Posted by steve lawler (126.96.36.199) on October 23, 2002 at 00:08:37:
Dear Members of the Creativity Cafe,
I am placing this here at the encouragement of Peter Rosen to ask your help for a book I am writing about life practices. I am an ethics consultant and writer. I give workshops on issues of ethics, values and culture. Lately I have been quoted in a number of related pieces in publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor and Workforce.com.
I am looking for examples of those simple things that we all do that are essential to expressing and maintaining our values as we face life’s ups and downs. I am focusing on practices one uses when dealing with the following situations:
Accepting responsibility -
Being part of a group -
Committing to a relationship -
Honoring special talents -
What I am seeking is a bit like folklore. Something with a story and an easy to remember slogan or catchphrase. These examples of contributions I have received so far may help clarify what I am looking for:
“I believe that you can behave yourself into a better attitude more than you can wish yourself to behave better.... my premise is that 'moving' anywhere is moving forward… actions are good, no matter if they're bad... and I think we all have similar visions and objectives (be more spiritual, be grounded, contribute more than you consume, be comfortable, raise a productive family etc) so don’t belabor these with a personal vision statement or anything... instead, every three months, I sit down and write down the actions I'm going to take over the next three months... the key word is 'actions'... this is stuff I'm going to do... NOT goals or wishes or end results (not 'be nice' or 'reduce my handicap by three strokes' or 'learn more about the Hindu religion')... actions are things to do- research and present to my employees a topic on European marketing, sign up for and attend a course at Church, take my daughter to practice soccer twice a week etc....”
“My life changed when they went from seeing mistakes as awful to seeing them as the first chapter of a textbook on a new subject. I even had this made into a sign that hangs on the wall in my office. 'Mistakes are just chapter one in a textbook on a new subject' Now I get bothered if I don’t have some sort of royal screw-up every few days. It’s like I am not trying.”
“I learned from my grandfather to ‘use the best materials you can afford.’ This has provided a model for my life’s work. Even in my late 70’s I am still actively building things and more to the point of your book, I am still building my life out of “the best materials I can afford.”
“ ‘Water what you want to grow’ is my motto. Whenever I see something being done well I acknowledge it as soon as possible and in some tangible way. The least that I do is to complement the person doing the thing well. What I try to do more often is write a note to the person or give them a small gift.”
I am gathering these practices from people from many places and with a wide variety of backgrounds.
The book will feature some of the material I gather with some commentary.
I will be grateful if you would send me a practice that you use to attend to one of these areas. Please include some brief biographical information as well. Also, if you would like to share in what I am learning, please let me know as well.
And please let me know if you have any additional questions.
Thank you for your consideration.
Steve Lawler firstname.lastname@example.org
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