Personal Concepts

By Terry Plotkin

There are certain people whose brains are locked into a way of thinking that is unique to them. Over time, I have observed them enough and the way they think, to come up with a concept of how they approach events. Since we have the opportunity to learn from each other I thought it worthwhile to mention some of the concepts I have observed. So here they are; the names have been changed to protect the innocent, the weird, the wise, and the guilty.

The Henry: Being a master carpenter while living for decades in a dilapidated, ugly house. This, even though he has enough time to fix it up. This concept applies to many a car mechanic and their cars as well.

The Merlin: Passing up a perfectly good parking spot so as to search for an even better one. This concept could also be called that two birds in the bush is worth more than a bird in hand – even when one bird is all you need. This mania to get the best possible spot to save a little walking comes from a person who walks fairly long distances every day to stay fit.

The George: This is joining a Board with the idea that you are doing it to help the organization thrive. Meanwhile, almost everything you do ends up mucking up the works and makes the organization even more dysfunctional than it was before you came on the scene. These kinds of people invariably think they are good communicators.

The Gretchen: Taking on a major project when you do not have enough time to complete it. This syndrome often will find the person crying while trying to finish when everyone else has long since gone to bed.  Just saying no does not enter in the thought process.

The Maggie: Having clear, irrefutable evidence presented to you and then stating that it is not there. Politicians do this to gain votes, but I know people who do it because what they believe to be true is way more real than what actually is true. Maggie is convinced she is broke even though her bank account is flush with cash. If this concept infects enough people I fear we are doomed.

The LuAnn: Not noticing when someone has given a lot to you so saying as little as thanks never occurs. Children are often guilty of this, and we correct them, but when an adult does it, it is ugly.

The next concept is closely related to the previous two and is called the Mildred. In this one, no matter how badly you have behaved or are the cause of the problem, you can only see how you have been taken advantage of and are the victim.

The Lawrence: This is when you strategize a course of action from every possible angle several different times, and then after you execute the plan you spend an equal amount of valuable time debriefing.

The Mary: This happened once in an ultimate Frisbee game I was playing:  We had been playing all night and the score finally got to 14 – 14. The game was to15 and the deciding point was set to go off. It wouldn’t take more than 2 minutes to finish the game when Mary walks off the field. We all yelled to her, “Where are you going it is game point!  And, ” You can’t quit now we have been going at it all night and we are at the end!” Mary turns around and looks at us incredulously and says, “Can’t you see I don’t feel like playing anymore?” With that she walks off the field and drives away.

The Matt: This is when you have a difficult thing you have to go through, and you take the shortest possible time to do it in no matter how difficult it makes your life, thus getting it over with fast. Matt did this while teaching school all day and getting his master’s at night, while loading up on courses.

The Mel: This is the observed truth that no matter how concrete your plans are, life can, and often will, pivot on a single point and spin off in a direction that you never anticipated.

Anyone got any others to add?

2 Responses to “Personal Concepts”

  1. those are great…worth circulating to a big audience!

  2. Awesome – love it!

    How about. . .

    The Gregory – allows problems to happen so he can solve them.

    The Fred – has very smart advisors, but ignores them because they make him feel stupid.

    The Ginger – agrees with her ignorant husband because disagreement invites abuse.

    The Baxter – makes clever arguments because heartfelt honesty is too painful

    The Monty – Embellishes stories until they scarcely resemble reality but embraces them as the tapestry of his life.

    Bottom line – we create the stories and the fabrics of our lives to avoid, alleviate, and eliminate the pain of separation from our essential nature – a nature that is real, painful, and ecstatic – three things that are difficult to accept and endure – three things that we spend our lives pursuing and avoiding. Is it any wonder that we strive to escape the unescapable.

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