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“There is no neutral. We are either part of the problem or part of the solution.” 


Marianne Williamson

A Crucial Question

As we head into every new year, a really great question to consider as we think, speak and act at work and home is, “Does the world need more of this?” This brilliant question puts us in mind of social interest; considering consequences we might cause by what we think, say and do.

This year more than most, causing good things within and between people has clearly not been going so well. With all the political unrest, inequities, anger and despair many feel, would it not be useful to consider, “Is what I’m thinking, saying or doing in this moment improving this relationship, problem or situation, or not?”

Love is the answer.

It’s true, love is the answer, but the problem is most people don’t know how to practice love so well. In our work with clients, we talk with them about practical applications of love, like communicating effectively, defining and living from purpose, being accountable, building trust, and being firm while respectful, without using power over or power under anyone. We describe stages that lead to authentic love and community and sometimes just the word love freaks some of them out. Here’s a recent example:

After one of our online training sessions, an employee learned about the universal need for all people to feel empowered, lovable, connected and contributing. Here’s what she wrote in her post-training survey, “ I almost felt insulted when “lovable” was brought up as a social need. It’s, to me, too strong of a word to apply to a workplace. And I’m having a hard time understanding how you can make yourself lovable.”

I told her that the good news is we don’t need to make ourselves lovable, we just need to remember we already are, and that everyone else is too. Instead, we are too busy criticizing and judging, then shut down and forget the truth of this and how to reflect it to ourselves, and to others. Contracted in fear, many avoid the possibility of openness and vulnerability at all cost and if topics such as politics, race, religion, or love, come up in conversation, they want to change the subject, or work hard trying to convert, heal, or fix others, which never works.

Another Way

There is another way and it is to become determined to learn the practical applications of love. But to do this, we must take time to understand what it looks and feels and sounds like so we can recognize and choose it. This requires we learn how to let go of righteousness, superiority, harshness, and coercion, and hold high vision and expectations instead. And while many would like to avoid thinking or talking about love, especially at the office, it doesn’t work that way. Miracles happen anywhere and anytime we simply pay attention and decide to only choose what is helpful. As we become ever more aware and considerate, others are drawn to us. Before long, they want to be like us, and then they willingly seek the path of effective love because they want it; you have inspired the hunger and determination for it in them. This is leadership. So… remember to ask yourself often, “Does the world need more of this?” If the answer is no, find out what to do instead and then, go do it.

Why People Hire LifeWork Systems

Business owners, community leaders, and educators hire Judy Ryan and Lifework Systems because they want the advantages of an extraordinary workplace. For a limited time, Judy’s book, What’s the Deal with Workplace Culture Change? is available FREE at www.GetMyCultureBook.com You can also contact Judy at 314-239-4727 or at judy@lifeworksystems.com.

This article was published in the St. Louis Small Business Monthly, January 2017