Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Day Five: Life's Purpose

"Life is just a chance to grow a soul." ~A. Powell Davies

I didn't take a lunch today. I meant to. I did. So I asked myself my questions on my drive home (not the same as focusing completely on the question, I know): "Am I becoming a person I respect? What are my successes? Where can I still grow?"

Today, all day, I had a sense that the "work" I was doing in the world was not what was important. That helped me focus on the part that felt important - the people. I felt like I took time with the people I spoke with today and tried to really focus in on them. I had a few interruptions and a few moments where I let myself get distracted from full engagement, but I stayed alert to them and tried to limit them and excuse myself when I couldn't. This is still an area of focus for me, but hopefully, the people I interacted with today could feel my attention and the genuine regard I had for them. I was trying really hard to put that out there.

One area of growth that I am working on is accepting compliments. I realized today that not only is it respectful to myself to accept a compliment, it is respectful to the person giving it. I got an email from a supervisor today thanking me for my leadership and congratulating me on a job well done. My first instinct was to deny that I had anything to do with it. Ultimately, I split the difference. I thanked them for the compliment and gave kudos to the other people who helped me earn it. It felt respectful to include the people involved, as long as I acknowledged the original intention of the compliment.

This soul-growing is hard work. I'm exhausted from paying so much attention. Isn't that funny?


  1. Yeah for you that you didn't skip your exercise simply because it didn't happen at lunch ... you were flexible! and that's a compliment!!

    I have really worked on teaching my children that what matters in life is people and our relationship with them. I don't want them to refrain from a behavior because they fear they will get punished but because they know it will damage their relationship. For instance, my 9 yos is in a phase of name calling. I could punish him and drive the behavior away and underneath but that doesn't help him deal with his frustration in a healthier way and it doesn't help him realize that name calling hurts his relationship with his brothers.

    What we accomplish doesn't matter as much as how we accomplish, I think

  2. Graciously accepting a compliment is something I initially had to work hard to do. Now, I own it. That's not to say that I always expect compliments. On the contrary.

    I heard someone explain gift giving this way (and a compliment is a form of gift, is it not?):

    It feels really good to give a gift, doesn't it? But in order for there to be a giver, there has to be someone willing to receive. If I won't receive the gift that's offered to me, I deny the giver the joy inherent in giving. I end up taking from that person.

    Puts things in a different perspective, doesn't it?



Blog Widget by LinkWithin