Monday, June 26, 2006

Coming From The Heart

This is a topic I never would have approached in earnest a year ago, let alone at any other time in my life. Neither is it something that’s easy to share with just anyone – but I know it’s the right thing to be doing, so I’ll open it up with some questions and see what happens. I know that for those of you who connect with it, then great, and that for those of you who don’t, then that’s great too. This isn’t a lecture – it’s an observation shared.

INQUIRY: Ask yourself this one question: when you do or say something that comes from the heart, how does it make you feel? E.g. saying those three little words to your partner, taking care of your family, applying yourself to your work, etc.

Have a think about what all this means to you.

How much does it inspire you to develop and strengthen what you have?

ACTION: List all the words you associate with “coming from the heart.” What do the enable you to create and achieve? Make a list, then get out there and begin expressing them. If you feel uncomfortable, then push yourself just that little bit extra … see where it takes you, and what difference it makes.

Here are a few pointers: sincerity … honesty … trust … authenticity …

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Fear Is The Gateway To Happiness

I heard someone mention this during the introduction to a training session recently, and I have to admit it landed really heavily with me. It was also exactly what I needed to hear, because I had been challenging my life more and more of late, and knew deep down that I had to continue doing so in order to expand my opportunities.

When given permission, fear can do so much to debilitate us. Yet when challenged and overcome, it can be banished for good, thus opening up all manner of avenues.

INQUIRY: Make a list of the things you fear in daily life and beyond. Think back over the last few days, perhaps even weeks … what obstacles and challenges have you had to overcome? And which have you chosen to shy away from?

ACTION: Now make a list of those you expect to face in the next few days. Right now, which are you likely to embrace as a challenge, and which are you likely to give in to?

Taking a look at both lists and ask yourself how much better your life would be if you were to conquer those fears. Be open and honest – you don’t have to share these with anyone. Just take a look at them by yourself. What steps could you take to conquer these fears?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Benefits Of REALLY Listening

How many times have you been interrupted by someone before you’ve had the time to finish what you’re saying? Quite a few, I bet. How does it make you feel? Ignored … annoyed … perhaps even furious at times? And how many times do you do the same by return? Ah, now you see, the boot’s on the other foot!

So why do we do it? Probably a whole host of reasons; we’re impatient; we like the sound of our own voice; we’re not really interested in what the other person has to say; and that’s just to begin with. If all our conversations were like this, then how much good would come of them? Not a lot. So what’s the answer? How about listening for a change? And letting the other person finish? How do we do that? We forget about ourselves for a moment and really pay attention to the person who’s speaking – not just their words, but their meaning, their emotion, and where applicable, their body language.

INQUIRY: How often do you get annoyed by others who interrupt you as described above? And how often are you guilty of the same by return? What are you creating when you give someone the opportunity to speak fully.

ACTION: This week, pay special attention to your conversations. Call a halt to interrupting people when they’re speaking. Notice how it feels. In a polite and courteous way, encourage those who normally interrupt you to do the same. Again, notice how it feels.