Monthly Archives: July 2011

THE CONVERSATION BEHIND THE CONVERSATION

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um-072611-emailEverywhere I go I hear people ask, “What did they mean by that?”

That question is trying to fathom the conversation behind the conversation.

Our normal course may be to walk away, head shaking in confusion, and never ask the person a clarifying question. It seems we would rather live with our assumptions then stop and look a little deeper with everyone from a loved one, to a co-worker, boss, client, or friend.

Has this ever happened to you?

I’m suggesting that if you’re walking away confused, see it as a state of pre-clarity. Then simply stop, turn around to face the person, and check your assumptions. read more

10 LESSONS I’VE LEARNED THIS YEAR

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um-071911-emailThe year is just half over and it’s been resplendent with lessons learned.

Some of them came easily, most of them with a deeper challenge to slow down and savor a moment of awareness.

These 10 are especially useful for me.

  • Take care of your health. It’s the first part of the often-chanted trilogy health, wealth, and happiness. It comes first, because without it, little else matters.
  • Embrace the liberty of thinking outside the confines of what you already believe to be so. And in doing just that, you may begin to unveil the source of your thoughts. Prepare to be surprised when the source of your thoughts is met with “Wow where did that come from?” Then keep looking.
  • Awareness requires vigilance. Lack of awareness is not an excuse. If you’re tired of paying attention, look deeper into the source of “tired”. What are you doing that you’re covering up with a “have to” instead of the joy of doing.
  • Attack and defend are part of the same cycle. It’s challenging to stop the cycle and see what is happening. When you remember that you only see a small part, it allows you to step back and notice not only the content of what’s taking place, but also the source. And then you begin to see the forest from the trees.
  • Sometimes you have to take a stand and let the chips fall where they may. You’ll know it’s a risk worth taking when you go for it, and finally get a good night’s sleep. Be willing to stand up for your ideas. No one else will until you do.
  • Sacrifice makes room for what’s sacred to you. What am I willing to sacrifice? This is a question that follows me each day. It’s easy to sacrifice what doesn’t matter, harder to sacrifice habits that no longer serve your peace of mind but provide momentary comfort. Start with just one sacrifice, and what is sacred has room to grow.
  • The more aware you are the more difficult it is to hide behind anger, unforgiving attitudes, blame, excuses, excesses, and justifications. Awareness itself is the teacher.
  • Listening doesn’t mean agreement. I listen to understand. Listening closely allows me to be at ease in the moment. It also allows questioning what’s not clear. Let contribution be the source of your actions. This one thought guides my communication.
  • A breakdown is the first test of a relationship. Instead of getting more intense and trying harder to convince, back off and pay attention. Take a cooling off period to collect your thoughts. I still like to sleep on a problem if I can, and I usually can!
  • Accomplishment is a gift. “Even on those days when things haven’t gone great, I can come home and give myself the accomplishment of a 30 or 40 minute run.” Those words from Arthur Blank, co-founder of the Home Depot are music to my ears.
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    WHEN I WAS…

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    um-071211-emailWhen I was in my 20’s, I believed that everything happened for the highest good. So I looked for (and found) opportunities in whatever showed up. My motto was keep the faith, stay focused, feet on the ground, and move ahead no matter what.

    When I was in my 30’s, I said that I was the source of what happened in my life. I was 100 % accountable for any circumstances good or bad that cropped up. My motto was create what you want, not what you don’t want. Give up blame, take 100% accountability, and persevere no matter what.

    When I was in my 40’s, I said that nothing real could be threatened and every problem could be solved. My motto was focus on what’s possible, tell the truth with love. Listen generously, share your vision, keep your word, and never give up no matter what. read more

    DECLARE YOUR PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE DAY

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    um-070511-emailYou are free to think.

    You are free to act.

    You are free to be … free.

    What an exhilarating idea. What will you use your freedom for?

    Here are the 10 ways I’ll use my freedom to think, act, and be.

    I am free to:

    1. Throw away my expectations, and replace them with living in the moment with peace of mind.
    2. Finish what I start.
    3. Stop starting what I won’t finish.
    4. Say no, not because I don’t have the time, but because I don’t want to spend the time.
    5. Say yes to taking long walks, running, hiking, and being with family and friends.
    6. Work from the joy of being productive, building teams, and achieving goals.
    7. Solve problems because they need to be solved, and I can do it.
    8. Think in new ways, when the old ways are fast becoming obsolete or no longer work.
    9. Consider what’s possible in the moment of choice before making a decision.
    10. Love and teach love through listening longer, telling the truth sooner, and being present instead of preoccupied.

    Take a moment today and declare your independence day.

    Make your own list. It might be shorter or longer. Start your list by writing, “I am FREE to:” and write down whatever comes to mind. Start your list this morning, and keep adding to it as you go through the day. read more