Silence is Golden

Silence is Golden

The Sound of Silence

The Sound of Silence

Speech needs company; silence needs solitude.
Speech wants to conquer others; silence helps conquer oneself.

Speech makes friends or foes; silence befriends all.
Speech demands respect; silence commands it.

Speech is earth-bound; silence is heaven-bound.
Speech educates; silence exalts.
Speech is subjective; silence objective.

Speech has regrets; silence none.
Speech has limitations; silence is boundless.
Speech needs effort; silence a lot more.

Speech is human; silence is Divine.
While speaking you are heard by creatures; in silence you hear the creator.

Silence leads to a stillness of the mind,
Then to introspection,
Then to self-cleansing,
Finally to liberation.

— Prema Pandurang

I live alongside a busy highway where the constant sound of vehicles, sirens and horns fills the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  It is so noisy that if I leave the bedroom window open, sleep is almost impossible.  There are times when I search for silence, when I crave it. It rejuvenates my jangling mind like nothing else can.

And it’s not just physical noise that ramps up the stress levels.  There’s also the constant chatter of your own mind, racing from one thought to the next. Those thoughts that keep on going, just like the energizer bunny.  Perhaps you need some silence, some stillness of the mind. Even just a brief period of silence can lower your blood pressure, slow down the heart and lessen some of that adrenaline flowing through your veins.

So right now, find a quiet spot and for just a few minutes let go of your “to do” list and close your eyes, breathing in deeply and slowly once, twice and a third time. Find the silence and let it heal you!

Have you Stopped Asking for What You Want?

If there is something to gain and nothing to lose by asking, by all means ask! — W. Clement Stone (American best-selling Author)

Children think nothing of asking questions. They will bombard their parents with one question after another, not being content with just the first answer. Every answer seems to prompt another “why.”

Have you ever noticed how when we approach midlife, we have the tendency to stop asking questions. To stop asking for what we want. There are, of course, many reasons for this. Perhaps we don’t want to bother the other person or we may assume we already know what the answer will be or perhaps we don’t give the other person enough credit for having an intelligent answer.

I recently fell into this trap myself. For many years now I have needed more shelves in my office at my consulting job. I made the assumption that the office configuration was set and that was that! Recently, a newly-hired consultant proceeded to ask for more shelving for her office. Guess what — within a few days, there were the facilities folks putting up new shelving.

It had never occurred to me to ask but you can rest assured that promptly thereafter, I did. My new shelves should be installed any day now!

Are you asking for what you want and need? When you don’t ask, the answer is always “no.” If you have nothing to lose and will be no worse off than you are now, go ahead and ask. You may be pleasantly surprised … as I was.

Become like a child again, think about what you want and take a chance. If you ask politely and respectfully, there’s a very good chance the answer will be “yes.”

Passion Deficit Disorder in the Workplace

A recent Careerbuilder survey found that 40% of workers say they have had difficulty staying motivated at work in the last year. As a result, employee turnover is expected to rise in the next year as disgruntled employees look for better positions and more flexibility in the workplace.

While the recession has caused employers to reorganize their operations to remain viable, it seems that many employees have felt neglected in the process. PDD (Passion Deficit Disorder) is obviously rife in the workplace. Or expressed another way, employees are not engaged! Does this apply to you and what are you going to do about it? Wishing and hoping that your employer will fix it for you, is not going to get you very far. And finding a new job may not happen for some foreseeable future.

One thing you might do is start living in the here and now. When we compare what we have now to how much more we had in the past or how much better off we were, we are going to become disgruntled. The past is over. Life is a series of cycles. They are not good or bad unless we decide to view them that way.

“It is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so” – William Shakespeare

At the other end of the spectrum, perhaps you are engaged in wishful thinking about how much better it could be. Planning for a better future is one thing. Constantly wishing you could already be living that future, without taking any sort of positive action, leads to dissatisfaction with the present. It leads to a life where the present is never good enough. Where you never even see the “silver lining” that might be hiding there because all your energy is being placed in the “good old days” or the “brighter future.”

If you start adopting the mindset to find the positive in the present, giving it your full attention and best efforts, that positive energy will help draw you to the better opportunities you are looking for. Continuing to find fault, blame and unhappiness with the current moment will only keep you locked in negative energies and attracting more of the same.

I recently watched a client go through an amazing transformation after she took notice of how her thoughts were keeping her stuck in unhappiness. Locked in a job she hated, she was spiraling out of control, finding it an immense chore to get up for work every morning. When she started focusing on doing her very best, even when faced with the most mundane of tasks, she felt more at peace. Soon thereafter, once her superiors started to notice a change in her attitude and demeanor, she was given greater responsibility and more fun duties. As a result she is now well on the way to getting a promotion that will bring her much more fulfillment.

So remember, to change your life, you have to change your thoughts! When you change your thoughts, you can change PDD (Passion Deficit Disorder) to PED (Passion Every Day).

If you are stuck on figuring out what you’re passionate about, the following book can give you some clues.

Perfectionism Leads to Procrastination

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection.Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”  — Michael J. Fox

Are you dealing with the fear of not being perfect?  Is failure unacceptable?  If you equate your self-worth with doing everything in your life perfectly, one of the things you will end up doing is procrastinating.  Procrastination protects you from rejection when you aren’t perfect. And nobody is perfect.  As human beings we all have our flaws and foibles.

Where did you pick up the belief that you had to be perfect?  Perhaps your mother often called you her “perfect little girl” or “the perfect little gentleman.”  At some point in your childhood, you learned that it was more about what you DID than WHO YOU WERE.

When you were given respect and appreciation, it was because of the things that you did rather than because of who you were as a person. This feeling was reinforced over time so that you developed the core belief that to gain love and respect you had to DO something. The more perfectly you did it, the greater the amount of appreciation and love you received.  The other side of that coin was the belief that you weren’t worthy of love and respect if you made any mistakes at all. If you wanted to be loved, your best wasn’t good enough if it wasn’t perfect.

Beliefs such as …

  • I must be perfect and do things perfectly
  • Everything I do should be right the first time – I should make no errors
  • If it is not done right, it is not worth doing
  • I should have no limitations

… lead to “if I can’t do it perfectly, I won’t even try.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Do I need to be perfect or is excelling good enough?
  • How is the need to be perfect hindering me?
  • Am I clear about what excellence looks like?
  • Am I willing to let go of the need to be perfect?
  • Who am I trying to please with the need to be perfect?

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