Listening Well and the Cause of Happiness—What my God Children Taught me

My godchildren inspire me. They ask questions, alter my perspective and in exchange I get a youthful perspective. Some parents, surly know the feeling. The godchildren that inspired this writing are 14 and 15 years old. Their persistence forced me to think—to improve my grasp of “Listening Well” and “Causing Happiness.”

Listening Well

During the Thanksgiving holiday, amidst my godchildren’s question barrage, I was asked, “What would you do if you found one million dollars?”

My reply, “I’d try to give it back to who ever lost it.”

“No, I mean what if no one was around. You just found it,” replied my godson.

Confidently, I replied, “Well, no one loses a million dollars, and doesn’t look for the money. So, I’d help them find it.”

My goddaughter, better explaining her brother’s question, jumped in, “No! No, he means, noooooobody is looking for the money. You find a million dollars. What do you do with it?” Continue reading “Listening Well and the Cause of Happiness—What my God Children Taught me”

Learning Doesn’t Everyone Want To?

It constantly amazes me how seemingly unconnected events become connected. Earlier this week, a lunch conversation wandered into a sharing of childhood experiences. Within the many memories and stories discussed, I was asked one question, which I could not answer:

What made you strive to reach for more, when your surroundings contained many people reaching for less?

A few days later, I read the cover story for the March/April 2007 Stanford Alumni magazine. And wham! Dots connected. The cover story, (STANFORD Magazine: March/April 2007 Features Mind-set Research) is a review of the work of Stanford professor Carol Dweck. In reading the review, I discovered that I have a growth mindset.

As I think of stories from my past, I have consistently had this mindset, and it explains so much of my being. At its core, the growth mindset epitomizes the capacity to look at ability as something that can improve with development as opposed to Continue reading “Learning Doesn’t Everyone Want To?”