I’m Sorry If You Were Offended

“I’m sorry if you were offended.”

Has anyone ever offered you this sort of “apology”?

I recently read a blog post called “A Better Way to Say Sorry” that offers a powerful alternative to such lame apologies. It outlines a simple, four-step method of apologizing that’s simple enough for children to learn but effective enough to help us preserve and enhance our relationships throughout our lifetime. You can read it here.

I highly recommend that you do.

Of course, it might not be appropriate for every situation that calls for an apology. As an alternative, one commenter on the site where I found this blog writes, “I prefer ‘Congratulations, you got to be offended. I’m only too happy to have played into your preferred personal narrative today. No, really, don’t thank me, it’s nothing.’”

Don’t over think it. Just go with what works for you.

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Success: Is It Worth It? (Part 1)

“Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought.” -Matsuo Basho

For years I’ve had a running debate with myself as to whether or not my dad’s success was worth the price he paid for it. The way I see it, he paid with his life to build a highly successful group of companies. My dad died at 64 years old— he didn’t even make it to “senior citizen” status. Our family paid a hefty price too.

When he died I experienced a strange multitude of emotions. I was glad that his long and painful struggle with a number of illnesses was finally over. I was upset that he could have prevented many of those illnesses by doing a few small and simple things differently— things like eating breakfast, getting more sleep, exercising regularly and visiting the doctor for routine checkups.

I was grateful that, despite his shortcomings, he’d lived his life honorably and in a way that we, his family, can be forever proud of. I remember feeling like a sort of cap had been put on his life— that the reputation he’d earned through his fairness, honesty, authenticity, loyalty, generosity and hard work could never be reversed or undone.

I was exasperated at the thought of ever measuring up to him or his accomplishments. I was sad that I would never have the close and loving relationship with him that I had missed out on as a child. I was angry at not having had that relationship and that it was now impossible. I was upset that he hadn’t taken better care of himself.

I was appreciative of his incredible vision, foresight and initiative to prepare my mom, my siblings and me, and the leaders of our company to carry on the good work that he started. And it has paid off— in the five years since he has been gone, our family business has experienced unprecedented growth and profitability. 

The last five years have given me a lot to think about, and many new perspectives.  

(To be continued…)

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