Archive for May, 2009

Why Did I Do This In the First Place?

Sometimes when life gets really busy, I forget that my original purpose in signing up for stuff was to meet other people, learn something new, or engage myself in a new way.

I think a lot of us do this.  Have you started feeling bored with your activities, annoyed with other participants, or generally disengaged from what you volunteered to do?

I bet some of you know what I’m talking about.  When this happens, it’s time to take a moment to remember why you’re there in the first place.

Mindful Moment

By: Andrea Moore, CIASTD 2009 President

“You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Recently, I found myself feeling disconnected from a group I meet with one evening each week. I found myself placing blame on the group participants and thinking about aspects of their personalities that were not allowing me to connect.

Knowing, however, that I am responsible for creating the experiences of my life, I took a step back and reminded myself of the part I am playing with this group. I asked myself, “What am I doing to connect with these people?”—and what I realized is that I was not fully showing up with this group. Once I put myself out there and shared what I was feeling, the connection returned.

In what way are you participating in your life?
How can you take more responsibility for what you are creating?

Andrea is a senior consultant at FlashPoint, a multidiscipline HR consulting firm in Indianapolis. As a certified professional in learning and performance and a certified empowerment coach, she focuses on the growth and development of individuals, work teams, and leaders.

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Searching deep for the intangible

Jason and I just had a really awesome conversation on our car ride home from Calvary about legacy and the kind of lives we want to live.  We’re both searching for our legacy, our purpose, what it is that we’re supposed to give this world.

Like I’ve blogged before, legacy isn’t something you start planning or thinking about when you’re approaching retirement age; it’s the way you live each and every day.  I struggle with the feeling that everything I’ve accomplished so far in life doesn’t amount to a hill of beans come Judgement Day.  My studies, degrees, memberships, and associations are impressive to some, indulgent to others, and lack fulfillment for myself.  They are things. They are fancy paper, well-formed ideas and philosophies, high-society networking that in the end…. mean very little.

We went to the funeral tonight for Jason’s great (x?) uncle, Frank French. The ulogies spoken about him were amazing tributes to not the things he did or accomplished, but the lives he touched. The lives he changed. The people he cared for and the ways in which he made them better just by being a part of their lives. He didn’t do it for the fame or the wealth, but he did it because that’s who he was. I wish I’d had the opportunity to know him.

I have been really surprised lately by the things I believe — mainly because I’d never considered myself a “religious” person and I’ve always felt disappointed by my lack of spiritual direction. Now that I’ve started taking steps to remedy that, I’m finding that things I was already doing or believed that were “just common sense” or the “right thing to do” were preached in the Bible.  They aren’t common sense to the mass population, and don’t come easily to most people.

Be who you are, not where you are.  Gods do not live among men.  Not all teachers teach great truth. There is no integrity in knocking other people down in order to feel tall.

A few years ago, one of my classes focused on servant leadership.  I fell in love with it.  I’d never even heard of the term, nor knew it was an area of intense study.  It just fit so well with my approach to life, that I assumed it was my “common sense” or kind heart leading the way.  I preach it in my leadership and training classes. We are finally starting to hear it from senior executives and some management. It’s not about the mergers you championed, the winning projects you managed, or the number of certifications you stacked up.

It’s about the people. The relationships. The lives you changed, simply by being YOU. That’s what I want for my legacy. I don’t know exactly what that looks like, feels like, or entails… but I know that my fulfillment, enjoyment, and passion lie in the ability to make someone elses’ life better, easier, happier, more filling, more exciting, more purposeful, more focused. It won’t be about the material things I have or provide others. It will be about the intagible meaning and enrichment I can bring to them. In return, I won’t be rich, famous, or otherwise on a pedestal. I’ll just be me. A fulfilled, happy, enriched me.

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