The question of courage came up in conversation. There is the kind of courage displayed going into a burning building to rescue someone. Or, what it takes to go into battle. Or, the extraordinary strength and courage a mother displays keeping a child safe. The less dramatic kind it takes to get up in front of a crowd and give a talk. Or stand up to a boss or even a friend. They all demonstrate the kind of courage we display occasionally. But there is another kind of courage. The kind that we display every day as we go about our jobs, tasks and projects. The courage we display as we face our fears. And, we all have them. Some are buried deeper than others but they are present. It’s existential courage. The courage to be human.
Seen from that perspective, just showing each day is an act of faith that we will be successful and safe. Enduring courage is following our dreams and living from integrity. And, most importantly, following our heart. Those are the things that endure. Fame, wealth, celebrity is nothing if we don’t do the above. We are at a strange time in our culture when the pursuit of wealth is seen as success. Caring about and for the good of the many, seeing the larger picture are not as important in this time period.
I recently saw an English film, Hampstead, about a man, Daniel, who built a shack on a plot of overgrown land in a fashionable suburb. He lived there for 17 years and grew his own food, fished, created his own electricity, recycled everything. All is well until a developer wants the land to build hi rise apartments. He sends eviction notices to Daniel, who ignores them. The case comes to trial. Since Daniel has never paid taxes, owned a car, etc., he is unable to prove he has lived that long on the land, which would provide him with squatter’s rights. Until the man who helped him build the shack shows up with a paper from the hospital he went to when he drove a nail into his hand. The paper explains what he was treated for and the date, plus the place he was when the accident occurred. The judge gives the land worth over a million dollars to Daniel, who then gives it to someone who builds a place to house the homeless.
People looked down on Daniel for not owning anything. Yet, he was that very special person who lived from integrity, followed his heart and took responsibility for his impact on the planet. It’s a strange world when those qualities are not the ones looked upon as admirable.
The questions for all of us- do we have the courage to live a life of integrity or do we follow the rules set by a culture that is often closed hearted? What do we value? Why?
For all of us there are times when we don’t feel courageous. But trust it’s there when you need it.
My best to you,
Dianne, Accountability Coach
The many disguises of fear can fool even the wiliest of us. Its arguments can seem so logical and it can pass itself off as something totally unrelated so we don’t even suspect. Some of its more creative guises can be feeling too tired to go out or to finish a task. When the truth is we are afraid of going to wherever it is we’re supposed to go and being with whomever we would be with if we did. Or, the work we need to do seems more than we can handle at the time and we don’t feel confident, so we pass it off as being too tired.
One of the trickiest ways it hides itself is when we interact with others. We can judge a person as being insensitive, aggressive, uncaring. When the truth is, we are so scared we are hiding our true feelings or we don’t dare stand up for ourselves for fear of being judged or offending someone so they think badly of us.
Fear can make itself felt when we don’t trust others. Especially, if we put that on a class of people. Logically, we know that we cannot judge a whole race, nation or organization by the conduct or beliefs of one or a few of its members. It just doesn’t make any sense. Yet, that’s exactly what seems to be going on so often. We project some fear onto a faceless group.
At times, if we side with others, especially a large group, we don’t feel so alone and we can hide our fear within that group. Being human there is an existential loneliness and that comes with our mortal condition. As we mature, we just accept it and learn to relate to a larger source than us, called God, the Universe, Universal Intelligence, etc. It’s known by many names but it is something all humans connect to in some way. The more we are connected to it, in whatever way we understand it, the more calm and centered we can become. However, again, being human, we forget and can go into our fear if we are not alert. It happens to the best and wisest of us. No one is immune to fear.
A quick way to find out if you are under the spell of your particular fears, is checking how you feel. If you are upset, angry, confused or hiding out, you are under the sway of fear. At those moments, the best we can do is breathe, try to find something that feels good such as getting out in nature, exercising, watching an uplifting movie, listening to music. Those things help us remember who we really are. For, while we are human we also have the spark of the divine within us. We are both things in this complex situation called human being. We are more than how we perceive ourselves when captivated by fear. Just remembering that can shift us back into our true self.
So, be on the lookout for your fears. Don’t be impressed by them and know in truth, there is nothing they can do to you. They cannot harm you. And, you can snap out of them with just a bit of effort and they will be gone. Remember: It’s only fear
You are more powerful than your fear would have you think. Don’t be fooled.
My best to you,
Dianne, Accountability Coach
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Inspiration can come from so many different places. It’s something we have to learn to pay attention to because it’s important guidance for our next steps. It can come as a thought or through a phone call, a book or even a movie. But you know when it hits because suddenly what you need to do is clear.
This week mine came through prospective clients. They universally said what they needed was accountability. I listened and learned. That led me to start Accountability Coaching, assigning a goal and tasks that needed to be accomplished during a month until we met the following month. It gives structure, direction, support and that all important word- accountability.
That word is important because we all need to be held responsible for our actions whether it’s business or our personal life. It should be a daily activity and not just when something goes awry and fault needs to be found. As we take that on, it simplifies everything. We can apply a question to decisions we are contemplating- If I am holding myself accountable for this decision and this action and how it impacted me and others, would I feel it was appropriate? You know the answer. You can tell what it is by how you feel. If you feel confused then something is off. You are not seeing something and it would be better to wait until you are clear before taking any action.
Confusion is interesting. Sometimes It comes because there is something we don’t want to see, however, a some of us knows about it and wants to bring it to our attention even though another piece of us wants no part of it. When you find yourself in that situation it’s best to leave it for a while. Wait until you have time to get some distance from whatever it is. Do something entirely unrelated to the subject at hand. Take a break. Then later come back to the situation refreshed and ready to see more clearly.
The good news is all of that takes place within us. We have all of those skills needed to make good decisions. It’s inherent in us. But, there are times when there is just too much to deal with and another person who is not involved in the particular situation can give insight and help us get back to our own knowing.
I’ve learned over the years the best way I can help and support clients is to give them nudges that take them back into their own power. While I can help them clarify a situation and look at it from a different angle, in the long run my job is to guide them back to their inner knowing. Because, it’s there in each of us and was given to us so we could live our best life. So, you are definitely accountable for what you do and think and you have all the tools you need to do it.
I want to offer an Accountability Coaching session to the first 10 people to respond as a thank you for being there.
As always, my best to you and thanks for who you are and what you do.
Dianne, Destiny Coach
The other day I sat with a man who has a project of talking with 100 people. We talked about many things but one of the things we spoke about was the right for everyone to speak, since that is one of the things guaranteed by our Constitution - freedom of speech. Mark Zukerberg, also took the same tack when he allowed what had been identified as ‘hate groups’ to post on Facebook. When I first heard about it, I didn’t think that hate groups should be allowed on college campuses to give talks in classes or to post on social media with the purpose of inciting violence. Then I heard someone give a Ted talk who said something like this - from the haters, I learned about love, from the dictators I learned about democracy, from the racists I learned about equality. The point being when we listen to others arguments it allows us to sort through the facts or distortions. It makes us think and reevaluate our position, which, in fact may reinforce it.
This man also told a story of a professor who was a survivor of Treblinka, one of the worst of the Nazi war camps, if you can even make that distinction. He was teaching a history class. A student wearing a Nazi uniform sat in the front row of the class repudiating everything the professor said about the Second World War. At the end of the class, the professor said he was extending the lecture topic since there had been so much disruption. The following week to everyone’s surprise, the student still in his fascist uniform, gave the lecture and presented the case for fascism. The professor never interrupted. At the end of class, he merely said something like – see you next week.
The following week during the class the professor took apart the student ‘s argument point by point illustrated with facts. The purpose of my relating what is someone else’s story, is that it points out a really important fact. Eventually, the flaws in falsehood and illogic come to light. They cannot stand up in the glare of truth.
At the same time, it is important that we examine our own beliefs constantly and that we stand by what is true for us only after careful examination. We can always learn and grow. Those who don’t will get caught in their own creations that differ from truth. Take out the emotion and be a searcher after truth. The truth that goes beyond our own personal world and holds true for the good of all.
Be in your integrity and don’t let anyone pull you from it.
My best to you,
Dianne, Destiny Coach
Photo by Bewakoof.com Official on Unsplash
I went to a Meetup group where people were focused on having meaningful conversations, to give thoughtful answers to questions posed. It made me think about how often we have this kind of interaction with others. What would it be like if we did this more often? How would that change our life experience?
To have this kind of conversation means we have to be vulnerable and open. It’s not possible to do it from a defended place. Being in that space immediately changes how we relate to others. It opens the possibility of really connecting. Not only do we learn about them but we also learn more about ourselves. We experience ourselves in a different way than when we are making small talk or speaking with people we would rather not be around or don’t feel safe with.
When we are open people respond to us differently. It builds trust and It allows them to open up as well. Openness comes from a place of strength, just as vulnerability does. People who feel fragile cannot allow either. And just because someone is not able to do that at this moment doesn’t mean they can’t learn at some later date if they desire it.
Honest conversation from that stance helps build bridges between people who believe differently. It helps each person to examine the other person’s ideas and find places where there is common ground. That can’t be done while holding onto and defending a position. It means for the moment, to let go of cherished beliefs and to truly hear what someone else says and means.
This is the place where critical thinking overrides blind commitment to a particular long held belief. It allows us to incorporate new ideas and expand the way we think about a given subject. This is how we grow in understanding of ourselves and the world.
When we are closed and defending a conviction we can’t learn anything different. But, when we allow ourselves to examine a different perspective on something we open our minds and our hearts to new perceptions.
This allows us to form deeper friendships because we are building bridges to others. Research has shown that people feel more and more isolated and alone even while working and living with others. Isolation comes when we wall ourselves off from deep connection with others. Many times, we wait for someone else to take the first step. What would happen if we took the initiative, If we were the one who opened the door to real conversation and connection? That would end our sense of isolation. Since waiting for someone else hasn’t produced the desired results maybe it’s time to try a new approach.
So, here’s the challenge. Try each day to be open with people you would like to connect with. Do it as an exercise without expecting anything to happen. I say that because we often do things to get a desired result which puts pressure on everyone. But when we do it because we know it will eventually produce the outcome we want and don’t insist it come from a particular person or instance possibilities open.
Guaranteed you will find some people who won’t respond but you will find others who will welcome the opportunity. So, do it without expectation and watch the magic happen.
Life is an adventure. Don’t miss out.
My best to you,
Dianne, Destiny Coach
Currently I have heard many people say they don’t know what to believe and what is right. I think an easy way to find out is to ask yourself, if you were experiencing this or your family or friends would it be okay? Would it seem appropriate? Would you agree to participate in it if it were done to your loved ones? Those questions make it simple. The way you answer has a huge impact on the world we live in and the kind of life you experience.
It reminded me of this poem:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
We are all humans together. While some may live in different places, look different, own different things, have different amounts of money or goods, work in different places, have different careers, like different things, we are all in this together.
We all have bodies we have to take care of which allow us to experience this world. We all love, have disagreements, have preferences and goals. We all catch colds, have cavities, and have to watch what we eat. We all have been young, middle aged and eventually are elders. We are all going to die. No amount of money or power can shield you against any of it. You and everyone else is human. No one is above anything. For someone to think they are is an illusion. And, because we are all in this together we have to respect, protect, care for one another and speak up for each other when we cannot do it for ourselves. To stand for our own truth and the larger truth makes the kind of world that is safe and joyful for everyone.
Remember this poem from high school?:
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
Or in other words, power is transitory no matter how great it might seem. However, to go down a path that has been shown not to be of benefit to others or ourselves without doing anything about it also seems wrong to me. This is a time to stand in your truth no matter what it is or where it might lead you. To go back to the first poem, who will you speak up for? Who will speak
up for you?
We are all members of the human race. We are all learning. We are all growing. We are all different. We are all the same.
My best to you,
Dianne, Destiny Coach
Like many people I struggle with saying what’s in my heart and mind for fear of offending someone. But, there comes a time when, in order to be true to ourselves we have to speak up. This is such a time. While, I agree that civility must be there, and it’s never okay to attack anyone no matter how you feel, however, you have to say what is true for you, knowing that you will get feedback. No one likes being attacked for something they said. But not saying it is worse.
Here are some quotes which put it so well:
“If everyone likes you, you’re not doing it right,” Bette Davis.
“If everyone likes you, it probably means you aren’t saying much,” Donna Brasile.
“The reward for conformity is, everyone likes you but yourself,” Rita Mae Brown.
“Group conformity scares the pants off me because it’s so often a prelude to cruelty to anyone who doesn’t want to–or can’t- join the Big Parade,” Bette Midler.
It’s worth thinking about. Where are you not speaking your truth? Where are you keeping silent when you know you shouldn’t. Where are you letting people assume you agree with them when you know in your heart there is something hurtful in what they are saying or doing?
Necessary change has always come from people daring to speak up, even when it was unpopular and in extreme cases, unsafe. Right now we still have a democracy. Implicit in that is the right to free speech. We need to use that in whatever way fits who we are. But staying silent is taken as tacit agreement with what is going on around you.
Speaking from hate, hurt, enmity usually doesn’t turn out well. So, how do we say what we need to when we see something we know isn’t appropriate?
11) Be willing to examine another position opposed to yours to find its merit.
For those of you who are writers remember that old quote, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Either way give voice to what you feel impelled to express, in the best way you can. A life of regret is not a very good one. And we have examples in history of what happens when people do not speak out.
Wise words from a John Meyers song:
“You would be better off instead
If you could say what you need to say.
You better know that in the end
It’s better to say too much
Then never say what you need
to say again.”
My best to you and support for saying what you need to say.
Dianne, Destiny Coach
By Dianne J. Shaver, M.A. Destiny Coach
Today I experienced someone telling a somewhat painful personal story to a group that touched on our common human experience. We are usually taught to hide our vulnerability. But when we use it as a way to empower or touch others it becomes a very powerful tool. However, if it is a ploy and not real, people sense it and mistrust it. My reason for bringing this up is that usually, in business we are taught to only come from strength. That can be an appropriate stance in some cases. However, when we are trying to bond with people and have them give us their trust, being more open and human works best.
By being vulnerable I don’t mean telling your deepest darkest secrets or things that would be inappropriate except to our closest friends. But rather, letting people know that although we are strong, competent and accomplished, we are also fallible. That allows others to bond with us. Leaders who show no vulnerability may be feared and followed but if the occasion occurs they will be turned upon.
There was a study done on apes wherein the strongest asserted himself (yes, it was a male) threw things, roared, pushed other apes, etc. The other primates climbed trees to get out of his way but also to show they would not fight with him. However, when they got to the top of the trees they made aggressive sounds, demonstrating that they would attack him eventually if he kept up his behavior.
What do we learn from this? Leaders of any kind, even of a workshop, who do not show any vulnerability, compassion or caring will not be followed for very long. Look at all of the most listened to and read inspirational business leaders, like Brian Tracey, John Maxwell, Guy Kawasaki, etc. all tell stories about themselves which demonstrate they are just like the people they are speaking to, which enables their listeners to take their advice since they overcame similar situations. If they were not able to connect with people no one would listen to anything they had to say. So, you can be brilliant but if you can’t connect on a human level with people there won’t be much interaction or business done.
This illustrates that human connection is key in every area of our life, business included. Our ability to touch people and to be touched by them is vital to any success and to our feelings of accomplishment. There have been many dictators in history who have ruled through merciless power. But in the end, they have all fallen because might can persist for a while but eventually it will be challenged and brought down.
It is in almost all humans to form bonds, to relate to others, no matter how rich, powerful and successful we become. Those who attain success and are still capable of compassion, caring and connection also have a powerful impact on the world around them as well as a deep sense of fulfillment. Remember, in ways, we are all leaders and influencers. How you connect does make a difference. How do you connect with others? Worth a look.
Never be so busy you can’t offer a smile, a kind word or a listening ear.
Best to you,
Dianne, Destiny Coach www.entrepreneurmindworld.com/destiny-coach
Success & Inspiration
Many times we are so focused on solving the next problem, finding the right solution, we miss the beauty of our own life. Think of the wonderful things you’ve experienced. The times when you felt your spirit soar, the times you felt love, the times you felt completely free. Those are the things that make your life beautiful.