If You Blame it on Someone Else

“If you blame it on someone else, don’t expect it to get better.”

—Author Unknown

Blaming and making others wrong is like a black hole in the world of relationships. Nothing good ever comes out of it.

Unfortunately, we each view the world through our own perceptual filters. On many occasions, our views do not agree or align with others. This is not bad in itself, except that we often go a step further to prove our point or to undermine those who think and do otherwise.

EXERCISE:

How and in what ways can you reduce or eliminate playing the blame game, personally or professionally, to improve your life?

Better keep yourself clean and bright

“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”

—George Bernard Shaw, 20th Century Irish playwright

Image of man washing windows on a tall building

Image from Flickr by Jason Bain

It is early spring here in Michigan. With increased daylight, warmer days, and a few more birds chirping, many of us are embarking on some spring cleaning.

Two activities that are often on the list are cleaning or replacing the furnace filter, and washing the windows, to clean our air and brighten our views.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you clean your own perceptual filters and brighten your windows on the world to lead a more fulfilling and satisfying life?

Consider doing this exercise with your family or work community so that you can engage additional social support and increase the likelihood of success.

The Tree of our Thinking Minds

“We are sitting under the tree of our thinking minds, wondering why we’re not getting any sunshine!”

—Ram Dass, American Spiritual Leader

Image of a person sitting in the shade under a tree

Image from Flickr by Kat Northern Lights Man

On a hot, sunny day we all enjoy being in the shade, perhaps with a frosty beverage. It’s cooler, and just more comfortable.

Our own thinking often plays the role of a shade tree in that we are literally blocking out new, more creative or innovative input, which might enlighten us.

If, for some reason, you feel stalled, stuck or plateaued in your growth and development, take a hard look at how often and how much you are sitting under your limited thinking canopy.

EXERCISE:

How can you let in more bright ideas and alternative perspectives by welcoming the light of other people’s input, personally or professionally?

Invite people into your life who don’t look or act like you

“Invite people into your life who don’t look or act like you. You might find they challenge your assumptions and make you grow.”

-Mellody Hobson, Chair of the Board of Directors of DreamWorks Animation

Image from the shore of Australia

About a month ago, my wife Wendy surprised me with a 60th birthday trip to Australia and New Zealand. During our three week trip, I had the opportunity to expand my world view and perspective by meeting dozens of people from other countries.

Among these interesting individuals were a kiwi farmer from New Zealand, an Academy-Award Winning sound designer who worked on the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and a Naturalist about to start working with a non-profit in Hawaii.

EXERCISE:

How can you arrange – sooner rather than later – a “Bucket List” adventure so you can invite more new and interesting people into your life?

Choices are the hinges of destiny

“Choices are the hinges of destiny.”

⏤Edwin Markham, 20th Century American Poet

Image of an ornate door hinge

Image from Flickr by Fred Faulkner

In the book The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz warns us that more is less, and that our abundance-based culture often robs us of our satisfaction in life.

Imagine yourself in a room with a few dozen doors. You are told that some will lead to great opportunities, others to places far less desirable, maybe even dead ends.

All too often, we are looking outside ourselves to what others or society tells us are the best choices. And yet, we are frequently dissatisfied, because by comparison there is always something better⏤or at least we think so.

EXERCISE:

How might you use your most deeply held values and beliefs to design and open the doors you are meant to open? Your destiny hinges on it.

Discover the Truth

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered. The point is to discover them.”

—Galileo Galilei, 17th Century Italian astronomer & philosopher

Image of a boy in a science center

Image from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

What makes something real or true? Many would agree that perception is reality, and the mental models and paradigms we create throughout our lives lock in what is true for us.

The process of coaching emphasizes the examination of these views and perspectives.  It supports far greater awareness and promotes the discovery that enhances their desired outcomes.

EXERCISE:

Where and on what issues would you benefit most from a coaching process to more fully discover your most important truths?

How things should be

“Reality is the other person’s idea of how things should be.”

—John M. Shanahan, author of Hooked on Phonics

image from consciouslifenews.com

image from consciouslifenews.com

As part of my Personal Excellence Training, I teach my clients to coach themselves, with a technique I call The Pivot Point. The first part of this tool is to help my clients assess the “current reality” of the situations in their lives.

The challenge for most, at the beginning, is that they often believe that their perception of reality is shared by everyone around them.

EXERCISE:

How open are you to the possibility that the people in your personal and professional worlds perceive “reality” quite differently than you?