My mother didn’t go to work when I was young. Instead she woke up early, made us a brown bag lunch, drove the carpool to school, and went home to clean the house, grocery shopped, and ironed my father’s button down shirts. By the time we got home, she would be sitting on the couch, engrossed in the Phil Donahue show, while she directed us to do our homework. Shortly after, she’d freshened her makeup for my father’s arrival and began to prepare a sit-down family dinner.
Spring is here and with it comes the urge for a little cleaning. Pruning back our overgrown files and piles is a great way to clear space for new growth and opportunity. It’s also proven to increase physical energy and mental focus–and who doesn’t need more of that!
Last Saturday marked the largest protest in US history. Women, men and children from all around the world peacefully gathered to send one very big message. We want a world where all lives matter. Where power is used to create positive, respectful change that advances our human potential and protects the environment that makes it possible to live.
I have heard more grumblings as of late from people feeling passionless. Their needs are met, they make good money, they are even in satisfying relationships. Yet there is a blankness in their stare that reflects the baffling void once filled with a flame.
Purpose and passion go hand-in-hand. It’s the activity that lives at the intersection of a Venn diagram of three things: What you love to do, your skills or natural gifts, and a need in the world begging to be addressed—by you!
There has been much conversation in recent years about disruptive innovation. The term loosely describes any situation in which an industry or business is shaken up and the previously successful incumbent stumbles. Given the past week’s events, disruptive keeps coming to mind.
I have heard it all too many times. Hardworking, eager to please people, who have been demoralized by the negative feedback of a well-intended perfectionist.
It’s not that the perfectionist meant it. Really. They just tend to have highly developed detail-oriented filters. They see what’s wrong, what’s missing, or what is not done the way they like it. Most will even tell you that there is no criticism intended. They are just pointing out what is most obvious to them. What will make it perfect in their eyes.
If you are blushing right now, feeling this might describe you, here is a little hint. Hold your feedback until you can focus in on a few things you like. Then mention them first. Not only will this help your improvement feedback to be better received, it gives praise to the many people whose efforts are motivated by pleasing or helping others. And don’t forget to apply the same formula to yourself. After all, there is an eager to please person in all of us.
I had the honor of listening to a friend the other day as we walked along the beach. She was sharing that her mother was ill and the latest news was rather grim.
I did the typical thing and tried to comfort her by offering thoughts of hope. She asked me to stop. She was not interested in listening to highly improbable possibilities. Instead, she wanted to focus on the reality of the situation. She wanted to accept, embrace and mourn with her mother through the final stages of her life. She wanted to live in the moment, each moment, and ride the natural rollercoaster toward completion. My friend was afraid, courageous, saddened. But mostly she was real. Hope would have glossed it over. It would have taken her above the situation instead of kept her in it.
I rarely see such courage, but how beautiful it was to see. At the end of our walk she said her biggest hope is that she lives through her mother’s illness without regret. Clearly a hope worth hoping for.
My beach walk reminded me that we are all much stronger than we think. And, if we live life courageously there will be little regret.