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Have Your Cake and Eat it Too…

 

“You can stand tall without standing on someone.

You can be a victor without having victims.”

— Harriett Woods

 

Everybody likes to win. After all, most people strive for some kind of reward for their efforts, whether on the playing field or in business. But in order to win, does someone else have to lose? Sadly, all too often people believe the answer is “yes.”

The win/lose attitude, however, limits everyone. It kills cooperation and stifles creativity. Instead of looking at the bigger picture and the broader solution of what’s possible, win/lose thinking narrows the focus down to “what’s in it for me?”

There is another way—in life and in business.

In seeking the win for everyone, we must drop our negative behaviors (making someone else look bad, being right at any cost) and pursue positive ones. We must emphasize collaboration and cooperative solutions and recognize there is more than one way to look at any situation.

In business, there are many examples of suppliers working together to build their individual businesses to the benefit of a mutual customer, instead of trying to undercut each other.

In life, dealing fairly with others creates a “win” for everyone, rather than pursuing lopsided outcomes in favor of one person, while creating upset and dissension for others.

Within a company or department, when individuals are only “out for themselves,” it’s the same as adopting a win/lose attitude. The sales person focused only on making her numbers won’t pass on a lead or a piece of vital information to a colleague. The manager vying for a promotion won’t compliment a colleague for good work in a meeting for fear of making that person look too good.

“Win/lose attitudes poison the proverbial well for everyone.”

 

Knowing that everyone can win—that there is enough business, money, success, resources, and opportunity to go around—each individual can strive to be his or her personal best, while also encouraging and inspiring others to achieve their goals as well.

Even in situations in which one person or party achieves something and another does not—such as in a competitive bidding scenario or a sports competition—winning does not mean making another party into “the loser.” Honest, healthy competition brings out the best in everyone. The bar is raised and everyone benefits by showcasing what they can do, fair and square, no matter the outcome.

It takes more from an individual to play win/win—self-awareness, self-control, mutual respect, letting go of a self-centered ego and supporting the highest good for the company, project or relationship.

Win/win players stand out from the rest of the crowd and can always stand tall because they are operating from a higher level of social consciousness by choosing to play a bigger game.

It takes no skill and no courage to play win/lose. Anybody can do that.

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!

“Only when we face our fears, do we begin to live.”

 

 

What are you afraid of?

It’s a question that invites a lot of answers on many different levels. One person may be afraid of heights; another of spiders or snakes. Some people are nervous in crowds or close spaces.

Go deeper:

What are you really afraid of in your life? Is it failure? Are you afraid of making a mistake or appearing foolish to others? Are you afraid of rejection? Are you afraid that you will let others down?

These inner fears link us to our survival strategies. We equate these fears with death, and so we do anything to combat them. For example, how many times have you heard someone say: “Oh, I could never take that risk. I’d die!” Or, “If I don’t get this new client to sign the contract, my boss will kill me!”

You may think these are only common, everyday expressions, but your subconscious takes them literally. Your physical body’s job is to say alive. When it perceives any form of threat (your fears) it automatically goes into a physical reaction to save you.

And so the person who is afraid of taking a risk is convinced she’ll die (figuratively) and adrenaline pumps through her body (literally) so she can fight or flee. Or, because he thinks his life depends on the client contract, his body will interpret his fear as a threat to his life and can automatically drive him to do whatever it takes (including disregarding his values) to survive. That’s when he might do anything (possibly something unethical) in order to get it signed.

What if you could face your fears for what they are: self-sabotaging beliefs that cause you to adopt limiting survival behaviors? When fearful, ask yourself, “Am I going to really die or seriously get physically hurt?”

If yes, then listen to your fear. If no, then that’s a fear you need to move through. Doing so will help you learn and grow as a person. It’s how you gain control over your life.

Instead of taking the fear as fact, you become more discerning. You tell yourself: taking risks is not a natural skill for me. I could benefit from some coaching in this area. Or, I am concerned about the new client contract and could use some feedback and advice from my boss or a senior colleague.

When we keep fears from running our lives, we have access to more of ourselves. We can think more clearly because our brain isn’t on the autopilot of fight-or-flight. We can drop our defenses and reach out for help. We become empowered and our actions reflect greater confidence.

The irony is by not giving into our fears, we become more of who we really are: capable, intelligent, and resourceful. And what we feared—the risk that produces failure and embarrassment, the loss of the client project—is far less likely to materialize.

“I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human being.”

Margaret Mead

 

Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.

But no. Mead said the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery.

“Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts,” Mead said. “We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.”

 

Thank to my good friend, Cypress Clark for sharing this with us.

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

John F. Kennedy

 

One would think that if there ever was a good time for people who want a third party, now is it.

The relationship between the existing parties and the American populous has collapsed. We are in breakdown and if we could get a divorce, we probably would. People wistfully talk about seceding from the Union and joining Canada. Maybe they are attracted because they seem to know how to get along together like mature adults with decent standards of conduct. On the other extreme, the angry, fearful nativist “new” Republican Party prepares itself for the “revolution” with AR-15s.

Perhaps it’s a lot like a marriage. For a successful marriage, the two partners need to agree they are together to serve the best interest of the relationship and the success of the marriage precedes the individual interests of either partner. For that to work, each partner must feel respected, loved, honored and supported. This means each partner must be as concerned for their partner’s well-being as they are their own. They have to work together to determine ways for each partner’s wants and needs to be met. They have to play win/win.

Can we get enough people on both sides to agree to support the best interest of our country? Can we get enough people to agree that the cornerstone purpose of a government is to support the basic well-being of all its citizens (health care, education, decent, safe housing)? Can we get enough people to agree that doing so is absolutely in the best interest of the country itself and should be its primary concern?

Can we get enough people to agree to use power and money to empower, not overpower, those less fortunate? Or agree to take the Super PACs out of politics completely? Or agree to break up the stranglehold power over our governmental leaders and agree to term limits, which will allow fresh, new blood and ideas to enter the arena?

Successful relationships are not selfish. They don’t fight over problems and insist on their self-interests; they sit down and look for solutions that will work for each of them.

Can we get enough people to come into agreement on the basic context of the type of country we are – i.e. what is the purpose of our relationship? Is it to support the best interests of one at the expense of another, or is it to find solutions that work for everyone? Are there enough truly decent citizens who would be willing to forgo the specifics of “how” in order to agree on the “what” we stand for and “why”? What kind of country are we determined to be? Are we a land of laws? Do they equally apply to every single citizen or does one person get to have it their way at the expense of the other? Are we a country that systemically supports all citizens to the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or is that only for the privileged few? And what does that mean? Do we really believe in equal rights? And so on…

I don’t know if the “independent” voters on both sides have enough chutzpah and passion to organize and rally around unification as a cause or not. Could we attract enough disgusted “old style” Republicans and enough Democrats hungry for unity to start a Third Party? If not a third party, could they perhaps become a voting block? Would it be possible to form a group large enough and powerful enough to maintain a set of basic “standards of decency that would serve as an effective source of influence on the existing parties?

It seems to me that until we agree on the purpose of why we are living here together as citizens under the roof of the American flag… I am afraid the relationship will become more and more toxic, fighting and hostility will continue, and all the children will suffer…

“Dear Woman, Sometimes you’ll just be too much woman, too smart, too beautiful, too strong, too much of something that makes a man feel like less of a man, which will start making you feel like you have to be less of a woman.

The biggest mistake you can make is removing jewels from your own crown to make it easier for a man to carry. When this happens, I need you to understand, you do not need a smaller crown, you need a man with bigger hands.”

From Michael H. Reid’s “Dear Woman

Advice for Girls and Women

 

Don’t “stay sweet”. Be authentic and true to yourself. Be the genuine “real thing”. If that means you’re strong and forceful, then go for it. If it means you’re naturally sweet, then be it. But don’t hold back your power for anyone.

 

Don’t follow others. To thy own self be true. Follow your inner voice that knows what is right for you. Listen to it. Turn around and walk out alone if you need to. You are a Queen and Queens don’t follow.

 

Don’t stay quiet so you won’t offend. Speak up! Let your voice be heard loud and clear. If that means you have to be direct, then do it.

 

Don’t shrink your own power so you won’t overpower others. You ARE power and if you want to lead, then step up to the plate girl and lead! Don’t sublimate yourself to anyone!

 

Don’t stand back, afraid to take up space. Take over the whole damn room if you like!

 

Don’t set aside your comfort or limit who you are for a male’s ego. If you’re smart, then show it. If they want to, they can catch up to where you are. And then you’ll have an equal partner. If not, then just keep right on going.

 

Stop saying, “I’m sorry.” You have done nothing wrong!! Apologize for something you truly regret, but never for who you are or for not “pleasing” someone else.

 

Stop saying “Sorry” and start saying, “Don’t interrupt me.”

 

Stop worrying about how you look. You look fine. Wear your hair and dress the way you want, and if you put make-up on just to please everybody else, don’t wear it!

 

Don’t ever, ever, ever think you need to let someone use you sexually in order to keep them around. If you have to do that, they’re not worth it and you’ll regret it. Kick ‘em to the curb.

 

Don’t laugh at jokes that aren’t funny. If they denigrate others, let the joker know it offends you and walk away. That’s not someone you want to associate with, no matter how popular they may be.

 

Don’t be afraid to say “no” and mean it.

 

If someone offends you, don’t “be nice” and ignore it. Be vocal. Tell them you don’t like what they just did or said.

 

Don’t adjust your majestic self to fit in with someone else. You are perfect just the way you are! Be masculine and feminine and both or neither and never, ever, ever apologize for who you are!

A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted

By John O’Donohue,

from “To Bless The Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings

When the rhythm of the heart becomes hectic

Time takes on the strain until it breaks;

Then all the unattended stress falls in

On the mind like an endless, increasing weight,

The light in the mind becomes dim

Things you could take in your stride before

Now becomes laborsome events of will.

Weariness invades your spirit

Gravity begins to fall inside you

Dragging down every bone.

The tide you never valued has gone out.

And you are marooned on unsure ground.

Something within you has closed down;

And you cannot push yourself back to life.

You have been forced to enter empty time.

The desire that drove you has relinquished.

There is nothing else to do now, but rest

And patiently learn to receive the self

You have forsaken for the race of days.

At first, your thinking will darken

And sadness takes over like listless weather.

The flow of unwept tears will frighten you.

You have traveled too fast over false ground;

Now your soul has come to take you back.

Take refuge in your senses, open up

To all the small miracles you rushed through.

Become inclined to watch the way of rain

When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,

Taking time to open the well of color

That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone

Until its calmness can claim you.

Be excessively gentle with yourself.

Stay clear of those vexed in spirit

Learn to linger around someone of ease

Who feels they have all the time in the world.

Gradually, you will return to yourself,

Having learned a new respect for your heart

And the joy that dwells far within slow time.

 

 

“Democracy has Prevailed”
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr.

“This is a Sad Day for America”
By John Pavlovitz
January 21, 2020

“This is a sad day for America.”

That’s all a former friend of ours could post on social media during the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

A sad day.

I wondered what made her sad watching it:

Was it a man who’s suffered unthinkable personal tragedy and loss, taking the oath of office at the age of 78-years old, after coming out of retirement to run because he felt an obligation to his nation to save it from a historically harmful presence?

Did that make her sad?

Was it the swearing in of the first female, black, Asian-American Vice President in our nation’s history?

Was she sad about that?

Was it the radiant countenance of 22-year old, African-America poet laureate Amanda Gorman, who overcame a speech impediment to eloquently deliver brilliant words of stratospheric hope to a nation so needing it?

Did that make my friend sad?

Was it the glorious prophetic fire of Rev. Silvester Beaman’s benediction, as he declared that “In our common humanity, we will seek out the wounded and bind their wounds, we will seek healing for those who are sick and diseased… we will befriend the lonely, the least, and the left out.”

As a professed Christian, was that why she was sad?

Perhaps it was the show of solidarity by the living presidents from both sides of the aisle who assembled to witness an inauguration, on the site of what only two weeks prior was a deadly, failed attempt by domestic terrorists to violently prevent it…

Was that cause for her despair?

Or was it the words of President Biden’s speech themselves?

Did his words make her sad?

When he declared:

“This is America’s day… Today we celebrate the triumph, not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy.”

Was she sad seeing a man in power not make it something about himself, but about the nation he was charged with serving, about him not needing praise or attention for a millisecond?

Was it hearing him say:

“So now, on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago violence sought to shake the Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.” 

Was that clear condemnation of violent domestic terrorism, a moment of sadness for her?

Did sadness come when the President declared:

“To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity. Unity. In another January, on New Year’s Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper, the president said, and I quote, ‘If my name ever goes down into history, it’ll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.’

“My whole soul is in it. Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation.”

Was something other than a battle posture from a sitting president an occasion to grieve for her? Has she been so conditioned by a small, fragile man whose only play was vilification, demonization, and war rhetoric—that the very idea of unity now brings mourning?

Was she sad when President Biden said:

“To all of those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably. Within the guardrails of our republic, it’s perhaps this nation’s greatest strength. Yet, hear me clearly: disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans—all Americans. And I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”

Was hearing as a Republican in the first 10 minutes of Joe Biden’s presidency, words of affirmation and compassion and validation that, as a non-Republican, were never once offered to me in four years? Was she sad to be considered instead of condemned by a sitting president? Was it him being to her, what his replacement never cared to be for me: a leader who saw me? Was she sad about that?

Was our former friend filled with despair when the 46th President declared:

“There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially, as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.”

Have 48 months of abject falsehoods and manufactured reality, now made an affirmation of objective truth a source of personal sadness?

Was it President Biden’s closing, in which he promised:

“My fellow Americans, I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath before God and all of you. I give you my word, I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I’ll defend America. And I’ll give all, all of you, keep everything I do in your service, thinking not of power, but of possibilities, not of personal injuries, but the public good. And together, we shall write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity, not division. Of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness.”

Was that clear, open-hearted declaration to spend himself on behalf of a people and a nation he loves, a moment of sadness for our friend?

I’m going to reach out to her and ask her to name with specificity why she was “sad” watching the Inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, but I’m not hopeful I’ll get an answer.

I don’t think even she knows.

I imagine she, like so many people in our nation, has been so weaned on a false story of her present oppression and impending demise, so gas-lit by her president into being perpetually terrified, that in this moment she can’t see clearly.

She can’t see that normal is better, that more diverse is better, that words of kindness are better.

She can’t see that this president is for her, that he is for me, that he is for this nation.

She can’t see that this president, while not perfect—actually gives a damn about her in ways the former president simply never did.

That makes me sad.

“Never, never, never give up….!”

Winston Churchill

We are in very difficult times. We feel attacked from all sides; first by the relentless, vicious COVID-19 virus and then by the drastic economic shut down leaving us helpless to meet financial responsibilities. Then we got hit by job losses, making it virtually impossible to catch up with our debts. Further discouragement followed when we had to separate from friends from family.

The very core of our democracy has been under attack by unfathomable conspiracies which countless numbers of people actually believe, so much so, they perpetrated a physical all-out assault on our Capital, threatened to hang VP Pence and kidnap Speaker Pelosi, and five people ended up dead.

To top it all off, we now know that the fox is in the henhouse (and that includes Fox News). Several capitol police enabled and supported the criminal invasion and even worse, actual members of Congress gave mob rioters the information they needed to storm the building and offices.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, the GOP winner of a Georgia congressional seat in a heavily Republican district and a professed QAnon conspiracy believer, posted a picture of herself holding a rifle with photos of three liberal congresswomen of color and the vow to “go on the offense” against the “Squad” an unprecedented threat against lawmakers who have ended up being her congressional colleagues. She has been recorded calling other Black Democrats “slaves” and Trump called her a “future Republican Star”. How can our legislators feel safe in a meeting with people they know have vowed to kill them? Especially now, when it is a distinct reality.

Let that sink in.

How can we run a democratic government under such threat? It’s too much. It’s just too much. We can become overwhelmed with the attacks and want to escape. But we can’t. We mustn’t ever give up. Life can sometimes be harsh, cruel, dangerous and unfair, but take a minute to watch this little bear cub and let his determination speak to you. You may have seen this video before, but believe me, you need to see it in its entirety again.

Watch the full 2.5 minutes here today, tomorrow and the next day, until the courage and determination of this little guy is locked in your brain and your heart.

Winston Churchill and the indomitable, courageous British stood up to the Nazis even though the dead lay all around them and their country had been ravished. They were hungry. They were exhausted. They were afraid. But they never, never, never gave up!

Nor will we!!

With thanks to my good friend Jack Dexter for this video. He encourages us to share it with our children as well.

DEATH – DESTRUCTION – DESTROYING DEMOCRACY

If you supported Trump or any of his groveling sycophants*, don’t even THINK about denying your role in this!!

*Exception: Mitt Romney, who followed moral values and was the ONLY one to impeach him last year

WoW: TIME

“Time is like a river. You cannot touch the same water twice because the flow that has passed, will never pass again. Enjoy every moment in life.”

TIME

Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day.

What would you do? Draw every cent out, of course!

Each of us has such a bank account. Its name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.

Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose. It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft.

Each day, it opens a new account for you. Each night, it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no going back. There is no drawing against the “tomorrow”. You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get it from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!

The clock is running. Make the most of today…

  • To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
  • To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby.
  • To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
  • To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
  • To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who missed the train.
  • To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask a person who just avoided an accident.
  • To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Treasure every moment you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special–special enough to spend your time with. And remember:

Time waits for no one.