Dan Miller Christian Blog and Commentary

Not Ready to Make Nice

  • Dan Miller
    Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love , No More Dreaded Mondays and Wisdom meets Passion. He has been a guest on CBS' 'The Early Show,' MSNBC's 'Hardball with Chris Mathews,' Moody MidDay Connection, and the Dave Ramsey Show. Dan has spoken at the White House Christian Fellowship, and is in high demand at national conferences on aging and changes in the workplace, and at universities and churches. Over 130,000 people have subscribed to his weekly newsletter, his 48 Days Podcast consistently ranks in the top 3 under Careers on iTunes, and the 48Days.net business community is viewed as an example around the world for those seeking to find – or create – work they love. Committed to personal priorities, Dan and his wife Joanne have celebrated their 45th anniversary and have 3 world-changing children and 12 amazing grandchildren.
  • 2013 Jul 22
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Back in 2006 the Dixie Chicks released a song titled “Not Ready to Make Nice.”  Without going into the politics of that particular song I actually like the message that sometimes it’s just not necessary to try to make everyone else happy. 

In fact, the negative labels that people may have used to describe you – often provide clues to your unique genius.  Common examples of negative labels may include “nerdy,” “loud,” “flighty,” “unfocused,” “bookworm,” “sloppy,” “shy,” “quick-tempered,” “intense,” “unsociable,” “stingy,” “artsy,” “jabbermouth,” “day-dreamer,” “soft touch,” “aggressive,” “antagonistic,” and “self-righteous.”  You get the idea.  You may have been hurt by some of those terms being directed at you.  But there may be a silver lining.

In order to see the clues to your genius, it’s helpful to ask yourself what you were trying to accomplish when you were perceived as annoying to the person who gave you the label.

Here’s aThree-Step process for discovering your extraordinary value on the other side of being called names.

Step 1:  List the negative labels that others have sent your way:  (I’ll use myself as the example here.)

  • Impatient
  • Blunt
  • Insensitive
  • Opinionated

Yes, I could go on but I’ll keep the list short for demonstration purposes.

Step 2:  For each of the labels in Step 1, describe what you were trying to accomplish when that term was applied to you:

  • Impatient       --     Save Time
  • Blunt             --     Not easily deterred by excuses
  • Insensitive     --     Able to see the core issues quickly
  • Opinionated   --    Cut through the unnecessary garbage

Step 3:  Now look for a common denominator in all of those situations.  What I see from my list is the desire to cut to the chase.  I don’t like lengthy committee meetings, complex government regulations, whining about what happened 20 years ago, blaming others, or any kind of indecision or procrastination.

So if I had to write a summary statement of what those negative say about me it would be something like this:

Gathers necessary information and creates solutions and action plans quickly.

Yes, that’s part of my genius.  Does that mean I always “make nice” with everyone around?  No.  But that has served me extremely well in many, many situations.  It has been the pivotal key that has allowed me to write with clarity from a Biblical perspective, be paid extremely well as a life coach, speak in a compelling manner, and start new businesses.    

Now, it’s your turn.  Make your list of “negative” things people have said about you – and clarify your genius.  What is that short statement that makes you remarkable?  Just maybe, “making nice” is burying your genius.

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