Life: Our Ongoing Communications Degree

May 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

As I included in last weeks post, our lives are all about relationships. As we all experience each and every day, a key element in all our relationships is communication. This engaging talk shows Maria Shriver speaking to the Class of 2012 at USC Annenberg School about their exciting upcoming journey, from the classroom out into the big wide world of communications. This honest conversation aims to inspire and challenge the future news reporters, journalists, editors or the various other roles these students will take on in the future. In watching this talk I believe that many of these themes explored relate to our ongoing communications degree that we are studying throughout our life, not just the individuals sitting excitedly pondering their future.

Life is experiential, learning by doing, with reflection. Each of our experiences provide opportunities for building our awareness and appreciation of who we are, what is important to us and the difference we can make in our own lives and the lives of others. Life is like an ongoing course of study, one that does not have a set graduation date, rather a journey of exploration and discovery as we navigate our daily thoughts and actions. Whether we take advantage of these opportunities for growth along our journey is up to us!

Maria Shriver speaks about the 24/7 communications connected world that we live in. Each day, regardless of the time, we step out into a global village of technology driven communication options. From your phone, tablet or computer you are able to write, post, tweet, text, read, share, talk, Skype, check in, purchase and the list goes on. This list does not even take into account the many in person interactions we experience each day. With all of these opportunities to press the send button in the fast paced lives that we lead, it is important as Maria talks about to press the pause button as well. Being able to stop and reflect allows your daily thoughts and actions to highlight your values and vision, while you courageously write and engage in your own authentic story.

With this technology overload, that follows us with portable devices, the pause button or reflection can allow us to focus on the here and now. Those ‘What are you going to do’ questions that Maria refers to in her speech relate to attitudes and behaviours written by others expectations and judgements. It is important that we change the channel, realising it is alright that we don’t have all the answers as we explore the possibilities, discover your potential and act authentically. The way that we speak, write, interpret and use language can open opportunities to communicate inwardly as well as outwardly. We can empower ourselves and others as we truly listen, effectively navigating life’s successes and challenges.

With all these daily communication options at our disposal, a great responsibility falls on each of us. We all encounter facts, reports, rumours and judgements, shared by family and friends, while having coffee with work colleagues, when reading the newspaper or watching TV to name just a few, and can choose how we process and pass on this information. Imagine the global village we aspire to live in, built on respect, compassion, understanding, awareness and appreciation. How can the way that you communicate help create this?

“The basic building block of good communications is the feeling that every human being is unique and of value.”

– Unknown

I Won’t Give Up

May 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sometimes we just need a reminder. This song is one of those reminders. Some fantastic lyrics that carry messages that ring true to all of us, at different times, along our journey, for different reasons.

Our life is all about relationships. A relationship with someone else is the first one that may spring into peoples minds but the constant relationship we have in our lives is with our self. The attitude and messages that we walk around with each day can affect the various relationships in our life and guide our daily thoughts and actions. I hear in this song a theme of not giving up on the connection to self, others and the world around us.

A powerful reminder is ‘our differences they do a lot to teach us how to use the gifts and tools we got.’ This openness to diversity. A willingness to appreciate difference, learning from our experiences and sharing our gifts and tools with others moves us closer to our potential. It also empowers others along their journey. Through these thoughts and actions you can inspire attitudes, connection, respect, responsibility and change within our global village.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing–that’s why we recommend it daily.”
-Zig Ziglar

Finding those little reminders, whether it be through favourite quotes, sunrise on a morning walk, the love of someone in your life, or whatever it is for you, keeps us motivated through life’s successes and challenges.

“Each of us has much more hidden inside us than we have had a chance to explore. Unless we create an environment that enables us to discover the limits of our potential, we will never know what we have inside of us.”
-Muhammad Yunus

Roles we play in each others lives

May 11, 2012 at 5:23 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

With this Sunday being Mother’s Day here in Australia, it has me thinking about the roles that we play in each others lives. Many of us will be buying cards and presents, spending time together at a family meal, visiting a grave to remember those who have passed, making a phone call or various other ways that communicate to that person how much we appreciate what they do for us. The love and support from your mother or other female relative or friend who provides this in our lives can inspire and comfort us throughout life’s successes and challenges.

This relationship is a human relationship, which means that it changes and evolves all the time. There are times of joy as individuals experience shared belonging and connection, as well as times of frustration as individuals feel like the other may not understand or appreciate them, and everything in between. Regardless of the ups and downs of the relationship, an imprint is left on our lives that we reflect on throughout our daily thoughts and actions.

Yesterday I put on our Facebook page a short extract from Chicken Soup For The Soul, titled ‘Who You Are Makes a Difference’, this is the case for all our interactions and connections. As I wrote yesterday, your daily thoughts and actions contribute more than you may be aware of, especially to those around you. Believe in your potential and find ways to honour all those who you have connection to, self, others and the world around us.

In watching this short video I am reminded of how life can change in an instant. I am also reminded of all the incredible lessons that I have learnt from having my mum with me throughout my life’s journey. Whether it be when growing up, or as an adult living overseas or in the same city, I carry with me each day her unwavering love, support and belief in my potential. Days like Mother’s Day give us a chance to honour special people in our lives but we also need to reflect on ways we honour ourselves and others through who we are and our daily thoughts and actions.

We teach each other and reinforce things for each other everyday. How to love and be kind, be real and genuine, and live simply so that others can simply live are amazing lessons that this man was taught by his mother.

Wishing everyone an amazing weekend and time spent honouring those around you for the difference they make in your life.

The power of connection through games

May 4, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

“At the end of the game, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.”
– Italian Proverb

At Explore Discover Act we love playing games. Not just because they can be so much fun, bring on fits of laughter and excitement, provide valuable learning opportunities around social skills such as communication but most importantly because they highlight and build connection within the group. We have all seen examples in our homes, playgrounds and schools, kids who have been initially reluctant to engage with others that they meet in one of these settings. Then after they have established a game themselves or been assisted to participate in play, the children become inseparable and the connection has been formed.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
– Wayne Gretzky

Connection is the glue that holds our humanness together. It provides us with a sense of purpose and adds meaning to our lives. We experience this through an authentic sharing of self and support within our networks, families, friends and links to community. However, being human means that we are imperfect, with all of us encountering successes and challenges along the journey. The connection that we experience with ourselves, others and the world around us gives us the strength to overcome feelings of vulnerability and take the shots spoken about in the quote above. This I feel is an important reminder that games can illustrate, through a safe environment, the building of awareness and appreciation of the possibilities available and your potential in various situations.

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
– Henry Ford

Sometimes as adults we forget to allow time to play. In our 21st century world, with all its busyness, technology and pressures, it is important to go back to our childlike curiosity of exploring the possibilities, discovering your potential and then acting authentically. Within this process it is safe to be a learner, to not be an expert at any particular skill, just being engaged and involved, having fun and discovering more about yourself, others and the world around us can open the door to connection. What game will you join in or initiate today, sparking creativity, energy and connection for yourself or others. Have a great weekend!

“I now see how gifts like courage, compassion, and connection only work when they are exercised. Every day.”
– Brene Brown

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