Monthly Archives: January 2014

A thought is harmless unless we believe it.

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts but our attachment to our thoughts that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing it to be true without inquiring (without asking ourselves if we can be absolutely certain the thought is true). A belief is a thought we’ve been attaching to, often for years.”  — Byron Katie

What thought are you attaching to that is causing you to suffer…to be fearful or anxious? What stories of fear, lack or struggle is this thought creating in your head as you allow it to take over your thinking? What happens to that thought and those stories when you ask yourself if you are absolutely certain they are true?

We supposedly have 60,000 thoughts run through our mind each day. For many of us there is a tendency to attach ourselves to those thoughts that have a potentially negative outcome…to those that are founded in fear, lack and struggle…and we immediately begin to spin scenarios in our heads that have a less than happy outcome.

Take a simple example. A friend invites you to go out to dinner. You like your friend but you really don’t want to go out in this particular instance. So, you want to say “no” but then what happens? What thought comes into your head? Probably something like this…”If I don’t go, he/she will think I don’t like them.” The next line in the story is…”He/she will stop inviting me.” And then, to complete the story in our head…”If I don’t go, he/she will stop inviting me and I won’t have any friends anymore. I have to do what I don’t want to do or I’ll be friendless.”

These scenarios spin through our heads every day. The sad thing is that we rarely see them for what they are…fictions we’ve created from a thought that we have attached to…that we assigned a sense of fear, loss or struggle to. Better to be mindful and aware of our thoughts and where they are taking us and inquiring about them to be sure they are true…to be sure they are worth giving our time and attention to.

How to be mindful of our thoughts? It’s quite simple really. Just monitor your feelings. If you are feeling pretty good, your thoughts are following a good path at the moment. If you are feeling fearful, nervous, anxious, or feel a sense of loss or struggle, your thoughts are taking you down a negative path resulting from a story you are creating in your head…a story filled with unexamined assumptions and fears…a story that causes you to worry and to feel bad.

Be mindful of the thoughts that you are creating in your head. Examine them and discard those that are not based in what you absolutely know to be true. Life is good! A mindful life is even better!

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and beliefs based on well-considered thoughts.

Compensation: Reward Individual Achievement or Group Dynamics?

A corporation is little more than a giant group; social-science research, then, may suggest that corporate success has less to do with attracting the smartest talent than with getting people together in the right arrangements. This means that businesses may well be getting their compensation schemes wrong. Companies generally rely on performance-based pay, compensating workers based on the estimated value that they add to corporate performance. Management experts have long recognized a problem with this approach: the difficulty of estimating how much value a person adds. But there might be another, more basic problem: added value may have more to do with group dynamics than with the achievements of individual employees—which means that employees should perhaps be compensated accordingly.

Economists have found that workers who discover that they make more than their peers aren’t any happier in their jobs, but those who discover that they make less report considerably less job satisfaction. Big wage gaps among people who work together (assuming similar experience levels, qualifications, and skills) don’t necessarily mean that the highest-paid person is the best one; instead, a gap might mean that he has simply appropriated more of the value created by the whole group. In the long run, that can be bad not only for the workers but for the company itself.

Read the full article in The New Yorker at Shamus Khan, A BETTER WAY TO PAY WORKERS 

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and, if you are a manager, wisdom in putting your people together in the right arrangement.

Organizations need leaders who are striving to be the best version of themselves.

“An organization can only become the-best-version-of-itself to the extent that the people who drive that organization are striving to become better-versions-of-themselves. This is universally true whether the organization is a business, a school, a government, a nonprofit, or a sports team. To the extent that a CEO, an executive team, and a group of managers and employees explore their potential as individuals, so too will an organization explore its potential.” — Matthew Kelly, The Dream Manager

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and pursuit of the best possible version of yourself.

Staying in Your Own Business

I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God’s. (For me, the word God means “reality.” Reality is God, because it rules. Anything that’s out of my control, your control, and everyone else’s control — I call that God’s business.)
 
Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, “You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself,” I am in your business. When I’m worried about earthquakes, floods, war, or when I will die, I am in God’s business. If I am mentally in your business or in God’s business, the effect is separation. I noticed this early in 1986. When I mentally went into my mother’s business, for example with a thought like, “My mother should understand me,” I immediately experienced a feeling of loneliness. And I realized that every time in my life that I had felt hurt or lonely, I had been in someone else’s business.
 
If you are living your life and I am mentally living your life, who is here living mine? We’re both over there. Being mentally in your business keeps me from being present in my own. I am separate from myself, wondering why my life doesn’t work.
 
To think that I know what’s best for anyone else is to be out of my business. Even in the name of love, it is pure arrogance, and the result is tension, anxiety, and fear. Do I now what’s right for myself? That is my only business. Let me work with that before I try to solve your problems for you.
 
If you understand the three kinds of business well enough to stay in your own business, it could free your life in a way that you can’t even imagine. The next time you’re feeling stress or discomfort, ask yourself whose business you’re in mentally, and you may burst our laughing! That question can bring you back to yourself. And you may come to see that you’ve never really been present, that you’ve been mentally living in other people’s business all your life. Just to notice that you’re in someone else’s business can bring you back to your own wonderful self. — Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life, Kindle Edition.

Wishing you grace, peace and simple abundance…and that you be present in your own business.