Compassion is powerful. We all think we have it. And then we see something that makes us uncomfortable and we forget how to show it.
I’ve been paralyzed by this too. I had to work on how to feel, then demonstrate compassion when I had little of it for myself during a difficult divorce.
Lack of compassion shows up when someone close to you is grieving and you don’t know what to say or do so you avoid, when someone is suffering and you start wondering if their situation might happen to you, when you start comparing their situation to yours, when you’re frustrated that you can’t fix their situation, and when you’re so spent you don’t have anything left to give.
In all of these instances we make someone else’s suffering about us. Yes. We’re in our own heads and not their pain.
At work and in life this can look like detachment, cold, unfeeling, self-consumed, and ambition driven.
Compassion is an...
Can we all please normalize appreciating PTO. Arnie and I decided a long time ago that we have to be the ones to prioritize our wellbeing. We didn’t wait for retirement to get the beach house. We don’t wait for retirement to travel. We don’t wait for retirement to regularly visit our children out of town. We don’t wait for retirement to take up hobbies, new sports, creative endeavors, meet new friends. We don’t have a bucket list. We live it every day.
I've spent most of my career as an execuitive at hospitals all to often seeing people retire, think they're going to do everything they've been waiting their whole lives to do, and an illness stops them in their tracks. Don't wait. Scale your dreams to what is reasonable and live them now.
Arnie and I are both high achievers and realize that sometimes doing our best means reflecting on what’s in the way of that happening.
The American culture has convinced many people that the work...
Recently, my family was together for a summer vacation and get-together in my hometown. Some of my family live here. My oldest daughter and her husband and two children came to visit. Additionally, four of our other children who live here got together in some form with the group nearly every day over a 10-day timeframe. There was much laughter, deep conversations, some drama and a lot of love.
I was a little sad when everyone left to go home to their daily lives. I was a little surprised by some things that occurred last week and questioned why some things are the way they are. Mostly, I felt full - full of being loved and giving love. I will share how I got to this pace despite drama and how I stay there. Even if I wander off the path, I know how to get back on it to get home.
A long time ago I read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and the advice always serves me well.
#1) Be impeccable with your word.
#2) Don't take anything personally.
Some people get up every morning and love their workout. I’ve been working out five mornings a week for years and I’ve hated it every single day.
Hate is a strong word. But I’m pretty sure that sums it up. And the truth is I never expect that to change. So it’s ok. I just do it because I feel, look, and move better with this discipline. I would regret not feeling this freedom otherwise.
I’m not a structured person by nature. I never read directions, like standing in line, or understand hierarchy.
But I do understand the value of discipline even though it doesn’t come naturally to me.
Because I’m motivated by avoiding the pain of regret. I don’t live in regret. It’s defeating.
It’s why I track mindful daily practices every day (yoga, meditation, slowly drinking a glass of water) to keep me in the present moment so I can be self-aware enough to control my runaway thoughts and...
I’ve been coaching leaders of different titles and industries for 12 years. Over time I’ve witnessed common themes show up in almost everyone. Truthfully, I’ve seen them show up in myself as well.
We feel unrest in our careers. And it begins to spread to our personal lives.
We stop taking care of ourselves. We break from healthy routines such as exercise, eating healthy, a good night’s sleep.
We distance ourselves from the people we care about.
We stop seeing ourselves as top talent in our area of expertise.
We start to doubt our efficacy at all. We think there is something wrong with us. And then we see ourselves as small. In all aspects of our lives.
And then we show up small, perpetuating the very insidious doubt trap that hamstrings our happiness.
I know this well from having been a single mom on welfare food stamps, medical assistance, and homeless without an automobile at the end of my divorce. You...
How many of you have seen this? You work in a culture where mediocrity is the norm. Where there is no incentive to be more dedicated because the underperformers are allowed to do the minimum. Where much is expected and there is little appreciation or reward.
There is a term for people who want to do the minimum of what is expected and nothing more. "Quite Quitting." I've seen this term debated and justified many times. Some cultures are so toxic that people quiet quit just to maintain their sanity. Other people become so disgruntled with their boss, having been passed over for promotion, an unfair distribution of work, or some other practice that they become tired, burned out and angry. Quiet quitting is intentional and becomes a survival mechanism.
My take on it is this - We don't get chosen for employment. We choose employers. We apply, interview and accept a position. We aren't entitled to work anywhere. We choose to. If we aren't happy there we can choose to have a...
You’re a leader in a high performing role but deep down you understand that emotional intelligence and clarity are critical to your success. You’ve started to doubt yourself. You feel you don’t have a clear career path and feel you need more executive presence for greater influence and efficacy.
You’ve noticed your relationships are frayed, you’re resentful, you’re not sleeping well and other healthy habits have gone by the wayside too.
Here is what I know to be true:
Everyday I see something posted regarding a new Diversity-Equity-Inclusion officer hired, a new DEI initiative, a DEI role posted. Rarely, if ever, do I see any content related to age discrimination. It’s hardly ever discussed, neglected from many DEI trainings and is a huge problem. I know this because of the number of clients I have who experience this. It’s the largest segment of my executive coaching practice.
DEI Officers: When you omit this as a priority from your programs you undercut your effectiveness because you lose buyin from this audience who start noticing ageism in their 40s. They are sitting there, but not buying in. No other group of constituents is larger or better posed to help you advance change than those from 40 to 67.
Everyone Else: You may not think a lot about discrimination because it doesn’t effect you. Don’t discriminate at any level because it’s wrong and demonstrates your lack of compassion, intelligence and...
TRANSCRIPT Episode #3 The Three Things
The audio podcast can be heard here: https://www.maryleegannon.com/podcasts/the-still-space-podcast/episodes/2147754071 You can subscribe there as well.
I used to think that being good at something and working hard was all it took to succeed. I taught myself a lot of skills, many at which I was a rock star. I rose quickly in the corporate world. By most measures I was a success. But it didn’t feel that way. No matter how many president or executive director roles I had I never really felt satisfied. I felt like I was practicing the lead role as an understudy and that any day the real star would show up and steal it away. Being divorced only made it worse. So, I put my head down and just kept working harder and gaining more for corporate America. The only thing I achieved for myself was exhaustion.
That’s when I started observing people who truly understood peace. I...