Who’s to blame for this?
That question presupposes that someone or something outside of yourself can be held accountable when, if you’re posing a question about blame, you’re likely part of the problem.
A “gotcha” culture exists in organizations and families and never, ever has that kind of culture served anyone except the person at the top.
If you’re accountable to yourself and your team, you’ll ask questions of yourself first. “What conditions did I allow/tolerate for this result to exist?”
The cat knocks over a precious item: “F’ing cat!!!” or… “What conditions did I allow/tolerate for this result to exist?” (Actually, if you have a cat, it’s probably both of those reactions.)
A team member blows a sale with a potentially huge client.
Fire the team member? Train them?
Again, the question is, “What conditions did I allow/tolerate for this...
I’d be driving along, thinking about something, and without realizing it, I would reach down and change the station on the receiver.
I’d catch myself – I liked that song, why did I change the station?
On longer trips it’d happen again. And again. What was going on?
My subconscious was at work. I’d change the station when I couldn’t tolerate the thoughts I was having. All those “should haves,” the shame and guilt thoughts, the replaying of times I could have stood up for myself or someone else, but didn’t. I couldn’t tolerate it, so I’d change the station.
And now that I’m conscious of my subconscious processes, I lean into them. It’s rare now, but if I do find myself wanting to change the station, I’ll examine my thoughts. Do I need to sort something out? Do I need to make something right? Or do I need to let go of the past and recognize that the lesson is part of...
Graceful, elegant, smooth writing comes from the fountain pen. Not when I was younger, though. I got blobs of ink, I tore the paper, and I ended up with inky blue fingers.
What makes a fountain pen work differently than any other pen is that, among other things, a lighter touch is necessary. Graceful strokes don’t come from the hand or wrist. They come from controlling the arm.
And that’s something, isn’t it? I mean, as an analogy for a lot of life lessons, we’re often so focused on the thing that seems to have the power. And when we give that thing more power, we often mess up the very outcome we were after.
When we relax, we create a flow that isn’t readily apparent. This is a difficult paradox for those who need control: You need to yield in order to have control. Much like the power found in the martial art of Aikido, yielding gives you the ability to control.
Flow comes from letting go of the...
Let’s talk “manifesting.”
There are times in each of our lives where things go so smoothly. Everything just seems to line up perfectly. And suddenly (it feels like suddenly), we’re given an opportunity.
There are times in each of our lives where things go so really badly. Everything just seems to line up to be against us. Every step we take seems like a struggle. And it feels like there’s no way out, but in actuality, we’ve been given an opportunity.
What some people call manifesting boils down to three key pieces. The point is that you’ll get more of what you put your energy into. What are these three keys?
First – You need to be aware of what you truly desire. What do you really, really feel like you’d give attention to no matter what? It’s like tending a garden. And then the question is, very specifically, what seeds did you sow?
When you focus on a positive...
What do bread, yogurt, petri dishes, good organizations, and you have in common?
Imagine a bailiff yelling, “All Rise” and you’d have your answer.
There’s a culture inside that helps growth happen.
Truly great organizations recognize that it’s the mix of people, each with different stories and strengths, that make for a positive culture.
The environment must be a positive balance for any positive culture to grow.
This is where YOU come in! You set the tone for those around you to grow or to retrogress.
You lift others.
You shine the light and lead the way.
Or you diminish others in some vain attempt to make yourself more powerful.
We’ve seen this in politics, in organizations around the world, and in families.
As you’re reading this, you have solid examples of those who have lifted or inspired you along the way. And, you’ve probably had some visceral response to a memory of someone whose actions...
We’ve just passed Valentine’s Day and I will share that this particular “holiday” used to cause me a lot of concern and stress. It felt like a test of some sort. Like I had to get it “right.”
I felt like I’d be judged by my wife at the time, like my family and friends might also find what I had done adequate or lacking, thereby reflecting on me – as a human or at least as a husband – as adequate or lacking in some way.
Decades have passed and I’ve come to recognize how commercial holidays are just that and that in demonstrating the value of a relationship all year long, one day isn’t going to make or break it.
As we come through any of the holidays, so pretty much every day, it’s important to reflect on how you think about yourself in the world, at work, at home, in every single one of your relationships.
Do you feel like you’re in a position of having to prove...
I was cleaning up the counter, doing dishes, moving quickly and my arm caught the top of a wineglass I had just placed carefully for drying.
It tipped and no slow-motion effect could stop the inevitable.
I could feel the pieces shower my bare feet as the shards scattered across the counter and onto the floor.
My wife was present, and upon recognizing the situation, her response was a quick command, “Don’t move” as she quickly grabbed the vacuum to take care of the floor and then taking up towels to wipe down the counter. She made it safe for me to step away, find footwear, and come back.
I returned to doing the dishes and, ever so carefully, washing the delicate glassware. And I thanked her for her response.
She was surprised and inquired about my gratitude. I noted that she didn’t seem upset and she just took care of things. Her response: “Why would I get upset? You can’t unbreak the...
Ever get stuck?
We all do. We all hit places in our path where we fall into a hole and can’t seem to get out. It’s a part of a natural rhythm and nothing to worry about. That said, living in “stuck” IS something that needs attention. That’s a blog post for another time and has to do with living as a victim or martyr or, perhaps, a self-saboteur. Again, a post for another time (though something to look at for yourself if that struck a chord).
What happens when you drive through the mud and then your tires hit that mushy spot and your wheels spin?
What happens when you’re on an uphill climb and you stop?
Let’s jump into basic physics for a second –
There’s a difference between inertia and momentum. Inertia is the amount of energy it takes to get moving. Momentum is the energy you can use – and ADD TO – once you are moving.
If you’re stuck in the mud, you’re...
I was speaking with a Buddhist academic recently who was interested in the Culture of Caring™ program that I’m creating for organizations and leaders. One of the key concepts that came up focused on the notion that we humans have a sense of fairness.
For the most part, we see things as just, or balanced in some way. When we negotiate with someone, there’s still a sense of fairness. That is, we get a “deal” and they get what they bargained for or settled for. They chose.
The thing is, sometimes life doesn’t seem fair. And it isn’t. And it is.
Something bad happens to you or someone you love…
Someone else gets the contract or promotion…
You get rejected from person after person, job after job, etc.
It’s not about fairness.
Life is about the meaning we give to it. That’s not fair means that you’re feeling out of control by someone or something (a deity?) who is...
We’re a few weeks into the new year and any resolutions you made are likely looking more like wishes you’ll catch up to. They’re falling away because we have gotten to used to the word “resolution.” We’re not resolute from the start.
Determined, unwavering, tenacious, steadfast… resolute.
Or wish… a distant desire or hope.
Most people start their New Year (your new month, your new week, your new day) with a wish. Get back to what you desire to create for yourself.
What’s your desired outcome?
Focus there, and you will have changed the outcome of the year ahead. Day… by… day!!!
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