Be gentle with yourself

Be gentle with yourself

Sometimes we fall short of the standards that we set ourselves. Learn to be gentle with yourself… unless it’s a moral failing or a criminal act!

Acknowledge the setback; examine the reasons for it; adjust your plan or your process; start again.

Beating yourself up might be your instinctive reaction. But how does it help?

(extra)ordinary days

A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days.

Goethe

It’s easy to look at our days, feel they are a bit humdrum, and place responsibility for this state of affairs with someone else – family commitments, unreasonable workload, etc, etc. And, yes, there are days when the ordinary is what needs to be faced.

But, if you’re experiencing a succession of such days, maybe it’s time to look in the mirror. Who is responsible, in your life, for the

  • interest?
  • fun?
  • adventure?
  • disruption?
  • challenge?
  • turbulence?
  • stretch?
  • curiosity?

If you’re feeling stuck, pick one of those topics and spend your day actively looking for it. Put some energy into it and you’ll reap the rewards. Or, be a victim, join our disgruntled and grunting teenager’s lament of ‘this is boring’ and live an ordinary life.

What’s working well?

what matters nowWe’re wired to focus on what’s not working…Stop agonizing about what’s not working. Instead, ask yourself, “What’s working well, right now, and how can I do more of it?

Chip and Dan Heath – What Matters Now on ‘Change’

For me, the most interesting aspect of this thought from the Heath brothers is that we have to ask ourselves what is working well. That is, we are so focused on the things that aren’t working that we don;t actually know what is… until we stop and ask ourselves. And, of course, unless something or someone compels us to change our mindset, will we ever ask the right question?

To change the emphasis, we need to change our mindset. We need to move from (passive) noticing and correcting to (active) awareness and learning.

And the benefits?

Apart from a boost to morale, more productivity and a positive working environment it’s hard to think of any. 😉

Responding to hatred

I came across this example of responding to hatred at Explore.com.

I love the positive, but gentle, rebuttal; the statement of a better model for building peace; and the hope-filled intent that lies behind the United Methodist Women’s poster.

A model for us all to follow.

Accentuate the positive

Yesterday’s Great Work Provocation was:

“It’s too easy to step over what’s already working.  Find 10 things now that are humming along nicely.”

It’s too easy (especially for me) to focus on what’s broken or limping along at a snail’s gallop!  But what happens when we adopt a bias towards seeing – and, if necessary, seeking – the things that are going well and the people who are producing good work.

Some projects will be obvious successes and should be celebrated as such, but in the day-to-day of our lives, these moments will be occasional (at best).  However, I am convinced that if we look properly – look in way that will reveal it – there are many things going right in every organisation and family.  It will often be found in those who are quietly effective, meeting or exceeding expectations without a fanfare or recognition.

So, let’s look for the positive activities.  Turn down the volume of your inner critic:

“… the constant critic loses hope and lacks joy.  The constant critic finishes the day feeling defeated and unsuccessful.”

Jenni Catron

And then, let’s turn this positive approach into a daily ritual.  And here’s Bing’s version of the title song for this post to inspire you: