Friday, May 28, 2021

LESSONS LEARNED: Getting to Teach "Kindness as a Leadership Trait" Course

Kindness is in low supply and high demand.

As an avid reader of a double-digit number of books on kindness, a Kindness Attendant in "The Kindness Community" (an online worldwide group), and someone who wrote a book titled Reversing the Slobification of America, I look for ways to share kindness and kind actions as well as encourage others to do similar things.

A couple of weeks ago, the 14-week Florida State University Jim Moran Institute for Entrepreneurship graduated a cohort. That was the first-ever group who got to experience the class. Since Shane Smith, Ph.D. took a chance by allowing me to do what became known as the "Kick-off to Kindness" as the start of each Tuesday's experience.

Here are a few lessons learned from the fortuitous opportunity to share facts, acts, and the impact of kindness personally and professionally:

Kindness has four formats: toward self, toward others, toward the community, and toward the world

Most people are the least kind to themselves

Encouraging people to be kind to themselves is a form of permission

A kind act done for recognition is SPORTSMANSHIP, a kind act done for getting someone to collaborate or sign a contract is BUSINESS, and a kind act done for another person to feel good and/or have an opportunity, whether that person knows you did it or not, is true KINDNESS

Kindness makes some people uncomfortable and they are not wrong, rather have likely not been exposed to kindness which creates the discomfort

Kindness can be learned

Kindness begets kindness

Kindness is super

Kindness is powerful

(It follows that) Kindness is a superpower, and it is a superpower each and every one of us can use for good

Whether you get to facilitate a course on kindness is not the point of this "lessons learned" segment, rather the overall awareness of how a kind word, kind act, and a kind heart are available to us all, and all of us, whether we know it or not, can use (and use the impact of) a lot more kindness in our lives!

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Casting Distractions AFAR

"Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions."

~ Saul Bellow

When you are moving forward, making plans, and setting goals, you surely want to advance, see progress, and eventually achieve success through your efforts and actions, right?

While we each have the opportunity to set a course, make/take actions, and more as we advance toward the end result(s), we also may face challenges that could create setbacks.

What to do?

Telling yourself, or others telling you not to care about any distractions or anything other than the goal can seem smart at first, and yet that is simply lying to yourself, and therefore delaying the impact of the distraction, and potentially adding guilt and/or pressure on you and others you involve in your endeavors.

Instead of hoping things will work out, or that you can avoid the distraction(s), cast the distractions AFAR with these four steps:

1) Allow yourself to consider the distraction and the impact 

2) Feel what the distraction is doing to you (not just thoughts)

3) Acknowledge that feeling with a label/name

4) Release the feeling, and therefore, the distraction

For example, if you are working on finishing a project (plan), and you start thinking about what might happen if you don't get it done (distraction), stop your project and give yourself a few moments to think it through by checking in on your feelings and naming them before determining that they are not serving you well at that time.

This is not a flippant/simple "Let it go", nor is it about telling yourself "It's no big deal" if it is a big deal at the time of distraction, rather this is about having a process for moving through the experience of distraction to cast them AFAR!