Happy Soul Food Friday!
You Have Heard of Black Friday, but how about #Giving Tuesday?
What Kids really Value over the Holidays:
10 Most Inspirational Ads- The Last Three are Amazing!
An Epiphany from a Student of the Power of Gratitude
An Attitude of Gratitude (at Work):
Pets Trying to Stay Warm: Hope you are too…
You Have Heard of Black Friday, but how about Giving Tuesday?
WHAT IS #GIVINGTUESDAY?
We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give. It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.
One option to consider…
Giving Tuesday is around the corner!
What is Giving Tuesday?
You’re familiar with Black Friday, right? Retailers offer huge discounts to jump-start holiday spending. In recent years, Cyber Monday was added to the mix.
Thankfully, there’s now Giving Tuesday, a day dedicated to giving back.
This year, we’re asking YOU, our COMPASSION IT comrade, to consider offering a donation to help us expand our reach. As a boot-strapping non-profit, we could use the financial help. We’ve got big plans for 2016 to scale our work and make compassion more accessible around the world. But we can’t do it without your support. Visit our website to learn more about Giving Tuesday and what we have planned for 2016. Also, don’t forget to mark your calendar for December 1! COMPASSION IT-ly, Sara & the COMPASSION ITeam
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What Kids really Value over the Holidays:
10 Most Inspirational Ads Since You are Going to Get Marketed to Anyway…
An Epiphany from a Student of the Power of Gratitude: 3 Reasons Why Thanksgiving is Your Best Holiday
|I am grateful to be grateful. I wasn’t always this way. In fact I went through major periods of my life when the repeating song on my inner soundtrack was “Why me?” My life logic was self-defeating…guaranteed to make me unhappy. Life logic is a simple concept. It is how we consistently explain to ourselves why life is the way it is. It’s our inner story of cause and effect. We use it constantly. It is the super-structure of life logic that is constantly giving us strategic instructions about how we might make our life better or at least less worse.
My life logic for nearly 50 years is a framework called “bargaining with universe.” It is based on the belief that if you are a good person you can prevent bad things from happening to you. Now I know…that’s a very foolish belief. Yet it is very common. A famous book was written by a Rabbi titled “Why Bad Things Happen to Good People.” The up shot of the book is…bad things happen…don’t take it personally. Unfortunately that’s not a very satisfying answer. Human beings are very uncomfortable with randomness. So we naturally seek control strategies. The things that really scare us in life are the things we don’t control. Major religions have caught onto this human longing and reinforced our misbelief that if we are good enough God will protect us from bad things. So this becomes the desperate bargain we make. Yet we can’t help but notice that too often the good die young and for some reason Mick Jagger seems both happy and healthy. What’s up with that? That was my question when I was soaking in a bath of frustration surrounded by candles of self-pity after spending nearly a decade with daily bouts of emotional agony over the condition of my life. And no matter how good I tried to be nothing got better. Then my coach said to me. “Man, you are so lucky. Everything that you have feared the most has already happened to you. And look at you, you’re still standing, still fighting. It’s awesome, you have nothing to fear now.” For some reason those were the right words at the right time. I even wrote them down.
For months he’d been trying to explain to me that it is futile to try to protect yourself from all the things you cannot control. He also explained that the only viable life logic is to develop the bone-deep belief that you are stronger than all of life’s tragic disappointments. If you choose to believe that no matter what happens you can be stronger, wiser and even happier because of what your difficulties have taught you…you will be. He asked me to think of people who live by that life logic. I thought of Nelson Mandela and my Mom.
Since that epiphany I have become a student of the power of gratitude. With the explosion of research in positive psychology and the effects of gratitude meditation we now know that science clearly confirms that gratitude is health food for our mind, emotions and even our bodies. (Controlled studies show people who do daily gratitude meditation can lower their blood pressure!) Perhaps the most powerful research on the effects of gratitude is from Richard Wiseman, who has performed numerous studies linking gratitude meditation to behavior change. This is what he has found. Most people who simply write down one thing they are genuinely grateful for each day and focus on their positive feelings for 60 seconds get three beneficial effects over time.
- They become more open minded and willing to try new experiences.
- They become more optimistic and opportunity oriented.
- They project a positive–constructive personality which expands their circle of supportive friends.
It’s simple. The grand effect on the lives of people who live life through the lens of gratitude is they become happier. Wiseman also discovered that gratitude sets up an eco-system of behavior that makes you luckier…that is, you will have more positive opportunities than average. That’s why I love Thanksgiving. It’s a national holiday with a much deeper practical message than just turkey and football. It’s time to take stock of both the good things that we take for granted as well as what we have learned from the tough things that we’ve experienced.
Just think about this. Many experts believe that about 70 billion people have lived their lives on planet Earth. Until about a century ago most parents buried 2 to 3 of their own children before they reached adulthood. A winter cold routinely turned into lethal pneumonia. Starvation and violence were everyday fears. These and countless other hardships were accepted unchangeable conditions. How most of us live today would be a fairy tale for nearly everyone who has lived before us. Truly, of all the people that have ever lived, we have the most to be grateful for. And even if you have gone through a very tough time just remember what my coach said. “You’re still standing, still fighting. You’re awesome. You have nothing to fear now.” Happy Thanksgiving! Will
NOTE: As you may know, I’m on a mission to rapidly accelerate the impact and influence of women leaders. I feel so strongly about this that I collaborated with an insightful group of women executives to create The Leadership SPA (SMART Power Academy), a 2.5 a day women-only development program. Click here to learn more.
An Attitude of Gratitude (at Work):
create and attitude of gratitude
When we talk about the concept of “value” in business, it rarely has much to do with valuing each other. We’re just not very fluent with the language of positive emotions in the workplace – or with expressing them. What makes that so ironic is that positive emotions – appreciation, caring, kindness, empathy – may be the single most powerful fuel there is for engagement, satisfaction, and performance.
Feeling genuinely valued and appreciated is a powerful source of energy. Our research with the Harvard Business Review found that employees who felt they were regularly recognized and appreciated by their leader reported 53% higher focus, 58% higher engagement, and 109% higher likelihood to stay with their organization.
Often, we find ourselves feeling too busy or too stretched to take the time to reflect on and express our gratitude. The problem is that, without intentionality, our tendency is to concentrate on what’s going wrong. Try taking a minute or two to reflect on what or whom you appreciate most. If you do this regularly, you will find yourself more readily focusing on what’s going right. Over time, that will increase your reservoir of positive emotions and in turn, your resilience.
For more tips on how to add more gratitude to your life, check out our Facebook album where you can like, share, and comment on your favorites.
The Secret to Sustaining High Job Performance Most companies invest in building the skills of their employees. Few of them systematically invest in building people’s capacity to perform at their best. Read More
- Start a gratitude journal – Keeping track of what you feel grateful for will allow you to return to your lists in the moments that they’re hardest to generate. If you’re struggling to begin a daily practice, the Gratitude app on iOS ($2.99) sends regular reminders to help you get started. You can either make it completely private, or you can share your posts via social media and tag friends who also use the app.
- Accentuate the positive – Make a list of activities that you enjoy most and which make you feel best. Intentionally schedule at least one of these activities into your life each week. For example, attend a concert, go bike riding with family members, or take a class. We all bring more energy to the activities we enjoy, and pleasure itself can sustain our energy.
- Create a transition ritual – Find an activity that allows you to make a transition from work to home. Take a few minutes to stop at a park, listen to music, or take the time to write in your gratitude journal. The key is that by the time you get home, you’re not still at work
“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” – William Arthur Ward
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Pets Trying to Stay Warm:
Thanks this week go to Sara S, Louis L, Will M, Sean A, Larry H, and Heart-ists everywhere…
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare.
They are consumed in twelve minutes.
Half-times take twelve minutes.
This is not a coincidence.”
– Erma Bombeck
Happy Thanksgiving and Pay it Forward!