Monthly Archives: July 2018

The Pamela Positive: May Your Work Bring Just and Lasting Peace

President Lincoln advised us,

“Whatever work you are devoted to….may it bring just and lasting peace.”

 

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Our respected President Abraham Lincoln brought this to light in his 1865  Inaugural Address. What a calling for each of us to think on, as we go about our work each day, how it can bring “just and lasting peace.”  I think work here is not just our professional work, but any task to which we are devoting ourselves. Any project, endeavor, activity — from raising a child to decorating a Valentine’s Day wreath — can have kindness, justice and peace as a necessary ingredient to our performing of it.

President Lincoln says something instrumental here: As we strive for our goal, it should be peace brought between each one of us, and then also with all countries.

The point here is that gentle justice, no matter how small, and a caring, kind sense of peacefulness in all our interactions, both bring that sense of worldwide peace. And it must start with ourselves, our conversations, our actions between each person we meet. That’s a great calling for us in today’s world!

***

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States during the Civil War. He was instrumental in ending slavery with his Emancipation Proclamation and is admired for his commitment to national unity, equal rights, liberty, and democracy in America. Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky to a humble home; he was later elected to the Illinois state legislature (1834) before entering into the U.S. House of Representatives (1847) and then becoming President of the United States (1860). Lincoln’s bynames include those of “Honest Abe,” “the Rail-Splitter,” and “the Great Emancipator.”

The Classic Pamela Positive: Sticking with the Beauty of Loving Yourself and Others

In this article by fellow Fast Company blogger, Alicia Morga, advised: “Adopt the Cindy Crawford motto: no flaws…stick with the beauty of loving yourself and others.”

As Cindy Crawford says,

“Never point out your flaws, but do admit to your mistakes.”

 

What a powerful distinction.  Cindy is an accomplished wife, mother, businesswoman, spokesperson and model.  She’s demonstrated beauty in so many ways, specifically through her acumen, well-spoken manner, desire to make a beautiful life and home accessible to everyone, and most importantly, knowing that true, lasting beauty starts and comes from within.

Beauty is about trusting yourself, appreciating your unique qualities, just as we should for other people. It’s one of our greatest age old wisdoms, to love your neighbor as yourself.  And to love our neighbor as ourselves, we have to start with, yes, you and me.

 

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So, as Cindy advises, don’t point out areas of yourself that are weak. You might be working on those, and we all have areas of improvement. Do demonstrate your positive qualities of intellect, kindness, graciousness, honesty, selflessness. We recognize and celebrate these abundantly.

There will be a time, many times, when we all need to own up to mistakes or ways we can be better. Then we, with rapid fire, should admit our mistakes and, where necessary, apologize. Part of our beauty is cultivating caring, honest, open relationships where we admit where we could have been better. With this admittance comes strength and a more beautifully enduring relationship with others – and ourselves.

Truth is beauty. We start with the Truth of what is good about us and others. We stay with that until we find a time where we need to admit where we fell down. And we avoid simply putting others, or ourselves, down at all.

Stick with the Beauty of loving yourself and others.

***

Cindy Crawford was a popular supermodel of the ’80s and ’90s.  She has also been involved in fitness campaigns, and appeared in TV and movies.  Since retiring from modeling in 2000, she has been working on creating beauty products and home furnishings. 

When Crawford was ten, her three-year-old brother Jeff died of leukemia. Since then, a focal point of her charity work has been childhood leukemia research. She is an official supporter of the Ronald McDonald House Charities and an honorary committee member of the California Wildlife Center.

The Classic Pamela Positive: 5 Steps To Live & Work With Meaning

 

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Howard Thurman

 

This is very true.

Often I hear people say, “Oh, I wish I did something meaningful like you do, helping the world.” Working in philanthropy is a wonderful way to serve. But social workers, teachers or philanthropists don’t corner the market on meaning. If you want to create meaning and a core purpose at your company, here are the top five inspiring — and practical — steps.

 

  1. START WITH YOU

Your company cannot have a core purpose if you don’t know your own. It’s that simple. Follow what your deepest inner voice tells you — not what society says.

Not the “I must be an investment banker; I should be a consultant.”  And definitely not “I will do something good for the world, and then go ‘get a real job.’”

You are created for a purpose. Your company has to see that purpose in you. It’s not just a product, but all your drive, passion and energy at the forefront, every day.

 

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  1. DEFINE THE VALUES AND ACTIVITIES AROUND YOUR PURPOSE

What is it you most value?

Pick the one value and one service, and start there.  Don’t make it complicated. We are not talking about an Executive Summary.  Whether you are starting out or have been in business for 10 years, this is a superb exercise. Start with your passion, or get back to your passion.

 

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If this is difficult, take some time. Retreat centers, walks on the beach and sitting in a forest simplify your thinking.  Take nothing but a pad and paper to write down what inspires you, both in a) how you take action and b) what type of service. Don’t think, just let it pour forth naturally, whether it is an essay or a few inspired words.

A) How you take action/What is natural to you

  • Enthusiasm
  • Mobilizing people
  • Closing deals
  • Negotiating
  • Bringing consensus
  • Strategizing
  • Exploring new frontiers
  • Building sure and steady
  • Creating a boutique firm
  • Scaling
  • Excellence in client service…

There is no limit.

B) Types of service — here are a few examples that may fit your situation:

  • Service and a beauty salon
  • Technology and apps that make people efficient
  • Health and organic foods
  • Eco-friendly and better composting techniques
  • Efficiency and a better search engine
  • Purer dry cleaning services
  • Marketing/promoting others

If you can’t do this, your team can’t work to their potential.

They can’t see your focus or drive.  They will be B players; and you are not a B player.

Take the time to solidify your A-player status. Sometimes we get off track, and now you can get back on.

 

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  1. BUILD (OR REBUILD) A PRACTICAL, INSPIRING BUSINESS

So, what does this look like? It depends on your interests and passions. Here are a few examples.

Create a haven. It may be that you have a passion and talent for interior design. Help make people’s homes special. We all need a haven: a place to welcome others, and ourselves.  Build a company around that.

Inspire confidence with your numbers. Perhaps you love numbers. Provide order to your clients’ finances.  What would I do without my bank? Where would I put, record, manage the deposits of donations for UniversalGiving? We need a trustworthy expert.  Let it be you.

Mobilize People Through Sports.  You are an athlete at heart. If you are a player, play that game with integrity and enthusiasm, with the greatest sportsmanship. You will be a model for everyone watching, your colleagues, the audience, the referees and any children present.

 

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If you are a coach, your guidance and words can impact hundreds of people — and for their entire lifetime.

If you run a sports shop, you can sell the best equipment.  Search diligently to find the products that will help people succeed.

 

  1. WRITE A CORE PURPOSE STATEMENT

Come up with your core purpose statement.  Use an inspiring verb or adjective and clear action. Here are a few examples:

  • “We sell the top soccer balls, with enthusiasm for the sport.”
  • “We create life-changing apps that save you time.”
  • “We are calm anchors with our cloud service, ensuring your data is safe and secure.”
  • “We create the most professional dry cleaning, making you feel like the President.”
  • “We protect your company as you face cyber-terrorism in your backyard and across the world.”

Put it up on your wall with your values. Talk about it and reference it in meetings.  It’s more verbal, casual, and easy than a mission and vision statement.

Live it.

Speak it.

 

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Use it in conversations: with your team, with clients and to yourself when you wake up every day.

It should roll off your tongue, and soon everyone will speak about it naturally.

 

  1. GO BACK TO YOURSELF

Your company has a core purpose because you do.  Serve by following your passion. Don’t do what you think you should do — do what you are created to do.  You will find all types of people needing your inspiration and services, in ways you’ve never imagined.

***

Pamela Hawley is the founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, an award-winning nonprofit that connects volunteers and donors with quality service opportunities. She is a winner of the Jefferson Award (the Nobel Prize in Community Service) and has been invited to three Social Innovation events at the White House. She also writes Living and Giving, a blog with the mission of “Inspiring Leaders to Live with Excellence and Love.”

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The Classic Pamela Positive: What Motivates?

I had an hour and a half long conversation with a Dukie the other day, who pushed me to answer new questions! I love those conversations as they are so real and help us become better people, teachers, and learners.

Sinclair’s question was,

“You have a certain energy that inspires and drives people to action. How do you cultivate it, and how do you maintain it?”

 

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I don’t think there’s any surefire answer here. But here’s what I said:

“Dear Sinclair,

What a lovely question to ask, and one that is important for all of us. First, I will say that I find you equally motivating. It’s just that we have different personalities. For example, I might be more enthusiastically inspired, but you are more quietly and grounded inspired. Thus we are drawn together, as I might bring a higher energy and you bring a special stillness. Does that make sense?”

Sinclair, there are many different types of leadership. Just because someone seems more extroverted and external with it, doesn’t mean that’s the only type of leadership. Leadership can be about quietness, about listening, and even about knowing when to pause. To be a great leader, you need to master all communication skills, which include when to speak, how to speak, what the tone is, and when not to speak. It also includes body language, and most importantly, it includes your inner values and soul.

“So how then do you stay authentic with who you are?”

The words authenticity and transparency comes up a lot these days, and I appreciate it. As we become more oriented around machines, computers, iPads, phones, and the social media explosion of Vine, no Vine, Instagram, Snapchat—it disappears, Pinterest—Facebook—Twitter—former Friendster; it becomes very confusing. Our identities need to be aligned. So here’s what I do, and it’s a constant quest every day. Leadership isn’t something you attain and let go. Leadership is something you believe in, live, and maintain. That’s what makes life so exciting!

Remember these tips are only from me. You might find that other people have a different view. In order to stay authentic, I keep my priorities very clear. I know that my life calling is to be the best Pamela Hawley I can be, not just to deliver the best UniversalGiving. Therefore, I have to take a higher view than just my profession, my job, or even a calling. Even with a calling, you still have to put your identity and your values first. So how do I do that? First, you need to know that UniversalGiving comes third in my life. Yes, that’s right. As much as I love it, as much as it is my calling and not a job, it comes third in my life. So I’m going to be pretty naked here, and let you know how my life works.

 

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Priorities:

#1. God, Love, and/or Nature

I believe in a governing force of good for our universe. That means our universe is run based on certain principles that are loving, kind, and filled with integrity. Some people call that God, some people call it Love (it’s not just human love), and some people may relate to it as nature. The point is that there is a law of options going on in the universe that allows for the greatest good to occur. It’s our job to hook into it, work with it, and accelerate as much good as we can in our lifetimes. That will then pass onto others and reflect the true goodness that exists in this universe.

 

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Our foundation of the world and ourselves is based on goodness, and we need to pay more attention to that, rather than all of the nuisances, annoyances, negative suggestions, negative thoughts, and challenging interactions we have with personalities. You can make that a huge part of reality or you can go back to your view of a loving universe, and make that your focus. So you have to train your mind and heart, in God or Love, every day, every moment.

 

#2. Family (…and Friends)

Family is absolutely essential. It’s where we attain a sense of peace, grounding, and comfort. I know for myself, I grew up with a mom who baked me chocolate chip cookies, sat with me after school in second grade, and listened to me. We did workbooks together, we talked about life, and I felt she was always there for me. To this day, if I call her, ninety percent of the time she picks up the phone; she’s present. She’s family, and she’s my grounding, as are many other members of my family.

 

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Family extends into many areas. For example, with my nephews and nieces, I was fortunate enough to take care of them many Saturday nights when they were growing up. I got them at the “meltdown” phase at around 3 o’clock and spent the night. I learned a lot! I bonded with them in ways I cannot even imagine. Today? I just called Connor, my 17-year-old nephew, to congratulate him on his soccer game. Maybe not so many teenagers would pick up their aunt’s call, but he does, and we have a conversation even if he’s in the middle of building a creative project for school. We just have that connection.

I really don’t see the point in life of being this major “success” if you don’t have that family to share it with. A family to inspire you, a family that you inspire. And with that, there’s a sense of peace. You know where you come from, you know what your values are, and when the world gets too heavy, you can go home to that values, whether that’s in a physical structure, or in your heart. It’s irreplaceable.

 

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Equally important are friends. Those friends are absolutely a part of your family network. I have friends with whom I have standing weekly or monthly meetings. For example, my “second moms” are women who were a very important part of my life growing up. I have monthly or quarterly lunches set up with them. I don’t want to take them for granted and just see them at the holiday party. I want to know how they are, hear how they are, and support them as they have supported me. It’s a true, ongoing relationship rather than a once-a-year fond remembrance.

 

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#3. UniversalGiving

I don’t have a job—I have a calling! Every day I get up, I love what I do. I love being a social entrepreneur, and I love serving the world. I love volunteering, and I love helping scale the fact that thousands of other people can volunteer. So for me, it’s just a constant flow of doing good for the world, and helping my team do that, as well as reach their best. In summary, UniversalGiving helps people donate and volunteer in hundreds of countries across the world.

 

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Within that, I also rope in my volunteer events. I’m a consistent volunteer at City Impact, helping in the Tenderloin with everything from passing out food, doing apartment visits, to preparing Thanksgiving meals. I’m also a C.A.S.A., a Court-Appointed Special Advocate, which is a legal advocate for foster care youth who are often on the street. You work with them on a weekly, and sometimes daily basis to make sure they have food, housing, a listening ear, eyeglasses, job training, and whatever they might need. Many of them have had little or no training or modeling their entire life, so a lot of what you do also works on just helping them with social skills, and teaching them how to survive in the world.

 

#4. Improv

How I love improv! And you might think, “Well, how does this tie into the rest?” Improv is an incredible joy. It allows you to connect with your fellow actors on stage, and to be a true partner.

 

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It requires great creativity and quick thinking. It equally requires great listening and taking the back seat. It’s about sharing.

It’s about building. It’s about creating a scene from nothing. And in order to do that, you have to have absolute trust with your partner.

And isn’t that what life is? Sometimes you have to respond immediately, you always have to listen, and you need to be a great friend or partner in life—whether that’s in business, a marriage, or a friendship. So it actually synergizes. But even if it doesn’t, it’s so much fun! You should have things like that in your life, that seem opposite to everything else you do. As my oma, one of the greatest flutists in our generation, and the first woman at Juilliard for flute said, “You need to get out there and kick up your heels once in awhile!” She was an extremely hard-worker and helped support her family during the depression. Her point was, get out there and dance. Get out there and have fun. Work hard and yet, live a little.

 

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So, Sinclair, I’m not sure this fully answered your question, but this is how I try to maintain my true self and identity in life. Thank you for asking such an important question, and I hope this helps you in your journey!