Posts

Friendship

And that’s the end of our first full month (already!), back home in the Netherlands.

One thing that has struck me is the importance of 𝐟𝐫𝐒𝐞𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐑𝐒𝐩.

We have spent a large chunk of our first month making lots of new friends and reacquainting ourselves with many old ones too.

As we have visited together, we have laughed, cried, talked, sung, enjoyed meals, walked, played games, hugged, encouraged, helped and above all really listened to one another’s stories and experiences.

It has been a real joy to be with such wonderful friends.

My experience is that all of our interactions together are made more enjoyable and productive when they are accompanied by genuine feelings of friendship.

I remember years ago the counsel from Ralph Waldo Emerson who said β€œπ“π‘πž 𝐨𝐧π₯𝐲 𝐰𝐚𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐑𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐚 𝐟𝐫𝐒𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐒𝐬 𝐭𝐨 π›πž 𝐨𝐧𝐞.”

To be a good friend, show genuine interest in others, smile, care about them, be kind, be grateful and show respect. Above all…

– 𝐁𝐞 Real
– 𝐁𝐞 You
– 𝐁𝐞 your authentic self!

Being who you are is key!

What kind of friend are you?

Generosity

When you think of a generous person, who first comes to mind?

Generosity – “a willingness to give help or support, especially more than is usual or expected.”

Who has inspired you the most to greater generosity?

I hope that it won’t be some famous celebrities or philanthropists, rather it’ll be a family member, a friend, someone in the community, or a co-worker perhaps.

β€œYou can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” said Debbie Macomber.

One by One.
Act by Act.
Service by Service.
Little by Little.
Each of us can make a difference.

I am encouraged by the words of the Dalai Lama who said – β€œGenerosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

We simply don’t talk about generosity enough.

We desperately need more men and women in society at large to look around, to look beyond themselves and consider the needs of others. To become more selfless, outward looking, to give more, to be more compassionate and much, much more generous. Some will think it airy-fairy. Yet, it is a powerful, personal, potent, peace giving potion.

What can you do, who will you help today?

Thank you NHS

Millions are suffering. Fear, worry and anxiety have gripped the hearts of so many. Hundreds of thousands of lives are being lost.
Despite all this, I have personally witnessed a flood of helping hands. Kind acts of compassion and service have touched the hearts of millions.
Many homes, pubs, churches, community centres, businesses, colleges, universities, sports clubs and many others have opened their doors to help. In addition thousands of individuals have transformed their local communities by selflessly giving of their time and energy in a multitude of kind acts of service, establishing food banks or simply going out of their way to do good. I cannot say enough about them, for their goodness, drive and vitality.
We are now witness to a Herculean effort by our NHS in the UK and health organisations the world over, to vaccinate populations in record times as COVID-19 spirals out of control. The next few weeks will be challenging. There may be a few more bumps in the road, but I’d like to express my gratitude and thanks to those who serve tirelessly, lovingly and so compassionately. The very least we can do is pray for them every day.
You know who you are. We are indebted to each of you.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and depths of my soul.

Council Together

I am grateful for the many opportunities to council together with friends, colleagues and especially family members this last year.

There have been many challenges to address over the last few months and as I look to the year ahead, I am certain there will be many more.

Meeting together as a family council, we set technologies aside, we listen to one another, we discuss concerns, we make plans, set goals, we support and strengthen one another. Jointly, we search for solutions to the problems of the day. When open and candid conversation is filled with love, patience, kindness and respect for the opinions of each other, the council has always been a success.

In addition, when each member of the family is invited to contribute to the discussion, they can and do feel part of any decision reached. In turn, this leads to positive reinforcement of their own feelings and supports our family to move forward in a unified manner, as we each take ownership of the issue.

Whether it is around the family dinner table, the work canteen table, or the board room table, the principles of sitting in council together are universal.

Why not give it a go today? Focus on an issue and ask – What can we do about it? What are your ideas?

Gratitude

Some years ago, the District of Columbia police auctioned off about 100 unclaimed bicycles as told by Thomas S. Monson.

“β€œOne dollar,” said an 11-year-old boy as the bidding opened on the first bike. The bidding, however, went much higher. β€œOne dollar,” the boy repeated hopefully each time another bike came up. The auctioneer, who’d been auctioning stolen or lost bikes for 43 years, noticed that the boy’s hopes seemed to soar higher whenever a racer-type bicycle was put up. Then there was just one racer left. The bidding went to eight dollars. β€œSold to that boy over there for nine dollars!” said the auctioneer. He took eight dollars from his own pocket and asked the boy for his dollar. The youngster turned it over in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quartersβ€”took his bike, and started to leave. But he went only a few feet. Carefully parking his new possession, he went back, gratefully threw his arms around the auctioneer’s neck, and cried.”

Gratitude creates the most wonderful feeling. It can resolve disputes and it will strengthen friendships.

I believe saying thank you is the mark of a cultivated mind. It will change others hearts and they’ll respond differently than they have before. Funnily enough, you’ll be happier too!

Think to thank – today!

Appreciation

“What is the best way to express appreciation to a team member?” asked a course participant. “There are many ways, but let me tell you about my favourite” I responded.
Some context, this week, I have been busy delivering some global virtual workshops on employee engagement.
My story is a simple one.
As a coach, when a series of coaching conversations come to their ultimate conclusion, I frequently receive a note of thanks, sometimes even a little gift and occasionally both. I do not seek after them, these things simply arrive in the post. The thank you notes are always filled with beautiful heartfelt words of gratitude. Each card is carefully written and filled with expressions of appreciation and kindness for the time I’ve given to an individual to help them along in their personal journey. The result, usually a warm fuzzy!
Cards and gifts are always nice to receive, but the key part of my story is this, we simply need to genuinely express our appreciation. We start by saying π’•π’‰π’‚π’π’Œ π’šπ’π’–.
It seems like an extremely obvious thing to do, yet we need to become much more accustomed to saying thank you more often, by making it personal and real.
Please don’t let the next opportunity to express your appreciation for a job well done pass by, say thank you!