A while back a colleague’s comments encouraged me to revisit the book, The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. I am very glad this happened because it resonated much differently with me twenty years later. I’ve decided to end the year sharing some excerpts from the book which I have found especially enlightening and helpful:
M. Scott Peck had a significant impact on me many years ago. I often look back to the writers who have influenced me in the past to help navigate the present. There is a lot of natural fear circulating around these days. The Coronavirus/COVID-19 is a scary threat, as all threats are that are randomly […]
I have always been a fan of Dr. Gordon Livingston and his four books: Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart; And Don’t Forget to Dance; How To Love; and The Thing You Think You Cannot Do. I highly recommend all of them. I often refer to each of these books for inspiration and guidance. Today, I thought I would share some excerpts from his first book to help launch the week on a positive and thoughtful note:
Anger is a part of life. Everybody gets angry sometimes. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t access all of your emotions occasionally. However, I highly encourage you to pay attention to your dominant emotions. If you start the day in a bad mood and it only goes downhill from there, then what did you expect to happen. If you are too easily negatively triggered by the actions of others, then why should you surprised when people disappoint, annoy or avoid you. More often than not, we create the conditions under which we operate. Personal energy is infectious. Everyone we interact with is only feeding off the energy we put out. Just experiment with frowning all day and smiling the next. You will see a big difference. How are you showing up every day? What impact are you having on the people around you?
I am in the process of reading Gordon Livingston’s great new book, The Thing you Think You Cannot Do, and as usual he delivers many useful tidbits of helpful information and a wise perspective. In one chapter, he talks about the importance of asking the question, “What next?” While his clinical therapy patients may often be dealing with much more significant challenges than my clients, as human beings we all have things that hold us back and inhibit our positive momentum. It’s easy to get mired in the past or caught up with the urgency of managing now. Many of us are far too quick to embrace the role of victim and tell our sad stories to anyone who will listen. We end up creating negative energy which hinders our ability to move on and create a positive future. I’m not saying we don’t have to make peace with what has happened, but the best way to get out of hole is not to keep digging deeper but to climb out.
Today I received some very disturbing news. It was information that would make anyone angry. There is nothing worse than betrayal especially when you have a long history with someone and have trusted them. It never ceases to amaze me how people will rationalize their behavior and not take personal responsibility. The fact is that actions do have consequences and sadly there is often collateral damage to an individual’s behavior that can linger a lifetime and affect many people. A pebble will cause a ripple in the ocean whether the act is good or bad – it is important to always remember this.
Most of us walk around with weights and burdens that don’t serve us well in life. It’s important to learn from your experiences, but once the lesson is learned, let it go. No one is perfect. In fact, we are all flawed. It may seem like other people live a charmed life, however I’ve live long enough to fully appreciate that things aren’t always what they seem. How else can you explain someone as talented, beautiful and wealthy as Whitney Houston ending her life in such a tragic way or someone as successful, funny and famous as Owen Wilson attempting to take his own life?
It’s Friday afternoon. The weather is beautiful. Mother’s Day is on Sunday. Life is good. My recommendation is keep it that way. If you are carrying around stress from work – leave it there. Monday will be here soon enough. In business you need to be able to turn it on and turn it off otherwise the pressure will seem never ending. And if you are not careful this becomes a way of life.
Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you will be successful or happy. In fact, many people fill their time up with useless or non-essential activity. They run from meeting to meeting or event to event and wonder why the important stuff never gets done.