Going Forward Values: Where Do You Want to Go?

Recently, I attended a conference where one of the main themes discussed was how important it is to present your ideas in a positive manner:  instead of setting out all the reasons another idea is bad, it’s way more attractive and persuasive to approach a concept from the positive. What makes your suggestion so terrific? Why is it the “right” way to go?


I have been prone to identifying the things that I don’t like or have problems with, and using this as my starting point. Perceiving life as if it were a giant game of elimination, “I won’t do this. I refuse to be with a person who does that. Spending all day with people who engage in X is my idea of hell.” Well, you get the picture. Except, this sort of deductive reasoning gets me very little other than feeling grumpy.


As Re-booters, we need to be moving towards something. We have tested out enough of the negative orientation philosophy to realize that knowing what you don’t like doesn’t move you any appreciable distance closer to what you do. It’s far easier to tear down another person’s offerings than to build up those of your own; folks who throw stones get very little accomplished, which may explain why some people prefer to cast aspersions—it’s easier. If you bleat and kvetch loudly enough, people will be so busy reacting to your whines that they won’t have the presence of mind to ask you for an alternative solution.


Sorting out what you do want requires honesty, energy, and careful thought. Maybe you (gasp!) want something other than what you’ve been told to want! Courage is required when you reach a point where you’re willing to announce your ideas or preferences to others, because they may decide now’s the perfect time to tear your ideas down.  For me, another challenge related to being clear about what I want is the fear that if I confess (to myself or others) that I want X, I fret about the fact that wanting X means forgoing Y. I hate narrowing my options, because what if I change my mind? What if it turns out that Y is really better for me than X? Isn’t it safer to keep as many possibilities on the table as possible? And one way to do this is to focus my attention on the things I know I don’t like, instead of what I do.


Does what I’m saying make sense?


The thing is this: as a Re-booter, what I know is that choosing to focus my efforts on what I want is the only way I’ll ever achieve that goal! What do you want? What is it that attracts you? What is it you’ve always held a secret interest in? What if you took a few steps towards learning a little bit more about that thing? Is it truly likely that others will ridicule you and condemn you for exploring this path? And, if they do, are they people you want to allow to hold that much sway over you?


I, too, cringe at the prospect of being judged or disapproved of for pursuing particular interests, but I remind myself that I’m probably overblowing other people’s reactions AND maybe, just maybe, it’s even good for me to withstand the censure of others—if for no other reason than to prove to myself that I can live happily without a 100% approval rating. Such interests can range from gun collecting to nail art, from politics to beanie babies, from becoming a wig master to going to college. Different people condemn different interests, but don’t let that stop you from pursuing yours. Re-booters move forward with their lives; they have something they are going towards; they are enthusiastic about a positive plan.


As I’ve written before, you don’t get in a cab and say, “Well, I don’t want to go to the zoo.” Where do you want to go?


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3 Responses to “Going Forward Values: Where Do You Want to Go?”

  1. jennifer digregorio Says:

    I like the way you reframe it, the cab to the zoo is a perfect visual!

  2. mlg46 Says:

    I got so much out of this blog post, thank you! It’s absolutely right on in terms of my tendencies and where I’m at in my life right now. The word “re-boot” is a perfect descriptor! I look forward to re-booting my life alongside you, and what a joy and relief that we can go through transitions in life and still be okay (and even better) for it! I think it’s liberating. Also, I used “Where would you suggest we go from here….” – worked like a charm 🙂


  3. grasshopper Says:

    great blog!!

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