Filling the Void

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One of the reasons verbal abuse – be it negative and demeaning criticism, gossip, bullying or other types of verbal assaults – is common in the workplace is that many folks lack the basic conversation skills that enable them to speak to others openly, honestly, self-responsibly and respectfully about what really matters.

Comfortable in your own skin
In contrast, those who are comfortable in their own skin, who are able to listen and understand consciously, who possess effective communication skills, who are able to speak up and speak out respectfully and who can discuss difficult topics with a sense of ease and grace, are generally psycho-emotionally healthier than those who are unwilling or unable to do so.

In the workplace, those individuals who say they have healthy relationships with bosses, direct reports, co-workers, stakeholders and those who serve them experience less stress and fewer physical, emotional and mental ailments.

The reason those with good communication skills have fewer ailments is because they are able to work through issues and conflicts in a healthy way – a way that doesn’t see them resorting to attacking, belittling, demeaning, dismissing, labeling, insulting, ridiculing, or verbally abusing others.

That’s why every organization, team, department, silo, unit or group needs to explore how it encourages and supports the power of dialogue and how individuals interact with one another.

How about you?
For example, are employees allowed, even encouraged, to speak their minds? Are they encouraged to share information widely (as appropriate)? Are all stakeholders asked for their input on important decisions? Do leaders, managers, supervisors and team leaders ask their direct reports, “what do you think?” early and often? Are all permitted, even encouraged, to express their emotions?

In essence, does your institution or organization, department or team empower its members to contribute and engage in healthy conversation and dialogue? Does your organization train for, and consciously value and support, open and honest dialogue?

Filling the void
Where there is no opportunity to speak up, speak out, ask questions, contribute, and engage, there is a void. Where individuals lack the skills to dialogue effectively, there is a void. And, employees, like nature, abhor a vacuum. If a conversational void exists, if your organization or team inhibits open and honest communication, your employees will most assuredly find a way to fill it.

Unfortunately, the method many employees use to fill the void are more often than not self-destructive and self-sabotaging: rumors, gossip, complaining, nit-picking, blaming, bitching, moaning, finger-pointing, and out-and-out lying.

Short and sweet, your organization’s positive energy, health and vitality are entirely dependent on effective communication and dialogue. When your employees engage, with their hearts and minds, openly and honestly, shared meaning is the result. Healthy communication begets healthy relationships and healthy relationships beget a healthy organization.

No wonder psychological safety is a huge issue when discussing workplace violence the days.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you trust others’ opinions?
  • Do you hear as well as listen? Do you know the difference?
  • Do you feel comfortable expressing your emotions? How so?
  • Do you ask others, “What do you think?” on a regular basis?
  • Do you make it safe for others to speak their minds? How so?
  • Do you create roadblocks to effective communication? If so, why?
  • How do you feel when you think you’re not being heard?
  • Do your colleagues say you are a good listener? Have you ever asked them?
  • Does your labeling or judgment of others suppress dialogue?
  • Do you allow ideas to stand on their own merit regardless of who is offering the ideas?
  • Do you scrutinize the messenger as well as the message? If so, why?
  • Is your conversation style punctuated more by periods or by question marks? Why?
  • Do you allow time for dialogue in your workday?
  • Do you communicate to others that “you matter?”

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Identity – Who Are You?

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When I discover who I am, I’ll be free” – Ralph Ellison

“Identification” or “identity” is one way we use to define who we are. Either historically, or in the present moment, we come to view ourselves in some way, shape or form that identifies “who I am.” Identity can take the form of an image, an impression, an emotion or feeling, or a body sensation and make it one of the many building blocks that define “me.” Forms of identity that we took on early in life or create in the present moment might include: I am a strong man; I am an optimist; I am an extrovert; I am a spiritual person; I am a happy person; I am a fearful person; I am a worrier;  I am a manager; I am a parent, etc.

When we speak about “identity” what we are saying is that I AM this quality or image, even if I am not consciously aware of this quality or image in the moment, even if I am not speaking this to myself in the moment. It’s a “given.” This quality  or image is part of the fabric of who I take myself to be, i.e., who I am. We believe it is True – with a capital T.

For example, let’s use how we might identify with an emotion, anger. If I am identified with my anger (I am an angry person…quietly angry, usually seething,  or overtly angry, usually very vocal in my anger…as a general way of being), then my response to a person, event or circumstance that I am experiencing says in some way, “I want to be angry,” or “I need to be angry,” or “I can justify my anger,” or “I have a right to be angry,” etc. and then proceed to act out on my anger. I identify with my anger. My anger is who I am.

If I am not identified with my anger, that is, seeing that I do get angry from time to time, but not being identified with my anger, I can witness the same person, event or circumstance and feel or sense my anger and say, “OK, so I feel some anger. It’s here and it’ll subside. I’ll just be with it, observe it in me and allow it to dissipate” without having to “do” anything about it, i.e., act it out, or “get” angry.

Identification means we define ourselves by something. – I AM that something – that image, that emotion, that feeling. Who I believe I am is not separate from that quality or image.

Identification also means that I am invested in that quality. I have a conscious wanting or needing to be that quality or image.

So, one clue as to whether we are identified to a particular quality is look at how we respond to an event in the moment.

When we are identified by a quality, or an image (of who I am), we are taken over by that quality or image when we experience an event. It’s a pull, like an addiction. We live much of our life addicted to having an identity, not wanting to be free of that identity and and are continually creating that identity. I am….(fill in the blank).

As we go through life, we take on, and shed, various identities.

We take on identities related to our work or career, identities related to being a man or woman, identities related to sports, education, spirituality, to our beauty, our nationality, to being a happy child or an abused child, being the black sheep of the family, being the “happy (sad…) one – all identities which we want everyone to know. The deal is that we then believe that if we let go of out identity, we will be no one, we will lose our sense of “who I am” – we become disconnected from our True and Real self.

The point?
When we came into the world we came in without any “identity” so to speak; we were a “tabula rosa,” (and I know there are differing perspectives on this) a clean slate.  In that state, we were free, light, natural, easy, relaxed, simple (in the positive sense). This state, called presence, is still within us, still accessible.  In a state of presence, we need no mental operations to create “who I am,” i.e., we need no identifications.  We just are. I am!

In this state of presence we have no need to “identify.” We have a sense of confidence, groundedness and surety. However, when we let go of this state, when in the throes of stress, conflict, overwhelm, or confusion, we forget who we are and then sense the need to grasp on to an “identity” to make me feel safe.

When we don’t trust our True and Real self, when we stray from the Essence of who we were when we came into this existence, our reactive inclination is to grab on to an image or identity of “who I am” and then shove this identity on to others to show them “I am (this or that)” – a need to be seen as this or that. In this place, we are not be-ing, we are not authentic, and we are not trusting of our Essential nature.

How to disidentify
When we see that we are caught up in an identity, we can begin the process of letting go of it, not by efforting, not by “working” on it, but simply by becoming aware of it, noticing it, seeing it for what it is. As you become aware of the identity, observe it, watch it and witness it, it will begin to dissolve over time. If you are not willing to be free of your identification, then, yes, you are deeply identified. If you are willing to become free of your identification, slowly it will fall away.

Finally, you are not “bad” or “wrong” for having identifications. It’s part of the psycho-emotional developmental process of life. But it’s not part of who we have to be. That’s the choice.

When we are able to disassociate from our identities, then we can be more real, and more authentic in our everyday experiences – at work, at home, at play and in relationship.

Some questions for self-reflection:


What identifications define you?
Who are you?
What reactions, attitudes, preferences, “stories,” desires and attachments can help you recognize how you are identified?
How do you feel about your identifications?
Do your identifications constrain you in your everyday life experiences? How so?
When do you feel most free of identifications?
Who would you be and how would you feel if you were not (fill in with one of you identifications – an image, an emotion…)?
If you asked your best friend what s/he saw as your identifications, what would s/he say? Would you agree?
Why do you choose your identities? What do they “get” you?
Can you visualize having no identifications? What does that feel like?
How did you come to have the identifications you have?
Without your identities, would you feel (a) more or less secure, (b) more or less free?

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Well-Being

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Well-Being — Identifying it and consciously and consistently tracking it.

(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Are “difficult “people really difficult?

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Might you be contributing to their being difficult through the stories you tell yourself about them? How do you know?

(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Haiti, The Caldor Fire and Ida —Disasters and Their Deeper Meaning

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

What It Like to Say, “I don’t know?”

not knowing

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So, can you remember a recent time you were in conversation with someone and said, openly and honestly, “I don’t know.”? And, felt completely at ease and at peace with “not knowing”?

Why we feel we need to know

In life – at work, at home, at play and in relationship – we’re expected to have certain capacities and competencies – i.e., “know-how.” Others often expect or depend on our ability to have, be or do.

But, what happens, inside us, when facing a dilemma, a conundrum, a challenge or problem and we just “don’t know?”

In Western culture, it’s common to want (or need?) to “save face” and so when we feel challenged, we conjure up the “appearance of knowing” so we can feel we’re in control and be recognized for what we know. In our culture, we overemphasize how much we know. While we may feel that “not knowing” is unacceptable, the fact is we often just don’t know from time to time. Isn’t that true?

Why “not knowing” puts us on the defensive

When we don’t know, we move into an unconscious reactivity to “defend” ourselves in some way, shape or form – i.e., clinging to jargon, double-speak, techno-babble and the like to mask our unknowing, or espousing a facade or fakeness about knowing – sometimes resorting to facts or figures to cloud an issue, or muddying already-murky waters, or avoiding, feigning “exclusion” or seeking allies to support our not knowing, or blaming someone else in order to deflect our discomfort, fear, insecurity or uncertainty. All of this to be in control and protect our fragile egos.

The benefit of not knowing

In Eastern cultures, “not knowing” is often seen as a self-supporting, personal-developmental practice that can actually bring one to be ever more effective in experiencing life. Welcoming a conflict or problem with a sense of “not knowing” can be an opportunity for creativity and insight. The darkness of the unknown supports us to access our inner strength, our inner wisdom and higher self. Asking positive (not-fear-based, reactive) questions from a place of curiosity can support us to overcome our fear, uncertainty, doubt or feelings of lack or deficiency.

Actually “not knowing” gives us an opportunity to consciously slow down, “take a deep breath,” delete our assumptions, misperceptions, , misunderstandings, “stories” or expectations so we can be present in the moment, right here and right now, without the intensity, irritation and agitation to “get somewhere else,” “to have an answer, to be right.” “Not knowing” gives us an opportunity to relax into our body and mind, focus on the foreground and the background, to “see beyond our eyes,” to jettison “my knowledge” and be curious about what I don’t know. “Not knowing” is all about curiosity, the adventure of “finding out” from a place of “Hmmm, that’s interesting. I wonder what that’s all about.”

“Not knowing” is about “punctuation,” – i.e., more question marks and fewer periods. It’s about being inquisitive, not about ego, personality, blaming, judging or “being right.” When we “don’t know” we invite, we are open, we ask and observe, watch and listen. We slow down, give up our need to be “the expert.” We “allow” life to unfold; we don’t “make” life unfold.

Rather than defending against “not knowing, we can relax into “not knowing” as a part of who we are, knowing that it’s a part of our everyday life and an opportunity to grow and learn something new about ourselves in the process.

Two sets of questions:

  • Questions that evolve from a place of “not knowing:
  • If there is a deeper reason for me to be here, what is it?
  • What’s important to me about this situation and why do I care?
  • What’s my intention here? What’s the deeper purpose – the “big why” – that is worthy of my best effort?
  • What stands in the way of my being fully present in this situation?
  • What draws me to this interaction?
  • How much does the first person who speaks set the tone for the ensuing conversation?
  • Can I by-pass some of the trust issues that normally keep /me from opening up and moving into deep conversations?
  • Can I step into the unknown?
  • To what degree might it be possible for me to see the world/issue/problem through another’s eyes?
  • What am I hiding?
  • Do I give myself permission to be fully myself?
  • Does my “expertise” distract me from exploring the essence of the issue/question?
  • How comfortable (am I with not knowing?
  • What would someone who had a very different set of beliefs than I do say about this situation?
  • What is missing from the picture so far? What am I not seeing? Where do I need more clarity?
  • What could happen that would enable me to feel fully engaged and energized in this situation?
  • What’s possible here and who cares about it?
  • How can I support others in taking the next steps? What unique contribution can I make?

and

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Is it OK to “not know”?
  • How do you feel when you “don’t know?”
  • What behavior(s) do you engage in when you “don’t know?” Do you ever “pretend” you do know? Why?
  • Do you ever see “beyond your eyes”? (observe what’s around you that you’ve never noticed before…e.g., a crack in the ceiling, color/shapes of plants in the office, another’s tone of voice, color of lights in the elevator, a client or friend’s usual way of talking or their body-language, softness of the carpet in your office, others’ email signatures, pictures in the taxi, store, etc..)?
  • What in life are you curious about? Have you explored further?
  • Do you resist “not knowing?”
  • What is one upcoming opportunity where you can practice “not knowing?”
  • What was always needing to “know” like for you and your family when you were growing up?

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.

Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, http://www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Commitment and Harmony

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What is a commitment?
A commitment is an agreement that is (1) a fact demonstrated by observable and measurable behavior and (2) an attitude that reflects a consistency and alignment in thought and belief.

For example, a committed relationship is one where one’s behavior demonstrates commitment in an operational and observable way and one where one’s thoughts and beliefs about the relationship are consistent, and in alignment with, the notion of commitment.

If one says one is in a committed relationship but never has time for one’s partner, that is not commitment.

If one spends 95% of one’s time with one’s partner but is consistently wishing or wanting to be elsewhere, not sure if the relationship is the right one, or fantasizing being with another person or persons, that is not commitment. 

What is harmony?
Harmony is a state in which there is congruence among what one says, feels, thinks and does. When one or more of these four elements is not in alignment with the others, one will not experience harmony; rather, one will experience a feeling of imbalance, a feeling of being “off,” that results in little true and real joy, happiness, meaning or purposefulness. In a state of imbalance, one is moving robotic-like though life – at work, at home, at play and in relationship.

When we’re committed, we show we care deeply and are engaged – yes, even at work. 

Conscious commitment
For commitment to be conscious and healthy, four elements are necessary: (1) be clear about who you are, what you want in life and know how to get what you want; (2) have a clear set of well-defined goals for your life (at work, at home, at play and in relationship); these goals must be in alignment with who you are, and your core values; (3) conscious preparation for the commitment – have the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual, social, psychological and communication skills that will support your choice to commit; and (4) actually committing – making the conscious choice to commit, engage and participate.

The path to true and real happiness is paved with commitment. No commitment, no happiness. Perhaps a faux happiness, the appearance of happiness, but not the real thing – a phony and fake happiness that is ever ephemeral, and fleeting. Always looking for more and for “the next best thing,” or person.

Unhappiness
Consider those who consistently say they are unhappy – at work, at home, at play and in relationship. What’s most often lacking is commitment. How so?

Most probably because they have never truly (consciously) sat down and reflected on their deeper, core life requirements or the core values underneath such requirements. More likely, what they have done (beginning in childhood and moving through adolescence and into early adulthood) is come up with a list of work-life-play requirements based on someone else’s beliefs of what’s right, necessary, good or important and as a result became indoctrinated along the way with other folk’ beliefs about what’s important – parents, extended family members, media, Reality TV, politicians, corporations, friends, salespeople, competitors, teachers, clergy, academics, bosses, military leaders, and the like.

But, sadly and unfortunately, they never took the time and energy to consciously explore inside and ask themselves what they really, really want – an exploration that comes from their deeper, heart-felt, soul-driven place.  Rather, they followed lock-step, or blindly, someone else’s vision or goal. It’s no wonder they cannot experience commitment.

Signs of lack of commitment
One way to identify those who’ve never taken the time to deeply and consciously explore work-life-play-relationship commitment in a truly meaningful and purposeful way is to observe how they are characterized by (1) a lack of clarity about their life purpose, their core values or the place of spirituality in their life; (2) a consistent tendency to look outside themselves for life’s “answers;” (3) a limited ability for, or tendency to, self-reflect; (4) a lack of clarity about “who I am;” and (5) a low-grade-fever type of state where they experience frustration, overwhelm, agitation, unhappiness and discontent on a regular basis.

The first step to exploring commitment, in a conscious and healthy way, is to look at the discrepancy that exists between commitment in fact and commitment in attitude to see what’s causing the discrepancy. HINT – the cause is never “out there.” The inquiry begins with personal responsibility, by honestly asking:

“What’s going on with me that accounts for my lack of engagement or commitment (either in fact and/or in attitude)?”
“Why don’t I have what I want?”
“Why does having what I think I want always lead me to feeling unhappy, empty, lonely and unfulfilled?”
“Why do I always feel I’m on the outside looking in?”
“Why am I always asking others what they think, feel or believe?”
“Why do I seem to sabotage myself so much?”
“Why am I so jealous and envious of others?”

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • How committed to, and engaged, are you with your activities during your day at work, at home, at play and in relationship? How so?
  • How do you manifest commitment, dedication and passion?
  • With respect to your career, your relationships, your health, your friends, your family and your happiness, how committed are you and how indifferent are you? If you say you are committed and devoted, are you committed in fact and in attitude?  Or, are you just going through the motions, being habitual, or being half-hearted? How might others feel about the degree of your commitment and engagement?
  • Do you ever emotionally, verbally or physically bully, become overbearing, or manipulate others because you are committed against something?
  • Do you find yourself delaying, denying, deferring and procrastinating because you are not 100% committed to someone or something?
  • Do you ever doubt the value of your commitments? If so, when?
  • Are you afraid to let go of that which you are not committed? Why do you hang on?
  • Do you ever “act as if” to make believe you are committed?
  • When was the last time you took time to seriously reflect on who you are, what you want in life or why you may be feeling uncommitted to someone or some thing?
  • How do you know your values are your values and not someone else’s values you just took on as you grew up and matured?
  • Do you ever “go along to get along” when you know “deep down” that it’s bad for you? Why?
  • Do you become defensive when someone questions your life-work choices or your values?
  • Do your values and beliefs ever contradict one another?
  • Do you ever notice a conflict between your external or public voice (what you say to others) and your internal and private voice (what you believe and say to yourself quietly) while in conversation at work, at home or at play? Or in conversation with your spouse/partner? How so? Does this make you curious?
  • Do you feel your life reflects “harmony?”
  • How did you learn about commitment growing up?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Spiritual Health, Alignment and Purpose

Rumi


Three keys to attaining inner peace and well-being as you live life at work, at home, at play and in relationship. Moving from the ego to higher consciousness.

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(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com


You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Thinking about Your Negative Thoughts

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Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

Your negative thoughts not only affect your body, but the environment as well.

https://tnp43.wordpress.com/

(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering

Beyond Judgment

Speaker pageFacebook Page, Becoming a Better You book page

Just launched – three exciting new products

The Indian philosopher Krishnamurti remarked that “the highest form of intelligence is the ability to observe without evaluating.”

So, a few questions:
Are some of the people around you lazy, or do they just do lazy things?
Are some kids you see stupid, or do they just do things differently from you?
Are some of your co-workers uncreative or do they just approach tasks in a way you wouldn’t?
Are some bosses cold and calculating or do they just manage in ways you might not?
Is your spouse or partner too independent or do they just have a different way of viewing a relationship?

Judging as the cause of disconnects
One of the major causes of disconnects between people – at work, at home, at play and in relationship – is our tendency to not only make observations about their behavior, but to use these observations as the basis to make snap judgments about their character.

When we observe someone and instantly label them on the basis of some behavior or other, we move away from seeing the wholeness and totality of that person.

Many of us engage in knee-jerk, judgmental reactions of others who, in some way, appear “different from me.” We are quick not only to point out the “bad-ness” or “wrong-ness” of another but to evaluate who they are based on our observations of their behavior.

So, Mary’s lazy; John’s a procrastinator; Julia’s unhealthy; Susan’s angry; Mario’s a narcissist, Jane’s aggressive; Art’s a complainer.

None of these judgments is an observation. None of these criticisms points to a simple, objective behavior. All of these are judgments we feel we need to make about a person based on what we have observed.

The next time you find yourself making a knee-jerk reactive judgment, perhaps ask first, “What is that person doing or saying that makes me feel some sense of discomfort?” And then ask yourself, “Why can’t I seem to just notice their behavior without needing to make a judgment or offer an evaluation?”

In fact, it would be interesting if during your day you could actually discern between your observations and your evaluations. Many can’t, because the habit of observing and judging is so ingrained.

Why we judge rather than observe
When our ego, rather than our heart and soul, is left to do the driving, our GPS is based on looking at the landscape from a like/dislike, right/wrong, or good/bad perspective. Built into this dynamic is an evaluative process based on ego-based emotions, feelings, character, qualities, and styles, etc.

So the more someone is “not like me,” the more we feel a tendency to push away from them. All of this is based on our need, often unconscious, to “be right.” When someone behaves – in thought, word or deed – in a way that does not sync up with what we feel is right, we feel challenged (or threatened). And when we feel challenged (or threatened), we feel the need to defend our beliefs, our “rightness.” In doing so, we’re looking to support our psycho-emotional safety and security with “who I am.”

Making judgments about others is how we defend our self. If we can make them “bad” or “wrong,” then we’re right or good. This dynamic is also the underlying foundation of bias and prejudice (conscious ad unconscious). And for many, it is characteristic of living in a world of duality – good vs. bad; right vs. wrong; intelligent vs. stupid, etc.

Moving beyond duality
The way we move beyond this dualistic tendency is to suspend judgment – to observe without evaluating. When we transcend our ego and come from a place of presence – simply observing – we can start to see the essence of another individual.

From this place we can suspend what we like and dislike and allow our soul to look at the truth (not ego-based subjective truth) – a deeper and intuitive sense of another person based on respect, tolerance and understanding, rather than judgement.

And when we’re open and accepting of others, we start to find that we are similar; we are able to accept their personalities without discomfort, resistance, resentment, or difficulty – as we’re relating on a level where love and understanding fill the space between us. Rather than making judgements, we acknowledge other points of view and respond with a “hmmm, that’s interesting” and move on without reacting.

Not by 9:00 tomorrow morning
Being able to accept and understand like this isn’t something that happens overnight, especially for those of us who have a deeply-ingrained tendency towards making judgements about others.

But there are behaviors we can focus on and develop to help us to accept others who push our buttons: patience, understanding, appreciating differences, recognizing the essential nature of others, and being open to, valuing and allowing the uniqueness of others.

When we focus on these behaviors, like and dislike stop being part of the relationship equation. Gradually, they will be replaced by compassion, empathy, acceptance and understanding.

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • Do you know the difference between an observation and a judgment?
  • Are you quick to judge? What would your friends, co-workers, or spouse/partner say? How so?
  • What do you “get” by being judgmental? Honestly.
  • Do you blame others for much of your discomfort? How so?
  • Do you become defensive in some way when you encounter people who push your buttons?
  • When you were growing up, were your parents, primary caregivers or others judgmental?
  • Can you envision a world where people can observe one another without evaluating or judging?
  • What is your most recent experience of being judgmental?

—————————————————–
(c) 2021, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com

You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TrueNorthPartnering