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“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”


Arthur Ashe

Too many people stubbornly believe it’s necessary and justifiable to use control methods. I’m not talking about control a boss uses when he acts like an insufferable bully, or a manager who thinks dangling carrots is necessary because their faith in humanity is so low. Actually, the most pervasive form of control is the use of judgment against others.

This is when one party assumes they know better, and are better, and that it’s their job to make others see that. They believe it’s important to fix, convert, heal, and change others and what happens is that both parties then enter into a tit-for-tat game of who can make the other one feel smaller and less significant. This battle may go underground but it is still there.

I know that while control methods might feel powerful, they’re actually pseudo or fake and extremely costly. They bring about awful consequences; the worst being war, inequities and abuses of which we see the effects every day. Less obviously tragic impacts include friendships disbanded, and cold withdrawals through closed hearts. The hits in our workplaces, neighborhoods, our schools, and world are countless and unnecessary.

I think most people would agree we need a new way of overcoming today’s problems so we can get busy creating helpful, much-needed innovative solutions. I know that what helps people to be their best is encouragement and creating conditions in which encouragement is consistent and abundant. Judgment and chaos are counter to encouragement and therefore insane. Through consciously prioritizing high trust, purpose, values and authentic teamwork, I see entire communities learn how to function in new, uplifting and supportive ways.

The traditional problem-solving many still grab without thought, is one that polarizes people, creates defensiveness, fosters blaming, and puts negative attention on yesterday’s causes. Hopefully, when you reflect on this, you are convinced that this focus on the negative and the same-old, same-old, does nothing more than create vocabularies and images of scarcity and negativity. How do we shift out of it? Encouragement is one of the most important factors to address in your life and work. Focusing on your gifts and assets in yourself and others, and finding the common ground with people, is the best way to create encouragement and bring about real changes of heart and action.

At this time in our history it’s so abundantly clear that each person must learn how to harness their assets and gifts and use their individual personal power to cause good and joy no matter what conditions arise. Gone are the days of waiting to be rescued by some larger than life hero. You are the hero you’ve been waiting for. You have the power within you to be helpful without harming yourself or others. All you need to be so, is to believe it, and to want it with a mighty passion, so that you let go of accepting the old ways that never worked well anyway, and that cost too much in collateral damages. When you do, you will find the path and the support you need. Call me when you’re ready. It’s what I like helping with more than anything else!

Consider what we have made of our world and reach inside for your inherent social interest and faith in yourself and others. It’s so much more satisfying than immediate, individual gratification alone. It is the practical application of love.
This article will be published in my column The Extraordinary Workplace in the St. Louis Small Business Monthly in March 2017.

Judy Ryan (judy@LifeworkSystems.com), human systems specialist, is owner of LifeWork Systems. Join her in her mission is to create a world in which all people love their lives. She can also be reached at 314-239-4727.

This article is published in the St. Louis Small Business Monthly, March 2017