Monthly Archives: January 2013

the Lance deception

“It’s the great temptation for small groups of people to slide into a state where they’re not quite telling each other the truth and they’re not quite celebrating each other. Instead, they tolerate each other, they accommodate each other, and they settle for sitting on the unspoken matters that separate them.”

Bill Hybels

  The news is filled with the epic deception that Lance Armstrong thought he would be able to watch fade behind him over time.  It turns out that the volume of evidence that showed he was only deceiving himself pushed him to the point of confessing his lies. Bike racing filled my life for about 20 years and it is a great sport.  At the elite levels where the money is substantial the pressure to win at all costs looms large in the teams and in the riders.   We see the same thing happening in any organization or institution where the pressure to succeed at any cost is evident.  Banks push performance, Wall Street demands performance, and companies demand performance.   At some point that performance has to be obtained by the leader or by their replacement.  When failure is not an option people step outside of their authenticity and become someone else, often leading to their personal destruction.

Did Lance Armstrong do some good?   He boosted the popularity of cycling in America and he provided resources for those who were dealing with the weight of cancer, both good things.     His sponsors benefited, his coaches benefited and many other people benefited from the Lance persona and now that the persona has been found to lack integrity people want to distance themselves from him.  In a culture of win at all costs things will spin out of control at some point.   Do you find yourself in a culture of win at all costs?   How does that impact you?

What would have been the price of honesty for any cyclist riding at the elite levels in the Tour de France?   Would they be able to continue?  Would they be able to find willing sponsors to support the costs of riding in the Tour?  Is the price of winning worth your integrity?

The foundation of our society is based on truth, integrity and honesty.   We trust that others will abide and live their lives in such a manner that we can know that we are engaging an experience where the interests of each person are not being taken advantage of, that promises made are promises are kept.

Here is one person’s take on the issue of deception and how lying can corrupt the soul and destroy a brand.

The biggest lies, take a look.

What are your thoughts?

Advertisements

enter the critic

“But instead of spending our lives running towards our dreams, we are often running away from a fear of failure or a fear of criticism.”
― Eric Wright
The Happiness Project (2009)

Here’s a post by Gretchen Rubin on criticism.    What lessons can you learn?

It’s easy to talk first and listen later.  The price is often much higher when we listen after the fact.    How often are you forming a response to what someone is saying and missing the essence of what they have said?   We spend so much time thinking  about what to respond with that  we fail to hear their words.

What happens when someone critiques you?   Do you immediately go on the defensive?  Do you shutdown and stop listening?   Do you start preparing a message to defend your position?   Most people do just that, they are not listening they are preparing a defense and missing out on the importance of the information being shared.    Next time try a different approach and listen to what is being said.   Understand the real issue.   Is there something you can learn?  Is the information useful to you?

It is easier to respond when someone is criticizing you than it is to step back for a few seconds and think about what was being said.   The first reaction to criticism is to respond like a tiger is attacking you.    Ask yourself if what is being said is really threat.   What is really happening?   Understand what is triggering your emotions.   To engage your higher order thinking means to take five seconds or so to shift the automatic response to a cognitive thought process and respond with a well thought out statement.   Try it and see what happens.

Being willing to admit that you made a mistake if you did make one.   Be accountable and responsible for your actions and that will reduce the intensity of any criticism.  If you understand how the mistake was made you can correct it and offer that as a solution to the critic.  Make it easy on yourself and make it easier for the other person.   Make it a win-win outcome.
You can learn more about Gretchen here.

if I really wanted to …

“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
― Mario Andretti

Sept30_2007 112

“if I really wanted to …”, are those words you’ve mumbled to yourself in the quiet.   “If I really wanted to I would ______________” and it ends there doesn’t it?   The greatness of your potential slips by on the slippery rails of “if I wanted to.”

Our excuses lie at the bottom of a deep cavern called “if I wanted to …”.   Dreams, desires, passions and results look at you and ask, “do you really want to?” and your reply is, I would, “if I wanted to …”.

It is an easy way to hide and easy way to hold back from making the changes that would shift your life from what it is right now to something greater.   It is your mind and your beliefs that say, “don’t try that …”, and with just a little prodding the voice that says “try” falls silent.

What have you been saying, “if I wanted to …”  too?  Are you putting off making a change in your life, getting exercise, starting the diet, boosting your knowledge, fixing a broken relationship, changing the tires on the car, painting the siding, or washing the windows?

Whenever you say, “if I wanted to …”, you are finding a way to wait until tomorrow or the next day.   You are pushing now into the future and you are pushing your dreams into the future.    Maybe it is a good time to step back and check-in with yourself to see how many “if I wanted to’s”  are part of your day.

What have you been putting off with the “if I wanted to …” excuse?

How is ADHD impacting you?

“When does a job feel meaningful? Whenever it allows us to generate delight or reduce suffering in others. Though we are often taught to think of ourselves as inherently selfish, the longing to act meaningfully in our work seems just as stubborn a part of our make-up as our appetite for status or money. It is because we are meaning-focused animals rather than simply materialistic ones that we can reasonably contemplate surrendering security for a career helping to bring drinking water to rural Malawi or might quit a job in consumer goods for one in cardiac nursing, aware that when it comes to improving the human condition a well-controlled defibrillator has the edge over even the finest biscuit.

But we should be wary of restricting the idea of meaningful work too tightly, of focusing only on the doctors, the nuns of Kolkata or the Old Masters. There can be less exalted ways to contribute to the furtherance of the collective good….

….An endeavor endowed with meaning may appear meaningful only when it proceeds briskly in the hands of a restricted number of actors and therefore where particular workers can make an imaginative connection between what they have done with their working days and their impact upon others.”
― Alain de Botton, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work]

jester

Sometimes people with ADHD don’t feel like they are impacting the world as much as the world impacts them.   The ADHD issues of time management, organization, focus, procrastination, self-confidence or taking action are often diminished with those with ADHD.   It doesn’t have to be that way.   There are ways to manage ADHD.

What would it mean to you if you could find ways to manage your ADHD, to improve your executive memory function and more?

The quote above is about impact and the impact you can have on this world.  Some people with ADHD don’t believe they can make an impact.   They have been told that their dreams and ideas aren’t important enough.   With time management and focus issues jobs can be in jeopardy.  It’s not that a person with ADHD isn’t able to do the work.   We live in a world that demands more action than imagination.  We live in a world that wants people to follow certain rules and if they aren’t followed it is easier to find someone who will (just look at how schools are managed).

Jonathan Mooney is one person that didn’t fit the mold of “normal” and yet he succeeded.   If you have ADHD, you can succeed as well.   Are there solutions?  Yes!

energy factors

“The sage produces without possessing, acts without expectations, and accomplishes without abiding in her accomplishments. It is precisely because she does not abide in them that they never leave her.”
― Lao Tzu

B

Our brain influences more powerfully with negative messages. Have you noticed those days when your energy levels just seem to be depleted? What makes one day significantly different from any other day? What engages you so that you have energy?

Your thoughts play a big part in how much energy you have and how  you feel.   The good part is that you can change your thoughts at any time.   You’ve already done this before, you’ve turned a lot of negative energy (anger) into neutral energy in a second.    In flash you can go from angry to kind and kind to angry.     You can go from being filled with energy to feeling totally drained.   What changed?

Bad news.   Someone conveys bad news to you and suddenly a sense of fear or loss stirs within you.  Just before that you were energized, happy and motivated and in an instant it drained away.

Would it be a true statement to say that all of your negative feelings, lack of energy is self-generated?    Your energy (or lack thereof) doesn’t come from the circumstances you face, but rather to the attention you give the circumstances and judge as good or bad, favorable or unfavorable.

You have the ability to tap into your positive energy by noticing that you have within you a capacity for empathy, exploration, innovation, direction and action.   Putting a focus on each of those five elements enables you to build internal energy.

The first step to reducing energy zapping moments is to acknowledge those moments.   This isn’t a time to judge the event.   It is a time to notice the event and looking at it without a filter of being either good or bad, just notice it as an event.   “this event took place and I feel ____________”.

When you focus on the event with judgement it clouds your ability to look for opportunity in the event.   In other words it narrows the focus to a point where all the energy is focused on one thing … “you”.    Depending on the state of mind you are in that high focus could be negative or positive energy.   The likelihood of having a negative feeling is far greater than having a positive one.

To activate the positive, consider approaching the negative circumstances you experience in a new way.   Consider treating yourself with a dose of empathy.   Look for new ways to interpret your feelings.   Develop a new story, a story that has the ability to energize you.   Look for the opportunity in the situation.  Turn the energy into positive action.     Do something creative with your energy.

To take this topic a bit further listen to Chamine Shirzad explain the concepts of Positive Intelligence.   Find something you can do today to implement a part of PI in your life.

Voices of reason

“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their “right” place.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen

SONY DSC

There is a battle going on in your mind.    It’s the voice of doubt, the voice of fear, the voice of perfectionism, the voice of the victim, the voice of the over-achiever and others.   What voice do you hear when you are ready to make a change in  your life?

The voice you hear wants to stop you and in most cases it does.   It stops dreams, goals,  and desires from being realized.   Just  a small amount of doubt will stop people from doing something big in their life and push them back into mediocrity.    When you challenge yourself, when you want to make a change, what do you hear, experience and feel?

Shirzad Chamine the author of “Positive Intelligence”  labels the voices.  Meet the voice of the saboteur:

1. The  stickler,  looking for perfection

2. The pleaser,  gaining acceptance and affection, a rescuer

3. The hyper-achiever, performance means self-respect, external success driven

4. The victim, inwardly focused, blames others, seeks attention, gives up easily

5. The hyper-rational, data driven, arrogant, without feelings, aloof

6. The hyper-vigilant, anxious, always on guard, doubt filled, suspicious

7. The restless, seeking something better, busyness, rarely at peace, scattered, lacks focus.

8. The controller, desire to take charge and control situations, impatient

9. The avoider,  puts off challenging tasks, passive-aggressive behavior.

Which one do you hear most often?  Which one is the loudest?

Change happens when you are able to quiet the voice of the saboteur and listen to the voice of the sage.

be mindful

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”
— Christian D. Larson

MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Practice relaxing your mind so that you can be present to the world around you.

In the busyness of life it is easy to get caught in the maelstrom of noise that surrounds you.  Take time to step away from the noise and relax your mind.

Mindfulness or meditation can take just a few minutes of time each day.  As little as five minutes of meditation can restore energy, clear up negative thinking and improve decision-making.   When life is just too busy, stop, and take a break, your mind will appreciate creating a quiet space for you.

You can find out how to meditate here.