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Showing posts from October, 2011

Congruence and integrity

Epistemology is the study of how we know what we know.  If we take a concept like integrity, epistemology would ask: how do we know integrity when we experience it in ourselves or encounter it in others?

What do you think?  When in your life have you known that you had integrity, or that integrity was part of who you are?  When in your life have you known integrity in someone else?  These are difficult questions.

It's easier to ask: who comes to mind when you think of integrity? Is it someone who has it or someone who lacks it?

I like to think of integrity as having the strength and flexibility to withstand external force and stay yourself.  It means that sometimes you resist and sometimes you bend so that you can bounce back. It means that the main part of you stays the same no matter how your circumstances change.

It's hard to know yourself well enough to be sure that you are staying the same when strong external forces are pressuring you.  It's hard to know that the &…

Gratitude on grumpy days

What do you do on Thanksgiving Day when you are overwhelmed by worry or stress or you're grieving for people who were part of your life last year and are gone now?

Holidays arrive when they arrive; they don't always fit the circumstances of our lives at the moment when they arrive.  And that is precisely why they are useful.  The time we need to remember to say thank you is the time when we feel least like saying thank you.

In NLP, we have a concept that you may have heard of other places.  We call it "fake it till you make it."  We mean that sometimes it is useful to act like you feel the way you want to feel.  If you want to feel like someone who is genuinely grateful today, then act like that person would act.  Let your feelings catch up.

What would someone who felt thankful today see in your life that you are missing?  What would they value that you are allowing to fade into the wallpaper?  What would someone with a thankful heart appreciate about being inside yo…

Values, Thanks and Innovation

Here's something you might not have thought about Thanksgiving: it's a great time for innovation.

Harvest is often seen as an ending and thanks are something we give after something has happened. It is easy to stop with that recognition and miss the bigger one.  Innovation starts in the middle: it takes something that already exists and changes it to make it better.  The things and people for which we are thankful are exactly the best place to look for innovations.

Think of the people for whom you are thankful.  Now think of some part of your work and ask: What can I change that would give something to these people who have given something to me? What could I do more or differently to support their values or make it easier for them to take action they want to take? What one thing will they say when I have developed to the next stage?

Then think of things for which you are thankful.  Line them up with your values and ask: how could I use this thing differently to support a diff…

What do you want?

I think this is the second most confrontational question one can ask. (The first is: who are you?). It is not less difficult for being said in warm, supportive tones.  It is a question I am asking myself these days, aware that the answer is probably simple and living with it will probably be complicated.

What do you want?

What happens in you when you look at the question.  Is there a rush of energy? Does you mind fill with swirling possibilities or empty to a stark vision of one thing now out of reach?  Do you feel inspired or discouraged? How is your breath different now?

What do you want?

I am pushing now - pushing you and pushing me.  Because I've played this game before, I can run quickly through the easy things - the bills paid off, the trip, the change in the house.  I can run through the "I know what I don't want" and counter it appropriately.  I can make a list of the areas where I need useful outcomes: health, home, work, relationships.  We can talk and talk…