Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Learning to thrive in the midst of our weakness

Do you think Mother Theresa or Ghandi ever had a bad day? Do you think that they ever said some things that they shouldn't have said or had a bad attitude? Do you think that they did some stupid things? Made some big mistakes?  Even the greatest men and women to walk this planet have had their share of personal struggles. It's hard to picture Mother Theresa, (someone who many would regard as a saint) , with a bad attitude. Maybe a snarky or snappy tone of voice when communicating with those close to her?  Catch her at the right time though and in the right challenging circumstances and this just might be the case. Under the right amount of pressure, anyone can get a little snippy. Anyone can be tempted to act out of character and give into the temptation saying or doing things that they might regret. Every great inspiring leader has weakness. They may have great influence for the positive but they still have an imperfect human side. Great men and women aren't without weakness, they simply have chosen to rise up in spite of their weakness.  To overcome weakness and even choosing to rise in the midst of it. They have learned to focus on building their strengths and to manage their weaknesses.... The greatest battle we all face in life is the battle within our own self.  It is the battle within that must be won. The battle over our focus. Over our temptations. Our emotions.  A battle over our beliefs about ourselves, others and our life.  Great men and women, through practice, have become skilled at living by good principles. They have learned to not make decisions with on the whim of their emotions but instead on the firm foundation of moral principle.  They have become skilled at the art of mastering their emotions. Could you imagine what our lives would be like if we made every decision on emotion rather than good wisdom principles founded in logic and reason?  If we just chose to do whatever sounds or feels good in the moment?  Sounds like a description for a painful, short lived life doesn't it?  If we wish to live a good life with less pain then we must choose to truly value wisdom.  If we truly value it then we will pursue it.  When we recognize its true value then we will run after it, hunt it down, capture it and make it a part of us.  We will trade all that we have for it and it will reward us with all that it has.  It's reward is a life well lived.  It's reward is an ability to overcome personal struggles within.  It's reward is an ability to prosper in what we do and have more to give to others.  It's reward is an ability to reach our greatest potential and dig out all of the treasure within ourselves.  It's reward is rewarding relationships and an ability to influence others for the positive.  When we make the personal decision to grow in wisdom, become better, stronger and  more prosperous, we are also making the decision to help our fellow man.  What the world needs is not more mediocre but instead, men and women who rise to their potential, achieving greatness. To rise to their place of positive influence, letting their light shine in the midst of a sometimes dark world.  I am so grateful for the men and women that have gone before us as shining examples of lives not perfect, yet well lived.  Someone once said "the best message preached, is a life well lived."  Your life is your message. 

Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope this inspired you. If so, please share it with your friends.  Blessings- Rob Lovegreen

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Learning to ask clarifying questions for better communication

Communication is so very important in life. Good communication skills are probably one of the most important things in life. Yet, many don't make it a point to study how to do this more effectively. They just assume that they are good at it. One thing I have noticed over the years in regards to communication is the importance of 'not just listening but listening with understanding.' One way to understand another better is to ask clarifying questions. I have found that many have not acquired this skill. A couple good phrases you can learn to use in your daily conversations are these.... "Can you explain more to me about what you mean? or even "Please tell me more about that." 'DON'T JUST ASSUME THAT YOU KNOW WHAT THE PERSON TRULY MEANS.' It can be easy for us to misunderstand another and be misunderstood ourselves. Asking clarifying questions with intent for better understanding will open up a world of new and deeper understanding about yourself and the other people. Many times, we think we understand someone, or what another is saying but we are actually flawed in our judgement. We are only interpreting what they are saying through the eyes of our own limited knowledge and wisdom. Asking for clarification gives us more data for us to base our judgements and then we can make wiser decisions based on this data. It is our responsibility to ask though and many don't. When we choose to seek understanding through clarification, we will discover so much hidden wisdom and we will ultimately be rewarded for our extra effort. Seeking wisdom may cost us our time and effort, but the return on investment is sizable and worthy of our pursuit.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I hope it inspired and motivated you in regards to more self development.

Blessings -Rob