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Touched

The energy in the room was high. Then in a reflective moment one participant shared “I can relate to that” and tears started to flow freely.

The atmosphere changed.

We had already created a safe environment for sharing that day, but the authenticity in the room soared to a different level. Attentively, everyone focused on the personal story being shared. It was a moment of high emotion and an intimate turning point in the workshop. In opening up in such a manner the participant had taken a great risk in approaching a vulnerable area in their life by sharing it so deeply. The silence was palpable.

Unwittingly, by speaking so candidly and tenderly, the participant had completely engaged everyone in the room.

Then it happened.

I watched, as those on either side felt impressed to reach out in a compassionate and reassuring way by physically touching our storyteller.

The whole experience had a profound effect on all of us in the room. There was a feeling of connection, togetherness and unity for a fleeting moment in time.

Deep and meaningful learning moments come quite unexpectedly at times. When they do, don’t be afraid to welcome them, gently explore them, embrace them and cherish them….forever.

Can you reach out and touch someone today?

Anchors

What anchors you in the challenges of life?

A dictionary definition states that an anchor is “a person or thing that provides stability or confidence in an otherwise uncertain situation.”

Challenges

Many years ago, I recall abseiling (rappelling) for the very first time in St. George, southern Utah, from a cliff, several hundred feet high. Approaching the edge of the precipice, I was filled not only with excitement, but a great deal of anxiety too. I had a range of equipment, ropes and carabiners, plus some expert guides on hand to ensure my safety – in essence, my anchors that day. Their goal was a safe, exhilarating experience – by overcoming a significant challenge. They employed techniques and equipment that was tried and proven, allaying the dangers of the situation. The next few moments were exhilarating and thrilling as I edged backwards over the cliff, descending to the canyon floor.

Values

The challenges of life are all around us. In our topsy turvy commotion filled world, all that can be shaken is being shaken. Individuals, families and organisations need anchors too. Life has a way of testing our anchors or values causing us to drift from the safety and protection they provide.

What anchors me are those things I cherish and value most of all.  How about you?

Establish your values and choose to anchor yourself to them – by living and appreciating them daily. Therein lies safety, protection and peace of heart and mind.

Be true to who you are

Our values are under attack…. personal, societal, organisational – open your eyes and see. This is a momentous challenge of our day.

Actions speak much louder than words. Know your values. Live them. Know your organisations values. Live them. Walk your talk. Be true to yourself, and those who you lead. Act, do not be acted upon.

In organisations when values are ignored and people don’t live by them, they have no meaning. When this occurs, I’ve witnessed business cultures becoming hypocritical, and employees losing respect for the organisation and its leaders. Conversely, when values are put into action, people feel engaged, energy, enthusiasm, and the drive to go beyond the ordinary all come to the fore.

“Vertigo to values brings a special dizziness” – Neal A Maxwell.

Identify the obstacles on your own path, get rid of the roadblocks and eliminate them! Always remember to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. Strongly-held values create powerful foundations in personal, family, societal and organisation structures. Be true to who you are and stand by your values.

Start today. Pause, reflect, identify your values and what matters most.

Values – questions

“How do I figure out my personal values?” asked a course delegate. “There are lots of ways” I responded , “but you need to ask yourself the right questions, here is one to start with – are there things I keep feeling inner promptings to do?”

Roles

Have you considered the many different roles you have in life?

Our roles are the relationships and responsibilities that we have in life. Each of us holds various roles at the same time.  Subsequently, each of us will face times when the various roles we play may compete with each other, forcing us to consider who we are and consequently what role should take precedence in a particular moment.  There may be days when you feel torn and unsure if you’re doing the right thing and making the right choices. When those moments come (and they will), pause, take a deep breath and remind yourself what matters most- you are simply one person!

Each of us can make our own list of the roles we have.  For example here are a few of my own: Husband, father, son, brother, uncle, cousin, coach, facilitator, trainer, writer, blogger, friend, volunteer, learner, steward, provider and so the list goes on.

Have you ever thought about your own roles recently?  Your roles will change in priority day to day, for example through the week, you may be more focused on career and work goals, trying to balance a few others in between.  Whilst at the weekend you may focus on a parental role, or a hobby, volunteering or serving others.  Creating a list and putting each of these roles into a priority ranking will really help you to figure out what matters most.  In amongst all of these roles – remember the most important role in life is being you!  So frequently ask yourself:

  • What do I need physically – rest, exercise, less food, more food?
  • What do I need mentally – stimulation, meditation?
  • What do I need emotionally – solitude, support, security, a pick up treat?
  • What do I need socially – interactions with friends, new connections?

Get into the habit of asking yourself these questions often, then pick the thing you need to do and do it for yourself that day.

As you consider each of your roles in life and figure out what matters most, the question will almost certainly arise “how well do I fill these roles?”  Or for that matter “what kind of performance have I been giving of late?” Or even “what kind of feedback  have I been getting in some of the roles I fill?”  Recently, I have been challenged to consider my own performance in a few of those roles.  In some areas I have rated myself doing well, in others I have some real areas that need attention.  Frankly, its a bit of a mixed bag.

 

Every now and again it’s good to reflect on your roles and visit them one by one.  Maybe it’s time for a bit of a spring clean and as you prioritise your own, perhaps there are one or two lower down the list that could be eliminated, especially if time is an issue and you have too many roles.  As we journey through life the roles themselves and our own priorities will change.  As our children are growing, I recognise how little time I have left with them in our own family home, subsequently in my own list of priorities it is ranking near the top.

Stop, pause and reflect on your roles, determine to do better and focus on what really matters most.  What will you do differently today?