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!!
For those of you who are long time readers, you will notice that I frequently write blogs on positivity, appreciation, and gratitude. In general, I try to model those qualities when approaching challenges in my work and personal life.
So, is there ever a time when we should all stop and shout, “Enough is enough!” “This doesn’t make any sense!” “I am fed up!” The answer is yes, and the research on the negative effects of what can be referred to as toxic positivity are clear.
I had a situation three years ago with a colleague and it wasn’t positive. Okay, I will say it: It was negative. Soon after the encounter, I was retelling the experience to my friend Patty and we were rolling around in the verbal upset. Neither of us liked where we were going, and then Patty said, “Can we just say it was awful?” Yes! It was awful!
Kate Bowler, a bestselling author who studies the cultural stories we tell ourselves, said in her recent podcast that “positivity becomes toxic when it prevents us from being able to speak honestly about our circumstances.”
Therapist Whitney Goodman wrote an entire book about it and created a fantastic chart to help you say something that is both truthful and helpful.
I wish for you a life full of happiness, but I also know that is not always possible. I hope that these phrases will help you be where you are while moving forward to a legitimate place of feeling better, day by day.
I recently came across a list of amazing quotes by acclaimed American poet, storyteller, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. Since I often write blogs discussing the importance of gratitude and mindset in our personal and professional lives, I found it to be a treasure trove of inspiration. I will be highlighting a few of my favorite quotes in the months ahead, and I encourage you to share with me the philosophies and quotes that guide your life.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. Certainly most of us reading this blog will never experience the level of turmoil that Angelou faced. But as we confront our own challenges, we can be reminded to work towards positive progress and to recognize that sometimes a change in our attitude will take us the rest of the way.
A small attitude adjustment that had a big impact on others was demonstrated this past summer by my friend and colleague, David Glickman. A large group of colleagues and I attended a conference and many of us subsequently came down with Covid.
There was an email thread where a few of the attendees, as well as those who had chosen not to attend, all of whom had been vaccinated and boosted, were politely discussing what the conference organizers (who are volunteers) could have done to lessen the risk of Covid.
While an interesting question, David wrote in the thread, “I accept full responsibility. I knew the risk and I chose to take the chance.” This shift really changed the tone of the conversation. Perhaps David’s behavior caught my eye because it was exactly the discussion point I used this past Wednesday when I was conducting the program Blame, Shame and It’s Not My Fault.
When have you in your organization shifted the conversation from blame to responsibility?
This article is one in a series discussing the importance of gratitude in our personal and professional lives, the benefits of routinely recognizing the good things in our lives, appreciating others who have helped us, practicing gratitude, saying thank you, trying a complaint-free day, taking a gratitude walk, and recognizing fresh starts.