Allen’s story is one that’s experienced in many families. His mother isn’t doing well. His dad is terrified by the inevitable changes that are coming. Allen has moved so he can be with his parents and take care of the ongoing and upcoming challenges. His wife can’t join him now, so the situation is not only emotionally draining but also logistically difficult.
While the details will vary, I suspect that you could tell a similar story, whether it’s about yourself or someone you know. Continue reading
If you are fortunate, on a clear night you see a vast expanse of blackness interrupted by tiny points of light. Even if you’re not in a place where you can see stars, you know how one tiny point of light in a dark room draws your eye. A candle, a flashlight, any source of light makes a difference.
At times, it can seem like we are overwhelmed by darkness. It’s especially difficult for those who are anxious, frustrated, or resentful at feeling controlled. It’s hard if you can’t find a way out; a way to get control over your life.
The tiny point of light is a reminder that even the smallest of bright spots breaks up the darkness. Continue reading
Sarah has been invited to a party hosted by a well-to-do acquaintance. The invitation was so astonishing that she didn’t have time to think of an excuse to decline. Now she feels stuck and anxious. She won’t know anyone, but she’s sure they are wealthy and probably snobs. Her imagination has been working over-time, picturing scenarios that end in her humiliation.
Sarah reached out to Anna for commiseration and comfort. “Why did I ever let myself get sucked in to this? It will be awful. How can I get out of it?” Continue reading
What comes to your mind when you hear the words, “leaving a legacy”? Legacy is often interpreted as a monetary gift, but for Stephen Covey, the concept of legacy is broader than money.
Covey, famous for “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” later wrote “The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.” Here, he discusses four universal human needs: living, loving, learning and leaving a legacy. Continue reading
As I was standing behind the fine young plumber scrunched up under the sink, I joked, “I’m not really hovering over you; I’m just here for moral support.”
His response came as a surprise. Thoughtfully, seriously, he responded, “Everyone can use a little support.” He went on to say that encouragement helps us do our jobs. We know that this is true. But it’s not often openly spoken, and practicing it may be even rarer. Continue reading
Do you ever feel misunderstood? I’ll hazard a guess that the answer is “yes.” If that’s true, then it’s also likely that other people feel misunderstood, too. Why?
One answer is that some communication methods are more effective than others. For example, when we speak face-to-face, both people are aware of each other’s body language, hear tone of voice, and see facial expressions. All of these factors, when combined with the spoken words, give us at least a fighting chance of understanding each other. Continue reading
People talk. We often take it for granted, but the fact that we are able to communicate really is one of the delights of being human. It enables us to learn, create, innovate, and express emotion. Our communication is not always perfect, of course. For example, it helps if we develop our listening skills as well as our talking skills. But in general, communication is a wonderful thing.
After some conversations, both people walk away satisfied. Some conversations are learning experiences; they bring clarity or uncover helpful information. Conversations can also bring people closer, by supporting, encouraging and helping each other.
Those are effective conversations, aren’t they? It’s a win-win when both people can move on with new understandings.
Then, there are those other conversations Continue reading