Category Archives: Focus

Grace

My experience has led me to notice that most of us tend to ‘say grace’ not out of a spirit of awe and wonder, but more often with a posture of obligation, duty, and routine. It’s just what you do, in some circles, after your aunt has prepared her casserole for your uncle’s birthday.

If we’re honest, connecting grace to annual casserole traditions hasn’t helped our eyes learn how to search for true grace.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Grace can be and is always more available than we tend to be.

And the second we allow ourselves to become available is the second grace becomes the very air we breathe.

Until we start seeing grace in the very chair we’re sitting in, we’ll continue to be blind in our steps that follow.

So look for grace today.

Even if it’s just to yourself, say something when you see it.

Watch it start to multiply.

Watch yourself start to be it.

We always will see through the eyes of what we’re becoming.

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Generous hands

A few blocks from where I live there’s a refrigerator in one’s driveway.

Snaking out of the garage is an extension cord so the refrigerator has power.

Every morning one to three fresh flower arrangements from the yard of this property are placed in this refrigerator and an adjacent handwritten sign reads ‘Flowers $3.00 – Please return vases’.

I have never met the one who does this.

I’ve never seen them either.

But they have made it very clear who they are and what they’re about through their generous hands.

What will they say about us?

All of our lives are like refrigerators in driveways.

Hopefully, you’re picking flowers, arranging them in your unique flair and voice, and placing them in your front yard refrigerator for the world to enjoy.

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Window washing

I had the windows at my house cleaned recently. While no one else noticed, I sure did.

This small act made looking out from my home an entirely new experience.

I could feel the trees sway in a way I hadn’t before.

I could decode the message the flowers were there to convey.

And the sun entered the living spaces with golden benevolence.

In reality, though, nothing had changed. The trees had been like this all along. So were the flowers. And also the sun.

But what changed?

Just the removal of film and buildup on the windows and my view from the inside.

It reminds me of the moments I give myself some time to each morning to wash the windows of my eyes.

When I wash the repetitive thoughts and unnecessary angst away, I’m able to take in a whole new human experience.

As many have said before, we don’t see how things are…we see things as we are.

Yes, Windex for the soul comes in many forms: solitude, silence, stillness, & gratitude – just to name a few.

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Podcast 99: The Meaning Revolution with Fred Kofman

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Since 1990, Fred Kofman has designed and facilitated programs on leadership, personal mastery, team learning, organizational effectiveness and coaching for thousands of executives, and consultants worldwide.

His book, Conscious Business, has been translated to more than ten languages and received numerous awards. Conscious Business was recently named by Sheryl Sandberg in her New York Times interview as “the business book every executive should read” http://nyti.ms/Z1Kory (page 2).

After completing a Ph.D. in economics from Berkeley, California, Fred taught Management Accounting and Control Systems at the Sloan School of Management where in 1992 was named “Professor of the Year”. During his time at MIT, Fred worked alongside Peter Senge as a senior researcher at the Center for Organizational Learning.

His approach to leadership has little to do with the standard practices taught in business school and traditional books. Bringing together economics and business theory, communications and conflict resolution, family counseling and mindfulness meditation, Kofman argues in The Meaning Revolution that our most deep-seated, unspoken, and universal anxiety stems from our fear that our life is being wasted–that the end of life will overtake us when our song is still unsung.

After serving as VP of Executive Development for LinkedIn from 2013-2018, Fred has recently taken his work to Google where he is now an advisor for Leadership Development.

You can stream this episode and all other episodes of Good / True / & Beautiful in iTunes or at AshtonGustafson.com.

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A Conversation with Rocky Garza

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Rocky Garza is a people and culture development expert that challenges audiences to consider their motivations, inspirations, and fears. Most describe Rocky’s intimate, reflective approach as truly transformational. He reminds leaders, teams, and organizations that every person is, at their core, just a human. Rocky explores relationship management and humanity through his Personal Identity Mapping service – an examination how and why people do the things that they do. The result is intense clarity and deep learning about the ‘one’ whole person we really are, and the realization that we need to be that same person in every part of our life: as a servant leader, as a respectful partner, as a key teammate, and as a difference maker and engaged member of our families and communities.

You can stream or download this episode and all other episodes at AshtonGustafson.com, iTunes, and Stitcher.

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