Friday, June 30, 2017

Empathy Moments

Because of the uniquely profound quality of empathy, we can put ourselves in other people’s shoes which can serve as a strong source of motivation to want to help others. Because of empathy we may not need to experience something ourselves in order to be able to try to understand how something feels. Sometimes just having the desire to try to understand someone’s pain can be enough to be with that person and support them through their pain or suffering. Empathy therefore in many ways is an essential and beautiful human quality.
Nevertheless, empathy isn’t always easy and it doesn’t always come naturally in every situation. Interestingly, every now and then every person eventually has an unexpected occurrence in their life that can serve as a real “empathy moment”. You know you are having an empathy moment when you find yourself thinking “So this is how _____ (name) felt when he/she was going through _____ (difficult experience)”.

When someone who steals, cons and rips others off ends up getting ripped off by someone even more clever
When the cheater one day gets cheated on
When someone grows up the big shot who looks down on and bullies others one day ends up on the other end of being bullied and looked down upon as an adult
When the person who lets everyone know that they have all the answers ends up completely lost, confused and alone, not knowing where to turn
When the person who says “just get over it” experiences something that he or she just can’t get over

Empathy moments group discussion:
Think about your own “empathy moments” when something happened in your life that really opened your eyes to how others in that situation feel.

Empathy is such a helpful human quality that can really build bridges between people in different situations with different backgrounds and experiences. Think about and discuss the positive benefits that can come about when there is empathy and understanding among people.

How can you as an individual increase in your ability to try to understand and empathize with others?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Powerlessness & Willpower

Whether you consider yourself to be addicted to something or not, everyone alive has experienced powerlessness in some form or another. There are always going to be things in life we just need to accept that we cannot control. Still, the idea of powerlessness sometimes can distract people from the other side of the coin which can be of equal importance. As critical as it can be to accept powerlessness when needed, it is also necessary not to overlook the value of the age old concept of willpower. What is willpower?

Willpower - noun
1. The ability to control oneself and determine one's actions
2. Firmness of will

Synonyms:  determination, self-control, discipline, resolve, self-restraint

Progress and success in just about any life area requires some degree of willpower in one form or another. Think about the willpower you needed to achieve goals in your life including, for example, graduating high school, career goals, building a family, and many others life areas where you needed to put in some work in order to grow and prosper.
For discussion, consider the following aspects of willpower. Discuss what each one means to you by thinking of some examples in your own life. Then at the end go back and identify the areas discussed that you may need to work on:

Willpower and Patience: The power to delay immediate gratification for the greater long term good
Willpower and Thinking: The ability to overpower an unwanted thoughts, cravings or urges
Willpower and Emotion: The power to experience emotions without impulsively letting these emotions control our words and actions
Willpower and Self-Regulation: The ability to be conscious of your desires without giving in to them
Willpower and Resources: The ability to ration your money, time and other resources without wasting them or burning through them too quickly
Willpower and Ego: The ability to share, let go of power, and give up the need to try to control other people
Willpower and Letting Go: Possessing the power let go or give in when something negative has a hold on us
Willpower and Fear: The ability to experience fear and apprehension yet still press forward