Inspiration is Power

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The third Monday of January is the observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., an American minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to non-violence. This is a day to honor King’s principles and visions, perhaps best exemplified by his “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963.

When I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech had and is of such significant influence. His “I Have a Dream Speech” serves as a powerful example of how we can inspire ourselves and others to effect profound change and be our highest vision of ourselves as individuals and as organizations.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t want.

What I feel and what I experience depends on what I am focused on in each moment. The direction I take and the decisions I make also depend on what I am focused on in each moment. When I am focused on what I want, on what matters, on what has meaning and purpose, I become inspired and I inspire others.

When I am focused on what I don’t want, what I did wrong, what could be better, what is irritating, angering, frustrating, sad, what holds me back, what I don’t have, can’t do, what isn’t fair, or is overwhelming, I am not inspired.

It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

He inspired others vs. motivated.

We often think that when we’re leading or selling, we have to persuade, convince, and motivate others to

achieve results.

Motivation does not work–not in the long run. And neither does persuading or convincing. That’s the reason we find ourselves continually needing to persuade, convince, and motivate ourselves and others.

When I am trying to motivate myself or others, I am actually in a state of force; and in the long run, there is no power in force. Often, it brings about an equal and opposite reaction.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t tell others what they should or shouldn’t do. Or what we needed to make happen or better.

He said, “I have a dream” and shared his highest vision — authentically, sincerely.

Inspiration is power.

Inspiration, which means to be infused with spirit, ignites a power within. When I am inspired, there is no stopping me, and remarkable things start to happen. When I am inspired, I am in touch with my highest awareness and creativity. I get all kinds of ideas on how to create and expand what I have envisioned.

And others want to help.

Vision, purpose, hope, thankfulness, wonder, and possibility all bring about inspiration.

He shared his dream.

When I work with business owners and managers, I ask them to tell me what their dream is for their organization. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have one. They wax on and on about providing value to their customers, being an employer of choice, and maximizing returns for their investors.

When they finish, I tell them I am not inspired. Because I am not inspired. They weren’t inspired, so they weren’t inspiring, and I wasn’t inspired.

When I ask them to tell me their dream for their life, they look at me with a blank stare because they don’t have one. They haven’t thought about it.

Their first assignment, then, is to write their “I have a dream” speech.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Once they start, they can’t stop. They write their dream for their organization, their employees, their customers, their suppliers, their investors, the community.

They see and feel the difference they are making, and they become inspired–mightily.

When they share that vision with their teams, their customers, suppliers, and investors, they too become inspired. And they write their dream speech for their role and contribution to creating that vision.

Remarkable things start to happen.

They can’t wait to get together with their partners and families and write the dream speech for their life, their career, their marriage, their family, their retirement….

What’s Your Dream?

I invite you to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech again. And then write your “I Have a Dream” speech for your life, your work, and every role you play.

See what happens.

© 2015 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

How are You BEING Today?

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Mary J. Lore How are You BEING Today?As I reflected on the recent Labor Day holiday, I realized that we have become a nation of laborers.

We love to labor. We are busy, busy, busy, doing, doing, doing.

When we face a big challenge or a difficult situation, we labor. We cancel vacation, skip lunch, work through the weekend, and stay late to fix the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result.

To succeed, we labor. We struggle, strive, do whatever it takes. We put in the hours, persevere, expend blood, sweat, and tears-no pain no gain!

Our heads are filled with what we need to, have to, should, and must do. We do things to force ourselves to get motivated. We even go into labor when we are giving birth to our children!

In my Managing Thought® workshops on Inspired Leadership, I ask everyone to think of the best and worst leaders they have ever worked with and what about these leaders made them the best and worst.

The big aha! is that nothing on these lists is about doing. It’s all about being:

Being of service.
Being honest, sincere, humble, trusting, consistent.
Being thoughtful, caring, compassionate.
Being thankful, appreciative, giving, and forgiving.
Being open, receptive, adaptable, curious.
Being a teacher and a continuous learner.
Being energetic, optimistic, fun.
Being on purpose, intentional, inspired, and inspiring.

It’s about BEING a leader.

As a nation, we tend to do in order to become. We have practiced and mastered believing that doing, motivating, forcing – laboring – brings results. It doesn’t. It brings linear, less than 10%, kind of changes, short-term results. And we find ourselves stressed, ill, unhappy, and uninspired.

Being brings step-function changes, profound change, significant and long-term results. And we find ourselves happy, healthy, and energized.

When we are being, we focus on being who we are and what we truly wish to create in any moment. The ideas on how to BE and what we could create naturally follow, naturally flow. Our channels are open, our minds are clear, and remarkable things start to happen.

We start being our highest vision of ourselves. We notice the difference we are making. Our work becomes effortless and we become energized because our decisions and actions are inspired.

Many of us do in order to become – at some time in the future.

When I am being, I am being what I am becoming-right now. I AM my highest vision, I AM inspired, I AM whatever I am choosing to become  right NOW-in this moment and in this moment and in this moment.

Stuff happens all day long. In every moment I have the opportunity to BE what I am becoming.No matter what has happened or is happening. I have the power to pause, take a breath, and wonder how I could BE a leader right now, BE a parent, BE a friend, BE of service, BE thankful, BE happy, BE healthy, BE the change I wish to see in the world…BE whatever I choose to BE.

I invite you to notice when you are operating from a love of labor-when you are busy doing, in a state of fear and force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.

Change it to a labor of love and inspiration. Take a breath (perhaps several breaths) and wonder:

  • How can I BE my highest vision right now?
  • What can I create from this?
  • How could I be of highest service right now?
  • How could I help?
  • How could I demonstrate love and ignite inspiration?

Then take some time to be quiet. Take a walk, get some fresh air, exercise, do what you enjoy and WONDER.

We all have the ability to wonder and get our answers.

What’s your M.O.? Love of labor or labor of love? Being or Doing?

How are you BEING today?

© 2014 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

How Mandela Put Managing Thought® Into Practice

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Nelson MandelaNelson Mandela has died. Millions pay tribute to him around the world.

We say that he has changed the world. And he has. His thoughts, words, and deeds have created a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

I remind myself of everyone who was, is, a part of that ripple effect. Every person who met Mandela, heard Mandela speak, learned of his mission – each person who Mandela touched – made a choice to think differently, powerfully, and create the next version of their highest vision of humanity.

Though it may seem unlikely, each of us is changing the world every day. Every thought, word, and deed each of us has as a leader, colleague, teammate, partner, parent, child, neighbor, friend, teacher, consumer, manufacturer, employer….creates a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

In every role I play, every day, I am creating my world. I am creating the world – for better, worse, rich, poor, sickness, health. I change the world around me by changing myself.

Below I share a few stories of Mandela’s journey that exemplify lessons in Managing Thought® that apply to situations we face every day in work and life.

I invite you to pause and reflect: What am I creating? How could I be true to my highest vision of myself, my highest vision of humanity?

Just because something is common, doesn’t mean it’s normal, doesn’t mean it’s true, or that it has to be true for me. I am sure that Mandela wasn’t the only one who was aware that what was common was not what he wanted or envisioned for himself or others. Mandela took that idea, decided what he wanted: This is what I want. He intended creating it: I am creating this. He wondered how he could create it: I wonder what could I do, how could I be? He practiced and practiced creating it, because practice makes permanent. And he reflected on, celebrated, what was going right.

I often hear people citing statistics – industry, society, economics, cancer survival, personality traits, success rates, obesity – and saying, That’s the way it is. What can you do? You learn to live with it.

To me, statistics are measurements of people who are unconscious, unaware of how amazing we are — that we can create anything we can imagine. I invite you to wonder: What statistics am I citing? What is it I truly want? How could I create it?

Infinite patience brings results. Mandela was imprisoned for over 27 years. For 27 years he waited to assume his leadership role, to make his vision a reality. During that time, he cultivated himself. He cultivated his body. He cultivated his message. He cultivated his relationships. He cultivated his knowledge of the outside world. He quietly, patiently, continued to move in the direction of fulfilling his dream, his higher purpose.

Individuals and organizations often give up on their dreams because it will take too long, cost too much, take too much effort: I don’t want to go back to school. That’ll take five years. We’ve invested too much money in this equipment or this process. We can’t change now.

In our businesses, we look for short term fixes, often rooted in fear. In our lives, we take pills, get divorces – it’s faster than cultivating bodies, our minds, our spirit, and our relationships. We choose between short-term or long term-as if they are alternatives. And they are not.

What’s one thing I could do today that could create long-term and profound change for me?

I can re-act or create. I let go of the past and focus on what I am creating today. When Mandela was released from prison, a great many people wanted to focus on the injustice of his imprisonment, the pain and suffering endured by Mandela, and the oppression of the South African people during his imprisonment. Mandela made the decision and guided his followers to let go of the past and focus on the future they were creating.

We suffer loss, experience tragedy and disappointment in our lives and work. Stuff is always happening that is different than what I expect, I believe, I have learned, and what I hope and envision for myself and others.

When I catch myself angry, frustrated, complaining, blaming, being a victim, regretting, second-guessing, unforgiving – I know that these thoughts and emotions are telling me, at the essence, who I truly am and what I truly wish to create.

I can re-act my past or create. It is up to me. It is always up to me. What am I re-acting?  What could I choose to create?

I notice when I am in Fight, Flight, and Freeze and pause to add light. I change the world around me by changing myself. Many describe Mandela as saintly, citing his ability to forgive those who imprisoned him, tortured him, and oppressed his people. Those who were close to Mandela know that he was not a saint. He experienced anger. He experienced bitterness. He had thoughts of revenge and retribution.

He paused. He wondered what he wished to create and how to create it. He chose to acknowledge his thoughts and emotions privately. He knew that, as a leader, every word he spoke, every action would create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

He chose to assume his leadership role and lovingly guide others. He chose to serve as a prototype of a new age and be the change he wished to see in the world.

I notice I am in Fight, Flight, or Freeze. I pause. I wonder. I choose. I create.

My focus creates my reality. Prior to 1990, Mandela was often referred to by world leaders and in the media as a terrorist. Supporters of Mandela believed that it could be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve world wide support for a terrorist. On April 16, 1990 a music concert took place: Nelson Mandela: An International Tribute for a Free South Africa at Wembley Stadium, London, and was broadcast to more than 60 countries. It was held two months after Mandela’s release from prison. They presented Mandela as a hero and called for people across the world to continue pressing for apartheid’s abolition – to create a free South Africa.

Every time I say, I am, I can’t, I don’t, I am creating my focus and commanding my brain to help me create that reality. I am a loser, I’m getting old, I can’t lose weight, I don’t exercise like I should, I’m depressed, I suffer from anxiety, I don’t floss enough, I can’t sell, We can’t execute, We’re a commodity….

What labels am I using that are focused on what I don’t want? I wonder what I could want. What could be my new label?

I can create anything I can imagine. Mandela used sports to help his people, and the world, imagine a South Africa with blacks and whites working together to reach a common goal-and winning. The movie Invictus tells this story.

We often criticize ourselves, our lives, our organizations. We want more balance, less stress, better relationships. We want less debt. We don’t want to be a commodity….

Focusing on what I don’t want and don’t like, does not tell me what I do want. Focusing on what I don’t want and don’t like doesn’t help me to create my highest vision.

When I can imagine me being balanced, being at peace, cultivating a great relationship, growing my net worth and being of highest service and richly rewarded, then I can create it.

I wonder what being _____________ looks like? What are possible things I could do and be if I were living ____________? What’s one thing I could practice? What could be my ritual? When I notice I am not practicing, what’s my do-over? How can I celebrate my progress?

We are changing the world — one thought at a time.

May your thoughts bring you peace and inspire you!!!

 

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

 

Be Inspired. Inspire Others. What’s Your Dream?

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What's Your "I Have a Dream" SpeechYesterday marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

I remember when I first heard it. Even though I was a young girl, it had quite an impact on me.

I didn’t blink. I got the chills. I knew I was hearing something very powerful. I remember looking forward to being an adult and being able to fully grasp what I had just heard.

Today, when I look at the essence of his words, I see why his speech was of such significant influence and serves as a powerful example of how we can inspire ourselves and other to effect profound change.

He focused on what he wanted, not what he didn’t want.

What I feel and what I experience depends on what I am focused on in each moment. The direction I take and the decisions I make also depend on what I am focused on in each moment. When I am focused on what I want, on what matters, on what has meaning and purpose, I become inspired and I inspire others.

When I am focused on what I don’t want, what I did wrong, what could be better, what is irritating, angering, frustrating, sad, what holds me back, what I don’t have, can’t do, what isn’t fair, or is overwhelming, I am not inspired.

It is when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

He inspired others vs. motivated.

We often think that when we’re leading or selling, we have to persuade, convince, and motivate others to achieve results.

Motivation does not work–not in the long run. And neither does persuading or convincing. That’s the reason we find ourselves continually needing to persuade, convince and motivate ourselves and others.

When I am trying to motivate myself or others, I am actually in a state of force; and in the long run, there is no power in force. Often, it brings about an equal and opposite reaction.

Martin Luther King Jr. didn’t tell others what they should or shouldn’t do. Or what we needed to make happen or be better.

He said, “I have a dream” and shared his highest vision — authentically, sincerely.

Inspiration is power.

Inspiration, which means to be infused with spirit, ignites a power within. When I am inspired, there is no stopping me, and remarkable things start to happen. When I am inspired, I am in touch with my highest awareness and creativity. I get all kinds of ideas on how to create and expand what I have envisioned.

And others want to help.

Vision, purpose, hope, thankfulness, wonder, and possibility all bring about inspiration.

He shared his dream.

When I work with business owners and managers, I ask them to tell me what their dream is for their organization. Nine times out of ten, they don’t have one. They wax on and on about providing value to their customers, being an employer of choice, and maximizing returns for their investors.

When they finish, I tell them I am not inspired. Because I am not inspired. They weren’t inspired, so they weren’t inspiring, and I wasn’t inspired.

When I ask them to tell me their dream for their life, they look at me with a blank stare because they don’t have one. They haven’t thought about it.

Their first assignment, then, is to write their “I have a dream” speech.

Sometimes it’s hard to get started. Once they start, they can’t stop. They write their dream for their organization, their employees, their customers, their suppliers, their investor, the community.

They see and feel the difference they are making, and they become inspired–mightily.

When they share that vision with their teams, their customers, suppliers, and investors, they too become inspired. And they write their dream speech for their role and contribution to creating that vision.

Remarkable things start to happen.

They can’t wait to get together with their partners and families and write the dream speech for their life, their career, their marriage, their family, their retirement….

What’s Your Dream?

I invite you to listen to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech again. And then write your “I Have a Dream” speech for your life and your work.

See what happens.

For more on living with intention, Check Out Mary’s  Guest Blog on Modern Practice on Living and Leading with Intention,  Read or Listen to Mary’s Forward Thinking Reminder: Focus on What You Want, or watch this inspiring video on creating Resolutions, Intentions & Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

It’s Tax Time! Do Your Receipts Reflect What You Intend for Your Life and Work? Are You Focused on What You Want? Are You Focused On What Matters?

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Do Your Receipts Reflect Your Intentions?To me, digging through receipts and tax papers is a form of reflection. The receipts and papers are key indicators as to how I’ve focused my time, energy, and money.

Each year, I gather receipts and papers to prepare of my parents’ tax return.  In prior years, this process was a no-brainer for me. For years, my parents had pretty much been living each day like they did yesterday. Last year’s receipts and papers presented a much different picture.

There were receipts for prescriptions to calm my mom, so my dad could care for her in their home for as long as possible.

There were receipts for home daycare for my mom, who suffers from dementia, so my dad could run errands, visit with his buddy, and not have to worry about leaving my mom alone or being gone too long.

There were no receipts for lawn care, home maintenance, and repairs. There was paperwork for the sale of their home of 40 years and their move to the senior community so they could focus their time and energy on what matters.

There were receipts for ambulance and hospital stays for my dad who suffered his third stroke because he did not make caring for himself a priority.

There were receipts to move my mom to a new home she shares with other folks who also suffer from dementia and the move of my dad to a 1 bedroom apartment in independent living — all on the same campus. There were receipts for blood sugar test kits, Depends, and natural foods because my dad stopped thinking that he didn’t want to die and started thinking he wanted to live — be happy and healthy, taking care of himself, doing things he loved to do, so he could take care of mom and enjoy their time together.

There were less receipts for medications for my mom who is thriving in her new home where she feels safe and loved.

There were receipts for donations to their church and many other charities because they have always given to those less fortunate.

There were receipts from the bulk food store — for almond bark which my mom loves and my dad buys as a special treat for her.

There were receipts from the Henry Ford and Bob Evans restaurant — where my dad took his grandson who came to visit from Arizona.

There were receipts for a road trip my dad and I took to visit his grandchildren who were vacationing on the west side of the state.

There were receipts for guitar strings and art supplies — because my dad started playing his guitar and painting again.

There were receipts for the sale of my dad’s car — because my dad decided to practice “safety first!” and utilize a transportation service.

There were receipts for the cable company — because he can watch the war channel and the western channel with his buddy and record movies to watch with me on movie night — our weekend tradition.

These receipts and papers — if I just looked at them as numbers — then I’d be focusing on the “doing.”  When I look at the essence, I am focused on the “being.”

I can see and celebrate the intentions we set and fulfilled; the values my dad, mom, and I embody; the obstacles we faced and overcame; the sense of purpose we restored, and how we accomplished so much more than we gave ourselves credit for. I could appreciate each moment, and the flow and process of life.

It’s my intention to make every receipt count, to make every moment count.

Do your receipts reflect your intentions for your life and work? Are you focused on what you want? Are you focused on what matters?

For more on handling life transitions, click here.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

What Seeds Could You Plant? What Intentions Could You Cultivate?

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PrioriTree-Spring-Equinox-New-MoonToday is the first new moon since the spring equinox.

Contrary to common practice, THIS IS THE TIME to make our resolutions. This is the time to plant the seeds of our future–what we truly wish to create this year.

During the 90’s, I worked on the start-up of companies and the turnaround (fresh start) of companies in crisis. AND I owned a garden center and nursery and taught gardening classes for kids.

To me – growing plants, growing companies, growing ourselves and our children – it’s  the same process and I am passionate about growth!

That’s the reason I use so many gardening analogies when I talk about cultivating self-awareness and creating the highest vision of ourselves.

I approach Managing Thought® as if I were pruning a tree. When I prune a tree, the first thing I do is decide what I want to accomplish. What’s my purpose? What difference do I want to make?

Do I want to remove the dead wood? Create a certain shape? Bring in more light? More fruit or flowers? Growth upward or outward?

Once I have my purpose, I begin to prune, first removing the dead and diseased branches. I then prune the branches that are crossing other branches, sticking straight up, or shooting from the base of the tree. These are appropriately called suckers because they suck up the water, nutrients, and sunlight from the viable branches.

Once these branches are removed, I then prune and shape the tree to fulfill my purpose. After completing the process, I turn my attention to the daily culti­vation of the tree–how it is fed and watered and its exposure to the environment.

This helps the tree resist stress and develop a strong root and trunk system. With less stress, the tree resists insects, disease, and damage. It thrives in its full glory.

As we practice self-awareness and managing our thoughts, we can follow the same process.

As we plant the trees of our lives, our work, our marriages, our retirement, ourselves in every role we play in work or life, education for ourselves or our children, our retirement, our health, and prosperity, a corporate initiative–we can decide what we truly want.

Before we say or do anything, such as interact with our family, children, or signifi­cant others, or converse with a customer or coworker, we can decide our purpose. We decide what is of significance. We decide what we wish truly wish to create.

Then we watch our thoughts. We prune those that are destructive and diseased -the thoughts that don’t bring us peace or inspire us.

We notice and prune the thoughts that are at cross-purposes, focused on what we don’t want –sucking up our time, energy, and money, blocking our light, our true reality.

We practice choosing and shaping our thoughts, creating our intentions, and focusing our thoughts, and ultimately our actions, on what truly matters, what we truly wish to create.

We pay attention to our environment, the culture we are creating, the people with whom we choose to surround ourselves.

In doing so, we accomplish our purpose and fulfill our intention in each moment. We cultivate ourselves daily and develop a strong mind, body, and spirit. We resist stress, disease, and damage. We thrive in our full glory.

Take some time today to reflect and wonder. 

What seeds could you plant? What intentions could you cultivate? What is the future you truly wish to create?  

I  invite you to check out these quick links to resources on creating your life well-lived How to Make Resolutions You Can Keep, Reflection is a Powerful Action, and Resolutions, Intentions & Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.

To learn more about my PrioriTreeTM process, you can order the book Managing Thought or subscribe to read a Page A Day of the book for free.

For daily self-awareness thoughts and inspiration follow Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post.

To cultivate your thoughts one thought at a time, sign up for the Mindfulness Monday online program.

Please join me in helping others learn how to manage their thoughts and contribute to the production of my PBS Pledge Special.

 

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

The Spring Equinox – Time to Celebrate Our Life and Work and Enjoy a Fresh Start

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Spring - Creating IntentionsSpring is a time of transition in nature and within ourselves. Many traditions around the world mark this time as the true beginning of the year. (March was the first month of the year in the original Roman calendar – a fun fact!)

As bulbs burst through the soil and buds form on the trees, we too can celebrate our life and work  and enjoy a fresh start.

Back in the 90’s, I had the pleasure of working outside of Paris for several years. There, I learned to celebrate the simple joys of each season. We celebrated when the green beans and asparagus were in season, when flowers were at peak color, and of course, there was Beaujolais Nouveau day!

To celebrate spring, I prepare a special meal, organic and colorful. I set a beautiful table graced with daffodils.  I light candles with a floral essence. I say special prayers. I count my blessings and I invite blessings into my life and work.

I look at what I am thankful for in my work, I wonder what’s possible and re-ignite my sense of purpose and refresh my vision and intentions.

I use this inspiring video to refresh and renew my intentions for my life.

How could you celebrate spring? How could you refresh and renew your intentions for your life well-lived and job well-done?

For daily self-awareness thoughts and inspiration follow Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

The Power of Appreciation: Who Could You See Differently? What Could You Celebrate?

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I was enjoying a rare day at home, working in my jammies, when I got the news that a man I worked with for over ten years had died.  His service was starting in just 45 minutes, so I quickly dressed, jumped in the car, and made it just in time.

His rabbi, younger brother, daughter, and granddaughter shared stories of the difference this man made in their lives: How he listened and took a genuine interest in them, made them feel loved and valued, and inspired them to pursue their passions; how they became lovers of music, dance, theater, and art because they experienced it with him through his eyes; and, how the twinkle in his eye, and hearty laugh, helped them to find humor in every experience, especially in difficult circumstances.

His children and grandchildren all nodded in agreement with every word. I was nodding, too.

And then, I remembered that when I was working with this gentleman, I didn’t appreciate these qualities. I was busy being focused on the work to be done and his ability or inability to get the work done. My head (at that time) was filled with thoughts of judgment and criticism because, in my opinion, he didn’t seem to enjoy his work, he wasn’t getting results, and I prided myself in being the queen of results.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote:

To laugh often and love much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch,or a redeemed social condition;
To know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

Hmmmm….. What I focus on is what I see. What I focus on is usually all that I see. What I focus on creates my reality. Because of my focus, I missed out on truly experiencing the joy of this man. I missed out on appreciating and utilizing the gifts, the success, he was bringing to the table.

I wonder… What could have happened (for me, for him, for the organization) had I asked him about all of the loves of his life, and saw the world for a moment through the light in his eyes? What could have happened (for me, for him, and the organization) had he shared his life experiences, his love of the arts and what inspired him? What could have happened had our breaks and lunches and social events been infused with the spirit of the arts and children?

How might we and  how might I have approached our work differently? How could our results have expanded had we ignited our creativity, invoked our state of wonder, and revitalized our energy? What difference could we have made, how much greater could our results have been, had we and I approached our work with joy and aliveness?

As I reflect, I could beat myself up because of what I didn’t think, say, or do at that time. Instead, I choose to acknowledge and celebrate myself.

I am always in the process of creating the next version of the highest vision of myself. And today, the new, evolved version of me can SEE him and appreciate him. The new highest vision of me celebrates me thinking differently, powerfully, seeing and experiencing the divine spark in everyone one and everything, including myself.

I acknowledge and celebrate that I have grown from the Queen of Results to the  Queen of Significant Results! The Queen of Infinite Results!

Who could you see differently at work? At home?  What could you appreciate about them? What difference could that make? And what can you celebrate about you?

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Valuable Lessons I Learned from My Cousin Bernie

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Mary's Cousin BernieMy cousin Bernie died.  He was 69 years old.  Thirty three years ago, the doctors said he had six months to live.  When he was a child, the doctors said he wouldn’t live past twenty one.

Before the term was considered socially incorrect, Bernie bore the label “mentally retarded.”   Later, he was called “special” and that, indeed, he was.

I loved Bernie. I liked Bernie. I admired Bernie.  I learned a lot from him.

Take it All In

Bernie is the oldest of 23 cousins on my mom’s side of the family.  We gathered often—30+ Italians in close quarters—and it got pretty boisterous.  Bernie always had a sense of peace and content. While he didn’t actively participate with the many cooks in the kitchen, or the adults playing endless rounds of Canasta, or the kid’s games, or the singing and dancing, Bernie did participate. He was present. He had a twinkle in his eye and a satisfied smile, as he breathed in the “all” of everyone around him.

Listen

Bernie made it a point to have one-to-one time with me (and the other cousins.)  I always felt listened to when I was with Bernie. He adjusted our chairs so we were face-to-face. He looked me right in the eyes and used my name – Mary Jeannine – often. He asked open ended questions. He repeated what I said to make sure he understood it.  He started the conversation by telling me what we talked about in our last conversation and asking me what happened. Once, I hadn’t seen Bernie for over ten years and he remembered and asked me about our last conversation!

He expressed empathy and helped me to love and appreciate myself: Oh Mary Jeannine – you can run so fast, you love to sing, I love your smile, you must be so smart, you are so lucky…

When we were done talking, he always thanked me for the conversation and shared how much he enjoyed our little visit. Oxford once said, “Being listened to feels so much like being loved, we can’t tell the difference.” Bernie gave me the experience of being listened to. Bernie made me feel loved.

Give and Receive Compliments and Mean It

At some point in life, I started the practice of deflecting compliments. I didn’t say thank you. I’d point out how I could have been better. I’d say I was lucky or I didn’t deserve it. I felt obligated to come up with a compliment in return.

Then I had a visit with Bernie, who was full of compliments for me. As I deflected each compliment, he paused, looked me in the eye and said, “I mean it, Mary Jeannine.” And he repeated the compliment – with emphasis.

He was steadfast in helping me to receive and absorb the gift of his compliment and give him the gift of my “Thank you.”  He helped me to really see and appreciate the “all” of me, the true me, and build upon that me to create the next me.

Focus on What Truly Matters

When Bernie asked me about my work, he asked a lot of questions. What set Bernie apart was that he didn’t ask about the doing. He asked about the being.  He had a knack for getting to the heart of my work:  Wow –You get to be around all those beautiful plants!  Wow—You grow flowers that go into bouquets! Wow—You get to fly in an airplane and meet new people! Wow—You help make machines that keep people alive! Wow—you wrote a book that people can go to a library and read! …. When Bernie talked about his job, his face lit up as he spoke about how glad he was to help others.

Bernie helped me focus on what truly matters. He helped me rise above the doing and reminded me of the joy and significance of every job I had.

 It’s One Thing to Be Intelligent and Another to Be Happy

When I was ten years old, Bernie said, “I’m not smart like you, Mary Jeannine.”  I was taken aback. I hadn’t really thought about being smart—or not. I tried and couldn’t imagine not being smart. Nor could I imagine how I could handle knowing that I wasn’t smart and worse (in my mind), others knowing I wasn’t as smart as them.

I didn’t think that if I was told I was mentally retarded, that I could love myself, be content, or have the courage or strength to be with other people. At that moment, I felt a profound respect and admiration for Bernie.  He wasn’t smart.  He was kind and loving and compassionate. He appreciated and expressed appreciation for everyone and everything around him. He was happy and he brought happiness to others.

Remembering Bernie

Andy Rooney once said, “Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.”

I am certain that Bernie has thousands of people who will remember him for the rest of their lives. And I am one of them.

I am so glad he was born, that our paths crossed, and that I got to experience and learn from the miracle of Bernie.

 

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Is Groundhog Day Stuck in Your View-Master®?

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Is Groundhog Day stuck in my View-Master? What’s she talking about?

Well, Groundhog Day is certainly a big day for the groundhog – the day he chooses to return to his hole or stay above ground, his decision based solely on whether or not he sees his shadow.

Groundhog Day is also the name of one of my favorite movies. The character Bill Murray plays, Phil, is forced to live Groundhog Day again and again until he makes choices that are in alignment with who he truly is and what he truly wants to create in his life.

The View-Master was one of my favorite childhood toys. With the press of a button I could view a series of pictures by inserting a slide wheel into the binocular-style viewer. In my books and workshops, I use the View-Master as a visual aid to show that the way I perceive reality is like viewing the world through my View-Master and that what I put in my View-Master creates my focus and what I focus on creates my reality.

Are you experiencing your life and work through the groundhog’s View-Master?  Do you believe you have limited choices dictated by forces outside of your control?  Do you want to crawl into a hole? Are you focused on just staying above ground? Surviving? Getting through this?  Are your choices rooted in fear?

Or are you aware of the sea of choices you could make? Are you focused on thriving? Making a difference, enjoying your life and work, and being richly rewarded?

Are you experiencing your life and work through Phil’s View-Master? Are you living each day as you did yesterday? Living in the past? Creating what you tolerate?  Trying to figure out what you should do and second guessing your choices?  Being the busiest person in the poorhouse?

Or are you thinking differently, powerfully, creatively, expansively? Experiencing the joy and aliveness of creating the next version of your highest vision of yourself?

Are your slides working for you or working against you? How do you know?

And what about the rest of your organization? What’s in their View-Master?

What if you could take out the old slides and stop re-acting your past? What if you could take out the slides that are rooted in fear?

What if you could put new slides in your View-Master? Slides that could help you stop wasting time, energy, and money and start creating the highest vision of yourself – as individuals and organizations — happy, healthy, engaged, productive, creative, inspired, impactful, AND prosperous.

You have that power. We all do. There’s no rule that says any slide is permanent.  We have the ability to create anything we can imagine.

I invite you to read or listen to the Managing Thought book, attend a workshop, or watch the workshop DVD. It’s time. If you have already, I invite you to do it again. And again.

If you would like to bring Managing Thought to your organization through workshops, coaching, or the online Managing Thought University, email me at Mary@ManagingThought.com.

If you would like to receive personal coaching or participate in the online Mindfulness MondayTM personal development course and teleseminars, click on the link..

There’s a reason that the book has received so many best book awards: Two Nautilus Medals, one for Conscious Business & Leadership and one for Enlightenment and Inspiration; The Axiom Business Book Medal for Communication Skills; The Eric Hoffer Award for Philosophical Thought Leadership and two USA News Best Book Awards for Business Motivation and Self-Help. There’s a reason that previous winners of the most recent awards include The Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, and Deepak Chopra.

It is time to think differently, think powerfully.  It’s time to wonder what’s possible and create it.

When we practice self-awareness and Managing Thought®, remarkable things start to happen. Our goals pop out. They’re not forced, motivated, or rooted in fear. They are crystal clear and focused on what matters.

We find ourselves completely in touch with our creativity and highest awareness. We know what to do next and how to do it.

Our actions are inspired. And it’s when we are inspired that we experience profound change. Not 10% kind of change. Profound change. Meaningful change.  Significant results. In work and life.

And there is no stopping us.

What’s in your View-Master?

 

PS. It’s a perfect time to refresh your View-Master for your life well-lived. I invite you to watch this video:  Resolutions, Intentions & Affirmations for a Life Well-Lived.  Watch with family, friends, colleagues to start the process of conscious, purposeful living. I watch it often as a ritual to inspire me to keep my resolutions and remain on purpose with what truly matters to me. If you like, you can turn off the sound, play your own music, and use the pause button to take time with each frame.

© 2013 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.