Business ethics

All posts tagged Business ethics

The Effects of Social Learning

Published October 14, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

image20

On Monday, our post was focused on why U.S. Citizens observe Columbus Day because for many of us, our views of the historical event have changed. Now, rather than rely on what we were originally taught as school children, we are considering a new perspective because of the information that has emerged due to what many experts call “social learning.” So today our post is focused on the effects of social learning and the role it plays in our own evolutionary process.

globehands

As we continue to acknowledge, the interdependence of the global community is growing exponentially and as a result society is experiencing social and technological change at an accelerated rate. This paradigm shift introduces pressure and challenges based on an individual’s ability to apply discipline and control the direction of their lives. Theorist Albert Bandura (1997) purports self-efficacy plays an influential part in sculpting the parameters of human functionality and the intellectual development that helps shapes an individual’s beliefs, occupational development patterns and the quality of their health and well-being. In his own experiences with overcoming trial and error, Bandura discovered that there is an inherent ability for people to overcome hardship and stress by responding strategically to chance events in order to help build successful lives (Bandura, 1997).

optimism

Individuals can guide their destiny with an optimistic view of efficacy. Bandura’s theories suggest this can help an individual deal with failure, frustration and conflicts that easily derail people who lack a strong sense of self-worth and value. His theories further contend that values, attitudes and styles of behavior are shaped through the power of modeling and observing others (Boswell, 2007). This pattern can be observed in the corporate workplace from individuals that work closely together. When I was employed at Capitol-EMI Industries for example, the administrative staff of corporate executives reflected a demeanor that mirrored their departmental leader. For instance, executives that were more reserved and unapproachable, employed staff that modeled a similar reserved unapproachable disposition. On the other hand, the department heads who were more open, personable and approachable, had staff members that modeled a more playful and welcoming persona. In this instance, the subordinates mirrored the behavior to reflect the energy patterns of the leader from the office to which they served.

Moral-Reasoning-Pic-300x167

Bandura’s (1991) research also contends there are many stages of moral reasoning. He cites that different types emerge from continuous stage sequences that can alter uniform thinking models (Bandura, 1991).  For instance, punishment based obedience can destroy self-worth and self-efficacy rendering an individual to a belief system whose values are based on negative reinforcement. This conditioning is transferred into the workplace as an individual with a timid personality that is disinclined to voice their opinions for fear of being reprimanded and ridiculed. One strategy to help overcome these tendencies is for the individual to identify and become cognizant of the triggers that activate feelings of low self-esteem and self-worth. This can help the individual take action that can help change their views and motivate them to incorporate positive outcomes. In conclusion, even though the effects of social learning emerge as an extension of operant conditioning, individuals cognizant of the outcomes from negative input, can change the patterns through analysis to respond strategically.

Well …that’s a wrap for today … until next time … keep learning and stay organized!

********

Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. – Albert Einstein

********

Winter arrival

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

Bandura, A. (1991). Social cognitive theory of moral thought and action. Handbook of moral behavior and development, 1, pp. 45-103. Hillsdale, NJ, USA: Standford University. Retrieved March 24, 2013, from http://exordio.qfb.umich.mx/archivos%20pdf%20de%20trabajo%20umsnh/aphilosofia/2007/NEUROPSICOLOGIA/BanSCTMoral.pdf

Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy in changing societies. Cambridge, UK : Cambridge University Press.

Boswell, R. (2007, December 6). Belief that people learn by watching earns psychologist top award in field. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: ProQuest. Retrieved March 25, 2013, from http://search.proquest.com.proxy-library.ashford.edu/docview/241121957/fulltext/13D047E8E8B2A4592FA/1?accountid=32521

Columbus Day

Published October 12, 2015 by Mayrbear's Lair

columbus-day

Many U.S. citizens were taught in school that Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492 proving for the first time in history that the Earth was indeed not a flat object. However, in her article, Why is Columbus Day Still a Federal Holiday, Valerie Strauss, of the Washington Post, purports that Columbus really hadn’t discovered America. Nor did he prove that the Earth was flat. Plus, she points out that there is also some question regarding the names of his ships, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.

picture-25

Today many in the U.S. still observe Columbus Day, so we decided to post Ms. Strauss’ article to help provide another perspective about this holiday, as a tool to help us evolve and ultimately, bring about a positive change over the debate on whether we should still keep Columbus Day or consider revising it to Indigenous Peoples Day. According to Dr. Phil’s Ten Life Laws, from his book called, Life Strategies, Life Law #4 states, “We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge” (McGraw, 2000). So, with that in mind, today we decided to post Ms. Strauss’ article, to examine a new perspective on this historical event by assessing the facts as they occurred, not necessarily as they were recorded from the victors of the conquering regimes.

Columbus-Day-USA

Here is the rest of the article. It is our hope to inspire others to conduct their own research on this topic, to draw your own conclusions:

Why is Columbus Day still a U.S. federal holiday?

Columbus made four trips from Spain across the Atlantic — in 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502 — did, however, change human history forever, ushering in what is known as the Columbian Exchange — the historic exchange of plants, animals, disease, culture, technology and people between the Old and New Worlds. The Old World, for example, got chocolate (and many other things) and the New World got wheat, along with bubonic plague, chicken pox, cholera, malaria, measles, typhoid, etc., which decimated the populations of indigenous peoples Columbus found living on the islands he “discovered.

As for Columbus himself, he mapped the coasts of Central and South America but never set foot on North America, and died thinking he had discovered Asia. He ruled the Caribbean islands as viceroy and governor so brutally that, according to US-History.com: “Even his most ardent admirers acknowledge that Columbus was self-centered, ruthless, avaricious, and a racist.

Columbus has long been believed to have been born in Genoa, Italy, though some historians think he was born in Spain’s Catalonia region. He sailed for the Spanish crown, and his remains are in Spain. Italians in the United States have taken great pride in him and sponsor many of the celebrations held in his name each year to honor Italian-American heritage.

So how did we got a U.S. federal holiday in his name?

The first Columbus Day celebration recorded in the United States was held in New York in 1792 to honor Italian-American heritage and to mark Oct. 12, 1492, the day that Columbus and his ships first made landfall  on an island in the Caribbean Sea.

In 1892, according to History.com, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage with patriotic festivities.

In 1937, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Congress, bowing to lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, an influential Catholic group that wanted a Catholic hero to be honored, proclaimed Oct. 12 to be Columbus Day, a national holiday. In 1971, the holiday date was changed to the second Monday in October.

Over recent decades, the holiday has been the target of protests at Columbus Day celebrations, and some places have changed the name and focus of the holiday. For example, Berkeley, Calif., replaced Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day in 1992 to honor the original inhabitants of the Caribbean islands where Columbus made landfall and ruled. In 1989, South Dakota started calling the holiday Native American Day, and Alabama celebrates a combination of Columbus Day and American Indian Heritage Day. Hawaii calls it Discovery Day. In the Bahamas, it is called Discovery Day, and as Dia de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain.

Here are some things to know about Columbus:

*He didn’t prove that the Earth is round.

Kids in school have long been taught that when Columbus set sail in 1492 to find a new route to the East Indies, it was feared that he would fall off the edge of the Earth because people then thought the planet was flat. Nope. As early as the 6th century B.C., Pythagoras — later followed by Aristotle and Euclid — wrote about Earth as a sphere, and historians say there is no doubt that the educated in Columbus’s day knew quite well that the Earth was round. Columbus, in fact, owned a copy of Ptolemy’s Geography, written at the height of the Roman Empire, 1,300 years before Columbus set sail. Several books published in Europe between 1200 and 1500 discussed the Earth’s shape, including “The Sphere,” written in the early 1200s, which was required reading in European universities in the 1300s and beyond. The big question for Columbus, it turns out, was not the shape of the Earth but the size of the ocean he was planning to cross.”

*Columbus didn’t “discover” America.

During four trips that started with the one in 1492, Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola. He also explored the Central and South American coasts. But he didn’t reach North America, which, of course, was already inhabited by Native Americans, and he never thought he had found a new continent. You may also remember that it is believed that Norse explorer Leif Erikson reached Canada perhaps 500 years before Columbus was born, and there are some who believe that Phoenician sailors crossed the Atlantic much earlier than that.

* The famous names of the ships he took on his famous 1492 trip across the Atlantic Ocean, the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria, probably weren’t really named Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria. The Santa Maria was also known at the time as La Gallega, meaningthe Galician. The Niña is now believed to be a nickname for a ship originally called the Santa Clara, and the Pinta also was probably a nickname, though the ship’s real name isn’t clear.

The Washington Post article certainly shines a light, giving us a new perspective on the events as they may have occurred, which differ greatly than what most of us were taught in school as children. Perhaps by providing this information and encouraging a dialogue on this topic, we can make begin the healing process.

Well … that’s a wrap for today! Until next time … keep seeking the truth and stay organized!

********

Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right. – Phil McGraw

********

mission on sale now

For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:

Mayr’s Author Page.

References:

McGraw, D. P. (2000). Life Strategies. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from drphil.com: http://drphil.com/articles/article/44

Strauss, V. (2015, October 11). The Washington Post. Retrieved October 11, 2015, from Why is columbus day still a U.S. federal holiday?: https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/10/11/why-is-columbus-day-still-a-u-s-federal-holiday/

A Time of Thanks

Published November 17, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Monday Thx

A heartfelt thank you to everyone participating in Media Magic’s first Giving of Thanks Audiobook Collection Giveaway! We are deeply grateful for your continued support and celebrating this season of appreciation with us.

Anyone can still participate. Simply send an email with GIVEAWAY in the subject line. Then submit your name in the body of the email and send it to us at:

mediamagick@yahoo.com.

Then, at the end of November, we will award ten lucky winners the entire collection of our accelerated learning business life audio book series! Good luck everyone!

Zen Master Hahn

In the meantime, to honor a great teacher that has recently fallen ill, I was inspired to post a few articles this week that I published earlier this year. These posts were influenced by the gentle teachings on mindfulness, from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, because the truth is, that many of his books have been instrumental in providing me tools on how to stay focused, balanced, and cope with stress in this wacky world we live in today. A world that includes food shortages, unemployment, natural disasters, and the shock and horror of war! Is it any wonder that so many of us are on the edge, stressed, and sleep deprived, struggling to manage anxiety and process emotional states of depression?

It seems that conflict, discontent, and corruption are found within every fold in the fabric of life all around us — in our communities, governments, spiritual and academic institutions, the workplace, and of course at home, away from the public’s awareness. The negative input individuals are constantly bombarded with from such conditions, have contributed to a collective consciousness of defensive people ready to engage in battle at the drop of a hat. Many are working diligently to suppress their feelings of deep rooted rage which continues to build as they process the added pressure exerted on them.

out-of-place

As a result, many feel displaced and confused about their values or what their purpose in life is for that matter. This is one reason a person can lose focus at work leaving them vulnerable to making costly mistakes or engage in altercations with colleagues. Some even become confused over career aspirations while others are trying to discern who is authentic and trustworthy. Individuals that operate from this mindset risk advancing heightened levels of emotions which can eventually escalate into feelings of panic if they are not addressed. From this state of anxiety it is understandable how a person can travel down a corridor of darkness and despair unless they are able to find a way to manage their concerns in a healthy manner.

wpid-stress

In a corporate setting, managers that look away or allow this kind of behavior to go unchecked, not only risk creating more harm in an organizational setting, it may also lead that staff worker into believing they have no one to turn to for help, or worse, there is no one they feel safe enough to seek counsel from. When a sense of hopelessness reaches this level that individual also risks losing faith in their own abilities and intuitive reasoning. This is why many lose motivation to participate at work and eventually begin to feel the same about life in general, risking eventual self-destruction. At this stage the individual risks becoming so imbalanced they are unable to function productively and may even eventually lose their ability to cope or behave in an ethical manner.

BUSINESS_GROWTH_STRATEGY-297x300

These are some of the outcomes that occur if growth strategies are not implemented.  In a business arena, the best growth strategy is a well-planned one. In fact, there are many studies to support that implementing growth strategies are more likely to yield positive outcomes as well as higher performance levels. Liker (2011) for example, postulates that growth strategies are implemented because they enable improvement considerably and in a shorter period of time. This is achieved by developing a framework that encourages perpetual growth which can help achieve some of the following outcomes: (a) a significant upper hand in operation excellence in a relatively short amount of time; (b) the development of systems that target and eliminate toxic behavior; (c) smoother operations with respect to receiving and delivering messages; and (d) the ability to adapt to changing environments rather than respond from a reactive position (Liker, 2011). In other words, effective growth strategies encourage continuous improvements while eliminating waste.

B001VEJEGK-1

In addition, growth strategies can play a role to help individuals establish and reach their desired destination. For example, when an individual plans for a road trip, without the use of a map or a GPS system to guide the traveler to their journey’s end, the navigation process can become more difficult. This is a good way to approach growth strategies – as the road maps that help with expansion to reach desired outcomes. Coulter (2010) suggests that growth strategies can help in the development process because they assist in locating and allocating resources that can transform the individual’s capabilities into distinctive functional competencies that others are unable to easily duplicate (Coulter, 2010). In short, effective growth strategies can help individuals achieve their goals quicker because they consist of focused detailed plans.

shutterstock_121169011

By applying some of the growth strategy principles I discovered in my organizational management research work, which are compiled in my digital publications, I feel better equipped to weather and navigate through various emotional storm systems that emerge because these strategies are based on the scientifically proven principles of positive psychology. This approach has been significant in my own ability to work through moments of darkness as an effective tool to help minimize destructive outcomes, which continued to re-occur when enhanced emotions guided my actions.

Igiveupkitty

As we all have experienced at one time or another, when emotions are out of balance, it is difficult to perform at optimum levels because we put focus on input that works against our energetic current, rather than feeling gratitude for all that is flowing harmoniously in our world. In other words, by focusing only on what is not working in the world, or in our lives, it feels like we are trying to swim against a strong current rather than sail with it.

friends-laugh-dinner-628x363

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (2012) stated that once we learn how to manage enhanced emotions we can experience more rewarding relationships. In addition, keeping channels of communication open can also help us cultivate more joyful experiences in our lives (Hanh, 2012). Growth strategies offer us a different way to navigate through and manage challenging events more effectively without fueling the situation even further by focusing on negative thoughts or energy patterns.

That’s it for now! Until next time … stay organized!

2 organizational management business skills publications nov 2014

For more information on Media Magic’s digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at:

Media Magic Publishing.

********

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. – Thich Nhat Hanh

********

References:

Coulter, M. (2010). Strategic management in action (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press

Liker, J. (2011). Design for Operational Excellence. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Vacation Week 2: Wednesday’s Treat

Published August 27, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Wednesday Vacation

Feeling Peace

As a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, Dr. Deepak Chopra (2014) suggests that mindful practices can connect us to an aspect of our joy that expresses itself as inner peace. He further asserts that this is not the ordinary peace of mind or peaceful interactions we typically experience with others. On the contrary, this is a kind of permanent feeling of peace that comes from the soul itself, and encompasses all the other varieties of peace within it. The Bible refers to it as “the peace of God which passes all understanding.”

This level of peace is the core of stillness within that gives us steadiness and quiet comfort when circumstances in our life may be confusing, as well as when times are happy and fulfilling. This spiritual peace is our calm center that keeps our life in balance (Chopra 2014).

peace_world_large

********

“Happiness consists not of having, but of being. It is a warm glow of the heart at peace with itself.” ― David O. McKay

********

Breaching Ad available now

For more information on Media Magic services, our published works, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic Publishing.

References:

Chopra, D. (2014, August 11). Expanding Your Happiness. Retrieved August 24 , 2014, from Chopra Center Meditation: https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience

Thursday’s Vacation Week Treat

Published August 21, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Thursday vacation

Thurday’s Vacation Treat

 Quieting the Mind

slide1b

Professional basketball executive, former player, and coach, Phil Jackson, recently stated that meditation fits his style really well because he likes to begin his day with a quiet mind. “I tried a bunch of things, tai chi and yoga, none of them stuck! What did stick, was meditation” (Jackson, 2013).

ying yang oil

Don’t Let the World Make Us Bitter

In a recent article, posted in the Huffington Post, Dr. Smita Malhorta stated that the world can be a difficult place. She explains that we may experience suffering, heartbreak, or the loss of a loved one. All of these things can take a toll on our souls. She suggests, however, that we must not lose hope and asks us to think about the Yin and Yang in Chinese philosophy, which states that opposite forces are often interconnected. In suffering, she reminds us that we can find great strength. In heartbreak, we can find resilience, and in loss, we can find a renewed appreciation for life.

Malhorta postulates that life comes with Yin and Yang. The two opposites are interdependent and interconnected; that we do not need to be afraid. In every difficult situation, we are being tested. If we become bitter and angry, we have lost.

roses oil

She asks that we take a moment and stop to notice each flower, each weed that is breaking through the cement to find the sun, and each butterfly that has found it’s wings (Malhotra, 2014). In other words, we must learn to see and appreciate the beauty around us.

Iaian Thomas wrote:

Be soft.
Do not let the world make you hard.
Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still know it to be a beautiful place.
Keep your sweetness.
Be soft.
And know that the world is a beautiful place.
Always.

********

For more information on Mayr’s published works or to purchase any of Media Magic’s Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic Publishing

***

References:

Jackson, P. (2014, July). Success through stillness. (O. Winfrey, Interviewer).

Malhotra, S. (2014, July 16). 8 lessons I want to teach my daughter. Retrieved August 17, 2014, from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smita-malhotra/eight-lessons-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter_b_5565037.html

Wednesday’s Vacation Week Treat

Published August 20, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Wednesday Vacation

Wednesday’s Vacation Treat

Contentment

Medical practitioner and author, Dr. Deepak Chopra postulates, that when we speak of inner contentment, we mean more than just feeling satisfied with the circumstances of life. Too often that kind of contentment includes a tinge of resignation as well. Chopra believes that real contentment is the happiness that is at our core; that all is well in our world. In this state, we are aware that we have everything we need right now to feel good about ourselves, others, and life. Even with outer conflicts and uncertainties, our core existence is settled, self-contained, and we know we possess whatever is needed to meet any situation. Living true contentment is more than confidence, it is the feeling of inner fulfillment (Chopra, 2014).

dog on beach

Author, journalist, motivational speaker, and long-distance swimmer, Diana Nyad was asked if she meditates. She replied that while she walks her dogs on the beach, she looks out at the horizon and can feel her pulse coming down. All the monkey chatter, something that eats into her confidence, where she worries about this, or is paranoid about that — all of that stuff going on in her head is silenced (Nyad, 2014). This level of meditation allows the practitioner to experience the peaceful beings they truly are at their core.

 ********

Do Not Complain Unless You Can Suggest a Solution

suggestions

Do not be a constant complainer. No one likes that person. If you do not like your current situation, work towards changing it. But don’t sit and complain about it. Complaining will get you nowhere. In fact, it will only make others not want to be around you. Be someone that looks for the positive in every situation. And if you do find a problem, be someone that can suggest a solution. You will never get to where you want to be by complaining about where you are now. Each step in your life is preparing you for the one that comes after it (Smita Malhotra, 2014).

********

For more information on Mayr’s published works or to purchase any of Media Magic’s Business Life titles, please visit our website at: Media Magic’s Publications

References:

Chopra, D. (2014, August 20). Living contentment. Retrieved August 20, 2014, from Oprah & Deepak 21 day meditation challenge: https://chopracentermeditation.com/experience.

Nyad, D. (2014, July). Success through stillness. (O. Winfrey, Interviewer).

Smita Malhotra, M. (2014, July 16). 8 lessons I want to teach my daughter. Retrieved August 17, 2014, from The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/smita-malhotra/eight-lessons-i-want-to-teach-my-daughter_b_5565037.html.

********

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing!” ― George Bernard Shaw

********

 

Meditation as a Strategy

Published August 15, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

hqdefault

On Wednesday I talked about how difficult it was to learn how to meditate. What helped me over the hurdle, was approaching this discipline like I did learning anything new: begin slowly, one step at a time. After all, I did not achieve a perfect somersault on my first attempt in gym class, but within a few minutes I was rolling around the mat like a bowling ball. They were fun! I didn’t learn how to perform an aerial cartwheel until years after I perfected the one-handed version. I didn’t learn how to write on my first attempt. In fact, I still vividly recall when I was two, my paternal grandmother trying to teach me the Greek alphabet. Each time I attempted to write the letter epsilon (“E” in English) I couldn’t remember how many short strokes the capital “E” had, so my first attempt at “E’s” looked more like hair combs than a letter of any written language. Realizing that nothing is easily accomplished on the first attempt was my breakthrough. When my inner voice stopped asking questions, or criticizing my lack of progress and I shifted my thoughts from my perceptions of what meditation should be, I began to learn how to appreciate and enjoy that quiet time, no matter what thoughts popped into my head. Rather than judge them for defying my intent to quiet the mind, I eventually learned to smile, and welcome them, even giving thanks in acknowledging they were there.

Woman practicing yoga at sunrise

Since then, I have participated actively in many forms of guided and non-guided meditation, both with equal benefits. Each time I did not include it as a part of a regular practice, I found I was unable to achieve optimum levels of health and performance outcomes. Now that I have added this practice back into a regular schedule, I continue to experience positive effects in my physical well being, emotional health, and relationships. I even look forward to my meditation and exercise sessions now. In fact, a ten minute meditation now feels like a mere few seconds … and there are times when even a half hour goes by like five minutes! The good news is that meditating is not the challenge it once was, the bad news is, that when the session is over, I feel like a kid at an amusement park who just finished a thrilling ride and wants to go on again!

Ethics and Breaching Audio book Ad

The audiobook versions of my eBook publications which are currently available on amazon.com, audible.com and iTunes, Ethics in the Real World and Breaching Communication Barriers, include short mindful practice bonus tracks at the end of each title. These short tracks were developed using the principals of positive thinking. The five-minute audio tracks were created to help encourage productive communication and ethical behavior  with techniques that integrate the power of intention with the laws of attraction. They are meant to be used for short breaks to revitalize energy and focus the mind to help individuals operate from a more balanced state of mind.

Meditating business partners

These work great for people with uber busy schedules. They are meant to provide choices other than coffee or cigarettes for reboot internal systems at break time. Let’s face it, no matter how old we get, we all still enjoy, and frankly need to schedule a little recess time as a picker-upper. Traditionally, when we take breaks we will seek escape from substances like  donuts, cookies, alcohol, a smoke, or some kind of treat to distract us for a little from whatever we’re doing so we can return refreshed and ready to engage. The idea behind these bonus tracks is to offer a different option with healthy benefits that contribute to our well-being rather than relying on substances that increase toxicity levels which then our bodies have to absorb and process, like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, or junk food. For those of us working hard to heal our bodies from the effects of stress and avoid further contamination, or at least making concerted efforts to cut back on toxic habits, these tracks provide a tool as an alternative to help individuals engage in behaviors that uplift the spirit and build self-esteem. When we feel confident, we are motivated to perform our best and ultimately achieve higher outcomes. A word of caution, however, this state of mind can also produce infectious personalities that tend to inspire others around them to raise the bar. You may find yourself in a happier state of mind, feeling better, and even enjoying more quality relationships.  Those are the changes I continue to experience now that I have included mindful practices as part of my regular schedule. Try it … what have ya’ got to lose?

Well, that’s it for this week. My team and I are going to take a little time off for a short summer break. We will return again September 1st with all new posts. Until then, enjoy this season and stayorganized.

********

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” ― Emily Dickinson

********

Learning to Quiet the Mind

Published August 13, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

Conceptual picture - tornado in woman's head

On Monday I disclosed how difficult it was for me to learn how to meditate. Today I reveal the journey that helped me work through the challenges I faced. Once I understood that regular meditation practice would be beneficial in helping me manage my health and well-being, I was ready and open to achieve successful outcomes. Needless to say, although I had a better attitude about this practice, the transformation did not occur overnight. I had to approach this as I did when learning any new behavior, like reading music or playing an instrument. In other words, it was going to take some work, because for me, meditating did not come naturally.

child praying

In my family, we were taught and conditioned to pray regularly. The closest I came then to quieting the mind as a child was when I went inward for prayer. I did not grow up in a culture that taught us how to be still, look inward, and reflect. It was quite the opposite in fact. The environment I grew up in kept us engaged and active. Our caretakers had limited education and wanted a different life for us. As a result, we were kept engaged a variety of activities, in and out of the home. While most kids were out playing with friends, we were given tasks and required to complete them all before we were rewarded with any free time. This included daily school work, Greek lessons, a physical fitness program, plus domestic cleaning and yard work. By the time we were done with our responsibilities, it was time for bed.

We were equally active at church too and joined many organizations to help out. In short, in my family, we were supported and encouraged to keep our bodies and our minds active. I am appreciative of these rewarding experiences because they helped enrich my life in so many ways. What was equally significant, however, was that although I didn’t always appreciate them at the time, many of these activities filled my heart with joy and provided me a sense of accomplishment.

itunes_banner_empty

Once I enrolled at the university to pursue a bachelor’s degree that same level of commitment and dedication to my family and the Greek Community was now driven by the passion of my academic pursuits. In other words, my life didn’t slow down. My lifestyle supported a state of being that kept me active and engaged. This explained why I had such a difficult time quieting the mind to meditate. I lacked experience! The closest I came was in prayer, but even then, I was silently reciting words, so I was never really in a complete state of silence.

The reality was, I could not quiet my mind and focus on the present moment because I was conditioned to keep my mind in an active state. The voice in my head was in constant chatter. In other words, it was natural for my inner voice to remind me how uncomfortable the pillow was in class because it always behaved this way. It was normal that my legs were tickling me now that they had fallen asleep because that’s what happens to my body when I sit crossed-legged for extended periods time. Of course my head got itchy and needed scratching, this was an automatic response. What was not normal was my becoming still to observe it all. In other words, I never slowed down long enough to observe my own behavior. This was new territory!

voices

The more I focused on keeping quiet, the louder the voice sang, danced, and did everything it could to distract me. My mistake at the time was in keeping silent about how difficult the experience was. Yogi John’s class however, was not a beginner’s class, so many assumed I had experience in this practice. Why else would I have attended? Furthermore, the meditation sessions after yoga class were optional. They were offered as bonus relaxation tools and were not a requirement. The truth of the matter was that a close friend, also a teacher in Yogi John’s classes, invited me to attend. Had this been a beginner’s meditation session, I would have asked for more assistance. The instructors would have offered more guidance and assured me that everything I was experiencing was actually a normal part of the learning process. I discovered this later when I actually attended beginning classes in a small community located in central Virginia called Yogaville. Where better to become more educated about yoga and meditation?

On Friday, I will conclude this discussion before I recess for a short summer break. Until then … stay organized!

********

“Happiness is part of who we are. Joy is the feeling.”  —Tony DeLiso

********

 

The Ethics of Heightened Tensions

Published August 4, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair

yikes

With all the bad news and negative images in the world, it may help explain why many people are feeling overwhelmed with emotions and behave defensively. In addition, most folks are dealing with pressures from work, expectations from colleagues, commitments to loved ones, financial obligations, relationship issues, and so forth. As tensions continue to build, more and more people are unable to operate at full capacity, and in extreme cases, many with low tolerance levels respond quickly with short explosive fuses that can result in destructive and even violent acts.

neocortex

People that react from fear and panic, initially respond from a fight or flight state of mind. That is when the reptilian part of the brain takes over which instinctively goes into survival mode. It is from this heightened state that typically many individuals engage in behavior with little or no regard for ethical outcomes. Their only objective in operating from this attitude is a successful outcome. In other words, irrational responses are more likely to occur when decisions are made quickly from an extreme emotional mental state, rather than allowing a moment to think of a situation appropriate response before taking action.

There are exceptions, of course, when life and death situations occur. A split second decision in an emergency may be crucial. Under these conditions taking a moment to think rationally may not be an option. However, in other instances, when pressure is mounting in an individual’s personal or business life, in addition to their feeling that the world is in complete disarray, the sensation of hopelessness can prompt some individuals to behave irrationally; giving in to unethical or destructive behavior.

give me give you

It seems logical, that especially during those times when we feel that: (a) the world seems unfair, (b) an escalating amount of respected leaders are caught behaving unreasonably, and (c) more people than not, seem to be engaged in misconduct, that is when we really need to get involved and help make positive changes. Not just in our immediate environment, collectively, we also need to become more cognizant of our contributions as a global family. In other words, take accountability when we make mistakes, bad judgement calls, or hurt others. It also requires that we engage in behavior that reflects mindful, responsible citizenship in our business affairs and home environments.

One way to achieve this is to help cultivate an ethical climate by making conscious choices to conduct ourselves reasonably with common sense and compassion for others. For example, when we encounter people or an institution engaged in unethical behavior like cheating, stealing, lying, or illegal conduct, we are faced with one of three choices: (a) expose the behavior, (b) ignore the behavior, or (c) participate and condone the behavior. If we choose to expose the behavior, we risk being chastised as whistle blowers, but by courageously moving forward we can help achieve ethical outcomes. If we ignore the behavior, we avoid the risk of not fitting in as a player at the corrupted culture and save everyone involved the embarrassment of getting caught. However, by keeping silent, we are helping to enable unethical behavior. If, on the other hand, we choose to condone the behavior, even participate in it, we are not only contributing to an unethical culture, we are gambling that we will not get caught or face the consequences for engaging in misconduct.

cheating

This is where ethics comes into play. In my book, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I explained that individuals who make the best ethical choices do not engage or support strategies that include lying, cheating, stealing, or illegal conduct.  The truth is, most people are not interested in conducting business with others they do not trust. Furthermore, leaders who lack ethics and cultivate a culture of fear are not likely to earn respect from their staff or the community for that matter (Berry, 2013). When individuals, whether in respected positions of power or not, use tactics of intimidation, illegal conduct, misdirection, or get caught in blatant lies, they jeopardize tarnishing their reputation and credibility permanently.

Thich Nhat Hanh (2013) compares all our emotions to weather events—they blow in, remain for a time and move on. He suggests that if we stop all our thinking when these storm fronts of strong emotions develop (and I will add “refraining from verbalizing and directing toxicity towards others” to this list), we can help prevent fueling the fire. Instead, we can choose to apply mindful practices like breathing and walking strategies as coping techniques, that will not only calm down our breath when we are feeling out of control, they also serve to help calm the body and mind (Hanh, 2012).

jiAan

The truth is, we all have strengths and weaknesses and will continue to face many temptations throughout our journey in life. Although it may take only one person to help shift a corrupted culture, it still requires others to follow suit. Taking all this information into consideration can help us understand more clearly why it makes sense that during those times when we are feeling most vulnerable, confused, and overwhelmed with emotions, that including a component of ethics in the decision making process can help us achieve outcomes we are content to live with.

On Wednesday’s post, we will take a closer look at what neuroscience students from Brown University discovered recently about mindful practices. Until then … Have a great week everyone! Be mindful and stay organized!

“Truth is by nature self-evident. As soon as you remove the cobwebs of ignorance that surround it, it shines clear.” —Mahatma Gandhi

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.

The Ethics of Handling Strong Emotions

Published July 28, 2014 by Mayrbear's Lair
4.Ini-Penyebab-Pengantin-Baru-Cepat-Bosan-Setelah-Menikah.1

Many of us initially learned how to deal with strong emotions in our home environment. Those who had the most influence were the elders and guardians in roles as disciplinarians. As a result, we learned how to deal with strong emotions from the rules they implemented in addition to observing the actions that revealed their own coping skills when it came to handling strong emotions. To put it another way, when we are young, impressionable, and still learning how to navigate the world around us, caretakers that use yelling and screaming as a strategy, for example, teach children that screaming and yelling is an accepted method for handling strong emotions. However, this strategy rarely yields positive outcomes. In fact, it typically leads to the escalation of unmanageable levels of emotion.

Anger 2

As we grow and process different life changing events, especially those powerful enough to shift our views, our emotions become heightened. In my ebook, Ethics in the Real World (2013), I discuss this further and explain how some situations can produce positive experiences for us, such as promotions, marriages, and the birth of our children; while other experiences can produce negative outcomes, such as abuse, divorce, natural disasters, and so on (Berry, 2013). When families find themselves in a crisis situation where heightened emotions have reached uncontrollable or unmanageable levels, many will seek out additional support from other avenues that can include the clergy, spiritual communities, schools, or other kinds of family support programs. There are a variety of different support systems that can provide beneficial assistance for helping families. Many of them also provide higher levels of education that include training in practices to help support the development of coping skills.

iop

Ethics also play a big role in helping us handle emotions. For example, to place awareness on ethics in the decision-making process, it is important that we first identify, then transmit with clarity, what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. In addition, we must also articulate clearly, a code of ethics and engage in consistent action when implementing consequences for misbehavior and misconduct. This not only sets the standard, these are instrumental strategies for building and supporting an ethical culture.

DSC04871

Plum Village Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (2012) asserts that keeping open communication is also an essential component for managing strong emotions. Hanh further explains that there are practices that can be developed to help us handle strong emotions. The key is learning how to perform these practices when we are confident and feeling great, before our emotions are heightened. This is beneficial so that we know how to respond mindfully when we find ourselves in the heat of an emotional turmoil (Hanh, 2012). For instance, during those times when I feel that I am running on a short emotional fuse and am really having difficulty handling strong emotions, coping strategies have become a game changer for me. In other words, once I began incorporating strategies specifically developed to enhance my coping skills, it helped me manage my heightened emotions more effectively which in turn has led to  my feeling more joyful and balanced in my life with fulfilling relationships.

On Wednesday we will take a closer peek at how we can develop and implement our own coping techniques. Until then, stay organized!

********
It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. – Albert Einstein
********

References:

Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.

Hanh, T. N. (2012). Work: How to find joy and meaning in each hour of the day. Berkeley, CA: Parallax Press.