Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Do Your Best

The fourth agreement of don Miguel Ruiz's Four Agreements is "always do your best." Whatever you do, when you do your best you can sleep at night, you can breathe, you can relax, you can rest assured that your efforts matter.

Things will get in the way. Trouble will follow you. People will disappoint you. Never mind. Do your best and keep moving.

It's the best we can do.

-- doug smith

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Know the Difference

Whenever I've been too sensitive I have confused criticism with condemnation. I have since come to realize that no-one really appreciates judgment. We do need feedback, but we need it in the form of observations -- not judgment.

We can react to feedback. We can choose to take suggestions, or chose not to, and not take it personally. But judgement just flat out feels negative and so we recoil. We withdraw. We miss the message.

Knowing the difference between criticism and condemnation helps us decide when to react and when to recoil. Criticism, framed as feedback, we can take. Condemnation is of no use at all.

-- doug smith

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Say It With Kindness

I appreciate direct communication. It's seldom that anyone can offend me by being too direct. But, that's not always true about me, and I'm sure that some people find direct communication too much. They resist it. They bristle at it. They send their people to training to overcome it.

I'm not set on changing direct communication except -- except to add this. Say it with kindness. Say it with respect. Dignify yourself and the people you communicate with. Communicate for results in ways that leave room for both courage and compassion.

If I can't say it with kindness then it isn't yet true.

"What do you mean, it isn't true?"

"It isn't yet at its best until it's kind."

"But, it can still be true..."

"Is incomplete still true? Is it still true if it does not return the best possible result?"

"It's the results that I want, I'm just in a hurry. I don't have time to be kind!"

"Maybe. But also, maybe you don't have time NOT to be kind. Think of the reactions. Think of the changes. Think about whether someone feels resentment instead of contentment. No matter how well you say it, won't it sound better with kindness?"

-- doug smith

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Right to Serve

It's easy to think of ourselves first. And, if we're not careful, it's just as easy to think of ourselves last. Honestly, it's easy to think about ourselves all the time. Sometimes I've done it.

But do you know where the biggest payoff is? Do you know where the most profound joy is? The biggest kick the best reward is in helping others.

The strongest action is seldom the self-centered one. The strongest action is one that helps another.

-- doug smith

Thursday, March 1, 2018

You Can Handle The Truth

Why do people shy away from the truth?

Lately, I've been telling my workshop participants that they can handle the truth, and that starting right away they can tell the truth in ways that other people can also handle it.

What's the alternative? We tell so many lies. We cover up so much useful information. We deceive so many people, but always temporarily because the truth will always bubble to the top. Why not stay on the high road to begin with?

-- doug smith