When times are tough, as hard as it may be, try to do the counter-intuitive thing. Open your hand; don’t close it. If you hold onto what you already have, clutching your resources, as if your very life depended upon them, it will. Your life will be dependent on what you are preserving – your […]
Without exception every one of you is gifted, talented, uniquely curious. You are to be treasured. Believe your parents or care-givers or teachers when they express something similar. It’s not just “adult talk.” It is not said just to get you motivated. Talent, power, and bravery are divinely endowed. They are yours. They are in […]
“Iron sharpens iron,” says the Proverb. Or, real friends help make us into better people than we are. They challenge us. They are unafraid to engage in necessary conflict with us because they know it is born in the desire of finding deeper connection, greater love. They are unimpressed with our pretensions. They see beyond […]
Eight ways to make your wonderful job even more wonderful: 1. Never let an opportunity pass to compliment a parent about his or her child. 2. Speak highly of your students, even the child whose performance may leave much to be desired. 3. Find the gold, the raw talent, the innate potential, in every student, […]
An offering of loving truth… Relationships are sweetened an enhanced when there is a mutual commitment to love and truth. They (love and truth) are foundational to trust, a cornerstone of family and community. Love and truth are pivotal to building meaningful history. They (love and truth) are both stepping stones and the pillars for […]
Your parents are the most important people you will ever know. Get things right with them, and you’ll be poised for success. By “right” I mean embark on the ongoing journey to develop your skills by loving, honoring, enjoying, and negotiating with them. If you don’t, if you settle for on-going conflict, you will probably […]
Counsel with your priest, rabbi, pastor, counselor….. Will almost always leave you feeling freer, more empowered, and with a greater appreciation for your skills and vast possibilities. I say “almost” because there will be times when, in response counsel, you will see the need for helpful introspection or the need for some radical personal changes. […]
A few ways to “grow” your sons and daughters – crucial conversations Talk about everything under the sun. Nothing about sex, money, death, grief, joy, pain, and fulfillment ought to take your children by surprise. Rid yourself of the oft-touted notion that men should talk to sons and mothers to daughters about sexual and intimate […]
Seeing your future is an integral part of creating it. Brainstorm possibilities. Write general, then detailed plans. Create flowcharts, timelines, and deadlines. Resist the fear to dream great dreams. Go ahead. Create a wish list. This is not a selfish thing to do - unless, of course, the plans you create are. Great futures don’t just happen. Of course no one knows or controls the future, but a great one is far more likely to occur if it is planned than if it is not. So put a great future for yourself on paper and a plan to implement it. Include a list of absolutes, things you won’t do - like lie, cheat, steal, or knowingly take advantage of anyone. Write about stewardship - how you will save money, use money and about your plans to be the most generous person you know. Create a paragraph about how you will conduct your relationships, all of them at every level, from here on and forever. Implementation will probably involve cleaning up after yourself: letters of apology, paying back debts of all kinds, and cutting off a relationship or two. As a platform to all you will dream and develop, write what you really want using 20 words or fewer.
Allow benign consequences of behavior to unfold. Resist urges to intervene in every conflict. Allow your child to develop a unique understanding of what schools and coaches expect and be responsible for meeting the expectations and demands. Let the school do its job without regarding it as if it is out to get you or your child or to be purposefully unfair. Resist making your child the center of your universe and expecting other adults to follow your lead. Avoid treating your child as if he or she is entitled so he or she will not assume an attitude of entitlement and take it into every area of life. Try to rid yourself of thinking that spoiling a child is about stuff, too much affection or attention. Many of the wealthiest, most loved, doted upon children I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting and who own every gadget, game, and possession, and who are treasured and deeply valued, are not spoiled at all. In their love, affection, and in their generosity, the parents have not lost sight of the need for every child to learn to be face the music he or she creates. Herein, I believe, is the key to NOT spoiling a child.
1. It’s your longest relationship. You might as well enjoy it. 2. It makes it easier for others to love you. It offers others a fighting chance if you lead the way. 3. You really are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and if you take a closer look you'll see you really are beautifully complex, vastly capable. What’s NOT to love? 4. It will help you see others more clearly, especially your children, parents, and siblings. 5. Your family traits will become clearer and you will want to embrace them, not fight them off or reject them. 6. Rejecting yourself takes so much work. it’s so draining. It naturally results in rejecting others, which is even more draining. Love rejuvenates. 7. It makes you nicer, easier to be with. It is so much more fun to be around a self-assured, self-aware person. 8. It makes you safe. Self-loathing people are short fused. Anything can set them off, especially when they are around acceptance and love. 9. It shifts how you see and treat everything and everyone. “Inner conditions” spill like oil leaks or spills. If you’re unkind to yourself, if you loathe or hate yourself, others tend to keep their distance. 10. It’s a prerequisite for loving anyone and anything.
“I have been married and suffering for 17 years. Ours was an arranged marriage. Our first child was an ‘accident’ and my wife has blames me. Every day she has been telling me what is wrong with me, including verbal abuse in front of my children. If friends visit and I am friendly, she says I am acting like a servant. If I am warm she says I am flirting. If I come home early I am useless. If I don't come early I am a heartless self-centered brute. If I make a polite fictitious excuse I am a liar and if she does the same, she is considerate. If I don’t make an excuse and refuse truthfully, then I am rude. She denies me sex for days and if I pester her I hear ‘is that all you can think of you pervert?’ If she wants it, she wants it now irrespective of my mood and wants.” Please, never refer to your child as an accident. Such a person does not exist. Until you want to do more than complain about your wife and assume some responsibility for your acquiescence in all this you two will keep dancing this heartless, sad dance.
When times are tough, as hard as it may be, try to do the counter-intuitive thing. Open your hand; don’t close it. If you hold onto what you already have, clutching your resources, as if your very life depended upon them, it will. Your life will be dependent on what you are preserving – your diminishing resources. You will miss the new resources that are trying to get your attention. When your heart is broken, as hard is it may be, try to do the counter-intuitive thing. Open your heart; don’t shut it. Of course the impulse to protect can be overwhelming, but shutting down, refusing to feel, refusing vulnerability to opportunities is costly. A closed heart will struggle to heal and to let go. An open heart, despite the pain, allows the greater community to do its good and healing work. When your dreams are shattered, as hard as it may be, try to do the counter intuitive thing. Dream again. If you live in persistent regret of how things could have been, and resent those who shattered or did not support your dream, or if you assign blame for why things did not turn out as you planned, yesterday’s disappointments block tomorrow’s success.