Being heard

Have you ever met someone who not only listened to you but really tried to understand you?
How did you feel about the person?
Have you been heard recently?
I mean, ๐’“๐’†๐’‚๐’๐’๐’š ๐’‰๐’†๐’‚๐’“๐’….
You may have to think long and hard about that question.
It may have been quite a while since you feel that you have been heard.
Can you remember what it felt like?
What words come to mind?
We can all seek to be heard beyond simply the words that we are speaking.
As a coach, frequently I find that coachees want me to know and hear the feelings of their heart.
Sometimes that can take a few sessions to achieve.
My experience has taught me that if you have been heard, then you are much more willing to listen.
Real listening canโ€™t happen unless we have a sincere desire to understand what weโ€™re hearing.
Sometimes โ€“ that isnโ€™t easy for many of us, including me too!
Why? Because we also need to suspend our judgement.
You know that voice in your head that says โ€“ I know better.
Or that frustrated impatient feeling in your heart which says โ€“ I already know how.
When actually โ€“ we donโ€™t know better or how at all.
We may think we do, but we donโ€™t!
Listening to someone means getting out of your own head and trying to understand another personโ€™s mind.
Itโ€™s all about empathy.

Here are some tipsโ€ฆ

1. Slow down.
2. Let go of your own thoughts and opinions
3. Listen with your whole body, not just with your ears, eyes, and head, but by mirroring their body movements (without being too obvious.)
4. Be genuinely curious, by focusing all your attention on the other person and being present.
5. Become comfortable with silence, allowing the other person space and time to access their inner wisdom.
6. Donโ€™t interrupt and wait until the other person is ready for you to speak.
Listening is crucial to presence.
Why not take a moment, reflect on the tips above and help someone to be heard today?
#heard #presence #listening #empathy #silence

Understanding

Let me dispel the misunderstanding…
Today I will be attending church in Utrecht (again).
I first attended there over 28 years ago, on Sunday 5th September 1993.
It was my first Sunday in the Netherlands.
I had no knowledge of the language and struggled throughout to understand.
Thankfully Monic was on hand to help my understanding a little.
Consider for a moment the word ๐ฎ๐ง๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ง๐๐ข๐ง๐ .
It is defined as – “to know how something works or to know what something means.”
As everyone knows, I am religiously active as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In my efforts to promote understanding, perhaps I can be a bit annoying and even unduly enthusiastic about my faith at times!
I certainly understand how easily that can happen, as the subject of religion can be a little touchy for many people.
Have you ever wondered why I am so anxious to share my views?
Like me, you may worry about the conflicts in the world, the political turmoil, the economic instability, and the pressures of living in a world where illness, or the death of a loved one may have taken their toll on you in all kinds of physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional ways.
I certainly do not understand the complexities of all of the volatility and turmoil in the world.
Through it all however โ€“ your family are probably the most important thing in the world for you.
As you look to the future, you may be anxious what it may hold for you, your partner, your children, and your grandchildren.
At times, I am.
But then I stop and remember my why.
My understanding of a much greater plan, which I believe to be immensely important for everyone.
It centres around my belief in Jesus Christ.
He always brings peace and safety.
My faith in Him it is not passive; it is very active.
Like so many others, maybe you are searching for something?
Just as Monic helped me understand Dutch a little all those years ago, our missionaries can help you come to understand a little more about the purpose of life, why you are here, the plan of salvation and even answer that question that troubles so many โ€“ is there life after death?
Perhaps itโ€™s time, once and for all to understand these things, to let God prevail โ€“ He is no great mystery after all.
I promise – you too can ๐’–๐’๐’…๐’†๐’“๐’”๐’•๐’‚๐’๐’….
#HearHim

Silence has power

The world is getting louder.
There is a lot of noise out there.
In fact, the world is now in continual commotion.
Have you ever cultivated silence for yourself?
Perhaps it is time for a quiet reflective moment, to find some time to think?
Why not ditch your phone and take a walk through nature?
Or better still limit input!
Take a fast from social media and the news for a full day, resting from unending social media feeds or current events.
๐’๐ข๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ.
Silence is in fact golden!
Build some periods of silence into your day to refresh, replenish and renew โ€“ they are powerful times to reawaken.
Why not try it for a week and see the effects on your stress levels, creativity, and well-being.
Go on โ€“ give it a go!
#silence

The Book of Life

I was asked recently, “๐ƒ๐ข๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ฐ๐ซ๐ข๐ญ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ฅ ๐ญ๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ?”
Did you know that some of the most important historical records are the diaries and other personal writings of individuals from all different walks of life?
Living in the Netherlands, I am often reminded of one the most significant diaries of our time – that of Anne Frank, the 13-year-old Jewish girl living here, who, at the age of 16, died in a German concentration camp.
Her diary, written whilst she was confined in an Amsterdam apartment house, shares her story of how she and her family went into hiding for two years to avoid Nazi persecution. Since her death, the words from her diary have inspired millions. And because of her diary the world has known all about the terrors of growing up during the Holocaust.
My journaling journey began early when I was a young 12-year-old.
It has been the first thing Iโ€™ve done every morning for as long as I can remember.
๐๐ž๐ซ๐ก๐š๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง?
You do not have to write every day, even though this would be good. It could be weekly. It could even be as and when there is something that is memorable or moving or meaningful.
Remembering is an important part of life and journals help us to do that. They also help me to slow down!

๐‘ณ๐’Š๐’‡๐’† ๐’Š๐’” ๐’‚ ๐‘ฉ๐’๐’๐’Œ – by Zelda Davis Howard

Life is a book made up of days
Each one of us writes one,
Itโ€™s opened when we come to earth
And closed when life is done.
No pen but ours ere touches it
In our own way we write,
Whether we fail or succeed
Turns with the page at night.
And there is no erasing it
To add or take away,
The yesterdayโ€™s account is closed,
Sealed within white or grey.
The morning gives another sheet
Thatโ€™s broad and very white,
And oh, how glorious to have
Another chance to write!
No bad is there too small to show
No good thatโ€™s ever lost,
All that we do goes into Lifeโ€™s book
In black and white embossed.
  • Every life is a tale worth telling.
  • Why not begin yours today?

The Right Thing

“๐€๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐๐จ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ?” I asked…
Life has some strange turns – let me explain.
Recently I recalled an experience from some years ago, when I faced a difficult moment of truth, when my moral courage was challenged to do the right thing.
I was faced with a difficult decision of remaining quiet during a tough sales negotiation with a senior colleague, or correcting (what seemed to me) a deliberate glaring error that my colleague had made.
The error that was influencing the clients buying decision in a very positive way.
Correcting and embarrassing my colleague in front of the client was forefront of my mind – I didn’t want to do that.
So, I decided to wait for a break in our negotiations.
During the break, I pointed out the error to my senior colleague – who was not too pleased with me. I chose to hold my ground.
Some minutes later, it was determined to return to the negotiation table, share the mistake (at great cost to our deal), but secure the deal with our integrity intact.

We did “๐’•๐’‰๐’† ๐’“๐’Š๐’ˆ๐’‰๐’• ๐’•๐’‰๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ.”

I was reminded by a quote by Gordon B. Hinckley; “The problem with most of us is that we are afraid to stand up for what we believe, to be witnesses for what is true and right. We want to do the right thing, but we are troubled by fears. So we sit back, and the world drifts about us, and society increasingly adopts attitudes and standards of behaviour that most of us do not approve of.”
My message today is – consider your moral compass and choose to do ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ !
Do what is right even though it seems that you will be alone in so doing.
Your conscience will always be clear and the truth will set you free.
Facing a tough choice today? Remember to do the right thing.
#integrity

Being one.

Manchester, Dundee, Leeds, Newcastle, Carlisle, Torquay and even West Ham all have something in common….. do you know what it is?
The answer…
……Football teams with the word “๐ฎ๐ง๐ข๐ญ๐ž๐” in their title.
Historically, football teams were often amalgamated from more than one smaller club, and then became united.
United – made into or caused to act as a single entity, agreed, in harmony, when people are united, they agree about it and act together.
How united are you – at home, with your neighbours, in your community or in your workplace?
Being united, does not mean being the same.
I know that listening closely to and learning from the perspectives and experiences of others can sometimes be very uncomfortable.
Yet doing so, helps us recognise just how much we see the world as we are rather than as it is.
It may require a change in attitude, building on our many shared common interests, but we must learn to appreciate the differences in others.
Our differences enhance our ability to work together in harmony to accomplish the most difficult of challenges.

Being United…

I have learned that we must constantly work hard at creating unity in diversity.
Working to achieve your goals all alone can be difficult, frequently you need the support of people around you to help – that is what diversity and unity is all about.
Staying united can provide us with a sense of security, support and inner strength in times of difficulty and can allow us to achieve great things.
If ever there was a time for people to stand together it is now.
There is a great power that comes as we work together with others as one.
United we stand, divided we fall.
Unity, harmony and goodwill are virtues that we can all foster in our homes, communities and business organisations. It is essential for any family, community or organisation to thrive.
J.K. Rowling said “We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
What can you do to build unity?

Be there!

๐๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž!
Whilst on a video call last night with our three grown children, my mind drifted back to when they were all much smaller.
In my minds eye, I was holding hands with our youngest daughter, walking through our beautiful park in town.
It felt like only yesterday, but 10 years have swiftly passed by.
Those tender moments are one of the sweetest, most enjoyable parts of life.
Suddenly โ€“ growing older, there can come a sense of having been there – and yet knowingly perhaps, I should have enjoyed the journey much, much more.
Iโ€™m sure those old like me, or older even โ€“ will understand my sentiment.
Life is going on all of the time.
Sometimes we are so focused on the next big thing, that we miss much of the beautiful scenery along the way.
Time with loved ones, the holidays, the picnics, the walks, the challenges are all part of ๐›๐ž๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž.
There is purpose and meaning to all that we experience and undergo in this life.
We should enjoy our children when we have them around us, as I know now, they wonโ€™t always be with us.
Back then when they were young, they not only needed us, they also wanted us too!
We live through each part of our life only once, we donโ€™t go back, so it is vitally important that we ๐’ƒ๐’† ๐’•๐’‰๐’†๐’“๐’†!
There are few sweeter memories than your childโ€™s hand in yours, walking with you.
Wherever you are, ๐›๐ž ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž, be present and enjoy the moment, our life after all, is only a nanosecond of time.
How can you focus better, be present and be engaged in the here and now?

What is my destination?

Daily we travel throughout Belgium and the Netherlands โ€“ by road.
With the onset of spring and summer โ€“ boats of all shapes and sizes are back on the Dutch waterways.
The Results
โ€ข Bridge watchmen are busy again
โ€ข Bridges of all shapes and sizes constantly open and close.
โ€ข More traffic jams and delays are constant daily occurrences.
โ€ข Boats wait for the opportunity to pass under bridges.
My observation โ€“ delays and waiting are once again commonplace.
Another thing for sure, over the next few months, in our journey planning, if we are to arrive at our destination on time, then we need to make sure that we leave a few minutes earlier.
During my planning, I frequently consider a few questions.
– Where am I going?
– How do I intend to get there?
– Which road will I travel?
– When do I need to arrive?
These questions are regular considerations in my current assignment.
Perhaps these are similar for you too?
In a like manner โ€“ there is a much bigger question in life that each of us must deal withโ€ฆ

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง?

Thinking about our journey toward eternal life, in each of our own journeys through our mortal experience, there will be many delays, along with several twists and turns.
Life is a long journey on a long road, but it helps to have a vision of where that road eventually leads too and to understand what our final destination is.
Ultimately, there is One to whom we can look, One whom we can trust with our whole hearts. He is โ€œthe way, the truth, and the lifeโ€ โ€“ John 14:6
He will help overcome all of the delays and bridge the gap for each of us to eternal life through the Atonement and His personal sacrifice.
I know that following Jesus Christ is the only sure way to arrive on time, without delay at our ๐๐ข๐ฏ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง.
And so can you…

The extra mile

Recently I was asked, โ€œ๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ž๐ฑ๐ญ๐ซ๐š ๐ฆ๐ข๐ฅ๐ž?โ€
A scripture from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:41 came readily to mindโ€ฆ โ€œAnd whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.โ€
Back in the times of Jesus, a Roman soldier could compel a Jewish male to carry their hefty packs, armour or weapons for one mile (it was the law after all).
I am certain that back then the paths would be sweltering, dirty, difficult to travel and many (if not all) of the Jews must have detested carrying the items.
But then Jesus taught them to โ€œgo with him twain.โ€ โ€ฆmeaning to carry the soldierโ€™s packs for two miles.
What does that mean for us today?
In this verse of scripture, Jesus was teaching us one way that we can love and serve others.
We donโ€™t carry Roman packs anymore, but the principle applies to every area of our lives today.
When we go the first mile, we are only really doing what is expected of us.
But when we go the second mile, we are giving freely of our time and service to others.

Here is a little personal story.

Shortly after arriving in the Netherlands, one experience taught me a lot about going the extra mile.
Due to corona, the number of missionaries we had serving was at approximately 20% of our complement.
All of the missionaries were swamped with things to do.
I recall a missionary called me one day and asked โ€œPresident, you know that we are very busy. Can we get up one hour earlier every day, so we can get everything done?โ€
My heart melted.
I must admit to shedding a tear or two.
I replied, โ€œOf course but remember to be careful and take time to rest.โ€
The first mile is often required of us, in many things that we do.
The second mile however, is only made possible by being obedient to the first mile.
You cannot go the second mile without influencing others.
It only takes one second miler to impact others lives.
I shall ever be indebted to Daniel Andrade for the lesson he taught me that day. Thank you.
James E. Faust said โ€œSome of the most rewarding times of our lives are those โ€˜extra milesโ€™ hours given in the service when the body say it wants to relax but our better self emerges and says, โ€˜Here am I, send me.โ€™โ€
How can you apply this principle and go the second mile today?

Finishers Wanted

Recently I was asked; “How do I improve my self-discipline?”

It requires time and effort on your part.

It also requires the development of daily habits by reminding yourself often why you need this ability and how it will help you achieve your goals in life.

Remember the little poem…

Finishers wanted.

Stick to your task, till it sticks to you;

Beginners are many, but enders few.

Honour, power, place and praise will come, in time, to the one who stays.

Stick to your task, till it sticks to you;

Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it, too;

For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile

Will come life’s victories after a while. ย (Anonymous)

Focus and self-discipline are the foundations for producing truly amazing results and performance.

Plato said: โ€œThe first and best victory is to conquer self; to be conquered by self is, of all things, the most shameful and vile.โ€

Consider these ideas…

  • Set clear goals.
  • Start small.
  • Learn how to say no.
  • Know where you will struggle and where you succeed.
  • Find a way to monitor your progress โ€“ create a to do list.
  • Encourage yourself to stick to your plan, a partner can help too!
  • Get rid of your distractions.
  • Forgive yourself when you fail โ€“ begin again!
  • Keep a journal.
  • Practice, repeat, practice, repeat.

The path may be tough, but the results are amazing.

The pain you feel today, will be the strength you feel tomorrow.

It starts with you – begin now!

Why do you think self-discipline is important to your progress and happiness?