How to deal with harsh criticism

We have a tendency to fixate on the most devastating of critiques, rather than focusing on the ones that offer honest, objective and useful feedback

How to deal with harsh criticismIs it just me or do others find themselves overly fixating on criticism about their performance? I wasn't sure I had a thick enough skin after the first reviews came in when I began speaking professionally (and I was in law enforcement at the time). I prepared, practised delivery and made every effort to ensure…

Living well in the moment to create the best past and future

By embracing honesty, integrity, respect, truth, courage, forgiveness, compassion, wisdom and love, we really can’t go wrong

Living well in the moment to create the best past and futureThe concept of time is intriguing. We all have a past and we all have a future, yet we can only experience life in the present and that’s but a flash. The present was once the future and it will soon become the past. How then do we seize the moment in order to create both…

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?

Fear has the power to hijack our thoughts and behaviours, even when a new path makes sense or is harmless

How willing are you to stretch your comfort zone?I’m often fascinated by how rigidly some folks cling to the familiar, especially when it comes to being asked to do something novel. Not something dangerous – just unfamiliar. In my former career, this came up a lot, with leaders standing up in meetings and asking for “out of the box thinkers.” Then they would point…

How to let go of disappointment and avoid conflict

If we want to move past unrealized expectations in our lives, we have to forget the old script and craft a new one

How to let go of disappointment and avoid conflictThe conflicts that rear up in our lives most often stem from unrealized expectations. Each of us has a script we follow, an expectation of how things are supposed to go. When our expectations aren’t met, we can be delighted by the change, significantly disappointed or even angered. When we head to a nice restaurant,…

Getting it done is better than getting it perfect

Lessons for the world from the logging camp and why binding many individuals together in the common cause is so important

Getting it done is better than getting it perfectMy first job on my first day at Juskatla logging camp in 1969 was spreading gravel around a shed that housed firefighting supplies. I can still remember my old-school woods foreman, Ed Anderson, telling me how to do the rather obvious task. “You see that f---ing pile of gravel over there, and that wheelbarrow, rake…

Trust yourself to make a leap of (informed) faith

Your skill as a decision-maker depends on your willingness to make a mistake and manage a level of risk

Trust yourself to make a leap of (informed) faithDecisions, decisions. We face them every day. Big ones, small ones and ones we’re all terrified of getting wrong. Can someone just give us the blueprint guiding us to the right decision every time? Sadly, there’s no fail-safe way to ensure that the decision you make will be the right one every time. So we should just…

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?

In the early '60s, Yale's professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human behaviour

Would you follow orders even when it showed a lack of compassion?In the early 1960s, Yale psychology professor Stanley Milgram performed an experiment that revealed some interesting observations about human response. Though the result and ethics of his experiment have been questioned, his findings continue to cause us to ponder what each of us would do if we had to choose between following directions and showing…

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical tradition

Each of us needs to be true to our mission if we’re to be effective agents of universal change

The same truths are part of every religious and philosophical traditionReligion can provide guiding principles for a meaningful life, yet few concepts have been more divisive in human history. Seeing the tensions of the first half of the 20th century, Mohandas K. Gandhi, a deeply spiritual man, came to the following conclusion: “One should accept the faith into which one was born, but seek always…

Moving from pandemonium to peace in uncertain times

Our stressful, crazy world can lead to insomnia and worse. But there are ways to cope

Moving from pandemonium to peace in uncertain timesInsomnia could be called the 21st century disease. Falling asleep, staying asleep and getting enough sleep is ever more difficult, especially as one gets older – and everyone is getting older. Couple this with the increasing number of studies that show that lack of sufficient sleep is a major contributor to ill health. Now we…

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evil

It’s far too easy to look at others as the problem with the world. It’s much harder to see our own commonality as humans

Compassion and tenderness can overcome evilWhen we read the newspaper or watch our news feeds, we learn about people doing horrendous things to each other. If we allowed ourselves, we could become inundated with evidence of our inherent inhumanity. It then becomes very easy to conclude that evil people walk among us and that something drastic needs to be done…

Humans are not designed to stagnate

Standing still only causes us to move backward

Humans are not designed to stagnate“Do not be afraid of improving slowly. Be afraid of standing still,” popular Zen master Leo Babauta tells us. Many in our society believe that there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and once we reach it, life becomes easy. Others believe that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” We’re…

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanity

Those who show the greatest compassion are among the most powerful and influential, because they’re driving change

Compassion is at the heart of the best of humanityThe Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with the desire to alleviate it.” What we rarely consider, however, is that compassion is a tremendous source of strength. The people who have shown the greatest compassion in our world are among the most powerful and influential. The Book of Joy is…

If I don’t want to be the problem, how do I become the solution?

It’s easy to get distracted by money, power and shallow relationships. But at our cores we know what’s right

If I don’t want to be the problem, how do I become the solution?During my rebellious teen years, I listened to an incredible band from Detroit (the Motor City) called MC5. On one of their live albums, recorded in the late 1960s, they made a statement that struck me and has never left me: “Brothers and sisters, the time has come for each and every one of you…

Dream big no matter how preposterous

Disappointment has the potential to destroy us but it can also make us great. What determines the difference?

Dream big no matter how preposterousNineteenth-century British writer Eliza Tabor said, “Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens it, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it.” Disappointment is a reality in the life of every person, yet far too often we look upon it as failure. If we apply for a job and…

How to change your emotional response on command

Your brain needs direction; it wants you to lead. You choose where you want to focus your efforts and energy

How to change your emotional response on commandAre you fed up? Perhaps with politics, taxes, grumpy people or the smoke in the air. Usually these feelings pass. But when you get stuck in a swirl of negative emotion, the problems of the world seem to pile on and leave you feeling spent. Perhaps this is what causes normally rational individuals to become…
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