Archive for December, 2013

What Is On Your Name Tag?

December 5, 2013

I get to wear a lot of name tags. Every time I speak at a conference, I get another one and that is a good thing; because as I get older, it is helpful to have a reminder of who I am. On these name tags is also written my title, which I have provided for the conference leaders. This is usually either “Speaker” or “Owner of For the Good Times Programs”. However; sometimes the meeting planners have labeled me in different ways. For instance, one group decided that since I was speaking about the healing power of humor, I should be billed as a Humor Therapist, but something went wrong in the spacing and when I picked up my tag, I was surprised to read “Linda Henley-Smith, Humor The rapist.” Hmmm. Another time, I was one of three women speakers who were to present on consecutive evenings. We were the only women at this conference and were known as “The Ladies.” On my appointed speaking night, my name tag designated me as “Lady of the Evening.”

So, that started me thinking about name tags and how, if we wrote our own, we would define ourselves. In one of my seminars, I gave each of the participants blank tags and asked them to write their names and a word or phrase which they felt would describe them. Some used words like Optimistic, Happy, Hopeful and Friendly. Then there were those who wrote Depressed, Angry, Fearful or other words with negative connotations. One woman sadly had printed the word LUPUS under her name. When she introduced herself, we learned that she had the disease well under control and her prognosis was excellent. Yet, she had allowed herself to let lupus override any other words that she might use to describe who she was.
It is dangerous to let fear or past failures or even an illness to dominate the other parts of us! I can be a person who is going through a tough time without thinking of myself as a tough time with a person attached!

Maybe we should all put on new name tags every morning, and label them with a word expressing an attitude that we want to have that day. Then, we might be more likely to try to live up to that description. Perhaps that is why I have a license plate which reads DIVA. Of course, that stands for Delighting In Victorious Attitude. Yeah…that’s what it means.