Archives for posts with tag: personal development

At a high school basketball game with cross-town rivals, compassion stirred within me as a boy was wheeled to the center court at half-time to say “thank you” to the community for supporting him in his 4-month battle to survive a football game head injury. I had been at that big rivalry game. I had been one in a massive crowd that watched that motionless player get loaded into an ambulance.

A wave of compassion washed over me for this once strong and agile football boy who was now subdued in his wheelchair and overwhelmed by stands filled with fans at a wild basketball game. Compassion in considering the grief, loss, sadness, and many struggles his mother behind the wheelchair must still be going through settled in me. I want to take action to help them survive and get through this. If there had been an opportunity for attendees at this packed game to give money right then and there to help this family, I am confident it would have quadrupled the game proceeds benefit check raised and given to them during this halftime. Because nearly every parent I could see around me had eyes brimming with tears…as compassion filled them, along with gratefulness for our healthy sons.

As I reflect on being more compassionate this first month of the year, I do so with a desire to allow and then embrace the feelings of compassion I may have for others I interact with, or come across in my days.

Last week at a downtown red light on a cold January morning, I watched a man with a homeless sign smile brightly at drivers in cars ahead of me. “My Name is JAMES I’m homeless & could use any help” his cardboard sign read.

Will I engage my heart?

He waved a type of joyous, “Good Morning!” to folks as they hoped the red light would change to green so they could hurry to their jobs – to make money… to not have to make eye contact with James or to ever have to hold a sign like that. I felt compassion for James. Fortunately, during this red light, I embraced compassion and took a few needed steps of action to live compassion. It was quite simple.

I dug through my purse and car ashtray, finding a few piles of loose bills. “But what if I need cash later?” fleeted through my mind. Oh, that rational, “safe” voice with an edge of selfish care! “Then I’ll use a card,” my heart spoke to my mind. I am so thankful that I have work, money, a home, a car; I am glad I’m not James, and I hope this helps him in a small way.

With that, the light turned green, I hit the auto-window roll-down button on my passenger side, and waved at this man. He quickly came to my car as I rolled forward to him and stopped momentarily, backing up traffic for 3 seconds. “James,” I said as I handed him the cash, “may God bless you today,” I said. And we shared a smile while he verbally thanked me.

I am certain that some motorist farther behind me didn’t get through that red light because of the 3-second delay I caused by acting on my compassion with James. And I am OK with that!

Compassion is authentic when it moves you to action. True compassion transforms our behaviors.

How can I be on the alert this week – even today? What experience will I allow to slow me in my tracks? What observance will I choose to move me to action to compassionately help someone?

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Use These Questions to Keep Personal Development Resolutions Alive All Year Long: Who do you want to BE?

Each January people fill gyms and exercise clubs across the nation with hope to follow through in their New Year’s resolutions to work out. So many plans of what people want to DO fill calendars in January. Yet often our intentions of doing things differently fall by the wayside as habits pull us back to past ways of “doing” life.

  • Have you considered who you want to “be” – both in this New Year and across your life span?
  • What character qualities will people best describe you with after your life is over?
  • What legacy are you creating now, today, this year…when it comes to how you interact with people and society?

For the past 3 years, I have taken on a character trait or attitude of the heart that I desire to really BE like, and have focused on it for a month in the year. And the next year come January, I revisit that character trait and way of being, in an effort to possess that trait as a fiber of who I am.

For example, it is January, and for the 4th year, during this month I will examine the place that compassion is integrated into my behavior, self, attitudes, calendar (how I spend my time), and thoughts. When it comes to being a person of compassion, now that I have a few years of taking a month to develop this trait, how am I doing?

It has been fun to focus on character and qualities of who I want to “be” with an annual focus on one for a month each year. These 12 ways of “being” are becoming more of who I am.

With a month to consider, reflect, ponder, and learn how to “be” more like each of these 12 traits, I have found that it results in changes in what I DO and how I act and relate to people and our world.

What do you want to BE in the New Year? Here are some strategic questions to consider – both now in the beginning of the year – as well as at any point in the year. I believe these can serve as a powerful, cyclical, personal character growth tool; at least they were for me over the past years, and continue to be focusing.

January – Compassion

Who can I take the time to truly try and view the world from their perspective, seeking to understand them, while feeling in a caring way what they do?

February – Kindness

How can I show kindness to someone today, whether it is merited or not? How can I go out of my way to be nice?

March – Humility

Will I pause today and consider each person I talk with as a human being of infinite worth and value? Will I choose to interact with each individual with an authentic attitude of wondering, “What can I learn from you and your experiences?”

April – Gentleness

Will I choose to pause before I speak and act today in order to run my words and behaviors through a “gentleness filter” in order to soften the edges in my words and deeds? Can I tweek my tones, words, and body language to better display gentleness in my interactions with others and our world?

May – Patience

Am I willing to do my best and leave timing and the rest in God’s hands while I wait patiently? So much of life occurs “between things.” Will I trust that God has everything in control and that my worry or impatience serves only to frustrate me?

June – Put up with one another

Will I choose to bear with people I find exhausting or frustrating while trying to keep a positive attitude? Will I keep in mind that I may need to give grace to others – and that I will surely need it given back when I am not at my best?

July – Forgive others

Am I willing to forgive others when I feel offended because this is the right thing to do, rather than hang on to bitterness? Will I choose to forgive people, unrelated to conditions of their continued behavior?

August – Love

How can I demonstrate love and acceptance to someone today who I may not naturally and easily think to give it? And whom do I believe I love that I can do a better job of expressing my love and appreciation to? How will I overtly show love today?

September – Peace

In what area of my life would I experience more peace today if I would relinquish control (even if the level of control I am clinging to exists only in my mind)? When in my day today will I carve out and set aside 5 minutes to be still, breathe deeply, and meditate on things of beauty, wonder, and tranquility? Will I ask God for His peace to wash over me?

October – Be thankful

At what points in my days this month will I pause and express gratitude – to God each morning,  and to others throughout the day? Will I choose to verbalize gratefulness aloud as I become mindful of all of the good things today – regardless of what type of day it is?

November – Memorize God’s Word

What am I choosing to pour into my mind and heart? If I believe that out of the heart come our attitudes, words and behaviors, am I filling my heart with content I want to come rushing out at any given time?

December – Do all things as unto God

If I believe God is my Creator, will I choose to try and consciously do everything as unto Him? Can I see evidence of this belief in my decisions, actions, and relationships? Will I ask God for guidance in my decision-making and choices?

IDEA: You may want to copy the url to this blog post and paste it in a few automated calendar reminders to yourself that are set to pop up with the change of each month this year. That way you can remain mindful of refocusing your personal development efforts across the year by reviewing the questions for each month.

By Dr. Heidi Scott     Author, speaker, professor, & consultant      http://www.LearningPursuits.com

*Content for this article is based on Colossians 3:12-17

 

 

How do you answer the question, “What do you think of if you were asked to find something in an encyclopedia?” (If you thought of a set of big, hardback books labeled by the alphabet, you’re not a Digital Native.)

What question would you consider if you saw a big, often yellow, fat, paperback book labeled by year and produced by a phone company that was delivered to your door?

a)    Where should I keep this because I may need it?

b)   What is this and why would I want it in my house?

(If you answered A, you’re definitely not a Digital Native.)

Do you remember life when your parents did not have cell phones? (If you answered No, you probably ARE a Digital Native.)

And your answer to this next question is one that reveals where you sit on the imaginary boundary of those called Digital Natives or Digital Immigrants: When told to search for or find some information, if one of your first thoughts is to “Google” it, you are at least a Digital Immigrant.

My Digital Native, high-school son had no idea why anyone would want a phone book!

So what’s the difference between Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants, or Digital Hermits?

  • Digital Natives know life globally and relationally at a 24X7, continually connected way of being with people and information on our planet.
  • Digital Immigrants expand their awareness of technology integrated into all aspects of life (whether they use it or not); they willingly put their toes in the virtual world to explore what tech can do for them – often embracing new processes and ways of thinking and living that leverage technology.
  • Digital Monks possess an awareness that our culture is shifting to technology as an integrated way of life, for both young and old. However, be it resistance to change, fear of technology, lack of knowledge or skill, or a belief that “doing life and business” without technology worked fine – a conscious decision has been made to stay removed from technological advances in their personal world.

From The Outside Looking In On The Digital Natives

I am not a Digital Native. In spending a little time wit our friend’s two-year old, it was evident she knew how to use an iPhone independently. She could unlock the screen, open the apps, scroll to her Smurfs game, play all on her own, and she knew when to ask her parents for the power cord when it needed “juicy” to keep it working. No, at two, if I were given an iPhone back in the late ‘60’s, I would have traded that thin, plastic block for a pile of Play-Doh or Legos in a second. I’d have had no idea that I held the virtual world in my little hands!

But as our world progresses with technology at the center of business development, communication, and human connectivity at a global level, I remain curious about what exists in technology and how I could use it in my life and work in ways that help me live the life I desire. This definitely qualifies me as a Digital Immigrant. I ask and learn about integrating ever-changing technology into my life from those Digital Natives in my life. I remain amazed at the Digital Immigrants I know (like current college seniors) who hover much closer to the unseen bubble boundary of Digital Natives; they teach me so much.

While it is fascinating to observe a Digital Native child in action with technology, it is also fascinating to visit with a Digital Monk. These are people of all ages who are plenty aware that life is moving at warp speed with “always on” technology connecting us across our earth. Yet for numerous reasons, they opt to “step away,” and not immigrate into life as a Digital Immigrant. Perhaps they like the space and time that “quiet-without-technology” brings, or the creativity that spills forth when they pick up a pen and paper, or the joy in maintaining a handful of deep, “real” relationships where the primary form of communication is face-to-face.  Digital Monks choose not to infuse their lives with technology.

Digital Immigrants and Digital Monks are simply two different perspectives and approaches to dealing with technology in our culture today. And both espouse pieces of wisdom.

Our Digital Natives, however, may find it challenging or perhaps unnecessary to live life any other way than fully connected to life with tech. They will grow up with their heads in “the cloud.”

As adults today who are not Digital Natives, what a cultural phenomenon is developing before us as new communication norms become commonplace. (But since the topic of socially acceptable communication behavior in the population group of Digital Immigrants and Digital Natives is ripe with opinion – like, is it polite or okay to text when you are having a face-to-face small group conversation? – I’ll hold off on going there in this blog post!

Does it matter if you know if you are a Digital Natives, Immigrant, or Monk? No, wherever you fall on the spectrum is fine, but awareness of these differences can be fun to observe and discuss because it impacts our lives everyday. And the more aware of the differences in how folks view the world and technology allows us great opportunities to respect various perspectives.

By Dr. Heidi Scott, Communication and Leadership Specialist and Digital Immigrant