Tag Archives: openness

Do You Dwell on It or Do You Move On?

When a mistake happens at work or at home, do you dwell on it, or do you experience it, let go of it and move forward from it?

When we let something wash over us, we experience it and are changed by it, but we do not stay immersed in it.

It’s not always easy to let go of a bad experience, but we always have the freedom to choose whether we dwell on it, or move on from it.

A bad experience gives us the chance to learn from our own mistakes and the mistakes of others. It gives us reason to listen carefully in conversation about what went wrong and to listen carefully in conversation about how to handle similar situations differently in the future. Continue reading

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A New Way to Look at Grieving

What if we viewed all of life’s hardships as natural, and took it as normal that our struggles with them should be tackled in full view of and with open support from our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers?

passengers pull together to hoist a sail

Just as a sail is too heavy to hoist alone, grief is too heavy to bear alone.

I got to thinking about this after I heard Alix Spiegel on NPR report on how differently Japanese and Americans tackle classroom education. In America, the brightest student is held up for peer praise and respect, while the one struggling to learn is left alone, nearly shamed and shunned. In Japan, the student who is having the most difficulty is brought before the class and learns in front of his peers, with their encouragement. They all share in the student’s accomplishment of conquering the difficult lesson. Struggling to learn is seen as a natural part of the journey to become educated.

I am struck by two facts. One is the open acceptance of the struggle. The teacher and peers openly give their support and it is openly received by the student. The other is the recognition that learning is a journey and eventual success is expected and perhaps inevitable.  Continue reading

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Are You Listening or Merely Hearing?

Not that long ago two friends of mine ended their long relationship.

waterfall stream

When we let words wash over us without listening to them, we fail to understand their meaning.

She eagerly wanted commitment, talked with him about it often, and tried countless ways to impose it upon him. He zealously did not want commitment, openly said so, and consistently maintained his own ways. After several years, she finally listened to him.

The late leadership authority Dr. Stephen Covey cautioned that, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  Continue reading

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