Tag Archives: Gratitude

The Classic Pamela Positive: Tell Your Team They Are Great and DON’T Give Them Anything To Do 

 

One of the most powerful things you can do to recognize someone on your team is to call them and thank them and say Youre doing a wonderful job today, and I wanted to thank you. Thats it. I just wanted you to know, and for you to take the time to recognize it. Please know how much I appreciate your consistent work and positive attitude.” 

 

Thank You! Heart Text

 

Do not add on a to do.

I know thats tempting as we as CEOs have a lot we want to accomplish! But just let the conversation rest in genuine appreciation.

Its one of the best ways you can thank someone without agenda.

 


Fig¹.  Photo by Raj Vaishnaw on Pexels

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Positive Thoughts Become Your Words. -Mahatma Gandhi

 

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”

―Mahatma Gandhi

 

Photo of Woman Looking at the Mirror

 

Positive thoughts Become your Words…

Positive Thoughts Become your Behavior…

Positive Thoughts Become your Habits…

Positive Thoughts Become your Values…

And Positive Thoughts Become your Destiny.

So, Keep Positive!

Keeping on the Positive Train of Thought,

Pamela

 


Mahatma Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader during the Indian Independence movement. He preached resistance through non-violence and mass civil disobedience. He led the Indian National Congress and advocated for the end of poverty, for women’s rights and for independence from Britain. He also renounced religious violence and did several fasts in protest against it. Gandhi was deeply inspired by his Hindu faith, while also drawing on other religious philosophy, and advocating religious tolerance. He married Kasturbai Gandhi and they had four children together.

Bio Source: Wikipedia, The Concept of Leadership


Fig¹.Photo by bruce mars on Pexels

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Be prepared to fall in love all over again every day.” —Michael J. Fox

 

 

“Be prepared to fall in love all over again every day.”

—Michael J. Fox

 

This is true for every relationship. Whether it is your husband, partner, friend, calling in life, your labrador, or the beautiful sun we greet each day, be prepared… to fall in love again.

 

 

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Appreciating all we have is the most wonderful, nurturing gift we can wrap for ourselves, others and the world. It envelops everything in the gift of love.

 

 

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Michael J. Fox is an actor and activist.  He has appeared in iconic roles including Marty McFly in Back to the Future and Alex P. Keaton in the TV show Family Ties.  He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1991, revealing his condition publicly in 1998.  Since then he has been a powerful activist promoting research for a cure.

He has been married to actress Tracy Pollan since 1988, and they have four children.

Fox is also the author of three books, including the memoir, Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist.


Citations:

Fig¹.ali mahmoodi on Unsplash

Fig².Jeremy Cai on Unsplash

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

 

 

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

 

 

grayscale photography of two boys hugging while laughing

 

 

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.

 

 

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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 we leave the kitchen, then we make her feel cared for, and can do it again.

 

 

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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.

 

 

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

 

What a beautiful way to live…

 

 


Citations:

Fig¹. Aman Shrivastava on Unsplash

Fig². Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Fig³. Michael Browning on Unsplash

Fig⁴. Jamez Picard on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: “When You Learn Something From People…it is a Gift” – 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

 

 

Making Music across Borders: Yo-Yo Ma

 

 

Yo-Yo Ma is a world renowned cellist.  He could be so high and proud. Yet he is humble and learning. That is so he can be the best musician and person.

 

Appreciate the gifts people offer you…and thank them by passing on their gift to others, whether through appreciation, gratitude, love, recognition, sincerity.  Life and music are about giving.

 

We thank Yo-Yo Ma for his contribution to music and the world.

 

And I am thanking you for your personal gift to the world, whatever that might be!

 

Lovingly,

Pamela

 


Yo-Yo Ma is one of the world’s most famous cellists. He has recorded more than 90 albums and received 19 Grammy Awards.

Ma was born in Paris, though the family moved to New York when he was five. He comes from a musical family. His mother was a singer and his father was a violinist; his older sister is also a violinist. A child prodigy, Ma began playing the cello at age four, and performed for John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower at the age of seven. He attended Julliard at age nine, and went on to study at Harvard. He has performed with orchestras around the world, and has put out 75 albums.

Ma currently plays with the Silk Road Ensemble; their goal is to bring together musicians from the countries which are historically linked by the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking southeast Asia through the Middle East to northern Africa and the Mediterranean coast of Europe.

Biosource: Wikipedia


Citations:

Yo-Yo Ma Official Website https://www.yo-yoma.com/

Fig¹. World Economic Forum on flickr

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Enjoy When You Can, Endure When You Must”

 

“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.” 

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

Two grand lessons today: Enjoy and Persevere.

 

 

 

 

There is so much to enjoy… and so important that we focus on it.  It can be easy to be distracted into something that isn’t working, when we really should enjoy and relish what is before us.  It need not be a big event. It can be a small gratitude.

 

 

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Then, too, there are times to patiently persevere.  Not all is easy, peaceful; at times we must stay the course, step by step, like a diligent marathon runner, committed to her course, unrelenting until the final finish line.  It might not be a quick race, but more a matter of a marathon.

 


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, and natural philosopher, best known for his two-part poetic drama Faust, which he started around the age of twenty-three and didn’t finish till shortly before his death sixty years later. He is considered one of the greatest contributors of the German Romantic period. At the age of sixteen, in 1765, Goethe went to Leipzig University to study law as his father wished, though he also gained much recognition from the Rococo poems and lyric he wrote during this period. In 1766 he fell in love with Anne Catharina Schoenkopf (1746-1810) and wrote his joyfully exuberant collection of poems Annette.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe now rests in the Fürstengruft or “Royal Tomb” in the “Historic Cemetery” in Wiemar where his dear friend Schiller is also laid to rest. In honour of these two famous German men of letters, a statue of Goethe and Schiller now stands at the German National Theatre in Munich. UNESCO’S “Memory of the World” list includes the handwritten works of Goethe preserved by the Goethe-Schiller-Archive.

BioSource: The Literature Network

Citations:
Fig¹. Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Fig². Caleb Jones on Unsplash

Rough: A Social Entrepreneur’s Journey

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I’ve often spoken about my journey in finding my calling. I am so fortunate to love what I do, every day.  And with that gift, I want to vigorously help others.   I am passionate about serving UniversalGiving every day, helping people connect with quality ways to give and volunteer all across the world.

I am equally passionate about helping others find something they love to do.  It lights up your life. You become the best, most sincere, intelligent, fun, and delightful person if you can engage with your calling.

People hear me speak with joy and clarity about my calling, yet they think my life to social entrepreneurship was easy.

It was the “Rough” of my life.  It was excruciating. I fought to find work I loved to greet every day.  There were some really, really low times, over many years.  In fact, I don’t like to talk about it, because I enjoy focusing on the positive.

So “Rough” is in response to many people’s request:

“Pamela, tell me what it was like. I don’t know where to start. I need encouragement.

“Can you help me?  I need to know I can make it…”

or

“Pamela,  you had it easy.  I wish I could have found my calling as you did!  You’re so lucky.”

I write this for all aspiring social entrepreneurs. Persevere in getting to know yourself and carve out your pathway.  You will find it. Even if takes years. It’s worth it.

Just as we should love who we marry, we should love what we do.  I’m still working on that first one. So for all you moms who crave meaning, and come to me dying for a purpose, I have that purpose, and I also will be grateful to find what you have too: precious family and children. We deserve both, and we can help each other.

pamela family

If you hear me speak or read my writing, I focus on the positive. It’s imperative to be a solid, move-forward-and-make-it-happen entrepreneur, and a happy person. I am grateful for all the good Life has opened up unto me, in conjunction with the human effort and striving I put forth.

But if you need to know my journey, so that you know it is possible for you, I will share. Here is where my story started. But my vision of social entrepreneurship didn’t manifest itself until 14 years later. And I am still working on my next vision of serving… stay tuned.  Team, we don’t stop growing, ever.

An Entrepreneur’s Journey

There are people who are bootstrapping on a vision. And there are people who don’t yet have a vision. Both are in a glorious battle.

One is striving to achieve and live their vision, to build a new way of doing things in the world. The other, I think, is in more pain because they haven’t yet found that calling.  At least the former, despite formidable pressures to launch, fundraise, hire the right people, (fire the others who need to be the right people elsewhere), fight legal battles, meet payroll, is in love. They like their day to day.

I can’t emphasize how important this is. If you dread each day, feel dead in your skills, and unappreciated, it starts to wear off everywhere else. It impacts your whole life.

Build towards vision, positive growth, enthusiasm every day. This is what you must do. Equally important is who you surround yourself with. You are building your future right now. No, it is not off two years from now, or 20. Your future is everything you put your thought and energy into, right now. And right now, and now, and…now.

ROUGH: Try

So you have to keep trying.

I leave four jobs in two years out of college. I am in sales for a company for one year.  I am out of work for a year. All my friends are on a track, on track: MBA, Doctor, Lawyer.  I feel embarrassed. I am from a smart school, with smart colleagues, and I don’t feel like I am living a smart life.

I pick up any jobs I can, while still trying to pursue a love-of-my-life calling.

I work for a man who wanted an executive assistant but says I don’t deserve to be paid. He says I’m too green. I work for the experience anyway.

I work as a step aerobics instructor. I am hired and pushed out as a waitress by a frustrated restaurant-owner in Venice Beach.  I always wanted to serve others, but my hands shook while I carried the plates.  I volunteer with alcoholic men in Skid Row, helping them with life skills. I interview to sell insurance. I do real estate research for an independent couple, a marketing brochure for a nonprofit. I do all I can to provide for myself and try to make it.

Still, all the while, I was learning more about our international world, understanding social entrepreneurship and helping pave the way. I studied The Economist, read about the world, prayed, cried and asked for my life to be used.  On my knees I prayed and cried for it. The drive was that strong, as was the depression in not finding it. Ask my roommate at the time – who is now UniversalGiving’s COO. She saw it all, and it was excruciating.

I see an idea.  I get inspired and do the full business plan for a Gift Basket company that would give back to nonprofits, early CSR before I know it. I sneak into a manufacturer’s conference for Gift Basket vendors of 1000 people, to find out all the suppliers of foods and gifts. I prepared inventory, storage, a marketing plan, and first customers.

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And then…

I had to give up.

It just didn’t feel right.  I just wasn’t prepared to do this on my own. I needed a partner.

I was devastated.   I had started… another non-starter in my life.

I called my Dad and let him know I was abandoning the Gift Basket business plan. What would I do next, he asked?

I thought…..I might like PR.  That’s the thing…you often just don’t know.

You have to try, and believe all the things that don’t work are gearing you exactly into what does work.  Don’t worry.  Keep going.  Keep trying.  Learn.

I tried to get into PR. I was told I didn’t have any experience. I was told I didn’t have an internship on my resume.

So I went — and got experience, for ten days. I got into Chiatt Day, and beat out college teens for an unpaid internship. After a week-plus, I put it on my resume, and was then able to get a job with a PR agency because I had ‘experience.’

I entered data for them. I was praised with the company record of stuffing the most press kits. I was so mind-tired, so exhausted by not using my mind, that I had to run up and down the stairwell to stay sane.

I went from sales, to being out of work for a year, to odd jobs, to a 10-day internship at Chiatt Day, to 8 months at a PR firm, into a Masters in broadcast journalism.  I hopped and hopped.

Then I met Peter Samuelson, and he helped change my life course. He was doing it, and he really lived.

ROUGH: Your Calling

How Do You Get There Once You Know What It Is?

Just because you have a calling doesn’t mean there is an easy way to get there.

At the age of twelve, I was struck with an early vision. In my post “To Be of Service,” I speak about witnessing poverty in Mexico with my father, and how that changed my life. It set me on a pathway to service and ultimately entrepreneurship.  However, the challenges to get there, and to understand my unique path as a social entrepreneur, were many.

I had always been very entrepreneurial. I loved to create little businesses. For some, there is a time when we move from being an entrepreneur, to being a social entrepreneur.  Peter Samuelson, film director and founder of Starlight Children’s Foundation, encapsulated that pivotal moment for me.   I first met Peter through the Leadership Institute, started by management leader Warren Bennis at USC Business School. Here’s how Peter sparked me on my path.

While the thread in my life was about helping, I was having a hard time finding an outlet. At the time, I was in graduate school, heading into broadcast journalism with the goal of changing the tenor of media news.  I wanted to see a world where we could emphasize positive developments in our world.

It’s not that we ignore the tough situations, but the murder rate is not always going up. There are places it has gone down.  Positive solutions helped get us there. Why not cover that news?

If you focus only on the negative, you’ll stay there.  Move into the new world you envision.  But news directors told me it wasn’t possible. “We operate off of eye candy, what will bring the most viewers. What you’re proposing doesn’t drive eyeballs, Pamela.”

So I was feeling blocked again. Four “careers” in four years. Now what do I do?

Peter got up and spoke about “entrepreneurial philanthropy” or “social entrepreneurship.”  “We need to make a difference in a strategic, business-like way, while serving our communities!” he proclaimed.  He essentially galvanized us with his relentless passion. I’ve never seen anyone speak like that.

My heart dropped. Tears filled my eyes. At that point I was going through my mid-life crisis at age 25. And in an instant, I knew what I wanted to do.  I wanted to be a social entrepreneur. Peter brought my vision of how I wanted to serve – with compassion and business principles – to life.

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The relief, the joy, the glory…to know… that I was made to be a social entrepreneur.

I left the Leadership Conference and ran to a payphone (yes, a payphone) and called my Dad, “Dad, Dad, I know what I want to do!” I excitedly explained. He listened with joy and support as he always does.  “That’s great, honey!  And…how…do you get paid?”

Rough.

Social entrepreneurship was not a developed concept — let alone a field. There were NO:

social entrepreneurship blogs or books

social entrepreneurship job listings

social entrepreneurship events, certificates, programs, classes…

or  degrees….

or conferences.

Or thought leaders.  Or experienced social entrepreneurs, proven track records, or just any example.

Now try explaining to everyone you want to be a social entrepreneur.

“You mean a social worker?”

“What’s a social engineer?”

“Oh cool!  Wait, what do they do?”

“Oh… well, good luck with that.”

It was lonely.

What was the next step?

While still excruciating, that year I found the right people and the right idea. VolunteerMatch came into being. It was a ‘lucky’ confluence of the Web (I love scale), do-gooderism, and providing a solution to people finding quick, accessible efficient ways to volunteer. Even then, it still wasn’t my full calling, because it wasn’t global. While grateful, I had more work to do to find my true purpose.

So while I was struck with a wonderful devotion in life, it took years to manifest it. Four to reach VolunteerMatch. And then for my true calling, international, through UniversalGivingthat would take ten.

Ten years.

What you have to remember is, every passionless dead-end is still a precious part of your process.

You must commit to serving and helping others in your current situation, even when you don’t want to be there.

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In so doing, you commit to good values and build your strength. You also meet helpful people. You meet people you can help.

You learn many valuable skills. In my case, sales, PR, broadcast communications, international on the side.  All of those experiences came back into play in my effective governing of UniversalGiving.

This fight to find what I love to do, enabled me to go through my midlife crisis 25 years earlier than most. I am clear, pure and passionate about what I do and the meaning in my life. It has led me to fight for others, so they can have this too.  I am almost equally passionate about UniversalGiving, as I am about helping people find their pathway in life.

I wake up in love to live each day.  I know what it means to me, and I don’t take it for granted. Every day I get to help others, with my heart and with my mind, for the community and in business. That is what I get to do with a wonderful team. Every day.

So my efforts to serve certainly started with poverty, but now extend into striving to be a great social entrepreneurship leader; and to be available for anyone who would like to talk about their pathway. I hope to serve not just my industry and global social entrepreneurship, but also the entering leaders, to help them.  One of the greatest joys has not just been being a social entrepreneur, but also helping pave for others, for our social entrepreneurship industry.

ROUGH: Continue Giving

In my final notes to all of you who wish so sincerely for this meaning…

Please, don’t give up.

DO NOT give up.

The joy you will find is lovely, fruitful, fulfilling. It is life-giving to yourself and others. It will build you in ways you will never imagine, and bring the right people into your life. And it might be much simpler for you. If so, cherish it.  We all receive our challenges in life, in different ways.

Mine wasn’t an easy journey, but it was filled with joy despite the challenges. Making it big is not about money.  I am “wealthy” because of the joy-filled, purposeful life that I lead. I am alive, not just because I breathe. I am alive because I truly live.  I hope I can help others become “rich,” too.

From Rough to Joy.

Dear reader, I hope this helped you. It wasn’t easy for me to write, but I did it.

Love, Pamela