It is so easy to be kind, yet we are so often not!  We are busy, late, frustrated, depressed and worried.  Why would we think about being kind?  Here are some great reminders about the importance of the simple art of heartfelt kindness…

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”
-          Plato

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around."
-          Leo F. Buscaglia

"The measure of a truly great man is the courtesy with which he treats lesser men."
-          Anonymous

"If you can't feed a hundred people, just feed one.”

-          Mother Teresa



Last week we talked about Mind Games.  This week it is Attitude, and they are closely related.  It is hard to over–emphasize the power and importance of attitude.  Much credit is given to the strength of a proper attitude.  The power of positive thinking is a popular concept and a valid one.  What about the power of a bad attitude?  What about the impact of a negative attitude?  What is the cost of having the wrong mental attitude?  Consider the thoughts of the third President of the United States.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude
from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the
man with the wrong mental attitude.”

-Thomas Jefferson


Mind Games

Recently I read that over 66,000 thoughts flow through our minds every day.  I’m not sure if that is factual, but if it is anywhere near that many it is staggering.  No wonder I can’t focus.  Maybe that explains the fact that I can talk myself into believing almost anything. 

The real challenge is what we do with all of that thought power.  Too often those thoughts are negative, like the devil tempting us, and our own self-doubt.  We can be our own worst enemy with negative thoughts.  Clearly the preference would be to use the majority of those thousands of thoughts to bolster confidence and instill a positive attitude.  Our thoughts are incredibly powerful; the mind can push our bodies beyond perceived limits.  It can strengthen us in times of loss and encourage us in times of doubt.   Controlling 100% of our thoughts is probably not possible, but controlling our thoughts when we need them to be positive is a great skill. 

Life is largely a mental game.  How we handle tens of thousands of thoughts per day impacts us significantly.  Our thoughts need to be positive, supportive, encouraging, and challenging, not negative.  What kind of games is your mind playing on you? 


Undivided Attention

As leaders one of the greatest gifts we have to give is our undivided attention.  While that sounds simple, consider what it really means.  With deadlines, meetings, email, texts and cell phones, how often do you really give someone your undivided attention?  It is incredibly easy for our thoughts to drift to something we consider more urgent.  There really should be nothing more urgent than what we are being told by our peers and subordinates.  Giving someone our attention allows them to speak and truly be heard.  It allows them to feel positive about their relationship with their leader.  You can focus on what you are being told and learn something from their perspective.  Granting someone your full attention is a foundational piece of the relationship between leader and follower.  Loyal associates deserve your undivided attention.  This principle is even truer at home, with spouses and children! Try it, you might learn something, and you will be appreciated!



Do you avoid doing things that you don’t like to do?  Of course you do!  We all do.  Who wants to force themselves into uncomfortable circumstances?  But if we want to grow, change and improve we probably should.  Consider this…

“Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do just for practice.”

-        -William James