Noodle on This: Admit You Don’t Know

Noodle* on this…Three monkeys statye and ignornace
It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
~ Thomas Sowell

Once you identify “your own ignorance” what should you do? You may be thinking, It depends on the situation and to a certain extent, it does. We want to be seen as knowledgeable and informed. We also have a fear of being seen as incompetent, inadequate or even worse an imposter. In fact,  being afraid of “not knowing” is so common that psychologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Counseling Center call it the imposter syndrome. According to their research, 70 percent of people report feeling like an imposter from time to time.  But it really is OK not to know everything all the time.  

Each of us has a specific area of expertise.  My friend Stanley is a law professor specializing in law and religion, constitutional law, and torts (civil actions).  I jokingly told him that if I got into “legal trouble” I would call him to represent me.  He chuckled, shook his head and said that he took criminal procedure in law school; but that was many, many years ago. He said that I would need an attorney who specialized in criminal law. He was comfortable saying I don’t know. 

It really is OK to say I don’t know. It tells people you are being honest, which helps build trust. It also frees you to say I don’t know but I will find out,” and then take the necessary steps to find out.  It also sets you apart from those who “make up” an answer  or who pass the buck by saying go ask Harvey.

Curiosity may be hazardous for cats but it is a healthy desirable instinct for humans.

Curiosity may be hazardous for cats; but, it is a healthy and courage trait for humans.

Saying I don’t know but I will find the answer, also shows that you take initiative and that you are willing to learn new things. This shows that you are courageous, flexible and willing to be creative, to try new things  all of which lead to problem solving and progress.

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge
I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar. – Richard Feynman

When was the last time you willingly and freely said I don’t know?

Be courageous! Admit it, when you don't know the answer.

Be courageous! Admit it when you don’t know the answer.

  • How did it feel?
  • What happened as a result of saying I don’t know?
  • Did you learn something?
  • What opportunities or alternatives were presented as a result?

Share your experience with us in the Comments field below.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm.

Photo Credits

Your Weekly Noodle: January 1, 2016

Noodle* on this …Happy-New-Year-Images-2016-advance
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. ~ Oprah Winfrey

It is traditional to start the New Year with a resolution.  I make the same resolution every year: I resolve not to make any New Year’s resolutions. As Oprah suggests, let’s get it right in 2016 and start a new tradition a new tradition.

According to Dictionary.com, resolve means to decide to take action while commit means to bind or obligate. So, let’s commit to living grateful lives in 2016.

What is Gratitude?
Gratitude or thank you is an appreciation for what one has received. When someone helps us with “no strings” attached, we express our gratitude by saying thank you. According to Robert Emmons, Professor of Psychology at the University of California Berkley and an expert on the topic:

Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness. We affirm that there are good things in the world, gifts and benefits we’ve received. We recognize that the sources of this goodness are outside of ourselves… We acknowledge that other people – or even higher powers, if you’re of a spiritual mindset – gave us many gifts, big and small, to help us achieve the goodness in our lives.

Why live in Gratitude?
Living in gratitude is one way to get it right in several ways. According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, people who live in gratitude are healthier than those who do not. They have fewer aches and pains and are more likely to take care of themselves through regular exercise and doctor’s visits. They are also more likely to have better control of their emotions and experience less depression than others. Grateful people sleep better.

People who regularly express gratitude have better interpersonal relationships at home and at work. They are more empathic and less aggressive. Gratitude increases self-esteem, makes us more resilient and reduces stress levels.  According to Neale Donald Walsh, The struggle ends when gratitude begins.

Being Grateful
Gratitude, not just saying thank you but appreciating that what we have makes life easier, more enjoyable and meaningful.  Recently, I spent some time with a woman in a stressful situation – her son was very sick. I was helping her with a complicated problem, but through it all, she was the epitome of patience. She did not get frustrated, impatient or complain. When I thanked her for her patience, she said, “I don’t have much, but I have patience.”

patient womanI looked at her, saw a caring mother in pain and said, “I’m guessing that you have much more than just patience.”

She was silent for a moment, and then she said. “Yes, you’re right. I have my wonderful son, his sisters and brother. I have a loving family and friends. We have a roof over our heads, food on the table, money to pay the bills and a car that runs. I have my heath.” She smiled and said, “I have a lot. Thank you for reminding me.”

She was right. Sometimes we just need to be reminded of all that we have and to take the time to appreciate and be grateful for it. It helps us keep things in perspective, which helps us manage our emotions.

2014-11-26-gratitude2-thumbWhen I remind myself of what I am grateful for, the partial list reads as follows:

  • I am thankful for my family, my friends, and my silly dog Curly.
  • I am grateful for the people in my neighborhood and that we look out for one another.
  • I appreciate the people I meet each day as I live my life.
  • I am thankful for the trials and obstacles I encounter and the lessons I learn from them.
  • I find joy in doing work I love and getting to work with good, caring, fun, committed people.
  • I am grateful that I live in a place where I can ride my bicycle all year round, and,
  • I am especially thankful for you, my Gentle Readers – for your support and encouragement.  Happy New Year!

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. ~ Melody Beattie

half fullWhat are you grateful for and what will you do to live in gratitude throughout the year? I will live in gratitude by:

  • Saying thank you every day;
  • Doing my best work;
  • Doing all I can to support my loved ones, friends, and co-workers;
  • Seeing the glass as half-full, and not half-empty; and,
  • Treating everyone I meet with respect and kindness no matter how brief the encounter.

Share your commitment to gratitude with us in the Comments section below.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm

Photo Credits:

 

Your Weekly Noodle: November 11, 2015

Being rude does not make you right.

Being loud and rude does not make you right.

 Noodle* on this…
You can get through life with bad manners, but it’s easier with good manners
. ~ Lillian Gish

In our tell it like it is, anything goes society, etiquette, also known as good manners, seems quaint, if not downright antiquated. In fact, good manners are becoming so rare that British actor Bill Nighy said, if you have an enthusiasm for what they call ‘good manners,’ sometimes people don’t quite believe you. I’ve had that once or twice before, where they assume you can’t be for real.

What are good manners?
Good manners are about doing the right thing at the right time and the most basic rule of etiquette is being  courteous to everyone, regardless of their position or the situation. Every person is entitled to basic courtesy and respect.

Having good manners means that we:

  • Treat everyone we encounter with courtesy and respect, regardless of how the other person behaves. According to Jackson Brown, Jr. Good manners sometimes means simply putting up with other people’s bad manners.
  • Listen to others without interrupting.
  • Arrive for meeting or appointments before the scheduled start time.
  • Use proper grammar when speaking and refrain from inappropriate remarks and off-color jokes.
  • Refrain from using  cell phones or electronic tablets when talking or meeting with others.
  • Don’t listen to or spread in gossip.
  • Remember that our actions speak louder than our words. If we do not use good manners, no one will listen to what we may say about their importance.
  • Say please and thank you often.

What are the benefits of good manners?
Like other topics I’ve written about, such as silence and compassion, good manners are a source of power and a vital skill worth developing and using every day. Good manners attract attention and build respect, which in turn can lead to promotions and pay raises at work .  Good manners also support personal relationships, build trust and prompt others to treat us with good manners. In our personal and professional, good manners create a psychological open space where problems can be resolved.

respectYour Weekly Noodle Challenge…

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use. ~ Emily Post

Awareness means that we respect the feeling and opinions of others even if we do not agree with them.

In summary: Good Manners = Respect.

How do you show respect for others, even if you don’t agree with them?

Share your ideas with us in the Comments section below.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm

Photo Credits

Your Weekly Noodle: October 28, 2015

Be silent an observant like the stars..

Be silent and observant like the stars.

Noodle* on this…
Quietness is the beginning of virtue. To be silent is to be beautiful. Stars do not make a noise. ~ James Stephens

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. – Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

 

We live noisy lives. Planes, trains, automobiles, cell phone ringing, music played over load speakers, all add to the noise of life. This constant noise affects our ability to learn and do our jobs. It exhausts us and interferes with our ability to hear and understand speech according to Professor Gary W. Evans, PhD, at Cornell University.

Unfortunately, there is little we can do about all this ambient noise. In fact, we are so accustomed to noise that silence makes some people uncomfortable, as in the phrase deafening silence. When I was in college, I took a course on employee coaching. There were about a dozen people in the class and on the first day, the professor had us sit in a circle – like a group therapy circle. He joined us in the circle and said absolutely nothing for a few minutes. But it seemed like forever! In just a few seconds, we students were looking at each other, squirming in our seats and clearing our throats. All the while, the professor sat quietly looking at his hands resting in his lap. Then, the students started asking questions and making comments. When that did not evoke any response from the professor, the talking died off and we all sat silently. Finally without looking up, the professor started reporting, without any notes, what various students said and did during the silent time. Then he looked up, made eye contact with each of us and said, Your most powerful skill is the ability to be silent and listen.

Silence is Power
There is power in silence. Being silent give us the time to think things through and sort out our emotions. It helps us solve problems while remaining calm. For me, silence helps me in my writing. It also gives me peace. Sometimes, when we are silent, we must face our fears. This helps us develop wisdom and strength according to people like Lao Tuz (500 BC) who taught that silence is a source of great strength and Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626 AD) who defined silence as the sleep that nourishes wisdom. Remember that silence like any other power can be misused when it is used to punish others or show anger.

What happens in silence?
When we are silent we can hear and understand what others are saying. Being silent in a conversation means actually listening to the other person, not thinking about what we want to say or what to have for dinner. When we listen silently, we hear the person’s tone of voice; notice the words they stress; notice their body language; and hear what the person is actually saying. Silence gives us what doctors call a tincture of time, meaning it gives us the time and space necessary for compassion, wisdom, peace and understanding.

Shhh...

Shhh…

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…
You are most powerful when you are most silent. People never expect silence. They expect words, motion, defense, offense, back and forth. They expect to leap into the fray. They are ready, fists up, words hanging leaping from their mouths. Silence? No.”  Alison McGhee, All Rivers Flow to the Sea

Can you sit in a meeting or in a group of any kind without speaking? Try it. How does it feel? What did you notice? Spend a few minutes every day just being quiet and observant. Share you experience with us in the Comments section below:

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm.

Photo Credits

Your Weekly Noodle: October 21, 2015

We all have stories to tell and they are not just for children

We all have stories to tell and they are not just for children.

Noodle* on this…
Humanity’s legacy of stories and storytelling is the most precious we have. All wisdom is in our stories and songs. A story is how we construct our experiences. ~ Doris Lessing

Stories have the power to move us to action, to inspire us, to teach us and to give us hope. As a writer, I’m not a very good story teller. I am more of a reporter of facts and concepts. But, I know a good story when I read or hear one and my sister Andrea shared the following story with me. It may be true or it may be urban legend; not even Mayor LaGuardia’s biographers know for sure. But, it is a lovely story. So, read and enjoy it.

 

Mayor LaGuardia talks with children displaced by World War II

Mayor LaGuardia meets children displaced by World War II

In the middle of the Great Recession, New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, worked to understand what life was like for all the people living in the city. It was not unusual for him to ride with the fire fighter, go on raids with the police and take field trips with orphans. On a bitterly cold night in January, 1935, the mayor turned up at a night court that served the poorest ward of the city. LaGuardia dismissed the judge for the evening and took the bench. Within a few minutes, a tattered old woman was brought before him, charged with stealing a loaf of bread. She told the Mayor that her daughter’s husband had deserted the family; her daughter was sick and could not work; and her two grandchildren were starving.

However, the store owner, from whom the bread was stolen, refused to drop the charges. “It’s a real bad neighborhood, Your Honor,” the man told the Mayor. “She’s got to be punished to teach other people around here a lesson.”

LaGuardia sighed. He turned to the woman and said, “I’ve got to punish you. The law makes no exceptions. Ten dollars or ten days on jail.” But, even as he pronounced the sentence, he reached into his pocket. He took out a bill and tossed it into his hat, which was sitting on the bench, saying, “Here is the ten dollar fine which I now remit; and furthermore I am going to fine everyone in this courtroom fifty cents for living in a town where a person has to steal bread so her grandchildren can eat. Mr. Bailiff, collect the fines and give them to the defendant.”

The following day, New Your City newspapers reported that $47.50 was turned over to a bewildered woman who had stolen a loaf a bread to feed her starving grandchildren. Fifty cents of that amount came from the store owner along with money from petty criminals, people with traffic violations and New York City police officers, all of whom gave the Mayor a standing ovation.

Tell us your story.

Tell us your story.

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…
You’re never going to kill storytelling, because it’s built into the human plan. We come with it. ~ Margaret Atwood

Now, it is your turn. You have a story – one that inspired, moved you to action, or taught you an important lesson. It may be a personal experience or story you read or heard. Share that story with us in the Comments section. If the story is not personal, please include a source citation for the story, so we can give credit where it is due. For example, the source for the Mayor LaGuardia story comes from snope.com. I’ll share the stories in Your Weekly Noodle.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm

Photo Credit

Your Weekly Noodle: October 7, 2015

Businesspeople Playing in the Ocean

Noodle* on this…
We’re in a society where we have to justify play, But play reminds you of your better self and how happy you can be. In play, there’s a wonderful lightness of being ~ Sara Stieglitz

Play is not just for kids. It is just as essential for adults as it is for children. In fact, adult play  is a serious matter, just like humility, resilience and compassion. As with these topics, play enhances our immune systems; reduces our stress levels; helps strengthen interpersonal bond; enhances creativity, flexibility and productivity; and supports our well-being.

What is play?
According to Professor Peter Gray of Boston Collegeplay “is self-chosen and self-directed,” an imaginative, non-literal activity in which means are more valued than ends with rules that are not dictated by physical necessity but emanate from the minds of the players. Adult play can involve organized sports, playing a musical instrument, painting a picture, flying a kite or any activity that gives us pleasure, challenges us and is not mandatory or is not results or goal focused. Psychologist Stuart Brown writes that humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun – they are forms of play and that play is not just joyful and energizing – it’s deeply involved with human development and intelligence.

Play has no purpose other than enjoyment whether it is the challenge of a chess game, the fresh air; sunshine and people watching that come with a walk on the beach or an evening of board games at home with family or friends.

Dogs know how important it is to play. It is so important that they send their humans a special invitation – the play bow.

Dogs know how important it is to play. It is so important that they send their humans a special invitation – the play bow.

Why is play important? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It also  makes you less productive and less creative. Play give you a natural high which leads to smiling which elevates your emotional state and stimulates your brain to produce endorphins, which produce feelings of confidence and satisfaction. Playing helps release your emotional energy in a safe way. Play also allows you to trade routine for excitement and procedure for imagination and spontaneity.

Finally, how you play is as unique as you are. Each of us plays in ways that show who we are as people. Play is a free open expression of the essential you! That is not something we get to do often enough in our busy, task driven culture.

Even animals understand the importance of play. If you have a dog, you are familiar with the “play bow” – a signal that the dog wants to play.

In summary…

  • If you want to be healthy and happy, play. It strengthens your immune system and reduces stress.
  • If you want to be creative or solve a problem, play. It stimulates the brain.
  • If you want to be successful, play. It increases productivity and cognitive ability.
  • If you want strong relationships, play with others. You are more genuinely you when you play than at any other time.
  • Just play for no reason at all!

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…Creativity
The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves. ~ Carl Jung

How will you play this week to support your well-being and creativity?

Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm.

Image credits

Your Weekly Noodle: September 30, 2015

Anthony Cymerys is a barber. He’s 82 year old. Every Wednesday, he brings his chair, his clippers and a car battery to power the clippers to a local park in Hartford, CT. He gives haircuts to the homeless. He doesn’t charge them a penny. All they have to do is give him a hug.

Anthony Cymerys is a barber. He’s 82 year old. Every Wednesday, he brings his chair, his clippers and a car battery to power the clippers to a local park in Hartford, CT. He gives haircuts to the homeless. He doesn’t charge them a penny. All they have to do is give him a hug.

Noodle* on this…
Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future. ~Nelson Mandela

Humans beings are born with the instinct for compassion. We are hard-wired to response to those in need. According to the Dacher Keltner at the University of California, Berkley, the compassionate instinct is a natural and automatic response that ensures survival. Unfortunately, in our complex, speed of technology world, we often lose touch with our compassionate instinct.   As we rush home at the end of a hard day of work, it is easy to not see the homeless person at the edge of the parking lot or to become annoyed at the elderly person who takes so long to cross the street that we can’t make a “right turn on red” and speed on toward home.

What is Compassion?
The word compassion comes from the Latin words  com (with) and pati (to suffer). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, it means suffering together with another, participation in suffering; fellow-feeling, sympathy.

Compassion includes both empathy and altruism. Empathy involves mirroring the emotions of another person, while altruism is helping another with or without empathy. Compassion is sharing the emotions of another combined with a genuine desire to help the person that moves us to act. Researchers have discovered that compassion involves a biological process.  Feeling compassion lowers the heart rate and stimulates the pituitary gland to produces oxytocin, which promotes social bonding. It stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain, also known as the reward circuit, which makes us happy.

The concept of compassion has exited throughout history and in all cultures. For example:

  • In 500 BC, Lao Tzu wrote:  I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.… (Tao te Ching, #67)
  • Judaism teaches the 13 Attributes of Compassion (Mercy)
  • The New Testament teaches the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25 – 37)
  • The Quran emphasizes compassion and tells us that mercy or compassion is a divine attributes.

The Dalai Lama often speaks and writes about compassion, reminding us that Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.

How will compassion benefit me? Compassion benefits both the person who receives it and the person who gives it (you).  In other words, there is an element of enlightened self-interest in showing compassion for others.  As the Dalai Lama explains, if you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.  It benefits you by:

  • Stimulating your immune system and reducing stress.
  • Helping you be more resilient and less fearful.
  • Helping you build bonds with others, this in turn, increases tolerance.
  • Reducing depression and anxiety by helping you focus on others, rather than dwelling on “me, myself and I”
  • Increasing your ability to accurately identify the emotions of others, thus increasing your empathy.
  • Making you more helpful, thus building connections with others.

How can I be more compassionate?
Although compassion is an instinct, it is also like a muscle. It must be exercised to be strong and healthy.  Here are a few suggestions to help you strengthen your compassion muscle.

  • Practice empathy. Think about a family member, friend, or co-worker who is sick or dealing with a problem. What might that person be feeling?
  • Find common ground. When you see a person on the street; in the mall or a restaurant, find some common ground with that person.  They may be wearing your favorite color or it may be something as simple as being the same gender or having the same hair color. The more we see others as like us, the easier it is to be compassionate.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How would you feel if you were the one suffering? How would you feel if the other person helped you relieve your suffering or solve your problem?
  • Pay it forward. Regularly do a kind deed for another person just because with no expectation of reward or return. In 1916, Lily Hardy Hammond wrote, you don’t pay love back; you pay it forward. It is also known as doing random acts of kindness.

Another Tip: Learn and Practice the Loving Kindness Mediation. Don’t let the term meditation scare you. This is not the typical sitting meditation that takes years of practice to master. It is a simple brief mediation you can do at any time.  It is so simple, a child in it in about five minutes. Basically, this mediation helps you develop an open, accepting attitude to all those you meet.  According to psychologist Helen Wong and her associates, this meditation, help your develop kind and caring feeling toward others and empowers you to act compassionately. Visit the Greater Good Science Center to learn how to “strengthen you compassion muscle” in just five minutes a day.

Dalai-LamaYour Weekly Noodle Challenge…
Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.~ Dalai Lama

I have written about my friend Suzanne in other posts. She carries a case of bottled water in her car and when she sees a homeless person, she stops and gives them a bottle or two. She told me, it only takes a few seconds to be kind and the look of gratitude on the person’s face is more than worth it. Compassion is addicting, in a good way.

Do at least one compassionate thing this week – pay it forward. How did it make you feel? Share your experience with us in the Comments section below.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm.

Anthony Cymerys image courtesy of pickchur.com and Dalai Lama image courtesy of Phayul.com

Your Weekly Noodle: September 23, 2015

Noodle* on this…
Resilient people don’t walk between the raindrops; they have scars to show for their experience. They struggle—but keep functioning anyway. Resilience is not the ability to escape unharmed. It is not about magic.
~ Hara Estroff Marano

What is resilience?
Some people see resilience as a personality trait, others as a learned skill. Actually, it is the process by which we interact with our environment. Resilient people cope with problems in ways support their well-being, while at the same time dealing with the problem or recovering from major live events like job loss, divorce, accidents, injuries, death of a loved one, etc.

Elizabeth EdwardsResilience is not about “toughing it out, having grit or enduring to the end.” Resilient people experience stress, even despair, but they do not dwell on them. They accept that these emotions are normal and then move on to cope with the issue at hand. Resilient people understand that problems are inevitable but suffering is optional.  According to attorney and author Elizabeth Edwards, Resilience is accepting your new reality, even if it’s less good than the one you had before.

What are the benefits of resilience?
Resilient people have:

  • Strong, healthy immune systems because they are better able to manage stress. This reduces the amount of stress hormones, such as cortisol in the blood, stream.
  • Strong social connections and a network of support to call on in times of trouble.
  • Good personal boundaries. They are open and receptive to others and show empathy without being overwhelmed by the problems of others.
  • A good understanding of their emotions and what triggers them. This means they manager their emotions effectively and are more likely to stay calm in difficult situations.
  • The skills they need to deal with stressful situations and they are able to adapt as circumstances change.
  • An internal locus of control. They are confident that they have the necessary skills to solve the problem and have realistic expectations about the outcome.
  • Good self-esteem and optimism; however, they do not look at life through rose-colored glasses. They are realistic.
  • Primary control – the ability to change a situation as well as secondary control, which means that they can change the way they think about a situation.
  • Survivor’s pride – a quiet sense of accomplishment that comes from overcoming obstacles. It is bittersweet – savoring success, while honoring loss and struggle.

How do we strengthen our resilience?

  • Build and support good relationships with family members, friends and co-workers. This includes being willing to ask for and accept help.
  • Refrain from seeing problems as insurmountable.  Ever huge problems can be chunked or broken down into smaller elements we can work on.
  • Be flexible – accept that change is a fact of life and learn to adapt as needed to support your well-being.
  • Learn from experiences. My friend Ernest, the social worker, constantly reminds his clients and friends that there is no such thing as a bad experience, if you learn something from it.
  • Take action. Even small steps add up. Taking action empowers us and keeps us from developing a victim mentality.
  • Keep things in perspective. Ask your self, How important will this situation be in one week, one month, or one year?
  • Find something to laugh about. Laughter helps us keep our perspective.
  • Take care of yourself. Rest, exercise, eat wisely, pause and breath deeply several times a day.
  • Take time to do something you enjoy – spend time with friends, play with the dog, read a good book or go for a walk.

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…
When we tackle obstacles, we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives. J. Abdul Kalam

What hidden reserves of courage and resilience have you discovered? Share your experience with us in the Comments section below.

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm

Rain image courtesy of Sharon Salzburg.

 

Your Weekly Noodle: September 9, 2015

Two cats working together as an example of humility.

Humility means realizing that we did not “do it on our own” – that we had help along the way and acknowledging those who helped us.

Noodle* on this…
Humility is becoming a lost art, but it’s not difficult to practice. It means that you realize that others have been involved in your success. 
~ Harvey Mackay

Humility is a misunderstood, much maligned and underappreciated virtue. In our ego driven, all about me culture, it is a weakness, not a strength. So, before we talk about what humility is, let’s discuss what it is not.

Humility is not about …
Being weak or allowing others to browbeat us or order us around.

  • Routinely giving up our interests in deference to others (and then feeling put upon or like a victim).
  • Avoiding conflict to “keep the peace” or “be nice.”
  • Repressing our feeling or not expressing our opinion for fear of offending others.

Humility is about…
Recognizing that we are not alone, that others support, encourage us and help us succeed.

  • Being open to new ideas, especially those in opposition to our own.
  • Not being obsessed or pre-occupied with our personal wants.
  • Not putting ourselves above or below others; but, accepting ourselves as we are, flaws and all.
  • A quiet ego according to psychologist Pelin Kesebin, PhD.

Humility is good for…
Building strong bonds because we share credit for successes with those involved.

  • Reducing strains that arise in personal relationships because we are less likely to compete or try to dominate the other person.
  • Improving our health and well-being because we are less stressed and more tolerant.
  • Life and work success because humble people are more focused and more likely to work well as part of a team.
  • Building a positive reputation – humble people are seen as kind and generous.

ghandiThe power of humility
When Mahatma Gandhi died in 1948, journalist Edward R. Murrow spoke eloquently about him and the power of humility:

…(he was a) man without wealth, without property, without official title or office. Mahatma Gandhi was not a commander of great armies nor ruler of vast lands. He could boast no scientific achievements or artistic gift. Yet men, governments and dignitaries from all over the world have joined hands today to pay homage to this little brown man in the loincloth who led his country to freedom.

Your Weekly Noodle Challenge…
Humility is the true key to success. Successful people lose their way at times. They often embrace and overindulge from the fruits of success. Humility halts this arrogance and self-indulging trap. Humble people share the credit and wealth, remaining focused and hungry to continue the journey of success. ~ Rick Pitino

Humility is like a muscle – it must be exercised regularly. Who do you need to thank or acknowledge? Who has helped you along the way? Who has contributed to your success?

Thank you Chris!

Thank you Chris!

My manager Chris helped me for nearly 13 years. She encouraged me to develop my skills and gave me opportunities to try new things. MUCH of the knowledge, skills, and abilities  I use TODAY were developed thanks to her encouragement and support.

Use the Comment field below to exercise your humility muscle. Who contributed to your success?

* To noodle: A verb meaning to mull over, think about, contemplate, ponder, puzzle over or brainstorm

Image courtesy of E Animal Ekstrax.

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