Tag: gratitude

11/25/12 “A Gift”

Good day, team.

I hope all my subscribers enjoyed a long holiday weekend. We work hard, and it is rare that we allow ourselves the luxury of true rest and relaxation. The holidays give us time to reflect on the accomplishments and challenges of the past year and to ponder the coming new year and the opportunities it may bring.

Your challenge this week is to carve out some time for yourself in the next four weeks for reflection and gratitude. Think about the gifts that life has bestowed upon you in this past year and be thankful for the abundance that surrounds you. Consider the challenges that you’ve encountered and how you’ve learned from them, how you’ve grown in dealing with them and consider how you’ve changed. Revel in the love that others have bestowed upon you. And give yourself a gift for having lived another year that expanded your mind and opened your heart.

My gift to myself this holiday is a poem from the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, Mary Oliver. I encourage you to find a gift that speaks to your heart, as Oliver’s poem does to mine.

Of Love

I have been in love more times than one,
thank the Lord. Sometimes it was lasting
whether active or not. Sometimes
it was all but ephemeral, maybe only
an afternoon, but not less real for that.
They stay in my mind, these beautiful people,
or anyway people beautiful to me, of which
there are so many. You, and you, and you,
whom I had the fortune to meet, or maybe
missed. Love, love, love, it was the
core of my life, from which, of course, comes
the word for the heart. And, oh, have I mentioned
that some of them were men and some were women
and some — now carry my revelation with you —
were trees. Or places. Or music flying above
the names of the makers. Or clouds, or the sun
which was the first, and the best, the most
loyal for certain, who looked so faithfully into
my eyes, every morning. So I imagine
such love of the world — its fervency, its shining, its
innocence and hunger to give of itself — I imagine
this is how it began.

~ Mary Oliver

Have a good week!


© Copyright 2012 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

4/4/11 “Civility via Modesty”

Good day, team.

This week, I’m happy to send the second part of what I wanted to share about the subject of civility. The following comes from John Limb, the publisher at Oregon Catholic Press (OCP) here in Portland. After reading an editorial written by David Brooks in our local newspaper, John was quite impressed with how Brooks wrote about civility via modesty. Here are John’s comments and an excerpt from the editorial:

“The following is an excerpt from an editorial written by David Brooks as it appeared in a Saturday issue of The Oregonian a few months ago. It is excellent — perhaps the best editorial Brooks has ever written. Its subject is civility via modesty. While directed primarily at politicians, I think Brooks’ advice is good counsel for anyone in a leadership position. I recommend you read the whole editorial, but I especially like the following excerpt:

‘Every sensible person involved in politics and public life knows that his or her work is laced with failure. Every column, every speech, every piece of legislation and every executive decision has its own humiliating shortcomings. There are always arguments you should have made better, implications you should have anticipated, other points of view you should have taken on board. Moreover, even if you are at your best, your efforts will still be laced with failure. The truth is fragmentary, and it’s impossible to capture all of it. There are competing goods that can never be fully reconciled. The world is more complicated than any human intelligence can comprehend. But every sensible person in public life also feels redeemed by others. You may write a mediocre column or make a mediocre speech or propose a mediocre piece of legislation, but others argue with you, correct you and introduce elements you never thought of. Each of these efforts may also be flawed, but together, if the system is working well, they move things gradually forward. Each individual step may be imbalanced, but in succession, they make the social organism better. As a result, every sensible person feels a sense of gratitude for this process. We all get to live lives better than we deserve because our individual shortcomings are transmuted into communal improvement. We find meaning — and can only find meaning — in the role we play in that larger social enterprise.’

“I particularly like Brooks’ comment that ‘even if you are at your best, your efforts will still be laced with failure.’ That’s why we need one another to do our best work. That’s why we have co-workers to help us be the best we can be, both as individuals and as a company. I have been publisher at OCP for more than 18 years now. As OCP’s chief executive, I can certainly attest to this — both professionally and personally. These are good words to consider whenever we think we have all the answers or have the best answer or can’t possibly be wrong. As Brooks says, we are all ‘redeemed by others …We all get to live lives better than we deserve because our individual shortcomings are transmuted into communal improvement.’ May we all have the modesty to realize and accept this truth.”

Your challenge this week is to think about how important your co-workers are and show them your gratitude. Consider how often they help you become a better manager or offer you a suggestion that makes your life easier or create a new process that lightens your load. Realize how often your thoughts and ideas are only one piece of a much larger puzzle that could never be solved without the help of others. Be grateful for all the times you’ve made a mistake and there’s someone right by your side willing to help you out of the mess you’ve created. Thank your teammates for being there to support you and forgive your failures.

Understand that civility comes from the modesty to know that we cannot do any of this alone. Let yourself be “redeemed” by the people around you.

My special thanks to John Limb for allowing me to publish his thoughts about the editorial. He inspires many of us who are fortunate enough to work with him with his wisdom and dedication to servant leadership.

Have a good week!


Kathleen Doyle-White

Pathfinders Coaching

(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.

3/14/11 “Remembering What’s Important”

Good day, Team.

This week, I can’t help but reflect upon the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Sometimes I wonder if the size of a tragedy proportionately influences our humanity. Do disasters like this have to keep happening to wake us up and remind us of what’s important? How it is that I’ve almost forgotten about the oil spill that happened just last year? or the earthquake in Haiti? What is it in our thinking that so quickly forgets? And how is it that in our day-to-day lives, we fuss and fight and strike out at one another when instead we could be appreciating all of the good things in our lives?

This week’s challenge is about remembering what’s important. Last week I found myself embroiled in an internal struggle that was all too familiar: worrying about what others think of me. I know there’s no way I can control what others think of me. Goodness knows I can barely control my own thoughts, let alone someone else’s. In reality what others think and say about me is a projection of what they think about themselves — so worrying about it is not very productive. However, I’m also aware that this affliction is quite common, and that it’s the rare person who doesn’t spend time worrying about what others think of them.

As I was struggling last week, with my monkey mind jumping from limb to limb pondering this topic, screeching at me and demanding my attention, I heard about the earthquake and everything stopped. In that moment, I was completely still inside. That stillness produced a sacred moment for me. I felt the suffering of thousands of Japanese people whose lives were changed forever, and I thought of what’s important to me: the people I love and the quality of the life I’m leading. These thoughts catapulted me into a state of gratitude and prayer. This kind of earth-shattering news causes me to pause and feel for others who are experiencing loss and devastation. It also fills me with gratitude for what I have and the safety of my own surroundings.

Each day this week, spend some time remembering what’s most important to you. Try not to let your thoughts of blame, resentment, worry and dissatisfaction take over. Try not to complain or speak against yourself or others. Allow yourself to appreciate the world and people around you, and don’t forget to let them know it. Give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives and take a few moments to reflect on our good fortune. And when all else fails, remember that love is universal and always here.

In that vein, I offer a variation of I Corinthians, 13: 4-13 from the Bible. These words remind me of what’s truly important:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I talked as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Have a good week!
Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

© Copyright 2011 Pathfinders Coaching, Scout Search Inc., all rights reserved.