“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but being moved to help relieve it.”
—Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence Author
Image from Unsplash by Piliippe Leone
When I visit my 92-year-old dad in his assisted living community, he often says, Getting old is not for sissies! Before moving into this community, he lived with my mom in a senior community with about 15,000 other residents, living as happily and fully as possible.
As someone who tries to be mindful and observant of my surroundings, it is easy to see the various levels of physical and emotional pain most people experience. To my delight, I also observe tremendous compassion within these communities. It is common to see how the majority of the people do their best to help each other.
These efforts give them purpose and at least temporarily take their focus off of their own troubles.
Where are you currently moved to help relieve the pain others may be experiencing in your world? What one action can and will you take today to demonstrate a higher level of compassion?
Consider reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande to explore aging and how we can better support one another through this process.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is Intentional.”
—Attributed to Glenda Cloud
Image from Cadillac Gardens
A somewhat recent movement in many cities is the community garden. Residents and community members take modest sized plots of land that have gone unused or, in many cases, represent urban decay, and renew them.
Over the years, most abandoned lots have changed for the worse through the proliferation of weeds, trash, and even vandalism.
To improve these areas, committed community activists and volunteers intentionally clean up the lots and begin flower and vegetable gardens to renew and beautify their towns.
Where can you intentionally bring a greater growth mindset to create the positive change you wish to bring to your world?
“There comes a time for departure even when there is no certain place to go.”
—Tennessee Williams, 20th Century American Playwright
Image from Flickr by Bruno Geiger
Take a few minutes to examine your personal and professional communities. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How much do I look forward to participating in this community?
- How well do the people in this community share my vision and values?
- How much influence do I have on the goals and direction of this community?
- What learning and growth opportunities are possible in this group?
- How well does this group fulfill my desire for a purposeful life?
Where might you need to make changes – large or small – in how you spend your time, and who you spend it with, even if there is no clear alternative place to go?
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”
image from www.marclangloisconsulting.com
Take a moment sometime today to reflect on your most satisfying and deeply felt moments of personal fulfillment. Make sure you look at your personal and professional worlds.
Examine what percentage of these highlights occurred as an individual versus within a larger group or community. Consider, also, to what extent you were operating in an area of strength or unique ability.
Where can you make more ripples, or even waves, in your professional and personal worlds by casting more of your special stones across the waters you come upon today?
“People change and forget to tell each other.”
—Lillian Hellman, American dramatist and Broadway screenwriter
Photo from onthejob.45things.com
Coaching as a profession has been around for over 20 years, and is estimated as a two billion (or more) dollar industry. Fundamental to the coaching process is the desire for both individuals and organizations to change for the better.
Rooted in this change process is the strong desire for a better future, and in particular, a high level of social support by friends, family, colleagues, and of course, coaches.
Open communication and clarity around this desire, along with some description of what behaviors are to be expected, are critical for optimal success.
Where are you currently trying to change something in either your professional or personal life? How can you communicate this intention to those around you to rally the social support necessary for this change to occur and be sustained?
“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves.”
—Laura Esquivel, Mexican novelist, essayist, and screenwriter
Photo from changingmydestiny.wordpress.com
I must admit that I watch reality TV shows. I enjoy those that involve living in remote areas of the world, where there are little or no creature comforts.
The fundamental necessities for survival include food, water, and shelter. Without exception, fire is another essential resource, needed to cook the food and sterilize the water. Achieving a successful fire is often a significant challenge and hardship for would-be reality show survivors. Almost always, success comes from the collective efforts of numerous individuals.
How can you spark and ignite the potential of others to more fully realize the fires that burn within them?
Who are the people in your personal or professional worlds that can and will play this valuable role for you?
“… Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say, ‘We have done this ourselves.’ ”
– Lao Tzu, founder of Taoism
I have been a student of leadership for most of my adult life. I’ve always been fascinated by how leaders generate buy-in, alignment, loyalty, and shared vision. Lao Tzu’s quote points to a critical characteristic about leadership: people are most likely to buy-in when they have been actively involved in the creative process.
When people see their own ideas and fingerprints on the work, they have a sense of ownership that feels true and genuine.
Where in your work, family, and community can you draw on others to create the futures you desire? As long as you get there, who cares who gets the credit?
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