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The Ripple Effect of Spontaneous Generosity

We’ve all been witness to someone being nice to a complete stranger, such as opening a door, picking up a dropped item, overhearing a complement such as nice hair, lovely outfit….  And for a moment we feel good inside. However, science is showing it’s much more than warm and fuzzy. In a New York Times article on March 16, 2014 Milena Tsvetkova and Michael Macy, from Cornell University concluded “that observing an act of kindness is likely to play an important role in setting a cascade of generosity in motion.” In December of 2012 in Winnipeg at a Tim Horton’s Coffee Shop drive-through, a customer paid for her order and picked up the tab for the stranger in the car …

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GRACE TRUMPS DIRT

I know how it feels when someone says something rude, offensive or derogatory. For a few seconds you’re stunned. In those moments of being shocked by belligerent words lays an opportunity to take a breath and recall a definition of grace – “Treating people better than they deserve to be treated.” The most common emotional reactions to verbal attacks are: anger, hate, disgust, bitterness, etc. However, with a little grace, you don’t need to go there. We had just moved in to our new home. I was digging in the front lawn when our next door neighbor came by, looked down at my project and said, “Look at that damn dirt.” I said, “Excuse me?” She responded, “Look at that …

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Wait, Don’t say It: Just Listen

Here’s one of the many communication tips I learned at a recent workshop led by my good friend, Dr. Ted Klontz: Good communication has a lot to do with just listening. In there lies the rub – usually I want to talk. We all have a lot to say. How, then, is listening good communication? How am I going to talk if I’m listening all the time? As you may recall from Steven Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” he recommends seeking first to understand before being understood. This is accurate, but moreover there are basic human needs that the primitive part of the brain (reptilian, mammalian) seeks to be met in every interaction – which is why we …

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Being Stung By Expectations

Experiencing disappointment, being let down and not respected are difficult events to deal with. Our ego, our pride and our sense of self gets battered and stung. What I find laying behind these hurtful emotions are expectations. I thought for sure they would call me back. I couldn’t wait to receive that email or letter letting me know my work was appreciated — that I was valued. I ‘expected’ all these things to happen, because “they said they would.” And, when the expectations are not fulfilled we step into a beehive of hurt, pain and disappointment. In Alcoholics Anonymous this is referred to as “We’re not in the outcome business.” It’s true. We can do all the planning we want. …

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Working in the Slipstream

In early spring and late fall in the Midwest you’ll hear sounds of honking geese flying overhead. When your eyes find the source of the sound, you’ll witness nature’s aerodynamic efficiency in the “V” formation of the flock, otherwise known as the ‘slipstream.’ To conserve energy and increase endurance find the slipstream. NASCAR racers, long distance runners and cyclists all know that by placing themselves just inches behind the one in front of them, they can travel at the same speed with 30% less effort. A great event to witness the slipstream in action is the Tour de France. A stage or segment of this race can be 120 miles long, but if you watch the last few miles you’ll …

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3.1 Miles – The Furthest He’s Ever Walked

When Grant Forrester was fifteen months old, he was riding in the back seat of his parents’ car strapped into his car seat – they believed that’s what saved his life. During the car crash, Grant was ejected from the car. His scull was crushed with spinal damage, and at that moment he became at quadriplegic. Now, this past July 14th, 2011 at age 25, Grant walked the furthest distance of his life. He participated in the Traverse City, MI National Cherry Festival 5k. He walked 3.1 miles in 3 hours 57 minutes, aided by a device called a gate walker, his mother, girl friend, and physical therapist, as well as a bunch of friends – all the people he …

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