How do you create peace of mind in such volatile changing times?

No matter if change is occurring in the Stock Market, your organization, your country, community, school, family; everything feels like we are on a large game board from the game: Chutes and Ladders with its ups and downs; or it can feel like we are river-rafting on a boogie board, being pushed and pulled in different directions with obstacles coming at you; we are all being challenged with the effects of change.  We can choose to be swept away by all the volatility or choose to create balance and peace of mind.

How do you create peace of mind in such volatile changing times?

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How do you determine the value of someone? What actions will you change?

In our data-driven society, we seem to measure everything and everyone, then, we use that information to judge the value and worth of people (consciously and unconsciously).  We see this happening at work, at school, at home, on the playground, in communities, everywhere.  I have seen/experienced this with people of all ages; how we value/treat animals, organizational behavior, schools, churches, neighborhoods.  I see employers hiring graduates ONLY from top tier schools, workers excluding other workers based on job titles, employees let go or forced to retire due to their value is no longer rated high, people treated “less than” the rest of us, based on the value assessment that they are less worthy.

Whether we are aware of this behavior dynamic or not, we treat poorly the people, animals, environment that we do NOT value highly.  How do you determine the value of someone?  What actions will you change?

 

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What are you doing to prepare for and respond to crisis/challenge?

It is not IF we will experience a crisis/challenge, but WHEN.

As an individual, as a family, as an organization, as a community and even as a nation, we are and will continue to experience crises, and this can take different forms; accidents, illnesses, death of a loved one, natural or man-made disasters, organizational downsizing/lay-offs, job/career changes, company mergers, and so many other examples; plus, the fall-out ripple-effects that any crisis/challenge brings.

Just this week, I was talking with a friend, who works for a global manufacturer, in which different operational functions are housed in different locations.  I asked; in the even of a crisis, do you have a continuity of operations plan?  My friend replied “no, if one building stops functioning, it will dramatically effect the entire operations of the company”.

This case example isn’t unique to this particular manufacturing company.  I have seen this same dynamic take place across industries, states, communities, families and individuals. Often times, we choose not to prepare/plan for crises because it is uncomfortable, takes too much time, cost money that we don’t have or want to spend.  Most people choose to hope nothing bad happens to them and their loved ones.

Yesterday as the weather alert radio alarm went off and the National Weather Alert issued a tornado watch for the next 6 hours where I lived, I quickly realized that life and weather do not patiently pause and wait for me to get prepared.  Although I am an optimistic person, I know that hope is not a plan and that I, too, must expect the best yet prepare for the worst and take action to prepare.

What are you doing to prepare for and respond to crisis/challenge?

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What antidote are you using to counteract our own angry reactions and our habit to pull-the-trigger?

This is a human challenge that affects and applies to each of us. This is NOT another department’s problem to fix.  We are reacting to one another with deadly consequences and repercussions that will be felt for years.  We can see pull-the-trigger behaviors in every area of our lives; work, school, family, community and online.  We have cultivated a reactionary society that is quick to pull-the-trigger on anyone who gets in our way, by shooting guns, driving recklessly, hitting each other, lashing out verbally and physically, seeking revenge and even using our words as bullets to shoot one another down; any means we can find to justify our anger towards them.  Some people seem to be even thriving on feeling angry all the time.

It is like we have become addicted to anger as a drug of choice, and we are just looking for the slightest provocation to react and attack our perceived enemy for somehow getting in our way

We created these reactionary habits in ourselves.  However, we are neither robots nor computers.  Our lives aren’t video games-there is no “RESET” button.  There are no bonus points for harming, hitting, humiliating nor killing people.

What antidote are you using to counteract our own angry reactions and our habit to pull-the-trigger?

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What would change if we shifted our focus from blaming the victim to being accountable?

What would change if we shifted our focus from blaming the victim to being accountable?

Daily we see and experience real-time life situations that seem to steer us into looking for who is to blame. This could be changes both large and small; something at home like; who forgot to empty the dishwasher or the trash; it could take place commuting to work and an accident occurs; at work with deadlines not being met, faulty products being produced; it could be a natural or man-made disasters tearing apart lives and killing people, community and/or political unrest. . . the examples seem endless; and so too does the endless barrage of blaming the victim-as if incidents occur in a vacuum and only one person is to blame. Our culture seems to have become obsessed with this mindset of pulling our own angry trigger and seeking revenge.

Rather than repeating this habitual pattern, what if we changed our own focus and started from a different perspective, a place of accountability which allows us to move forward looking for resolutions and preventive insights?

I felt inspired to start this conversation with you from a quote I recently read in a novel “29″ by Mary Sojourner. The quote was: “In the short run, we are all responsible” by Walt Richardson.
Maybe you would be willing to write that question down and carry it with you for this week and apply the quote to as many incidents as you can and notice what happens.

From that quote came this one question: What would change if we shifted our focus from blaming the victim to being accountable?

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Will you take this challenge?

It is the holiday season, and even though we may honor and celebrate the holidays in different ways, there are common threads; peace on earth, celebration, uniting with friends and family, gift, light in the darkest time of year, a child is born, new beginnings, faith, hope, charity, grace, reflecting and resolution.

 

The most precious gift that we can give is not bought online or in a store; it is the gift of listening and understanding.  We all know children in our families, in our communities, the children we teach and help.  How many of us heard this from a child:  “You just don’t understand me!” or “Nobody listens to me”.

 

Would you be willing to take this challenge and write a short note to the children you know asking one simple thing?

 

Dear (child’s /student’s name),

What do I really need to listen and understand from you?

(Sign your name)

 

Include in your note a self-addressed stamped envelop that the child/student can mail back their response to you.  For those of you, who know that your children/students won’t respond to you, contact me and I’ll give you my address.

 

Then, we can share here what we have learned.  As leaders-global citizens, parents, teachers, it is our responsibility to always be listening and understanding each other, but especially to children.

 

Happy Holidays and God bless.

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“How do you catch anything with no hook on your line?”

I enjoy just fishing with just a weight on the line-no hook. I’m not intending to catch any fish, but I do enjoy casting, reeling and the experience of being in nature. Someone once asked me:

“How do you catch anything with no hook on your line?” I replied I’m catching peace of mind.

Life is what we choose to make of it.  Make time to create peace of mind; you and everyone around you will benefit, no hook required.

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The power of music to heal hearts and minds.

The power of music to heal hearts and minds is universal and knows no boundaries.  When words blind us and fail to bridge the gap, a song can unite us in melody and harmony.

 

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When in doubt….

Sing, tap you feet and smile!

 

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Memorial Day 2014

 For some people, Memorial Day is just a three-day weekend that represents the kick-off of summer, beaches, beer and bar-b-que..  For other people, it will be a weekend to remember veterans who have served from previous wars and current veterans that are still serving.  My late father served in WW2, stationed at Pearl Harbor.  I think he would be very sad to see that we still have on-going wars.  I think he would be saddened by the recent news that 40 vets died while waiting to be seen by a doctor at VA clinics.  But, he would also say that the VA system has always been broken.  He would agree that war doesn’t solve problems/differences rather it creates more of them.  He would also want us to find better ways to solve our differences/problems.  After all, we are an intelligent people-not a machine.

Long before tension escalates to war, we have leaders disagreeing and misunderstanding one another, acting upon their own biases/prejudices (thoughts and belief systems) and spreading fear through words and actions.  How about we learn better ways to listen and understand each other and squelch our fear and ignorance of one another?  Every person wants to live a peaceful life with peace of mind. 

We always can change how we think feel and act towards one another.  Leading by example means acting in alignment of what we want to achieve.  If we want children to grow up to become respectful adults, to not bully, belittle nor hate each other, we have to lead/teach them by our actions.

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