Monthly Archives: June 2012

Toddlers

I’m on a double decker bus for the first time in my life and I definitelly went to experience the second floor. I even found it more comfortable since the seats were larger than the ones on the first floor.

Anyhow, during my inaugural trip on this “new” transportation, a grandmother, mother and daughter sat close to where I was. The youngest one was around 2-3 years old. I did the guess since my daughter looked about the same and showing the “typical” toddler behavior to discomfort and property.

During this trip, I reflected on why toddlers behave as they do. My first conclusion was that their world and our world just don’t match. They try hard (scaled to their capabilities) and parents try hard (scaled as well to theirs) to teach them how to adjust. In the meantime, disagreement reigns.

But this is not just typical during the “toddler” years. This behavior appears several times during our “grown up” lives. Let’s face it, we don’t like to adjust to situations. We feel more comfortable when situations adjust to us.

So what happened to every toddler in the world? I believe that the world didn’t adjust to each and every one of us. We’ve learned (to some extent) through the years to adjust ourselves to it.

Let’s reflect on our day, how we did react to the different events that happened and, honestly, recognize those “toddler” reactions.

We can make small but substantial changes to our behavior. You can use those events as reminders to hold, and breathe. Let those frustrating feelings go with your breathe. Reconnect with yourself, and feel how you gradually recover the control of the situation. Then continue with your agenda.

Practice this as frequent as you remember. Very soon, this will be part of you with better possibilities to overcome/teach your internal child.

Oscar.

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Changes

I attended yesterday a webinar hosted by IBM and Harvard Business Review. On this session, IBM provide highlights on the latest CEO survey from their Institute for Business Value (interesting that this research came from a former computer giant!). One of the highlights was about how CEOs are looking to adjust their strategies to keep business running. They said: “change is here to stay”.

I do remember IBM back in the 80’s and 90’s as a computer maker, not as a research institute. They have been evolving to a certain point when in 2004, they sold their computer business to the Chinese manufacturing Lenovo. Selling what made IBM what it is today was definitely not an easy change.

When we face changes in our business or life, we usually start to feel anxious about it since we’re not familiar to what change will bring.  These adjustments fit nicely to the Bön Impermanence concept, which teaches us to not to see things and events as fixed concepts. Everything is in constant evolution.

Impermanence teach us as well different ways to embrace change. If we grasp to change resistance we’ll use a lot of energy (physical and emotional) and we’ll suffer to maintain it. However, if we accept change as a natural course of life, we’ll spend our physical and emotional energy to adjust ourselves to it, making an easier and less painful transition.

Tune guitar cords not too loose, not too tight to play it the best way. However, we need to learn to tune them properly and this requires effort and practice until it becomes natural to us.

Oscar

Feeling Compassion

When living on the Corporate culture, you learn to categorize everything (money, time, effort, etc.) into 2 buckets:
1. Investments
2. Expenses

By just looking to these concepts, none of them indicates their goodness (or badness). We give them a “valid” meaning until you put them within a context or results (mainly financial). This is the “standard” dualistic way to label our ideas, experiences and results.

Compassion teaches us to see beyond context or definition of the actions and events that impact our lives. It is beyond giving charity or donations. It’s like reading the mind of the other understanding why he/she is doing what he/she is doing and feel empaty on his/her reasons. It’s not an easy skill to develop.

This week I had a small, meeting to review a process that was outstanding. Some of the participants were more engaged to make it happen tham others. You can name their reasons fot not being cooperative (resistance to change, lack of leadership, fear, lazyness, etc.) but that was a fact. When I saw this, my first reaction was as: “why they don’t see it! We’re trying to help! If they don’t want to participate, why I should care!” It was predictable that the meeting was not going to close the gap.

One of the keys to break the deadlock during meeting was when I step out of the main discussion and get some space. During this brief moment I took refuge on it without judging or processing thoughts. Some moments later, I came back and propose to define what we were trying to solve and why it will be difficult to do so. The forum quickly re-focused their thoughts and things started to roll better.

I left the meeting and still things didn’t concluded. Should I still try to push on a compasionate manner to close this pending topic? Or shall I leave this “as is”, feeling compassionate on the nature of the situation?

Oscar

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