this is a test …

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP!

This is a test.

Sorry to assault your eyes there, but I have your attention.  Good.  I’m going to give you your first real, live test.  It’s more of a challenge, really.  So, I’m going to ask you to get a piece of paper and something to write with.  Or open up a document file and get ready to type.  Don’t be one of those people who either thinks about advice without taking it.  Or who says they’ll “do it later.”  Or who just ignores it altogether, thinking they already know it all.  It’s important.  I’ll wait…

:: dum de dum ::

OK.  Got it?  If you did not open a document or get something to write with, you failed the test.  See you after class.  For those of you who did prepare yourself, let the test begin.

Number your paper 1. to 5.

Next to each number, write the name of someone you either saw or spoke to by phone within the last 48 hours (someone for whom you know both first and last name, though you only need to write their first).

Next to each person’s name, write in quotes the last thing you said to them.

If you saw someone within the last two days, you likely said something.  But if you said nothing, write “nothing.”  If you can’t remember what you said, write “???”

All set?  I’ll help you grade some of it.

If you wrote “nothing,” ask yourself how it is that you saw this person and said absolutely nothing.  How does that reflect on your relationship?

If you wrote “???” for anyone on your list, could you have used your time in this person’s presence to have said something that mattered to them, that was memorable?

The rest is self-graded.  Ask yourself, if that were the last thing you were ever able to say to this person, would it be what you’d want to be remembered for having said?  Does it reflect how you truly feel about them?

Was it kind?  Encouraging?  Affirming?  Loving?

Humorous?  Instructional?  Merely informational?

Critical?  Demanding?  Disapproving?  Sarcastic?

If you didn’t do as well as you’d have liked, there is opportunity for a make-up test.

Rewrite the same list of names, numbered 1 to 5.  But erase your answers beside each.  Now, be intentional and say to each person on your list what you would like your answer to be tomorrow when you do the make-up test.  You may carry the list as a cheat sheet.

As I talked about in yesterday’s post, this is a good example of being honest  with yourself about who you are, while taking real steps toward becoming the person you “wannabe.”

One of the great things about being alive is that every day is a chance for a re-take.

See you tomorrow.  I know you will do well!

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About Erik

Erik is an author, speaker, blogger, facilitator, people lover, creative force, conversationalist, problem solver, chance-taker, noticer and lover of life. He lives in the Boston area. "It's more about writing lives than writing pages." View all posts by Erik

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