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We All Have Issues, The Question is….Can We Laugh About Our Issues?

For some decades now, I’ve been saying to clients, colleagues and friends, ‘We all have issues….the question is…are we working on our issues?”

About 6 months ago I had a shift and I realized the opportunity for growth for all of us, individually and as teams, is not to continue to beat ourselves up, working on our issues. The real opportunity for growth is to be able to share our vulnerabilities freely and with lightness and humor.

We all have vulnerabilities. If you’re breathing, you have them. We over-utilize our strengths and get the volume turned up too high. We move too fast and can’t think strategically. We clam up and withhold when we need to find our voice and share our needs, preferences and objectives. We confuse activity with results.

As Brene Brown, PhD shares in her TED Talk, vulnerability is the birthplace of Joy, Creativity, Belonging and Love. In a business setting, think of your team’s need for greater alignment, clarity, innovation and connections. Being able to laugh about our vulnerabilities and issues is the key to creating an environment where others bring their best selves and thrive. Record results will follow.

If you’d like to watch Brene Brown’s video, click here: http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

Honoring Our Elders

In some spiritual and religious traditions, today is All Soul’s Day.  While I no longer subscribe to those belief systems espoused by these traditions, I do love the rich heritage and rituals associated with days like today.

As someone whose life as been heavily influenced by my Dad, I can’t help but think of him today.  He died at the age of 56 in 1984.

He looked around the breakfast table one Saturday morning when I was about 8 or 9 years old and saw me among my siblings and said, “why don’t you come into the office with me this morning?”.  He owned a sole-practitioner CPA firm, John F. Halpin, CPA, in Vicksburg, Mississippi.  The firm had about a half-dozen ‘girls in the office’ and I became one of them that day.

I started my career that day by operating the microfiche machine to maintain permanent records of his client’s bank statements.

I continued to work with him after school and on week-ends through college.  He’s why I became a CPA.  It took me 20 years to determine I was not well suited for that work.

I can’t help but think of Melody Beattie’s quote today as I think of my Dad and am grateful for all the bad things he taught me workaholicsm, putting the clients’ needs ahead of my own and being a hard worker.  He taught me many good things too.  I learned how to laugh and tell a funny story from my Dad. More importnatly, I learned how to engage people in a way that makes them want to be forthright about their deepest concerns.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.  It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”                                                                   Melody Beattie