Tag Archives: caring

The Pamela Positive: The Importance of “Yes And”

When on the improv stage, one of the most important principles is listening to and supporting your partner.  If you do this, you help create a very strong sense of team, and also further the story in a way that is interesting to the audience.  For example, if someone says, “let’s go to the store,” you can “yes and” it by saying, “wonderful, I love JZ’s store, because it has such great record memorabilia that dates back to the fifties!”  What you have done is “yes and-ed” your partner.  You have essentially built on the first concept they introduced, a store.

Contrary to good improv, one could have done a “yes but.”  For example, “Okay, that store is fine, but I really want to go to the movies.”  That is denying your partner on stage, and invalidating their idea.  You are not building on their initial idea, nor are you moving the story forward.  You’ve essentially blocked them.  Your story has now halted, and your partner does not necessarily feel supported.  This is the importance of “yes and-ing” rather than “yes but-ing.”

Whether you’re an investor, an improviser on the stage, leading a team at a company, or a soccer captain, we can all practice the glory of “yes and-ing” one another.  If we do so, we will build a beautiful and strong world based on a foundation of supporting wins for everyone, all around.

The Pamela Positive: We Carry Our Weather Around With Us

“We carry our weather around with us.” – Stephen Covey

What a wonderful encouragement from Stephen Covey.  No matter if our day seems cloudy or rainy, either from the outside weather or from tough news or a challenging day, we determine our weather.

We establish the climate outlook of our minds, conversations…We shape the weather pattern of our communications; we forecast the rain, sun or clouds of our expectations.   We are in charge of our own weather, and our weather determines our hopes for the future.

Thank you, Stephen, for your life devoted to one of encouragement and positivity.

Stephen Covey is a speaker and author, writer of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  His work focuses primarily on leadership, family and living with principle.  He is a professor at the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University.  He and his wife, Sandra, have nine children and fifty-two grandchildren.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “When You Learn Something From People…” – Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma“When you learn something from people or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve that gift and to build on that gift.”
– Yo-Yo Ma Continue reading

The Pamela Positive: “What’s Important to You Is Important to Me”

Pamela’s Favorite…Pamela Positive

“What’s Important To You Is Important To Me”

This is one of my favorite statements.  It helps me understand and sincerely care about others.  When we truly listen to our family, friends, partners, team mates, improv players, then we can really hear…what’s important.

Sometimes it might be a clean kitchen.  For others, it might be taking the dog for a walk or getting the car cleaned.  Or it might be that you showed up at your daughter’s gymnastics recital. And sometimes, sitting down and listening to your boyfriend, while not multitasking and cleaning the dishes at the same time, may be the biggest sign of attention. It can even be as small as keeping your desk clean at work because you know it inspires your manager.

The point is, we all fall into habits.  These habits are what are most comfortable, and convenient, for us.  They are our priorities. But they are not necessarily important to others.  Instead, we need to take a look at what motivates others.

So even if we can live with a messy desk, if we know the manager is inspired to see an ordered workspace, then we can try to rise to that new standard.  If it bothers our companion that we’re doing something else while he’s talking about a serious issue, then we need to stop and sit down, and give our undivided attention.  If it makes a difference to our mom that we check the stove one more time before you leave the kitchen, then we make her feel cared for, and can do it again.

These are the small and important ways that we can let someone know they are important to us.

It’s the Substance of what builds or breaks down any relationship.

Many of us have felt that overwhelmingly warm feeling when someone does something for us… It specifically hits our hearts.  “Ah…how grateful I am that they took out the recycling!  I love an ordered home…”  It’s something that puts you at  peace.  And that positive energy allows you to give more.

“What’s Important to You is Important to Me.”

What a beautiful way to live…

The Pamela Positive: Better To Make a Few Mistakes Being Natural

“Better to make a few mistakes being natural than to do everything out of a feeling of worry.”
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Dr. Benjamin Spock, 1946

It’s better to make a few mistakes being natural.   It’s important to be who we are in a natural, real way.  If we get everything right, and are absolutely perfect, but it’s done with anxiety…. then it actually isn’t right, is it?

What we do needs to be done with care, love, calm.  With joy and sincerity…and since Dr. Benjamin Spock was a famous leader in parenting in the 40s, I’ll take his advice not only for parenting, but also for management.  And for our communications, how we live our lives, how we treat others…

Dr. Spock was an influential writer on childrearing, who advocated for increased flexibility and affection in the treatment of infants and children.  He was also an Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and a peace advocate.

The Pamela Positive: What We Can Learn from the Gentle, Observant Jain Religion

Jainism is a group that believes we should leave barely a footprint on this earth.  They believe in gentility, kindness, and care for every living creature.  It’s even to the extent of not eating root vegetables, because pulling up the roots makes the plant die.  Jains honor every living thing.

Founded in a similar time frame as Buddhism, Jainism primarily existed in Hindu parts of India.  In the present day it is a small but powerful minority among the world’s religions, with some 4 million followers in India and growing communities elsewhere in the world.  A few core beliefs of Jainism include that every living being has a soul; non-violence is the path to right thinking; attachment to possessions should be limited, and one’s life should be lived to be useful to others.

May we be gentle, respectful and observant of the preciousness of life in all its form.

Praise and Joy Should Be a Permanent Part of Our Soul – Inspired by G.K. Chesterton

A person is fully human “when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.  Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.”

G.K. Chesterton certainly let us know what we need to focus on: joy.  And what a life force it is!  We don’t realize how much our thoughts impact us, our minds, our actions, our responses.  And therefore how it affects others’ minds, actions, and responses. He also points to the vapidness of negative thinking. What can it do, how can it build?  It only tears down. And so we should, as best as possible, obliterate it from thought.

We can contribute so much in this world.  It starts with our thoughts; it starts right now; and that joy can carry us to an entirely different level of harmonious living.

Thank you to Gilbert Keith Chesterton for such wonderful advice.  G.K. was a profound English writer of the 20th century who contributed across philosophy and poetry, as well as fiction.  Two of his best known works are Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. He also wrote a weekly column in The London Illustrated News for thirty years.  He was known for his incredible intellect, desire to decrease political divisions, and strong reasoning skills.