Seeking Approval

Photo of dog at top of staircase
photo copyright ©2018 David J Crone. All rights reserved

What are you waiting for?

What is holding you back from taking the steps that you know you need to take to get what you want?

One of my dogs, Westley, loves to be with people. When there are people in the house, he goes crazy if he can’t be in the same room. If you move from one room to another, he will follow you.

The problem is that he doesn’t like stairs. My office is in the basement. When I head to my office, he will stand at the top of the stairs and whine. And whine. And whine. Until I stand at the bottom of the stairs and coax him to come down. Without that urging, he will stand there and continue to whimper.

He knows he wants to be down in the basement where I am. But, he can’t make himself take that first step to get there. Unless someone is standing there calling him. Once he takes the first step, he readily continues down the stairs. It is only that first step that requires encouragement.

It’s as if he needs someone else’s approval to take that first step. He can see it. He knows he’s done it before. But, for some reason he must have someone else tell him it’s OK.

Where are you behaving like this? What goal do you have for yourself that you are finding it difficult to take that first step? Where are you waiting for approval?

You know that all you need to do is make a start; once that first step is accomplished, the remaining steps will flow naturally. But, you find yourself staring down (or up) that staircase, unable to take that first step.

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? Are you going to continue standing there, whining, whimpering, waiting for someone to coax you across the threshold?

Don’t wait. Take that step. Coax yourself. The only approval you need is your own.

Know your goal and go for it. You’ve been approved.


Photo of Bob Isaacson.
Photo copyright ©2015 David J Crone. All rights reserved.

What is the legacy you hope to leave behind?

I have previously written about heroes and role models. One of mine recently passed away. Bob Isaacson. He was 80 years old.

Like many of my friends, I knew Bob from work. Bob was a ventriloquist. He was a staple at the Vent Haven ConVENTion, an annual gathering of ventriloquists from around the world. He was beloved by everyone who knew him.

One of Bob’s joys every summer was to be the Emcee for the Junior Open Mic event at the convention. Occasionally, he would perform as part of his time on stage. But, primarily, he saw his role as supporter of the latest generation of young people learning the art and craft that he loved. He took his role seriously. One aspect he was known to work especially hard at was to pronounce each person’s name correctly as he introduced them. Bob saw this as an important part of showing respect.

Everyone who has met Bob has their own story of why he is so special to them. To me, Bob embodied the term, “statesman”.

Merriam-Webster defines statesman as: a wise, skillful, and respected political leader. If you remove the word, “political” from that definition, you have a perfect description of Bob: wise, skillful, and deeply respected.

Bob was always eager to sit and talk with anyone at any skill level about the art and craft of ventriloquism. He would tell stories from his experience. Then, what made him unique, he would turn the conversation around to you, offering words of encouragement and gentle guidance. Bob had a knack for treating you as the most important thing in the world to him at that moment.

The other word that comes to mind when I think of Bob is, “gentleman”. While I have no knowledge of whether Bob comes from noble birth, he always conducted himself with the spirit of a true gentleman. Again, from Merriam-Webster, “A man whose conduct conforms to a high standard of propriety or correct behavior.” He was truly a gentle man.

Much of Bob’s influence was through his skills on stage. He brought laughter to many. But, as strong as that was, his impact off stage was even greater than on. Bob showed me what it looks like to be a kind, loving human being.

That is a legacy worth leaving.


Time out

Photo of flags on a flagpole
Photo copyright ©2017 David J Crone. All rights reserved.

When is the last time you called a Time Out?

Like much of America, I’ve been watching a lot of football the past few days. It’s college bowl season. The concept of calling a time out struck me as something that has meaning far beyond football.

In football, the purpose of calling a time out is to give the team a chance to pause, reconsider their current strategy, revise it as needed, and sometimes just to give the players an opportunity to breath before the next play.

The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day is often one in which I call a time out – from work. It is a time to pause, reflect, and spend time with my family. Sometimes it is simply an opportunity to breath before launching into whatever is coming next.

When do you call a time out? Is your play clock running dangerously close to zero? Could you benefit from taking a moment to reconsider your current direction?

Give yourself a break. Call a time out. Then get yourself back into the game.