(#434) Wisdom


The opportunities to appreciate wisdom exist all around us.
Are we mindful? Are we paying attention.

Several years ago, on this blog, I wrote the following:

  • Wisdom does NOT necessarily come with knowledge. I know a lot of “educated” people who do foolish things on a regular basis.
  • Wisdom does NOT necessarily come with age. I have met some wise young students.
  • Wisdom is not bought with money nor does it come from hanging around the “pretty people” (whomever they may be).
  • Wisdom is NOT conferred with power. Election to political office does not wisdom make.
  • Wisdom knows that power is NOT the same thing as authority.
  • Wisdom DOES come from experience—and learning from that experience.
  • Wisdom DOES show when one responds to a situation rather than reacts to a situation.
  • Wisdom IS recognizing that my “solution” is one possible solution—but it is NOT necessarily THE solution.

These words came back to me as read a soon-to-be-released book by a friend of ours. The Reverend Billy Hester of the Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church (Savannah, Georgia) honored me with a request to serve as one of the book’s reviewers. Within the first few pages, WOW! Wisdom sets the stage with this pearl of wisdom about wisdom:

“The longer we live, and the more experiences we have,
the more opportunities we have to gain wisdom.
But in order to achieve this, we need to be observant
and to be open to learning.”

Wisdom surrounds us. It might even attempt to embrace us. We must have awareness, though, in order to appreciate it. We need to get out of the past and not be paralyzed by an unknown future. Distractions will rob us of appreciating our journey.  And if we miss the present, we miss what others have to offer us.

This is not rocket science. You know that wisdom can come from the cashier, mechanic, life guard, patient, sanitation worker, shoeshine man at the airport, stranger on the street, sunrise walker on the beach, surfer, yoga instructor, quiet time in nature, and even from our pets.  Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the power in “just being.”

The opportunities to appreciate wisdom exist all around us. Are we mindful? Are we paying attention. (Billy’s book, WOW! Wisdom is scheduled for release in early November, 2018. More information will be posted on BillyHesterBooks.com.)


Video Recommendation of the Week:

This Andrew Zuckerman trailer has powerful reminders about what wisdom means. What does it mean to you?


For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019.
More information to come.

Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


Posted in assumptions, authenticity, awareness, curiosity, Life lessons, vulnerability, wellbeing, wisdom | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#433) Verifying Truth


You won’t find a step that says evaluate a source based on
what “my group believes” or “who tweeted the most” or
“how much I dislike a source.”

 2012:

Maybe it is the heat of the political campaign season. The ads, debates, robocalls, and the talking (screaming?) heads on television have reinforced the importance of being information literate.   I am again reminded that study skills go beyond the classroom. They are life skills.  If we are not able to distinguish fact from fiction in what we hear, see, and read then we are in for a long political season.

2016:

Not only must we determine whether accurate information has been presented, we need to pay more attention to the source of the information. Source evaluation requires understanding bias, scope, depth, and background of a source.

2018:

Do we live in a post-fact world?


In the half-dozen years that have passed since my first quote above, you could make the argument we have not made much progress with information literacy. There appears to be more yelling, less verifying, and increased tribalism.  When we get caught up in “us, good” and “them, bad” it becomes difficult to have considered and collaborative conversation about what is and is not accurate.


Video Recommendation of the Week:

Look at this brief video I shot in the campus library.  Yes, the location might seem a bit “historical.” Still, pay attention to the four basic steps for considering information.  You won’t find a step that says evaluate a source based on what “my group believes” or “who tweeted the most” or “how much I dislike a source.”

 


For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019.
More information to come.

Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


 

Posted in assumptions, bias, Civility, Communication, Community, confirmation bias, Critical Thinking, information literacy, Life lessons, opinion, truth | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

(#432) Compassion


“That which is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Law.
The rest is commentary. Now go and learn.”
—Rabbi Hillel—

The election season turns a bright light on a tarnished process. Reasoned discourse?  Recognize differences and seek a place we can agree? Respect the opponent? Respect the opponent’s followers? Compassion?

Religious writer Karen Armstrong said in an interview with Bill Moyers,

It is not enough for us in the western democratic tradition simply to seek the truth. We also have to defeat and humiliate our opponents. And that happens in politics. It happens in the law courts. It happens in religious discourse. It happens in the media. It happens in academia. Very different from Socrates, the founder of the rationalist tradition, who when you had dialogues with Socrates, you came thinking that you knew what you were talking about.  Half an hour later, with Socrates, you realized you didn’t know anything at all. And at that moment, says Socrates, your– quest can begin.”

That was 2009.  Not sure we have made progress on “questioning the Buddha.”

With the help of TED organization, Armstrong spearheaded a movement to put the Golden Rule into action worldwide. The Charter for Compassion starts with a reminder

“…To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism,  or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity….”

Most of us may not be able to start a worldwide movement, but like a retired couple in Atlantic Beach, Florida, we may be able to start a local ripple for compassion.

We must go beyond words, though. If we say, “love reigns here,” do we live those words. Or do we just love those with whom we agree?  Are we inclusive or exclusive with our compassion?

Tough. And. Worthy.


Video Recommendation of the Week:


For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.


Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most-recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


 

Posted in Appropriate Behavior, assumptions, compassion, Life lessons, resilience | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(#431) Pay Attention to the 360° View



If we gaze in one direction, toward the subject and the toward

the subject only, we miss the full spectrum.

On every sunrise beach walk, Roxie and I see people capturing the splendor of the dawn. Generally, with their phones in hand, they face the ocean and record a memory. Others just stop and take in the color and textures. Their eyes record the scene.

I have not seen many turn their back to the ocean and face west to snap a shot during the sunrise. And they miss another perspective. As the rising sun’s rays dance off the ocean, waterfront house windows capture the sparkle. The clouds glow orange. Occasionally, you will catch a rainbow over the roofs.

If we gaze in one direction—toward the subject and toward the subject only—we miss the full spectrum.  A similar thought process can be found within human resource departments.

You probably have taken part in a traditional job performance review where the employee gets a one direction review—from the boss to her.  Some organizations conduct a 360° performance review.  Allowing for more/all reports to review an employee’s work. While there can be issues with this evaluation process, it does move from the traditional unidirectional feedback.

A publishing colleague of mine told me that he did not focus on the markets that all the competition moved toward.  He decided to go to those few potential clients who were ignored as not having enough shine (read: potential profit) to attract attention. While the pack allowed themselves to be pulled to the brightest object, by friend turned his back and look the other way. And, he ended up being successful.

While the sun holds wonder, the boss has power, and the “big fish” in the market have earnings potential, think of what we miss by not turning from the center.

For the coming week, consider where you can alter your perspective in order to become more aware of where you stand?  What forces surround you that you may be missing due to a singular focus?

There may be splendor all around you that you miss due to reliance on the “tried-and-true” habits.


Video Recommendation of the Week:

Here is a 360° view from my kayak.  Each angle, each perspective holds wonder, beauty, mystery, and appreciation.


For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019.
More information to come.

Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


 

Posted in Appreciation, assumptions, awareness, Choice, community development, confirmation bias, Discipline, growth, habits, inspiration, intentionality, Life lessons, listening, Mindfulness, Personal growth, Personal Wellbeing | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

(#430) Reality? Question the Buddha


Everyone talking or interrupting and not much listening.
People speaking what they want to hear. Ignoring all else.

Continuing my theme from last week’s post

We find inspiration in surprising places if we choose to stop, listen, and reflect.  This past week I heard a provocative singer-songwriter introduce a song with:

“If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.”

The words come from a Zen koan and is offered for a metaphorical lesson about the importance of reflection and authentic questioning.  The road, in this case, is your journey through life.  “The Buddha” symbolizes truth or enlightenment that you believe you have attained.  You believe you have found the final answers.

Not so fast.

The koan teaches that “reality is an impermanent illusion” and we need to “throw out that image (kill it)” and keep seeking truth.

Do not get comfortable. Do not become complacent.  Keep asking authentic questions, listening to what you hear, and ask more questions.

In No Barrier: Unlocking the Zen Koan, Thomas Cleary shares translations of forty-eight koans. You will find more metaphors that connect to the figurative expression “kill the Buddha” and the powerful lesson above.  For example:

  •  “A ship cannot moor where the water is shallow.” (53)

o   We must deepen our thought process to understand. Cleary says “whichever perspective you are absorbed in, it is crucial to be able to go back and forth freely in order to attain both ultimate liberation and objective compassion. Either perspective can kill you or bring you to life.”

  • “Does sound come to the ear, or does the ear go to sound?” (82)

o   Do you hear the message that is being delivered or do you project and hear what you want to hear?

  • “If you only know how to open your mouth, you won’t realize when you’re trapped in words.” (141)

o   Cleary reminds us that “we wind up entrapped in our own points of view. We may think we are talking about realities when all we are doing is talking about what we think.”

Community building requires conversation—true dialogue.  Unfortunately, we often become trapped in collective monologues. Everyone talking or interrupting but not much listening. People speaking what they want to hear. Ignoring all else.  Those behaviors will kill meaningful collaboration.


Video Recommendation of the Week:

Imagine rethinking the accepted.


For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.

Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


 

Posted in amplifying, Appreciation, authenticity, collaboration, Communication, Community, community development, consideration, conversation, curiosity, Integrity, Life lessons | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

(#429) Everything Is Up for Revision


Considered evaluation can alter, broaden, and strengthen our belief system.

My wife and I recently heard several teens deliver a Sunday message at their church. Their individual messages struck common chords about compassion, acceptance, and communal growth. One of the young speakers urged the congregants to view life from the perspective that everything is up for revision.

Consider that for a moment. Rather than believing and acting indiscriminately based on habit, we pause and think critically. How can we appreciate a situation from a different lens?

Everything. Is. Up. For. Revision.

How we view one another. The way we speak. What we read. Where we worship—and why we worship in the manner we do. Our fitness routine. The lack of a fitness routine. What we eat. Who we socialize with. Social media connections.  Our job trajectory. Financial planning.  Sweat equity in our community. Our news sources. How we give back. Our self-talk. What else….?

Considered evaluation can alter, broaden, and strengthen our belief system.    We gather evidence and remain vigilant for the need to shift direction.

Examine the Six Fs of your life. Where is revision needed? What small step can you take this week? Perhaps you can embrace an “ooch” or this strategy.

Everything is up for revision.


Video Recommendation of the Week:

Sometimes we can get overwhelmed. Curly suggests the “One Thing” strategy.


For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.


Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.


My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).


My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).


Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


 

Posted in Appreciation, assumptions, authenticity, awareness, focus, generativity, Gratitude, growth, Integrity, Life lessons, resilience | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

(#428) What Does Success Look Like To You?


Is success a noun? A verb? An adjective?
Does it have to be connected to the common good?

Last week, in a local shop at the beach, I spied the photo below. Th caption caught my attention: “Success is knowing when to stop and play.”

It reminded me of a conversation I had with film producer, Pepper Lindsey.  She posed the question, “What does success look like to you?”

Often, I see “success” linked with “failure.”  Thomas J. Watson, founder of IBM, said “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate”  and Winston Churchill told us that “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

When one fails, one needs the discipline—the “oomph”—to continue forward. Success connects to perseverance.

Legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, reminded us that “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”

W.C. Fields took a contrary view when he quipped, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”  He had a point. Coco Chanel said, “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.”

While a “stick-to-it-at-all-costs” mindset might remind us not to quit at the first obstacle, success also can arise from knowing when to change course or maybe totally get off the course. Consider these seven questions.

What does success look like to you?  Maybe it involves money, fame, title. joy, love, community outreach, difference making, family, spirituality, physical fitness, emotional balance, inner peace, or learning something new every day. Whatever success looks like to you, the person next to you probably has a different rubric. I do not believe I can tell you what success will (or should) look like for you. Nor can you tell me.  

Is success a noun? A verb? An adjective? Does it have to be connected to the common good?

At times, “success” gets trivialized with clichéd-bumper-sticker throwaways.  Or, connected to what a celebrity does, says, wears, or drives.

For me, success has been tied to purpose, fulfillment, relationships, learning, searching, questioning, listening, and making a positive difference. I have attached it more to a feeling than to a thing, possession, or act. How it actually “looked” changed during my life’s journey. Success, itself, remains for me a continual journey, not one end.

I posed the question “What is success” on social media. Responses included that success is:

  • different for everyone. I find peace in simplicity.
  • always successful when love surrounds your success.
  • when you have good physical, mental, and emotional health. You are doing what you want in life and finding joy in all of it!
  • when you do not need anything else and you are happy with what you have.
  • when you never stop trying.
  • when you do good for others.
  • when you learn from your mistakes.

A community might talk about what success looks like. It might even help you sort through your thoughts. You can help me. I can help you. But success must be self-defined. If not, we could end up being successful by another standard and at the same time not be a success in our mind.  Does your goal match your inner self?


Video Recommendation of the Week:

Wherever or whatever your rainbow may be, does it add up to a wonderful life? If it does, is that life a success?



For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book due out the beginning of 2019.
More information to come.


Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).

(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.


 

Posted in authenticity, awareness, Goals, Integrity, resilience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment