head-on into some of those immovable pillars of Truth.
Dr. Charlotte Mykura’s book “Epigenetics: How Environment Changes our Biology” is one of those super-pillars that synchronizes all the Truth you’ve previously encountered. Don’t ignore this book.
A meeting of great minds who think alike