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”

Human Bias – Removing It?

Well, well.  As a well-traveled black male, I’ve know the US environment, no the global environment, to have prejudice and bias.  Not life threating hatred, but some.   I believe, all humans utilize biases–The human brain works quite efficiently with biases (a topic worthy of a blog post by itself).

My key learning from the article is that sufficient racial integration has not occurred such that a broad base of Americans, see, Americans with racial differences as one of them.  If the article would have reported on the racial prejudice of Black people, I suspect there would be no progress.  My life experience certainly echoes the percentages quoted in the article.

As I reflect on the article, I remember the discussion Barack Obama made after the wide display of the Rev. Wright sermons.  One telling point he made, “America has not integrated its churches.”  Maybe that is the true evidence of integration, religious worship.  The American society has focused integration efforts on schools, employment, housing and with the Affordable Care Act, health care.  Maybe, just maybe, its time to effectively integrate religious worship.  Now, that is a challenge.

AP poll: Majority harbor prejudice against blacks – Yahoo! News.

Aleph – A Discussion of What we should do in the present

I recently read Aleph by Paulo Coelho.  My first book by Paulo.  And the book was quite impressive.   His storytelling is excellent, his style intriguing, and best of all, the stories make you think of your own life.  More of what’s needed in the world, I think.  For me, I post blogs, to clear my thinking.  This post, then, is a statement to the ability of Paulo’s writing to encourage me to think.   Several discussion topics are suggested at the end of the book—a feature more authors should consider—one of which captured my attention while reading.  Paulo wrote:

“We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we’re always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have.  Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we have always dreamed of.”

Continue reading “Aleph – A Discussion of What we should do in the present”

When Saying Good Luck is a Mistake

A recent conversation provides insight into the art of providing support to those with whom you have close relationships.  And how the smallest of moments can matter so much.  It’s no secret that people need confidence and the support of others to have success. But where does the confidence come from? And what does support look like? Here is one example.

The scene is Aaron dropping by to say good morning to Margie in her office.

Aaron peeks his head in the door and says, “Good morning, I have come by to say hi, but you look really busy.”

“Good morning and thanks for coming by,” replies Margie, “this is my busy season, and of course, I am managing literally a hundred small minute details for the sales meetings.” Continue reading “When Saying Good Luck is a Mistake”

What Makes People Different

I have listed Mindset – The New Psychology of Success as one of my favorite books. That action may indeed be an understatement. Rarely has a single work given me the opportunity to think and expand my thoughts as much as this work by Carol S. Dweck. I must thank her someday. Today, I write my initial thoughts and reactions from reading Mindset. Reading this book stimulates many thoughts and ideas that I can use to improve my life. I sincerely hope this blog encourages you in your own life exploration.

So What Makes People Different

In a phrase, people legitimately differ by whether they have a growth or fixed mindset. Seemingly, forever, people have noted the difference between themselves: physical characteristics, environment, wealth, bloodlines, and many others. Man, in the search to answer complex questions has often turned to the distinguishing characteristics as an explanation. For many, the concept of success, however defined, presents one of these eternal questions: What makes success happen, and why do individuals differ in their success. Continue reading “What Makes People Different”