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 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.

 

What’s Your M.O. – a Love of Labor or a Labor of Love?

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Mary Lore Labor of LoveReflecting on some recent interactions got me to thinking—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 solve the problem, put out the fire, accomplish the result, fix it.

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

And our heads are filled with all the things we need to, have to, should, and must do.  We even do things to force ourselves to get motivated!

We believe that doing, forcing – laboring – brings results.  I wondered – what if we approached our work and life as a labor of love?  Here are stories of those who took the labor of love challenge.

  • A stay-at-home mom dreaded bathing her two year old. Forcing her child to take the bath, scolding her child for making a mess, and mopping up after made bath time a labor. When she made the bath a labor of love, she took the opportunity to enjoy being with her toddler. They splashed, giggled, and squealed with delight. Bath time became an anticipated event and cleanup became a joyful reminder of quality time with her daughter.
  • A runner realized she’d lost the enjoyment of running. She had to motivate herself to run and force herself to run great distances. She criticized her performance, continually pushing herself to do better. When she chose to run as a labor of love, she went back to her original routine—enjoying the sights and smells of nature as she ran through parks, enjoying the landscaping, and seeing kids play and adults chat as she ran through neighborhoods. Running became fun again, effortless. She looked forward to it and started running marathons.
  • The sales and production team at a firm that publishes several monthly magazines found it hard to meet their sales targets and production deadlines and they struggled financially. Their mantra: You get burned out in this business. You finish a magazine and move on to the next. Your work is never done.  They celebrated hard work and motivated themselves to work harder. When they changed their approach, instead of producing thousands of magazines, they made a difference in the lives of those who read the articles, attended the events listed in the calendar, and utilized the products and services that were advertised. Instead of selling ads, they helped their advertisers grow their businesses and fulfill their dreams. Instead of increasing sales by a certain percent, they were of highest service and in return received dollars, which they used to pay the team for their talents and contributions, who in turn spent their earnings on who and what they loved. They no longer NEEDED to make a sale or a deadline. They were inspired to make a difference and contribute the livelihood, education, well-being, and joy of others. Exhaustion turned into energy and creativity.  Struggle turned into flow and survival turned into thriving.

Deadlines, needing to or having to do something, and making a number are, in and of themselves, not inspiring. They are about doing. Not about being.

We get inspired by helping others so I could get inspired by working together to meet a deadline or to achieve a number – maybe once, twice, or three times.  Meeting deadlines month after month and year after year becomes a burden and uninspiring if the objective is just to meet a deadline or make a number.

I become inspired and achieve significant results when my goals are meaningful, when I truly know that I am being of service, contributing, making a difference, helping – when I do what I love and love what I do.

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

I invite you to take the Labor of Love Challenge:

  • Notice when you are operating from a love of labor—when you are in a state of force, trying to motivate yourself or others, in the need to/have to/must mode.
  • Change it to a labor of love – Wonder what difference you are making, how you could help, how you could make it fun.

See what happens.

 

© 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.

Turning Tragedy into Inspiration: What is the Future you are Creating as you Experience the News of the Connecticut Shootings?

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Turning Tragedy into InspirationWe learn news of  the shootings and deaths of innocent children in Connecticut. We find ourselves filled with all kinds of emotions.

This is not surprising. Something has happened that’s painful and very different from what we expect, what we believe, what we have learned, what we hope for, and what we envision for ourselves and others. And when that happens, our brains do their jobs to keep us functioning efficiently and effectively, safe and out of danger. They immediately deliver to us fight, flight, and freeze thoughts and the emotions that go with them.

Anger, outrage, criticism, judgment, blame, revenge, hopelessness, powerlessness, sadness, despair, shock, and disbelief, are all fight, flight, and freeze thoughts.

Are these bad thoughts and emotions? No — they are not bad. They are gifts.

They serve as a moment of truth, a moment of grand awareness of who I truly am and what I truly wish to create in this world.

Anger, outrage, blame, criticism, judgment, and revenge for example, present the awareness that whatever I am experiencing is NOT in alignment with who I am and what I wish to create in this world.

Grief and sadness present the awareness of what IS important to me, what IS of value to me, and what I truly wish to create in my life and in the world.

This is true for us individually and collectively. Every event, particularly the tragic ones, serves as a defining moment, a significant opportunity to create the next version of the highest vision of ourselves as a person, a friend, a parent, a family, a teacher, a leader, an organization, a community, a nation, a world.

In this moment, I can choose to hold and re-act the fight, flight, and freeze thoughts or I can choose to focus on and create the next version of the highest vision of myself.

Re-act or create. It is up to me. It is always up to me.

Rather than label or judge a situation or a person as bad or good, I can decide who I am in relationship to it and choose the vision of what I wish to create from it.

I may think I am a victim. I am not a victim. I am a creator. I may think I can judge, even condemn. I am not a judge. I am a creator.

I create. Every thought I choose to hold is creating–for better or worse. Individually and collectively. And when it comes down to it, the essence of every thought I have is love or fear.

Fight, flight, and freeze thoughts are rooted in fear. Thoughts of vision, purpose, being of service and making a difference,  wonder and possibility, thankfulness, and joy are rooted in love.

Thoughts rooted in love bring us peace and inspire us and it’s when we are inspired that we achieve long-lasting, meaningful change and significant results.

I choose to create. I choose love.

So as I see, hear, read, and process the news of the Connecticut shootings,  I notice my fight, flight, and freeze thoughts and the emotions as they arise and continue to arise.  I feel them.  I own them. I take a breath and I wonder what I wish to create and I choose thoughts that move me in a direction that serves, contributes and creates the  next version of the highest vision of myself.

I pause. I breathe. I wonder. I choose. I inspire. I create.

These are some questions I can ask myself  when I notice I am in fight, flight, and freeze.

  • What can I say or do right now for the greater good?
  • How can I make a difference in this moment?
  • How can I be of highest and best service in this moment?
  • What could I be thankful for in this moment?
  • How can I demonstrate love in this moment?
  • How can I help?

I can ask these questions with respect to:

  • Those involved
  • My children
  • My family
  • All children
  • All families
  • My school
  • Our schools
  • My community
  • My country
  • All of humanity

For example, I may notice that I am profoundly sad for the parents and the loss of their children. When I take my breath and wonder, I may notice that I am inspired to love and appreciate my children or institute “date night” with my children.  I may notice I am inspired to help coordinate prayer vigils, or activities to write letters or help the families in some way. I may be inspired to help institute programs to help children be safe or learn how to choose peace over violence. I may be inspired to practice being in the moment and practice experiencing the joy and adventure of each stage of my child’s growth and development. I may want to start practicing being kind to myself and others.

Or perhaps I notice I am critical of the educational system or the parenting of the shooter. When I take my breath and wonder, I may notice I am inspired to be a good parent and practice being a good parent. I may be inspired to teach my children about self-awareness and how to manage their thoughts and emotions. I may be inspired to become involved in a meaningful way with my children’s education or contribute to an organization that is dedicated to the treatment of mental illness.

The opportunities to demonstrate love, be of service, help, make a difference, and  affect the greater good are infinite–in any moment. And this is what lights our fire. This is what invokes our light and inspires us. We are all about creating the next version of the highest vision of ourselves.

What we do in times of difficulty can be our greatest success. For the experience we create is a declaration of who we are and who we intend to be.

Confucius said, “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life…”

How are you being in relation to the news of the day? What is the future you are creating?

 

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

Self-Cultivation: A Gift to the World

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Self-Cultivation is a GiftA woman emailed me. She said she was exhausted and frustrated by a laundry list of problems. People in her field of work were burnt out and she was burning out.  She  took a few days to visit some friends, to get some rest, think, and hopefully become unstuck.

Her friends left a gift for her on the bedside table — the book, Managing Thought. As she read the book, she realized that some of her problems, and of those in her profession, were creations of limiting beliefs they had cast upon themselves.   She realized that her real answers to her question, “How to get unstuck?”  involved thinking differently about who she is, what she wants, and how she works with those she serves.

She was thankful that her friends were aware of the book, read the book, and gave her the book. It changed her life. And it’s changing the lives of many, because this woman leads an association of teachers, administrators, social workers, principals, program directors, and librarians who are dedicated to the education of young children and their families. The ripple effect is of considerable magnitude.

Wow! I love this story because it brings to life what I say at the end of every workshop I do: Practicing self-awareness and managing my thoughts is the best gift I give to myself, those with whom I live, work, and play, and through the ripple effect, the world.

Confucius once said: To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order (I add organizations to this); to put the family in order, we must first cultivate ourselves.

We cultivate our selves by managing our thoughts. We change the world … one thought at a time.

What thoughts are you cultivating? What gift are you giving the world?

PS   I invite you take advantage of the special offers to give the gift of Managing Thought to yourself, your friends, your family (age twelve and up), colleagues, management teams. Choose whatever style works for you–hardcover, digital, kindle, nook, online, audio, video, print: The Multiple Award-Winning Book, Audio Book, workshop DVD, the new  Thankfulness Companion Guide Audio Book and PDF and the new Mindfulness MondayTM online course in Managing Thought.

 

 

© 2012 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

 

Peace in the World Starts with Me

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We say we want peace in the world. I wonder how can we expect the world to be at peace when we are not at peace? If we can’t even be at peace when we’re standing in line? When we’re driving  in heavy traffic? When a customer calls and complains? When someone makes a mistake? When we make a mistake? When anything happens that’s different from what we expect or believe?

Confucius said, “To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life.”

If I want peace in the world, it starts with me. I create my world and through the ripple effect, I create the world.

I can’t even begin to describe how much power each and everyone of us has. Every moment, we are creating the world. Every thought we have creates — for better or worse. If you want peace in this world, then create it!

We all have the ability to experience peace and happiness and joy every day. That’s right — every day. In fact, being happy and at peace is our true nature. And when each of us starts practicing being at peace and happy throughout the moments of our day, we create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude. When I am at peace and happy it has a powerful effect on everything I do and everyone I touch, which in turn, affects everything they do and everyone they touch.

Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Here’s your chance to be that change.

Are you game? How could you practice being at peace today?

 

My next series of blogs and daily thoughts and inspiration is focused on reclaiming our peace of mind. There are three posts a day. Follow or visit Managing Thought on Twitter or “like” Managing Thought on Facebook to receive them as they post or come back to this blog daily and view the Daily Inspiration on Twitter feed in the right-hand menu bar.

 

If you would like to help me help others restore their sense of purpose and reclaim their peace of mind, go to Mary’s PBS Pledge Special to learn four ways you can help.

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.

A Fun Way to Express Thankfulness During the Holidays and Everyday!

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Here’s a wonderful way to express thankfulness, help others to know the difference they make in our lives, and create a ripple effect of considerable magnitude.

1. Give everyone a blank 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper and a pen. If you have a large group, you may want to give everyone two pieces of paper paper-clipped together (You may want to splurge for nice paper and Sharpies of various colors)

2. Have everyone write their name at the top of the paper (or both papers if they have two) and then pass it to the person on their right. (If someone refuses to participate or is absent from the gathering, write their name on top of a piece of paper for them)

3. Give everyone a minute or two to write at least one thing they are thankful for about the person whose name is at the top of the page. It could be something about their personality, a talent or skill they have, how they touched you or helped you in the past or present (If you have young children at the table, you may want to allow more time so an older child or grown-up can write what they want to say for them) Ring a bell to indicate they have about 30 seconds left and ring the bell to indicate that time is up.

4. Instruct everyone to pass their paper to their right.

5. Continue steps 3, 4 and 5 until everyone has the piece of paper with their name on it back in front of them.

6. Give everyone a minute or two to read what’s been written for them.

7. Invite everyone to read aloud what’s on their sheet of paper. Ask who wants to go first, and next and so on until everyone has shared.

8. To conclude, thank everyone for sharing and thank them for the difference they make in your life and in the lives of others.

9. You may want to provide a folder, an envelope or a plastic sleeve for them to put their paper in or a ribbon to tie around the paper rolled into a scroll.

This activity works great around the dinner table, around a conference table at work, in a circle in a classroom, in any group to which we belong.

When we invoke the power of thankfulness we tap into an incredible power within ourselves and others. We rekindle the spark of love, re-ignite our creativity, re-invoke our state of wonder and restore our sense of purpose. We become inspired.

And it is when we are inspired that we achieve significant, meaningful, long-lasting results.

How could you express thankfulness at Thanksgiving?

For more on thankfulness, read or listen to my Forward Thinking Reminder: The Power of Thankfulness: How to be Thankful in Difficult Times

©2011 Managing Thought. All rights reserved.

What Thought Could You Change?

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Powerful Thinking Mary LoreToday is Positive Thinking Day!

Okay – be honest – what did you think as soon as you read the words, “It’s Positive Thinking Day?”

Did you jump for joy?  Or did you groan?

I don’t use the term positive thinking. Each one of us has different thoughts, different beliefs and expectations around the term positive thinking.  It works, or it doesn’t work, or it works temporarily.

For this reason, I coined the term powerful thinking and developed the Managing Thought® process. Because to me, managing our thoughts isn’t about getting rid of the negative thoughts we have and replacing them with positive thoughts. It isn’t about thinking positive, happy, rah-rah thoughts.

It is about being aware of the 60,000 thoughts our brains present to us every day –one a second– and choosing to hold thoughts that are in alignment with who we aspire to be and what we wish to create.

Most of us have not thought about our thoughts. We have no idea what we are thinking in each moment. We have no idea what we are creating with each thought — individually and collectively. And we have no idea the difference that we make in our world, in the world, with just one thought.

We have taught ourselves to turn our power to think and to create our reality over to our brains. It is time for us to take back our power, to stop re-acting, and to start choosing thoughts that serve us in our lives, our relationships, our organizations, our communities, and, through the ripple effect, the world.

Imagine what could happen if each us started practicing being aware of our 60,000 thoughts?  What if each of us changed just one thought – what difference could that make?

What thought could you change? How could you make life good?

For more on this, check out my series of videos on thinking powerfully. http://www.managingthought.com/managingthoughtseries

© 2011 Mary J. Lore and Managing Thought LLC All rights reserved.