"We all have default behaviors. And when we are in the moment, trying our best to perform well, how we handle these automatic reflexes can be the difference between success and failure. It’s these moments that add up to the larger tasks and projects that are our work. Moments in which behavior – what we think, feel, say, and do - is the primary driver of performance."
read more here
How to Override Your Default Reactions in Tough Moments by Lee Newman
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Keep on going and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down.
- Charles F. Kettering, American inventor, engineer and businessman (1876 – 1958)
Awareness is not something that
needs to be manufactured:
when there is a gap,
awareness enters into us.
So awareness does not require
a certain particular effort.
Such an effort is unnecessary.
Awareness is like a wind.
If you open your doors and windows,
it is bound to come in.
– Chogyam Trungpa
“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
– John Lennon
This quote reminds me that each and every day, we have commitments. Things to do, people to meet, tasks to complete, places to go. We prioritize, plan, do everything possible to ensure the successful achievement of our goals. At the same time, I am reminded that there is more to life than getting more and being more...
The following is an excerpt from the day book by Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening, from April 27th.
It is beautifully written, and there is little that I can add to it. It serves as an inspiration and a valuable reminder to me perhaps it will do the same to some of you out there. If you like it, perhaps you can consider to pick up his book. I was grateful that a colleague introduced it to me more than a year ago, and I still return to it. Jean
Let There Be Light
“Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“When Edison was discovering the light bulb, he first engaged in a process of envisioning how an unseeable current of energy could be harnessed and turned into light. Like most of us, the vision came out first. Once he understood what came to him, it took quite some time to find the precise material that would work as a filament in the bulb itself...
I wanted to share a very interesting read this morning. It is from the businessinsider.com and was shared on LinkedIn… nice to see what has shaped people, and how long they remember these little yet significant nuggets over time.
The New Year is beginning. For some of us, the New Year started on January 1st, for others it starts today with the Chinese (Lunar) New Year (February 3, 2011). It is a time of reflection for many of us, about the year that has closed and about the changes that we want to make in our lives in the coming year. It is a time of opportunity as well, because prospects of facing a new year can provide us with the motivation to mobilize. It gives us the feeling that we can make a fresh start or adjustments to ourselves if we have the desire and will to do so.
How many of you have made up your New Year’s resolutions? Now that we are starting February, how many of those are fading away already? Whether you have already done so or not, I would like to I invite you to take a deeper look as you contemplate the resolutions and the changes that you want to make in the coming year.
Why New Year’s Resolutions Sometimes Fade Away
One most common reasons why New Year’s resolutions get set aside is that the goal you have set is something you feel you “should” do, but in the scheme of things, perhaps it is not truly a priority. While it might have made perfect sense at the time of making the commitment, actions speak louder than words: our actions during the course of the year of will determine whether the goal was really a priority or not....
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else… you are the one who gets burned… Buddha
When was the last time that you felt yourself getting angry with someone? A colleague? Your partner? Your son or daughter? Yourself? How did it feel at the time? As you think about the events that played out, would you like to find different ways to manage through the situation for a more satisfying and productive outcome? In this article, I would like to explore what are your choices in reacting to anger once it is triggered. By understanding what is going on inside us and around us, we have more choices on how we can manage or express our anger.
Note: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment (see note below)
What is Anger?
Anger is a normal and usually healthy, human emotion. It comes from a perceived threat to ourselves, someone we care about, our self-image, or our identity. It is useful as it protects us and it...
Watch your thoughts,
they become words.
Watch your words,
they become actions.
Watch your actions,
they become habits.
Watch your habits,
they become your character.
Watch your character,
it becomes your destiny.
- Buddhist philosophy
This very simple Buddhist philosophy is a great reminder that there is only one person who is the author your life. It’s you. While there are many events and other players in the story, our thoughts and beliefs drive our behaviors, and our choices drive our actions and ultimately our destiny.
With any change one tries to make in their life, it is important to gain awareness of what is going on inside of you that drives these behaviors. Usually there is a reason for anything we do. Rewriting the foundation beneath the behaviors helps drive lasting and sustainable improvement. If you are interested in learning more, contact me for a free trial session to see how coaching might help you gain the insight to drive positive change in your life and career.
Learning to Apologize
When was the last time you had a situation arise at home or at the office that ended in a less than desirable way? How did you handle it? Did you think about all the things that the other person did that was wrong? Did you contemplate what was your part in this interaction? Did you decide to forget about the situation and just move on?
It’s interesting that in most cultures, we say I am sorry or apologize for many little things, whether it is for interrupting someone mid-sentence or stepping into their path in a hallway. For example, in Japan, we say we are sorry if we are about to eat first or leave the room. But when it comes to apologizing for something important with people we care about or those we rely upon at work, we seem to choke on the words. And if we manage to give an apology, it is often immediately followed by an explanation of why we did it. “I’m sorry, but….” The end effect is that we are really good at apologizing for things that are trivial, but for the people that really matter, our attempt at making an apology doesn’t really have an impact. In the end, we risk losing a piece of the goodwill in our relationships that can have a lasting effect in the long run.
What Gets in the Way?
First thought, sometimes it really doesn’t matter if you feel that the other person was 90% at fault and you were 10% at fault. Anyway, it is rare in any conflict that someone is 100% at fault....
Competitiveness seems can be perceived as normal for anyone on the job. It can be perceived as a sign that someone is doing all that they can to do to do the best job. Other times it can create barriers to trust and leave your colleagues wondering if you are on the same team (or out for your own agenda). I think that this behavior can also be perceived differently when exhibited by men or by women. While the behavior can be perceived as natural when exhibited by men, women who are competitive usually get some additional (and unflattering) labels attached to them at the first sign of competitiveness. When competitiveness becomes associated with you as a negative identity label, it can be coming from a behavior that you exhibit or it can come from others who feel that they need to compete against you for some reason. Don’t be surprised if you find your colleagues competing against you. That’s life. I choose to think of it as a compliment. After all, why else would that person be competing with you? You must be good at something that you do for them to notice you and choose to be competitive with you.
Is there a problem here? Maybe not, but I would be doing a disservice not to mention something for you to think about. It might be worth taking a look whether or not this is a problem if you ...
When was the last time you had a tense situation or conflict arise at work? A comment made by someone at a meeting, and email received that really affected you. Think about that situation for a moment. Did you send an email copying 15 other people on your position? Or did you make a sarcastic comment in response? Whether in the office or at home, managing conflicts is an issue that faces most people on a daily basis. Were you less than satisfied on how you handled yourself? Or do you feel you did everything right, yet the outcome was less than optimal? Managing through conflicts isn’t really about who is right or who is wrong. It’s about finding a workable solution that moves the issue forward. If you want to improve how you manage yourself through difficult situations, gaining awareness is really the first step.
Try stepping out of the situation and watching it as if it was a movie, with the actors, scenes, action, and the underlying scripts. While watching the movie, some of my clients find it easier to see things that they could not see.while being in the movie themselves. What was the thing that set you off? ...
I think that there is a lot of debate on the subject of whether or not the grass is always greener on the other side. Have you caught yourself going down this path? Ever have a friend speak to you about all the reasons why the grass is greener over there? Erma Bombeck, a humorous author writes, “The grass is always greener over the septic tank!” Now that might be taking it a little bit to an extreme.
Seriously, the reason why I wanted to write this article is because I wanted to explore people’s perceptions on change and whether or not there is a specific underlying behavior pattern at play. After you read the article, I would truly welcome your discussion on the subject at hand.
On the Job
Have you ever had a coffee with colleagues and the conversation turns into a downward spiral of comments describing everything wrong with your current employer? Do you find yourself saying, “It wasn’t like this (insert time frame here) years ago. When we started it was like (insert your description of nirvana here).” The thinking progresses. You start to wonder, “Are there better opportunities out there compared to this one?” ...
A reminder that we always have choices and that the power to act on these choices are in my hands… Enjoy!
We stand at the crossroads, each minute, each hour, each day, making choices. We choose the thoughts we allow ourselves to think, the passions we allow ourselves to feel, and the actions we allow ourselves to perform. Each choice is made in the context of whatever value system we’ve selected to govern our lives. In selecting that value system, we are, in a very real way, making the most important choice we will ever make…
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father and 6th President of the United States (1706 – 1790)
It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are…
Roy E. Disney, younger brother of Walt Disney (1893 – 1971)
Life is a sum of all your choices…
Albert Camus, Author & Philosopher (1913 – 1960)
The greatest power that a person possesses is the power to choose…
J. Martin Kohe, Author and Psychologist
The more decisions that you are forced to make alone, the more you are aware of your freedom to choose…
Thornton Wilder, Palywright and Novelist (1897 – 1975)
When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice…
William James, Psychologist and Philosopher (1842 – 1910)