Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Power of Appreciation

You often hear that we all can and do make an impact on others throughout our lifetime. If we stop to think about it, that impact can be huge, based on the ripple effect of influence. If I have a positive impact on just two persons, and they in turn have an impact on just two more, and that keeps going through ten iterations, I have positively impacted a thousand people. Now imagine if that number is increased to just four. The power of exponents reveals the total number after ten rounds is over 1 million.  If that number is much larger in any one of those iterations, one person can have an extreme impact on a very large number of people. Jon Gordon, in this article from his weekly newsletter, explains it quite poignantly. And, the article also speaks to persistence in being influential.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Evaluating yourself

Going through an evaluation can be a little like going to the dentist. Deep down inside, you know it's good for you, but you also know it will probably range anywhere from painful to simply uncomfortable. The thing is, an evaluation, similar to a trip to the dentist, can set you back on the right track to health, physical health in the case of the dentist (you don't want your teeth to fall out) to career and professional health in the case of an evaluation. Of course, similar to going to a dentist who is masterful at fixing your problems with a minimum of discomfort, an evaluator/supervisor who is skilled at provided constructive and specific feedback can do wonders for helping you refocus on maintaining health.

I began thinking of this particular direction as I read The Cloud of Unknowing, and contemplation the author writes about. If a person could be more objective in their contemplation/evaluation/reflection, maybe evaluations by others wouldn't be as "enlightening." So there is a goal for the next month. Reflect on your actions and try to evaluate if they are leading you toward your goals, keeping you in the same spot, or worst of all, moving you away from them.

For an evaluation to be effective, specific feedback is necessary. This becomes true in self-reflection as well as vague feedback can lead to confusion and energy mis-directed. If you feel like feedback is not at the level you need in order to improve, continue asking clarifying questions like What does that mean? or How do I know (or How is that measured?). When the feedback becomes clear, you can make concrete plans of action to improve. This same process can be used in self-reflection. Asking yourself the same type of questions can lead to greater insight and direction. Just make sure you're willing to hear the answers that come to you. 

Friday, November 02, 2012


Tuesday I wrote about listening to your voice and following the path it may so gently provide you or in other cases not so gently whacks you aside the head. I wrote about this concept before, but probably mistakenly called it serendipity, but by whatever name you call it, last night was another vivid instance of this phenomenon.

I was talking with my wife about the entrepreneurial spirit and how I continue to feel the urge for it to come out, but can’t quite get it clear enough to bring forward. She said something along the lines of “you’ve had it ever since I’ve known you and it’s never come out.” Basically stating that I should focus on what I am doing now and not be troubled with trying to figure out what it is that’s continually making itself known. I responded, a bit tongue-in-cheek, “you just want me to die with my music in me.” Not five minutes later as she perused Facebook, she came across the following:

Dr. Wayne Dwyer just posted this brilliant status: “That music that you hear inside of you urging you to take risks and follow your dreams is your intuitive connection to the purpose in your heart since birth. Be enthusiastic about all you do. Have that passion with the awareness that the word enthusiasm literally means ‘the God (enthos) within (iasm).’” Don’t die with your music still in you.”

Now I realize some will say this is a happy coincidence and nothing more, and while that may be true, I may do as another blogger wrote yesterday, “maybe I need to take my own advice” and listen to that voice a little closer. We all should, so as to not deprive the world of our  talents and gifts.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Find your Voice

Anthony DeMello, in his book Awareness: The Perils and Opportunities of Reality, writes about how our feelings are based on our perceptions and so many of the issues in society and our own world are related to faulty thinking. I've read this book most nights for quite a while, so needles to say this wasn't my first time reading the following particular passage:

"say your thing and get out of here. And if they profit, that's fine, and if they don't, too bad!"

Maybe my mind was open enough at this time, or maybe it just takes several repetitions to get a message through a thick skull, but whatever the reason, this passage resonated last night. "Say your thing," and go on. One mustn't worry whether the message is received as it certainly will be heard by some and ignored by others. We must strive to let the world hear our voice and not bury it for fear of rejection or not being heard. The world deserves that and so do each one of us.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Prior knowledge

An article in the NY Times recently highlighted for me the vast differences that can occur among children as far as background and prior knowledge is concerned. When students come to us with this wide difference, it certainly makes it imperative to attempt to get these children experiences that will enable them to have the background to succeed. It is a quick read and should make those of us in better circumstances grateful for the environment in which we grew up.