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.

Reduce Holiday Stress and Experience Peace of Mind

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Reduce-Holiday-Stress-Peace-of-MindWith holiday festivities to host and attend, families and friends to connect with and visit, gifts to buy, food to prepare, with time and money at a premium, you may find yourself tied up in ribbons.

The American Psychological Association, reported that one in three adults in the U.S. experience extreme stress on a continuing basis. I imagine these numbers are compounded during the holidays.

I invite you to remember that it is my true nature to be happy, healthy, full of energy, creative, expansive, inspired. It is my true nature to want connect with others, imagine what is possible and create it.I experience stress when I am out of alignment with my true nature.

  • I could be out of alignment because what I am thinking, saying or doing is really not true to me. It’s not what I envision or hope for myself and others.
  • I could be out of alignment because something is happening or someone is behaving in a way that is different than what I expect, what I believe, what I have learned, what I have practiced, what I value.
  • I could be out of alignment because I am in a state of force.
  • I could be out of alignment because of how I am thinking a thought.

When I am out of alignment for whatever reason, my brain acts as if I am in physical danger and, delivers to me the fight, flight, and freeze thoughts that I have practiced.

Of course, I am not in physical danger. My brain, bless its heart, doesn’t know that and goes into a state of flight, fight, or freeze anyway.  It delivers thoughts of worry, frustration, anxiety, anger, disappointment, insecurity, criticism, depression….and other fight, flight and freeze thoughts that I have practiced in similar circumstances.

Without self-awareness, that’s where I remain–in fight, flight, or freeze. With self-awareness, I can pause, take a breath, and add light to the situation. I can choose thoughts that move me in a direction that helps me create what I truly want and be my highest vision.

Here are some powerful thoughts to practice during the holiday season to rise to a new level of consciousness, restore your ability to discover what truly matters to you, receive ideas on what to do next, and experience peace of mind and the joy of the season.

  1. List everything you think you want to accomplish during the holidays, and ask yourself, “What does this bring me?” for each item. Keep asking and answering the question “What does this bring me?” until you get to the essence of what you want. If the essence of what you want does not bring you peace or inspire you, then you can cross the item off your list and wonder what you could think, say, or do to accomplish the essence of what you truly want.
  2. Notice  “I have to,” “I need to” and “I should” thoughts. As soon as you catch yourself thinking one of these forceful, often judgmental (and exhausting) thoughts, restate the thought using “I am,” “I choose,” “I am committed to,” “It could be great if” or “I wonder how I can” and finish the thought with what difference you are making for yourself and others by doing what you are choosing to do. Turning these forceful thoughts into thoughts of intention and wonder help us to reclaim our lives, discover what we really want and open us to the many ideas on how we could achieve it.
  3. Take a deep breath,  focus on the exhale, (holding my breath actually contributes to stress!) and think “I wonder what truly matters in this moment?”  Take as many breaths as it takes until you feel a click, back in alignment, true to you. Re-invoking the state of wonder is a sure-fire way to reduce stress, spark creativity, and  stay fully present and focused on what really matters, what truly brings peace and joy.

I invite you to practice any one of the above suggestions and see what happens.

 

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

Access the Power of Thankfulness and Appreciation

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I am Thankful for... Mary LoreIn the mid-1990s, I was an executive officer for several companies in crisis and owner of my own growing business. I was working over a hundred hours a week, drained, unhealthy, and unhappy- and I felt there was no way out.After an “aha” moment, I realized that I was responsible for my world, that I created my world, and that the only way I could change my world was to change myself. I knew that my thoughts were the only things over which I had complete responsibility and accountability.So I started to look at what was going on inside my head. I decided to start managing my thoughts.

I wondered about it and woke up with the idea to start a thankfulness journal.Every night before I went to sleep, I took an inventory of my day and wrote down everything I was thankful for. Frankly, I was surprised at the length of the list because I thought everything was wrong in my world. I was also surprised to see the list expanded every day.

Then I noticed a shift in my thinking. I started seeing people and situations in a whole new light. I focused on what I wanted, not what I didn’t want and didn’t like. I turned fear into inspiration.I smiled and laughed. I felt as though a weight had been lifted. I started eating well and sleeping well. I accomplished much more, in quantity and quality, in less time.Those around me truly appreciated my transformation as I expressed how I valued and appreciated them. I received ideas on how to create even more that made me thankful. I couldn’t wait to start my day!I also changed how I was working in organizations and to this day, I start every strategic planning session with What are we thankful for? About our customers? Our suppliers? Our employees? Our investors and sources of money? Our products and services? Functional areas? Processes? The industry?

It is similar to focusing on our strengths, except focusing on our strengths is an intellectual process. As we practice being thankful, we become inspired and it’s when we are inspired that we achieve significant results.

The Power of Thankfulness and Appreciation

Throughout my book, Managing Thought, I talk about thankfulness being one of the highest levels of consciousness.

As we practice being thankful and expressing appreciation, we invoke a power within. We become expansive, our world opens, we widen our view. Creative ideas emerge and we experience a dramatic improvement in our relationships, our creativity, and in our lives.

Studies show  that those who practice thankfulness are healthier, have a better outlook on life, and are more likely to reach important goals; that being valued, appreciated, part of a community, and having the opportunity to contribute are the key drivers to employee satisfaction, engagement, retention, and performance.I wrote the Companion Guide: How to Access the Power of Thankfulness to provide a toolkit for the practice of thankfulness, to make it a way of life, a way of being, at home and at work. It’s an audio book so I can be with you in your car :) and a PDF so you can print out the exercises — All in one!There are hundreds of activities (with facilitation guidance) for organizations, individuals, and families.

Here’s a fun activity from the Guide to use at home or at work:

  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.

I invite you to practice thankfulness and appreciation every day.

See what happens.

© 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.

 

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.

It’s a Wonderful World

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Over the Rainbow It's a Wonderful WorldIt’s been 8 years today, September 18th, since my late husband Gregg and I married. At the GOMF French Meadows Summer Camp in 2003, Gregg and I sang the first song we ever sang together–Over the Rainbow/What’s a Wonderful World. It became our song, with Gregg singing the lead and me harmonizing, and we sang it at our wedding two years later. Here’s the video of that special moment for me at Camp two months ago when I could finally sing the song by myself without crying. The clouds are indeed far behind me. Jason King of Portland Oregon is playing the ukelele. We’re at the campfire. Happy Anniversary, Gregg. I am so glad our paths crossed.

© 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.

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.