Monday, November 26, 2007

Grateful - even if you can't hear it!

Just a quick shout out to everyone who let me know that my audio clip wasn't working! I'm sorry about that - I guess I'm not as technologically savvy as I wanted to believe!

So for everyone who didn't get to hear Art Garfunkel singing, here are the lyrics. Imagine a solo piano and Art's voice sweetly singing this amazing song and know it goes from me to you!


I've got a roof over my head
I've got a warm place to sleep
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep

I've got a heart that can hold love
I've got a mind that can think
There may be times when I lose the light
And let my spirits sink
But I can't stay depressed
When I remember how I'm blessed

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed
And duly grateful

In a city of strangers
I got a family of friends
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
I know that they will stay until the end

I feel a hand holding my hand
It's not a hand you can see
But on the road to the promised land
This hand will shepherd me
Through delight and despair
Holding tight and always there

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed
And duly grateful

It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me happier than keeping score

In a world that can bring pain
I will still take each chance
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance
Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed
And duly grateful

Truly blessed
And duly grateful.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I'm Grateful for You!

I just want to send a huge thank you to everyone who has so faithfully kept me blogging since July of 2004! This has been a wonderful exploration for me, and I want you all to know how grateful I am for the awareness that allows me to notice everything differently and to create dialogues with you!

This song has become very important to me on my Gratitude Journey and I wanted to share it with you as you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with your own family and friends.

Blessed and Grateful!

Monday, November 19, 2007

It Takes Courage

I had the honor of attending a learning circle with a group of really cool people a couple of weeks ago and one of the topics of conversation was courage. I learned a lot that night, but one of the biggest takeaways for me was the etymology of the word "courage."

You may already know this, and I should have if I would have just thought of it, but the word "courage" comes from the root "cour" which means heart. So when you have courage, you are willing to follow your heart.

It's kind of a combination of the lion and the tin man from Wizard of Oz, isn't it? In fact, that whole Wizard of Oz story is actually pretty metaphysical, when you really think about it. There really is no place like home - we've had all the things we really want all the time.

At that same learning circle I heard two more things that really blew me away. One was the root of the word "human." We tell ourselves we are only human, kind of as an excuse to let ourselves off the hook for finding ourselves in the space of our present results. But the word "human" actually contains the prefix "hu-" which, at least in ancient Sufi, is a word for God. So being human is the marriage of God and man. Wow.

There was one young man - he was 14 - at the circle who shared something he had been noticing. He said that this teacher had told him at one point that if he didn't have something, he really didn't need it. He had been thinking about that as it relates to his father, who is not present in his life. He said if his father had been present in his life, he wouldn't have the relationship he has with his mother, and he wouldn't have learned the things he's learning from this teacher and probably wouldn't have the awareness he has. Another wow.

Along with these lessons, I've been on a reading kick recently, which might give some explanation for my absence from blogging. Among the books I've read, re-read, or am currently reading are The Answer to How is Yes by Peter Block, Working With the Law by Raymond Holliwell, The Future of Management by Gary Hamel, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Wayne Dyer, The Goal by Eli Goldratt, and The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma. Each of those books has given me added insight for my work, but Sharma's fable about fulfilling your dreams and reaching your destiny (according to the subtitle) was especially interesting given that I do a lot of work with manufacturing organizations.

One thing this book brought up was the connection between Japanese thinking and external results. Among the terms the book referred to was Satori - instant awakening - which is a Japanese term, and kaizen - which is continuous improvement. In my work with manufacturers who are studying the Toyota Production System and lean manufacturing, kaizen is a familiar term. But the term originated from the Japanese as it relates to self-mastery.

According to Sharma in this book, there are ten rituals of self-mastery that will lead to amazing results in 30 days. I won't reveal the 10 here - get the book and read them for yourself. But what could be accomplished in each of our lives if we had the courage to look inside ourselves and give ourselves 30 days to correct our current course?

Watch for more information about a 30-day plan for course correction based on what you really, really want, not what you need or what you think you should do. Let's create - and allow - much bigger outcomes in our lives - TOGETHER!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Questions to Ponder

As you may know if you follow this blog, I've been leading several master mind groups lately studying the classic Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill (see link on this blog). The transformations I've witnessed in my community because of these master minds is profound, to say the least.

Each of the groups meets for 10 weeks to study this book and the participants are challenged to come up with goals they would like to accomplish for themselves and their lives. Although we use the book as a framework, we tend to create dialogue around many topics outside the realm of the book, which really allows the study to come alive for the participants.

Three of my groups have now completed the 10 weeks, but all three of them have chosen to continue meeting and are now studying new books. I wanted to tell you today about one of those groups and the book they have chosen. I'll fill you in on the other one in a future post.

The book the Wednesday group has chosen to study is The Answer to How is Yes: Acting on What Matters by Peter Block (see link on this blog). We will meet for our third session today, and I'm already seeing huge shifts in the participants because they are connecting with new questions this book suggests.

Here's a sample (from the book jacket):

Here, Block offers a new way of thinking about our actions that helps free us from being controlled by the bombardment of messages about how we should live and act. He shows how our obsession with tools and techniques actually prevents us from doing things we believe in, and he identifies what is required of us to not only know what matters but to act on that knowledge. He reframes leadership as the role of social architect where convening, engaging and defining the question replace vision, charisma and driving change. The Answer to How is Yes confronts our passivity and blame. It argues for a life where we choose accountability and demand more compelling purpose from our work.

I would love your take on this book. If you've read it, what have you noticed? Where might you be asking someone else "HOW?" when you really already have the answer?

My company, Bock's Office Transformational Consulting, was built in part on the statement Block makes on the very first page of this book:

Transformation comes more from pursuing profound questions than seeking practical answers.

What questions are you asking - and answering - these days?