As a woman social entrepreneur myself, I find it exciting to see the strong women working in the nonprofit sector. There are so many inspiring stories. One of my favorites is Frances Hesselbein. She was a mentee of Peter Drucker. This 90-something leader is still going strong, speaking internationally, and helping women leaders and entrepreneurs all over the world. She has written two very insightful books geared towards non-profit/for-profit leaders: The Leader of the Future and On Mission and Leadership: A Leader to Leader Guide.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Miss Hesselbein in New York; she has already had a profound influence on me and my desire to become a leader. With leaders like Frances to inspire us, it’s exciting to think what can be accomplished in the future.
When you build a home, you have to have a vision. A vision of what you would like to create. If you have a negative vision of your home then it certainly is not going to become a beautiful home! So we need to maintain that vision, even when the going gets rough. Even if you run out of brick. Even if the paint color didn’t match the way you wanted it to. Even if you have to fumigate! Hold the vision, and keep striving for it.
So what has helped me during tough times is not just to focus on the positive, but on gratitude. Even in tough times there is something to be grateful for. If you are having a hard time in sales and partnerships, perhaps you can be grateful you uplifted that potential client’s day with a positive smile or sincere compliment…
On an entirely different level…if a natural disaster has occurred, you can still be grateful that the sun came out, as in many countries pollution blocks the sun. That a friend is near. That people are caring and helping. Even in a crisis, and often especially in a crisis, the greatest goodness of people comes out. We can find the good even when we don’t seem ‘to have or own much.’ True wealth comes from qualities of being loving, kind, sincere, genuine, giving. And how wonderful — that that wealth is available to each one of us, every moment.
“Stop and smell the flowers” is a good starting point. But why not stay with the flower?
Have you ever really looked at what makes up the flower? Its petals, the stamen, the actual layout and folding over of different petals… it’s quite remarkable. Appreciate the wisdom behinds its creation… its unfolding process as it blooms… and its journey of growth. It’s simple and complex in its beauty and expression. It also endures so much with changing seasons, from brilliant sunlight to wind gusty rain.
And so are you. Appreciate the beautiful simplicity and complexity of you and each of our fellow men, women and children. Be open and beautiful; endure.
Money increases happiness, according to Harvard University. But only when it is lifting people out of extreme poverty. It essentially comes down to Mazlow’s basic needs. If money can help you attain shelter, food and clothing — which eventually lifts you into the middle class – then it does bring you happiness.
But little after that. Once those basic needs are taken care of, we must go to higher needs for happiness. Caring for people. Caring for ourselves. Doing the right thing. Living a simpler life. According to Stephen G. Post, Director of Compassionate Care at Stony Brook University in New York, happiness was on a higher level during the Great Depression than it was at the turn of this century. He attributes much of this to a simpler lifestyle.
The word to ‘converse’ has morphed to mean using words or talking. But what it meant at inception was to “turn towards one another.” The point was to delve more deeply into a truth of some sort. It was also to find commonalities amongst people.