Tag Archives: relationships

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: Loyalty to Those Not Present

“One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present.   In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present.  When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.”

–Stephen Covey

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: “We’re All Just Walking Each Other Home” – Ram Dass

“We’re all just walking each other home.”

– Ram Dass

Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) is a Hindu spiritual teacher, and the author of Be Here Now.  He was born Jewish, considered himself an Atheist in his early years, and went on a spiritual search to India in the 1960s.  There he met Neem Karoli Baba, who became his guru, and gave him the name Ram Dass, meaning “servant of God.”  Ram Dass has written more than ten books and founded two foundations, the Seva Foundation and Hanuman Foundation.

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…

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.

The Pamela Positive: Why Do We Live Apart from the Family We Love?

What We Can Learn from Asia

I am one of those fortunate people who did not need to board a flight this past holiday. My family is local: My parents live 45 minutes away on the Peninsula, and my sister, brother-in-law and three nephews and niece live about 1 mile from my parents.

That’s truly been a joy for me, the simple presence of family.   Being able to babysit last minute; experiencing the chaos of taking care of kids during ‘meltdown time’ at 5 pm with a 6, 4 and 1 year old when they were growing up ; celebrating their progress on their soccer field; scootering with them to ice cream on a warm summer night, after dinner.

Why do we allow ourselves to live apart? Why is it so accepted?

I know I am fortunate.  Sometimes people have to move because of marriage. A new job. Taking care of an elderly parent.  All very legitimate reasons which contribute to family, and yet, also separate…

In a recent Gallup Poll, 16% of the world said they would like to move to another country.  This comes from both dire situations (such as Somalia) to the desire for luxury or adventure.  But in one region the rates are lower than Europe and America: Asia.  Due to progress in political freedoms and enhanced economic opportunities, many Asians are staying put: Only 10% desire to move. But there’s another factor as well: Close family ties, and a cultural commitment to taking care of family, keeps the desire to move low.

Let’s learn, if we are so fortunate, from this cultural and familial commitment to keep family close…