Think about it — what would the world look like if we all made the choice to be great with people all the time, instead of being angry, vengeful, right, resentful, or just plain unkind?

What would it be like to not resent the plumber who came to your house to fix a small leak and managed to flood your entire kitchen and den?

What would it be like to forgive the senior driver who inadvertently merges your car right off the road and up against the highway barrier?

What would it be like to give up anger and have a calm discussion with your child about the importance of integrity and being their word after they’ve been caught in a lie?

What would it be like to stop harboring negative feelings for a neighbor whose political leanings differ from yours?

The Paradoxical Commandments

Engraved on the wall of the children’s home founded by Mother Theresa in Calcutta, India, are The Paradoxical Commandments. These verses were written by Dr. Kent M. Keith when he was just 19 years old, and they offer us guidance on how to be great with people, even when the people we are with aren’t being great themselves:

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001
(http://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com)

If ever our world needed to take these words to heart, it is now!

Being great with people is about being bigger than your complaints.

It’s about having a commitment that is greater than you and your corner of the world.

It’s about being committed to the good of humanity—everywhere, always—and creating peace in every interaction in your life.

It’s about being committed to a better world, which starts with you.

Imagine the results if every single person on this planet was great with every other person. Jails would close, armies would disband, and families, communities, and countries would flourish!

Do you have the courage to take it on? Of course you do!

Now choose!

 

Why does family togetherness freak us out? We spend so much time work-work-working that the idea of having to relate and actually communicate with family can at times be very difficult. So how do we get back to being grounded, and loving and appreciating the time we have with our families? Susan joins Clay for this new podcast episode and together they share some thoughts and insights on family, letting go of the past and making room for the future.

As always, please be sure to let me know your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you at clay@claynelsonlifebalance.com.

Spring is finally springing, and while the mountains of Montana still have plenty of snow, spring is in the air. One thing I enjoy most about spring is listening to the birds chirping. I hadn’t  thought about it much, except to enjoy it, but the other day it struck me that the chirping of the birds is about far more than entertaining us humans. Rather, birds chirp to communicate!

The chirping of birds helps them attract mates, warn of impending danger, and identify themselves and their territory. Babies chirp to let their parents know they are hungry, and what I appreciate about the way birds communicate is that it is an innate part of their being. They don’t care who might over-hear or judge them. They simply communicate what is necessary in order to exist the way nature intended, and it seems to me that we could learn from our little feathered friends.

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It has been said that the sharpest and most powerful muscle a human possesses is the tongue. Chances are we’ve all been victims and users of a sharp tongue, and it is never pleasant. So, how can you keep from hurting others knowing how deeply a simple word can cut? Think before you speak.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Stop and think about who you are being. Before you communicate you should get clear about what you want the other person to hear.

Read More

Hand with chart. Finance and accounting business.None of us have extra time to sit through a meeting that wanders aimlessly without any clear direction. Yet, we’ve all participated in, and even been in charge of, meetings that turned out to be a complete waste of everyone’s time. On the flip side, we’ve all participated in meetings that were well directed, efficient, and clearly spelled out what was next and the part each team member played in it. As a leader, you can't afford to have any meetings be anything but efficient! You need to be a meeting master.

What are the secrets to running efficient meetings?

  1. BEFORE the meeting, be clear about what you want those in the meeting to get from the time you spend together. This is the framework for how you communicate both prior to and during your meeting. Without it, you can be left with a room full of people scratching their heads, with no direction or clear understanding of what they are supposed to do with the information they have been given.
  2. Create and distribute an agenda to all meeting participants one day prior to the meeting. An agenda will keep you on track and provide a written plan of what needs to be covered during the scheduled meeting time. In addition, your agenda will provide participants with the opportunity to review the intended topic and arrive at the meeting prepared to contribute to the discussion.
  3. Don't allow any one person to “take over the meeting”. We all know talkers who are capable of taking a room full of people in an opposite direction of the intended meeting topic. Don’t let that happen. When someone begins speaking about a topic that is not relevant to the meeting’s agenda, take the meeting back to the specified agenda by saying, “I hear what you are saying, and it is not something that we can address inside of the time we have right now. After the meeting, please see me so we can schedule time to address your comments.”
  4. Before ending the meeting, make sure that your team is clear about what has been communicated and any expectations. If assignments have been given, confirm with each person what their assignment is and their commitment to by-when it will be complete. Without such accountabilities put into place, the time spent in a meeting is wasted time and none of us has any time to waste!

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