Learning gratefulness

Dear companion,

Do you practice gratefulness?

We live and work in a world of making the most, of maximizing. We obsess on the bottom line. It applies to life as much as business. How much can I get out of this? How can I increase my portion?

The danger of pushing our desire to maximize is that we might be inadvertently squelching the spirit of gratitude. When we are grateful, we are content with having less and others having more. We are happy to share more of our share with others.

I am reminded of a Jewish law that promotes the redistribution of resources to others. Leviticus 23:22 says, “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you.” If you own the land, this directive might not sit well. What do you mean don’t maximize my reaping?

However, a blessed land owner, like a blessed person today, has learned to be grateful. He or she doesn’t judge the less fortunate because of the differences in their resources. He or she gives thanks, and in the spirit of gratefulness, does not reap the “edges of the field”.

How about us? Do we shut others out by squeezing out or hoarding everything? Give your co-worker that extra project so that he or she can shine. Teach your colleague that “new” skill so that he or she can get closer to a promotion. Share a client with a friend who is just starting. Take 10 minutes to debrief a situation with a friend, even if you are super busy.

Let’s learn to practice gratefulness, be it at work, at home, or with your loved one. It is better to give than to receive.

Your friend in learning,

Dr. Joel Tapia

Learning to trusted

Dear companion,

Do you know how hard it is to learn to trust others, ourselves, and our life’s path?

Learning to trust is one of the hardest goals to accomplish. By nature, we worry. We fret. We doubt. We double- and triple-guess ourselves. Why?

Our experiences tend to be a source of worry. We remember the times similar to now that played out wrong in our eyes. Unconsciously or perhaps even consciously we tell ourselves that we will never allow ourselves to be played the fool.

However, there is liberation in learning to trust. When you make your best effort to live, love, and work with understanding, you can accept the outcome of trusting. There is liberty in taking the risk of trusting because the alternative is to live or work in fear– a fear that limits our potential for growth and development.

So, as you contemplate if you should trust what is in front of you, remember: put your heart and mind together, add some hope to the mix, reach out to your trusted advisors, and know that desired outcomes flow from honest attempts to build, achieve, and dream. Forgive yourself if you get it wrong. Your silver lining will be your life lessons learned. At least you tried. And that is more than many can say to have accomplished.

Your friend in learning,

Dr. Joel Tapia

A thought partner…

Dear companion,

We all need people to help us think through issues in life, be that in work, relationships, or pending circumstances.  One my favorite wise sayings comes from Proverbs 11:14: “Without good direction,  people lose their way; the more wise counsel you follow, the better your chances” (The Message).

I find enjoyment in thinking about and practicing learning, leading, and strategy.  I don’t claim to be an expert.  But I offer my thoughts as another lens.  I have education and experience relating to schools and organizational learning, but I don’t limit my curiosity to those domains.  People– our behaviors and unique, beautiful qualities– are what fascinate me most in life. Who can understand us?

On this site, I welcome your knowledge and views as we share together to help one another to keep on with “good direction”.

Your friend in learning,

Dr. Joel Tapia