Category Archives: The Classic Pamela Positive

The Classic Pamela Positive: Winning Over Obstacles

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“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”  – Bertie C. Forbes

Bertie C. Forbes (1880-1954) was the founder of Forbes magazine.  He was born in Scotland, spent time in South Africa, and emigrated to New York in 1904.  He worked at several journals and founded Forbes in 1917.  He was the Editor-in-Chief for almost 40 years, up until his death.

Classic Pamela Positive: Give Your Mom a Smile

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I am very fortunate to have the most wonderful mother.

She is a devoted wife, a loving mother, a supreme grandmother, and beloved by all.

Mom and I often have our “catch-up time” on the family room couch, just to talk about life. We sit with our sweet labrador dog (at that time sleeply-sweet and ready to go to bed).

It’s one of my favorite things to simply listen to and share with my mom. Often we go over positives, a funny incident, or something that needs praying.

My mom is incredibly understanding. She has a loving heart, a listening heart. Ever-present for her children and her family, it’s her number one call in life. And that’s despite being an amazing, successful musician. She has it all — but in a balanced way. I find it a model for myself and how I would like to live.

So I’ve got something I am working on that I can give to my mom. I’d like to Give My Mom a Smile.

When people are very understanding we have a tendency to open up to them…they are compassionate, present and listening. Which means it’s an easy thing to do!

Families are beautiful in how they give to each other. There’s nothing wrong with that, as family should be there for us as we are for them. Still, I’d like to be careful.

Here’s the reason why. My mother has done so much for me, and I want to give her that gift back. And one of the best ways to do that, is to give her joy.

Your mother loves you and wants the best for you. Moms are ready to help their children with anything they need and that includes a listening ear. But they also want you to be happy.

And they are happy when you are happy.

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So what can you do to increase your mom’s happiness?

The next time you have a challenge, could you approach it a different way? Why not find another source?

Could you…

quiet your mind

go to a movie

get a massage

take a nap

reason through the positives

pray

meditate?

What could you do to rest your heart and come back to

Give Your Mom A Smile?

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Our mothers have done so much for us. One way we can do something for them is to show them we are happy. Let’s work on this today, Give Your Mother A Smile.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Death Is Nothing At All”

My beloved Oma was one of my best friends. And yet she is with me constantly. It’s not easy, it never will be, but it changes. I am learning to become more natural in my connection with her, even though I can’t see her. I can still feel her presence, I can still feel her love.

I spoke this from memory at her service, and I still love it to this day. Oma, I know you are “just around the corner.” I love you, Oma.

Death Is Nothing At All

Henry Scott Holland

Death is nothing at all.

I have only slipped away to the next room.

I am I and you are you.

Whatever we were to each other,

That, we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name.

Speak to me in the easy way

which you always used.

Put no difference into your tone.

Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed

at the little jokes we enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me. Pray for me.

Let my name be ever the household word

that it always was.

Let it be spoken without effect.

Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant.

It is the same that it ever was.

There is absolute unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind

because I am out of sight?

I am but waiting for you.

For an interval.

Somewhere. Very near.

Just around the corner.

All is well.

Henry Scott Holland (1847 – 1918) was Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford, one of Oxford’s oldest and most prestigious seats. He was also canon at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “You Have to Be Able to Tell People ‘Great Job’ on Things That Didn’t Work”

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“You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.”

— J. Kermit Campbell, former CEO of Herman Miller

Get inspired by an audio version of this blog!

Campbell has it right.  A CEO is not an expert except in one area: getting the right people. Actually, let’s add another area: values. You must be a leader who gets the best people and demonstrates the highest values.

Even if you are a manager, you should still think this way. Empower your people to learn and maintain a domain of expertise. Hopefully, you can hire them with it. If you can’t, make sure they have the rapid capability to do so.  Let’s learn from Campbell’s advice to us:

“I don’t believe that my job is to lead design at Herman Miller.  My job is to make sure we have great design leaders, continue to listen and try to learn from them…My job is not to be a creative guy, my job is to create a culture that allows and promotes creativity…

You’re going to have to take risks. It’s not all going to work.

You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.”

J. Kermit Campbell is a former CEO of Herman Miller, and the current Lead Independent Director of SPX Corporation.  He is an investor or board member for a number of companies and charitable organizations.  Herman Miller is a leading furniture company, founded by D. J. DePree, with a more than 100-year history.  They focus on innovation, and designing products to create a better world.

The Pamela Positive: “A Smile Is a Blessing.” – Mpho Tutu

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A smile is a blessing…It really doesn’t take that much to live into our blessing and make the world better for each person we encounter during our day.” 

This quote is from Mpho Tutu, the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and an ordained minister herself.  She was quoted in the Christian Science Sentinel, in an article discussing her and her father’s new book, Made for Goodness.  She also said that they hope the book will help people to “recognize in themselves their own innate goodness.”

How can we each be a blessing to another person today?

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy at the Drycleaners

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Get inspired by an audio version of this blog!

I’ve shared before about philanthropy as “the love of people,” as a daily practice.

One day I had a pivotal experience that helped me be a better ‘daily philanthropist.’  Each day, I make a ‘to do’ list. The list might range from contacting a corporate client, to running an errand at the drycleaners. Checking off these items certainly gave me a nice sense of satisfaction!

During this day, I found myself particularly busy. I rushed into the drycleaners. I swooped in to pick up my clothes and left a bundle of clothes on the counter.  “There!” I told myself triumphantly. “I fit in the drycleaners before a meeting. I have gotten one more item off my list!” Accomplishment, I thought; and yet I didn’t feel it.

What I realized is that the drycleaners wasn’t an errand.

No, it was not a ‘to-do.’

It was an opportunity to love.

Life is not about lists. We aren’t programmed to just get things done. Instead, each activity, each to-do, each task, is actually an experience of loving. This is especially true because each experience usually means interacting with someone else. And when we do this in a calm, present, joyful way, that’s living. And it’s also the true spirit of philanthropy. Loving and being present with others, with mankind.

As one great thinker wrote, a person “… is a marvel, a miracle in the universe… With selfless love, he inscribes on the heart of humanity and transcribes on the page of reality the living, palpable presence – the might and majesty! – of all goodness. He lives for all mankind.”*

Rushing in and out of the drycleaners, I had missed a valuable opportunity. What I needed to do was connect with my drycleaners, know them by name, greet them warmly, and sincerely ask how they are doing. Now I know how Hao is doing, and we have a great relationship of warmth and kindness.  I look forward to our visits.

Writing a check is only one type of philanthropy. I’ve found that it exists at the drycleaners, and pretty much anywhere we want.  Where does it exist for you?

 

*Mary Baker Eddy

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Our Doubts Are Traitors.”- William Shakespeare

“Our doubts are traitors.”

– William Shakespeare

Don’t let doubt into for your life, for it is not a friend. He is not your companion in any way. Would you go on a special walk with Doubt in the hills? Take Doubt to lunch?   Get married to Doubt?

Then stop spending time with him  — especially in your mind.

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William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 [baptized] – 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world’s pre-eminent dramatist and often called England’s national poet and the “Bard of Avon”. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, later known as the King’s Men. His works and collaborations consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, the authorship of some of which is uncertain.  His numerous works include Hamlet, King Lear, Romeo and Juilet, and Much Ado About Nothing. To this day his works have been repeatedly adopted, rediscovered, and reinterpreted in many contexts around the world. (Bio source: Wikipedia: William Shakespeare and Quote source: Quotes on Fear and Other Profound Sayings)