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"Don't Go Changing, Trying To Please Me..." Monday September 19, 2016

Well, so sings Billy Joel!

With a little bit of 'artistic licence' there is a powerful message here for Moodscopers.

Trying to be 'all things to all people' can become a massive source of stress in our lives, upsetting our Moodscope balance. It's best for you to be you and for me to be me, and for us to work together – playing to our strengths.

Of course, I appreciate the tyranny of necessity – often we're the best person, or even the only person, to do the task that has to be done. So we become busy, very busy - too busy. Before we know it, there seems to be no time left for anything – especially ourselves.

The vision of the bold, independent, self-made person is a marketing fabrication – an unhelpful invention. Human beings have never worked, played, or lived in isolation. We have always been tribal. Yes, you can make it on your own, but it's the hard road.

Moodscope helps us get back to the tribe – the community existing for the common good.

But today, I'd like to encourage you to come deeper into the tribe and into the tribal way of thinking. You see, you are not great at everything. Yes, you might be good at everything, but you're not great at everything. Often it is better to find someone else in the tribe to do 'stuff' that isn't your core strength. Thus I return to Billy Joel. The message is, "Don't go changing..." Instead, "Find your place in the tribe and then work with other tribe members to meet your needs." Let them be strong where you aint!

This is a phenomenally freeing way to live. It frees you and me to focus on what we are great at, and it allows other people space to shine!

OK, the dominant objection to this is that folks often don't have the resources to get other people to help them. I would challenge that thinking and suggest that there are many ways to reward people for helping us out. Money, like the myth of the self-sufficient person, is an invention. It's an invention that works well, but it is still an invention – a currency. There are more currencies than just money. People have used shells as money; people have bartered – it's the principle of 'exchange' that is the key.

So could you exchange skills with someone to help you out? A job is an exchange of time for money, so how could you cut to the essentials and swap time for time?

My message is this: give yourself permission to be yourself and celebrate your key strengths. Give yourself the freedom to let go of some tasks that others could help you with. And in so doing, give others space to shine using their own strengths.

And, yes, this sometimes begins with you and me asking for help...

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 6:08am

This is me. Overdoing til exhaustion. Good old fashioned trade is interesting and it'll be my coffee time thoughts... Thank you Lex, love ratg x.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 7:49am

Hi RATG... I'm seeking to encourage as many Moodscopers as want to to use Facebook so that we can trade. There's also a private group, suited to sharing stuff we don't want broadcast all over Facebook! I think we can be a supportive tribe at a whole new level. I'd pick you! Lx

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 1:49pm

Can Io join? I can write and I can craft and I can cook and tell people what to wear so they feel confident. Apart from that I feel a pretty useless human being most of the time. Oh, and I can make people laugh when I stand up and speak...

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:19pm

Sounds like an awesome skillset but I have to say, I'd love you if you had nothing to offer. Lx

the room above the garage Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 10:19pm

Hello! I'm on fb but I'd probably have to start a new profile as I'm not keen on real names being linked with the freedom of our anonymity on here...

Lex Tue, Sep 20th 2016 @ 6:19am

Good strategy!

Barbara Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 7:13am

There are many ways to reward people for helping us out. Another is love, appreciation and tenderness, which we can give in return for acts of kindness.
Thanks, Lex, for a thought-provoking blog.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 7:50am

I agree, Barbara... my favourite gift is 'listening'... oh, and a good cuddle! Lx

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 1:50pm

Indeed. To both comment and reply above.

Sal Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 8:26am

Thanks Lex. One of my favourite quotes is 'One chimpanzee is no chimpanzee' - I think it's Konrad Lorenz - and I don't think we are so far removed from our chimp cousins. I certainly need people (I need space too), and trying to do everything myself doesn't leave much time for others.

I get a lot of benefit out of my local barter system or club, called LETS - Local Exchange Trading System - where we offer each other our neighbourly help. I could call it skills rather than help, but it's normally at the amateur level, as in "I'll help you with your garden, and some time later you can help somebody else with your cooking / house sitting / dog walking ..." We keep track of how much time we've given / received using a system of alternative currency, but it's no big deal if we go into deficit - we all know that we have up times and down times. It is a gentle way of staying engaged and giving what we can, without the pressure of a formal work situation. And a lovely friendship circle too.

I think there is LETS in many places (I am in Dorset, UK); it is certainly international. Time Bank is another variation on this theme.

Thanks again for your post, it reminded me to look outwards as well as in:)

Julie Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 10:08am

I learnt about Time Banks only yesterday, where in Southwark they have 500 people on their books and looking on Google there are loads around. Great community effort which is doing marvellous things.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:44pm

This is wonderful sharing, thank you Sal and Julie. Caroline - can you see ways of harnessing this? Lx

the room above the garage Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 10:20pm

I love this!!

Rolf Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 12:59pm

Thanks Lex. Sometimes I get stuck asking for help. The reasons are manifold -- don't want to bother anyone, don't want to be seen as helpless, don't want to owe anyone anything. In truth, most people love to help, especially if you ask the right person for the right thing (playing to their strengths). To those lovely people, even just the fact that you asked and the opportunity to help you can be rewarding.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:46pm

Hi Rolf, I think we are agreed - asking for help is a kind of compliment to their strengths. Let the positive exchanges flow! Lx

Lexi Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 1:07pm

I love this post Lex, and so appropriate for the start of the work week. I try too much (and fail) at trying to be and do all things for all people. Thank you for the reminder that I don't have to do it all; just be me. And asking for help - that is a big one for me. xo Lexi

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:47pm

Yay, Lexi... just ask ;0) x

Orangeblossom Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 1:24pm

Hi Lex, thanks for the blog & the good pointers in managing time effectively. I appreciate it loads.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:47pm

Always welcome oh Blossom Orange xx

Orangeblossom Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 1:32pm

Hi Lex, is there a Facebook page just for Moodscopers? Or are you going to suggest that one is started? I would be interested in joining.

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 1:54pm

There is indeed my darling! Here's the link...

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:49pm

There is also a closed group which you have to be invited to - and we'd be happy to invite anyone who shares here on Moodscope. All you'd need to do is indicate your interest and 'friend' Mary or Myself. I'm here:

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 4:08pm

and I'm here. Please message me when you send a friend request as I tend to get rather a lot of spam friend requests from "widowed US military generals".... And tend to delete them sight unseen!

Mary Wednesday Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 1:54pm

Fabulous, Lex.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:49pm

Yes, I am occasionally... lol xx

Jul Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 2:51pm

Hi Lex. I like your ideas today but I am not good at asking people to help, probably because I see myself as the person who always helps others. I suppose it's quite a controlling position I have taken although unwittingly. My family always expected me to help them as a child growing up so I guess this is where it all started. Blame the parents! The private FB group must be a good thing but I am reluctant to join FB again as I found it so intrusive. Just joining FB in order to be part of the private Moodscope group involves giving up so much privacy. I know millions don't think like me....Thanks Lex. Great heartfelt altruistic blog. Jules xx

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 3:50pm

Hi Jules, I've been remiss in coaching good folks in how they can use Facebook with an almost total degree of anonymity. I'll take this as a gentle nudge to my memory and work out something I can share with you all. Lxx

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 5:23pm

Up to mischief on The Jolly Breakfast Show this morning...

The Gardener Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 5:55pm

Wrote a long post, and swiped the lot. The one on being good at everything - visiting a friend HER friend said she'd been scared stiff at meeting me because she'd heard I was a sort of Superwoman. Rubbish. Most I've achieved is selfishness, I wanted to do something and looked at a way to do it when we were poverty stricken. Learn to cook well on nothing. Learn languages cheaply at Council Night School. Do my degrees as a mature student underwritten by the government. I think the LETS idea super. Mary, Wednesday, your CV looks pretty good. Lots on Facebook, scares me stiff - might be only way to contact my grand-children, then THEY may not want to be friends with ME. I've met lots of people who wish they had never got involved with X or Y. I say, un-friend them, then. Apparently this is taboo. I would like some advice on 'Facebook without tears'.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 6:09pm

"Facebook Without Tears" will be the article then! Lxx

The Gardener Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 5:56pm

I often lose a post - think when I tap 'Add Comment' I probably right click, cant' think of anything else.

LP Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 8:44pm

Hi TG, I select all and copy before pressing reply just incase I lose my comment. Xx

Lesley Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 6:58pm

Thank you, Les.

"The vision of the bold, independent, self-made person is a marketing fabrication " - never has a truer word been spoken. The vast self-improvement industry often hones in on this. Or perhaps I am just susceptible? I have certainly been victim to this and felt unworthy when I have not felt I am able to work and manage other aspects of life on my own. And yet I am a people person and thrive on communication and helping others (but not asking for help myself). We are encouraged to be these superpeople because that is what we are fed by media. Look at women's magazines - on the one hand telling us not to yield to pressure but showing all these immaculate women and glossy lifestyle advertising. (needless to say I do not buy them).

I was a member of my local LETS back in 2002 for a few years. Superb.

May I also mention, for British readers, the excellent Aging Without Children organisation (AWOC) which endeavours to lobby government to see the realities - family is not around to look after the elderly - and that co-housing in mixed age groups is what is needed.

And my final rant - the focus on youth in society and a lack of respect for the wisdom and contribution of older people. In cultures where the elders are still respected, there is less loneliness and depression than in cultures where youth supremacy is king.

Lex Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 7:21pm

Hey Lesley, you get a loud and resounding, "Yes!" on your points... Lex (Les is another Moodscope user and much valued contributor.)

Lesley Tue, Sep 20th 2016 @ 5:54pm

That was a typo from me, Lex. Apologies. You post very different posts. I recognise one of your posts from the moment I start reading it.

LP Mon, Sep 19th 2016 @ 8:40pm

Hi Lex,
I like this idea. I've often thought I'd like to work for it's own sake and not feel owned by employers, or stressed about keeping afloat. Sal's comment about LETS sounds great.
Thanks, LP :)

Lex Tue, Sep 20th 2016 @ 6:21am

It does, doesn't it LP... perhaps Moodscopers should have their own EModIcons coins? Or pay in Moonbeams? Or just give one another some time and attention... and a hug (where appropriate!) L'x

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