The Loves of My Life…
In other cultures, there are multiple words for the various kinds of love that we experience. I am told that there is a word for romantic love that is different from the word for the love a parent has for a child, and another word altogether for loving an activity like eating or walking on the beach…
I could Google this and learn about it, but I think that it would be more fun if you, my blog readers, would write to me and tell me about your many loves.
I use the word “love” all the time!
I love my kids with such intensity that I can feel it in my bones. I love my house. I love my friends. I love pizza and french fries (I like a good salad but I don’t love salad). I love my husband so much that I refer to him as “A lover” in my contacts list on my cell phone.
AND I love my work!!
When I think of work, I think of anything we as humans do that is productive. If you are a student, that is your work. If you are caring for a loved one, that is your work. You may have two (or more!) jobs.
So, I love feeling productive. I love helping clients. I love being creative. I love my colleagues. And I have memories of things that I loved about previous jobs. I will share mine, if you share yours!
A project that I loved doing…what project did you love doing?
A work group that I loved being a part of…what work group did you love being a part of?
Something about my workspace that I loved…what is something about your workspace that you loved?
A technology that I loved…what technology did you love?
A favorite restaurant near work that I loved frequenting…what restaurant did you love near work?
A stretch assignment that hurt, but after the fact, I loved…what was your favorite stretch assignment?
A boss, or mentor I loved because of how he or she believed in me…what boss or mentor believed in you?
A colleague I loved…what colleague(s) have you loved?
A piece of clothing that I loved wearing to work…what article of clothing have you loved wearing to work?
I can’t wait to hear about your work-related loves. If you tell me yours, I will tell you mine!!
Remember that old saying “You Are What You Eat”?
I do. I remember posters in the school cafeteria, ads in magazines, and a lot of chortled high-school jokes, most of them in good fun.
“Don’t be a grouch. What’d you eat for breakfast, anyway — prickly pears?”
We got the message.
My colleagues in the National Speakers Association put a different twist on this concept. Ron says, “You are what you do, not what you talk about doing.” Chris says, “Talking about writing isn’t writing. Writing is writing.”
I get those messages, too. So much so that I have a saying posted in my house that says, “Life is not a dress rehearsal.”
When I hear people talk about taking a class, or learning to knit, or improving their professional skills, I think it’s great! They have made a proclamation. What is even better is when they take their first real step.
Three weeks ago a client told me that he wants his department to work more collaboratively. He told me that they work in silos, each doing their own thing. I asked him, “What’s your plan?” He chuckled and said, “My plan was to call you and have YOU figure it out.”
Recently, my friend told me that she intends to run a marathon in May. Even though she is currently running just a few miles a day, taking the first steps (literally) builds momentum. When she showed me her running plan, I believed she would do it. More importantly, she believes she will do it. And regardless of when or if this marathon occurs, she is getting more fit and more determined each day.
Let me invite you to consider, whether your goal is an individual goal or a group goal, whether you set your own milestones or work with a partner, that you are what you act on. You are what you eat. Your intentions aren’t you, your actions are you.
I am thrilled that someone I coach is starting a new business. He’s been talking about it for years. Recently he put together a business plan and he opened a business checking account. He is diligently working on a website. How fabulous!
Our lives aren’t happening somewhere else, or at some other time. We aren’t the people we are going to become — we’re the people we currently are. Living in the present means doing what we believe in, now. Let me know what goals you are living.
You probably don’t believe that silence is one of my favorite tools. Certainly when I taught a presentation skills class to Johns Hopkins graduate students, they did not expect me to talk about silence! But I did. And at the end of the week, their final presentations showed how silence can be so effective.
When Mariah began her program, we all saw how powerful silence can be. She paused. She made eye contact with her audience. She waited. Only when a room full of curious eyes were focused on her did she begin to speak.
We saw it when Kristin began her meeting with a question — neither simplistic nor overly complex — designed to transform an audience into a group of participants. She asked. She waited. Sometimes she waited five to eight seconds, and five to eight seconds of silence is longer that you might think! It’s very hard to listen to silence.
We watched Tad use silence in a marketing brainstorming session. There was a blizzard of ideas, but when the flurries slowed and then stopped, he didn’t move on. He waited, in silence, for a full 60 seconds. The best ideas of the session followed that silence.
And I know that skillful negotiators, like my colleague Michael, use silence in their work every day. I’ve heard Michael say, “The person who speaks first, loses.” I think he’s right, and how-to books on negotiation concur.
I like to use silence in the appreciation segment of a teambuilding session (my favorite part of these workshops!) when colleagues tell one another what they genuinely like about working together. The inevitable lull comes, and everyone looks at me as if to say, “Well, we did it. Can we go home now?” I just smile and wait, knowing that my silence will give them time to appreciate one another in a deeper way.
How can you use silence in your work and life?