Category Archives: Compassion

leadership lost

“Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.”
― Beth Revis

 

You may have heard about the recent event on United Airlines that resulted in having a passenger forcibly removed from a plane.   It was an event that you’d think would never happen unless that passenger was threat to others or the plane.  In this case it was just someone unfortunate enough to be “randomly” selected to give up their seat to an United employee.

The event is a great lesson in leadership or the lack of leadership.  Years ago a great experiment was conducted, “The Stanford Prison Experiment” which demonstrated that just following the rules can lead to unwelcome outcomes.  Something similar happened when the gate agents followed their rules and asked for some help from the security contingent.   The security team decided to forcibly remove the passenger (just doing their job).   In the process of removing the passenger, the passenger was injured.   As it turns out people will conform to their roles and act accordingly.

When leadership doesn’t empower their employees to provide great customer service they rely on the rules, rules that don’t take into consideration the meaning and real value of the people who are to be served.

What would need to change for United to be a customer focused organization?

 

pursue peace

by Christian D. Larson

“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.”

Think of ways to add peace to your life, for your good and for the good of others.   Think of ways to add a good deed to your life for your good and the good of others.  Think of ways to smile at a stranger for your good and for the good of others.  Think of ways to say a kind word to a person who needs to be lifted up for your good and for the good of others.   In this way you’ll find peace in our life for your good and for the good of others.

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compassionate communication

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Have you ever stopped to think about compassionate communications?  I would imagine that most people haven’t thought it about or communicated with others compassionately.   It’s not really how most people think or do communications.  We communicate to “say” something and then move on to the next thing on our daily agenda.   Communications in many cases is “directive” communication and because there is so much directive communication coming from a variety of channels in our lives it can be ignored.

What does compassionate communication look like?

It is a 12 step process that I’ll cover in the next few blog postings.  The outline of the process is:

1. Relax
2. Stay present
3. Create inner silence
4. Increase positive emotions/thinking
5. Reflect on your deepest values
6. Access a pleasant memory
7. Observe non-verbal cues
8. Express appreciation
9. Speak slowly
10. Speak warmly
11. Speak briefly
12. Listen deeply
(This material comes from the book, “Words can change your brain: 12 conversation strategies to build trust, resolve conflict, and increase intimacy” by Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman

The process may seem easy and even a common sense approach to better communications and it would be if it were followed more often.

how can you empower your children …

We do live in a crazy world.   We’ve heard far too many stories about the violence in the world, about children being mistreated in some form.     Maybe you’re asking, “What can I do?”.      Jason Nelson has written a new book called “Empower our Children” .    It might be a resource that you can use to look at the world from a different point of view and perhaps challenge your way of thinking as well.    Look at the story and see if there is value for you.   Look at it from the perspective of what you can learn and apply.     What can you do?

 

find self-compassion

“Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.”  Tara Brach

You spill the cup of coffee you just brewed and it splashes over your clothing leaving a nice brown stain.    What are you saying to yourself?

What do you say to yourself when you don’t meet your expectations, when you are late, when you say something you shouldn’t, when you forget an important meeting, when you oversleep or when you get a speeding ticket? What are you telling yourself?

Many people find that their message to themselves upon any unmet expectation is filled with insults and derision that would never be heard by someone else.   People become their own worst enemy and call themselves names that only reduce their ability to succeed.   Some people believe telling themselves that they are “not good enough” as a way to motivate themselves to better results and often it only yields more of that same message … “you’re not good enough”.   Before long that becomes their internal truth and all they do by yelling at themselves is provide confirmation that they aren’t living up to the world’s standards or their own.    If they are “not good enough” then that means people around them aren’t good enough either and it sours those relationships as well.

What do you tell yourself when you don’t meet your own expectations?

What if you could tell yourself a different message?    You can.   New research is being done in the area of self-compassion.    It might be worth reading about or learning more about.   Practicing self-compassion just means that things can go wrong and that it is OK.

You can change what you tell yourself when things don’t go exactly as planned.   Instead of beating yourself up, try this just say it to yourself:

“This is a moment of suffering.
Suffering is part of my life.
May I be kind to myself in this moment.
May I give myself the compassion I need.”  (From Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff)

Just repeat those lines and practice it for a week.   See if you can notice a difference.   Go ahead every time you are ready to condemn yourself say those lines above instead.

To hear more about self-compassion listen to this video:

 

on this fateful day …

[New York Daily News 9/14/01]

The day the world changed.

It was a moment in time when people’s hearts started beating differently.  It was a moment in time when your world shifted.

It might have been a moment when it crystallized in your thoughts how fragile life is.   What changed in you?   What new realizations did you have?  What new actions were you going to take?

Sometimes people change the direction of their lives when tragedy strikes, for others it is a blip in the trajectory of their existence.   For some people it meant ensuring that those closest to them knew that they mattered.  It may have been a time to ask forgiveness or share their true feelings or to recommit to a relationship that had gone sour.   What changed for you?

What moves you to take action?  Does it take a massive and violent attack on your way of life or do you see what is best for you and then take action?

Everyone experiences some type of 9/11 experience in their life.  Some use that experience as a wake up call, a time to start taking action.  For others it means withdrawal and moving backwards and becoming a victim of the event rather than making a choice to take action.   Fear drives withdrawal, opportunity causes action.   What do you do when faced with great challenges?

Take this chance to evaluate where you are today:

Use a scale of 1-10, 1 = Not at all, 10 = Very much so

1. My life is close to my ideal

2. The conditions in my life are very satisfying

3. I am satisfied with my life

4. I have most of what I want out of life

5. I have no regrets about my life so far

Add up the score.

My life is very good – ( 40 or above)

My life has opportunities –  (30 – 39)

My life could use improvement  (20 – 29)

My life needs a lot of work   (  less than 20)

Make today the day you start working on your life.   Don’t wait for something tragic to motivate you.

 

 

 

 

make today a positive day …

“Decide that you have the power to say YES to it all.  You saying YES guarantees you will find the limitless source of inner strength that lies within.  There is no greater comfort than that.

When we achieve the state of comfort, we can let go of our need to control not only the little things, but even the big things in our lives.”   Susan Jeffers,  “The little book of Peace of Mind” 

We have a choice to make every day when we open our eyes.   We have a choice to make about our attitude and what we will make of the present moment.   We can say to ourselves this will be my great day a day I choose to make it as good as it can be.   I will enjoy each breath I take.   I will think thoughts that magnify all that I am, that will magnify my strengths, my courage, my intelligence, and my feelings in such a way that my soul will dance with happiness.  

“Happiness is not in our circumstances, but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are.”  John B. Sheerin

There is no shortage of news, events, sounds, or words that can drag us into a place that can make one less than positive.   Where do you get positive  content from?  

Have you created your own happiness project? 

Examples of Happiness projects:

  Dr. Robert Holden’s Happiness ProjectHappiness Toolbox

 Alex’s happiness project

The Happiness Project

Gretchen Rubin‘s Happiness Project

What would your happiness project look like?    

Some people may not know how to start their own happiness project.   Some people think to themselves why am I giving up my happiness for this.   Sometimes that leads a person who desires happiness to seek out a coach to help them find those things that would help them to be happy.

What do you want your story to be?   How can you be positive today

 How do you want your story to play out?

What is your starting point for creating a more positive and happier life for yourself and others?