Aleph by Paulo Coelho

I am currently reading the book Aleph by Paulo Cohelho (if you haven’t read anything by him–do!)  He requires you to ask yourself a lot of questions.  In this book, he does not feel at peace with himself and the life that surrounds him.  He goes on a journey to see if he can recapture that sense of oneness with himself.  He notes that the search for peace has a price.  The question is are you willing to do do what it takes to be at peace.

All of us, I believe, want to live at one with ourselves—to be at peace.  However, we cannot do it unless we take time to reflect, question and act on the messages and signs we see around us.  And, yes, we do see them.  The question is do you pay attention to them;  or do you rationalize them away, finding a hundred and one reasons to explain why you think and feel the way you do—which momentarily makes you feel better and justified–but that ultimately return once again with more fervor.  When you have reconciled where you are, what you think and how you feel,  the signs of complexity and confusion disappear and peace returns.

Peace by definition is:  a state of tranquillity or quiet, freedom from civil disturbancea state of security or order within a community, freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal relations.

Your question might be how do I attain peace in my life? In his book he suggests that it is only with “the ability to love, forgive and have courage on your travels” that will lead you in that direction.   I agree!—Otherwise, we are left with too much baggage that clouds our ability to see clearly and have a sense of calmness…oneness with ourselves and the world around us.  It is not easy, and does not end on one journey.  There will be multiple journeys–You must travel them, look into them, and let them go.  The past is that, the past–unchangeable.  The future is that, the future–unable to predict.  The present, however, you can control–it is constant, live.   The Aleph invites you to ask yourself, “are you where you want to be?”  If not, look inside, love a little bit more, forgive a lot more and have the courage to make it different.

Simply Said

Attitude of Gratitude

Why is it hard to find Attitudes of Gratitudes at work?  I have heard on occasion that being “too” thankful can be seen as “brown-nosing.”  (First, I want to know why we call it brown-nosing but I will leave that to another blog posting.).  We must monitor how often we say things like thank you, well done, what an inspiration, cool or awesome.  Apparently, if we are grateful “too” often, we are not authentic and have ulterior motives.  Who decided this?

We have concluded that those things that “should” be done don’t warrant gratitude.  In essence, if the trash needs to be taken out once a week or reconciling the budget is due and these tasks are completed, a thank you isn’t warranted.  It was expected that you do them, hence no need for gratitude.

I would like to offer that we create a different approach.  One in which we are grateful much of the time. Everyone knows that positivity and appreciation instill positivity and appreciation.  Most of us aren’t expecting gratitude for the things for which we are responsible, and don’t expect praise and appreciation. And yet, it is also true that none of us like to be taken for granted.

A good friend told me last week that none of us are promised to be here tomorrow.   Think about how often you are grateful for those around you and the work that they do.  Do you have an Attitude of Gratitude?

…thank you for reading my post…

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Playing Politics

play politics; defined

a.  to engage in political intrigue, take advantage of apolitical situation or issue, resort to partisan politics,etc.; exploit a political system or political relationships.
b.  to deal with people in an opportunistic, manipulative, ordevious way
Why do we do this?  From my perspective it is exhausting, lacks transparency, is dishonest, and requires you to be someone you are not.

Play office politics without getting dirty is an article that I only half agree with.  From my perspective the first part of this article is all about power, control, and self-advancement.  There is no commitment to a collective effort of the work or movement of the organization.  At the end, it tells you that somehow you can “play politics” with integrity–not sure about this statement.  And that, ultimately if you must change your entire self, then perhaps the organization isn’t for you – that is about all I agree with.

What’s my point?  I have found that my success, and I do believe I have been successful in my work, has not come from playing politics.  My success has come from sharing my agenda, my thoughts and opinions, uncensored and with authenticity, i am trusted and believed.  I am not viewed as someone with ulterior motives.  Certainly one should be tactful and respectful in the way you share —-Of course, many will tell me that i am unrealistic, naive and the list goes on.  I say, you can decide to be and make it different.  You can play the game or change the rules of the game–it is your choice.

Alas, however, we are a society of playing politics, creating strategies to win, making sure we don’t disclose our strategies or risk “losing.”   I would like to advocate for something different.  Full disclosure in an attempt to move forward collectively and inclusively.  Leave the game-playing to the sports industry.

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Clutter

Why do you hold on to things?  Do they remind you of some thing, some one, some place?  Do they express something about yourself that you   want others to know?   If you were to get rid of the “thing”, what would happen?  Are you afraid you might lose the memory, that someone will love you less, that a parent will come back to haunt you, that without the memento,  you will be less than or would somehow disappear.  I would like to challenge you to look at  everything you have in your office, your home, your car and ask yourself why you have it.  Decide if you are keeping it out of desire or fear.   Ask yourself, if what you are keeping brings good memories or if it is weighing you down.   It is no surprise that there are many talk show hosts that have episodes on the importance of decluttering your life.  It is necessary to to let go of things past so that you may experience the  fruits of the future.   Remember that new leaves appear on the trees only after the older ones have gone.

Don’t read me this post as saying that you should through away that beautiful photo of your mom from the 1950’s.  And, I am not suggesting you live and work in blank and empty spaces.  I do believe, however, that most of us could get rid of at least half of what we have in our possession.  I truly believe that if you begin to unload yourself from some of the stuff, you may find yourself feeling a little less stuffy!

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T.H.I.N.K.

Came across this today:

Thought I would expand:

T. rust—for me this means that whoever you are engaged with knows who you are.  That you can be free to process, disclose all of what you are “thinking” knowing that the person believes that you are trying to be the best that you can be.  no judgments- it’s unconditional.

H.elpful–are you trying to get to a better place—is what you are saying intended to ADD to the conversation.  Not subtract…not finding all the obstacles and problems with the situation.  This doesn’t mean that you are not identifying potential roadblocks or situations that will need to be addressed.  It means that you are addressing them to move forward.

I.nspiring–are you trying to uplift an experience, an event, a person…..giving your hundred and one thoughts on an idea, a thought, or an event is NOT uplifting.  unless, of course, you are giving suggestions about how something CAN work.

N.ecessary–why are you contributing to the conversation.  Are you REALLY trying to be helpful or are your thoughts and comments about the situation, just about your need to have an opinion.  if so, then keep it to yourself—-

K.ind–this doesn’t mean that what you have to say is going to be pleasing to the listener.  It means that you are invested enough to say it in such a way that is contributory to the conversation.  In essence, your comment is intended to be helpful.  If it is, then it is always kind and the person will know it.

 

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Both/And

I attended a focus group today on the use, feelings and experiences with Social Media. That isn’t the point of this blog but it is where i thought of this.

We often find ourselves trying to pick the one way, the “best” way, the most effective way, the most popular way.  In essence, trying to make decisions about the ONE thing that will make whatever we are trying to accomplish the “right” way.

I am here to tell you that there are no ONE best, right, popular ways of doing most anything.  It is combination, compilation, and collaboration that allows for success.

An example….I work at a University institution and my primary serving population are students.  We had an event on Friday night and the goal was to try to get at least 900 people to the event.  In this day, and with the age group of the people we were trying to reach, one might say that the best way, the one way to get them to attend would be through facebook and twitter.–Social Media–  What is true, however, is that while we did use twitter and facebook, we also meet in person with student organizations, and organizational units, sent personal invitation emails and talked to people by phone.  It was all of the above that allowed us to be successful.

Both/And my friends, not either/or’s!

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