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Kindness – A to Z of Self Leadership

While someone might define success as being able to achieve great heights in one’s chosen field, another might define a successful person as someone who ‘has left the world better than she found it’. No matter what your definition of success may be, does it have kindness factored in?

I believe that self leadership calls for us to be kind. Kindness is certainly not weakness. Instead, it empowers us to go beyond ourselves, to broaden our view of life, to look at situations and people from different perspectives. Kindness to others must not come out of a sense of guilt or an attempt to seek the limelight.

Is kindness an inherent quality? I think not. We learn kindness from the people we grow up with. And if we didn’t, we can always develop kindness.

Philip G. Zimbardo, a giant in the field of social psychology, a professor at Palo Alto University, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, is the president of the Heroic Imagination Project. Giving a commencement address at the University of Puget Sound he said, “You will be more likely to notice someone in need if you have developed the daily habit of opening yourself to other people by routinely noticing what others are doing and imagining what they are feeling.”

This is seconded by Stefan Klein in his book Survival of the Nicest “The willingness to do something for others is an attitude that one can practice until it is as natural as riding a bicycle. In time the fear of being exploited fades, and with the courage to give grows the feeling of freedom. The journey begins with curiosity. By experimenting with generosity, we have nothing to lose and much to gain, for selflessness makes us happy and transforms the world.”

While we learn kindness, we must also remember to be kind to ourselves. Without self-compassion, our practice of kindness will be a sham.

Action steps:

Keep it simple. The Buddha taught the virtue of making the “seven offerings that cost nothing”: . . . a compassionate eye, a smiling face, loving words, physical service, a warm heart, a seat, and lodging. — Jiko Kohno in Right View, Right Life: Insights of a Woman Buddhist Priest. I guess we now call these random acts of kindess. Surely we can do all these over a week.

Write yourself a letter expressing kindness and understanding towards your weaknesses. It could be one letter or a series of letter focussing on different areas.

 

kindness

 

Today I’m on ‘K’ of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. My theme is the A to Z of Self Leadership. I’m also undertaking the NaBloPoMo for April – the theme is ‘grow’ and the Ultimate Blog Challenge

19 Comments

  1. […] being fully aware, deeply thankful and filled with enthusiasm. It pushes us to incorporate kindness and live a meaningful life. Zeal pushes us to respond to situations and experiences in an authentic, […]

  2. Chrys Fey Chrys Fey April 15, 2015

    Kindness is so important. We should have it in everything we do, especially if we are leading others and hope for success. Kindness is key. 🙂

    -Chrys Fey
    Tremp’s Troops – A to Z Co-co-host
    Write with Fey

  3. Carol Cassara Carol Cassara April 14, 2015

    This post is an oasis in a day of bad world news, like most days are now.

  4. Lanise Brown Lanise Brown April 14, 2015

    I have read quite a few posts on kindness for the challenge today. They have all been amazing including your post, Corinne. We all need kindness to show ourselves and others. Even though the world is so cold now, showing kindness can just take a minute of the day. Simple and yet loving. 🙂

  5. The Sunday Visitor. The Sunday Visitor. April 14, 2015

    A trait that some of the best leaders posses is that of kindness. Dalai Lama for example.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 14, 2015

      Yes! You are right. And I absolutely love the Dalai Lama! Thanks for visiting.

  6. Vidya Subramanian Vidya Subramanian April 14, 2015

    Hey Corinne!! I think I missed some of your posts. I was travelling. It feels great to read your post again this morning 🙂 Kindness is highly underrated. It should not be something to be left for social workers to take care of. Each one of us is capable of simple acts of kindness in words or deeds. Of course, we also need to be kind to ourselves!

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues Post author | April 14, 2015

      Hey Vidya, I could share a secret with you, but then I’d have to kill you first! And I’m too fond of you to do that! 😉

      About kindness, yes, it’s the simplest way to be.

  7. Melinda Melinda April 14, 2015

    “Love is patient, love is kind.” 1 Corinthians 13:1. I want to be a kinder person. Thanks for a great post.

  8. Parul Parul April 14, 2015

    What a beautiful post! I totally agree. An unkind person is hard to deal with and kindness is contagious 🙂

  9. Lata Subramanian ( Lata Subramanian ( April 14, 2015

    Timely post for an era where selfies rule and kindness is short

  10. Considerer Considerer April 14, 2015

    This is one I know I should do because I absolutely and instinctively shy away from it.

  11. Martha Orlando Martha Orlando April 14, 2015

    Practicing kindness is essential to my life and who I am. And you are right, Corinne – kindness is not weakness, it is a tower of strength from which we can shine God’s love.
    Blessings!

  12. Sarah Sarah April 14, 2015

    This post is very true Corinne. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone felt that way and the world was globally a ‘kind’ place to be? 🙂

  13. Kristin Kristin April 14, 2015

    I do tend to notice people and what they are doing. Sometimes my now grown children and myself and my sister, will imagine what they are feeling and picture what happens next in their life. Not sure this makes us kinder, but maybe. If you don’t notice others, for sure you can’t do them a kindness.

  14. J.L.Campbell J.L.Campbell April 14, 2015

    It costs us nothing to be kind and yields great rewards.

  15. Shivani Foundation Shivani Foundation April 13, 2015

    Awesome post!! I have seen couple of blogs who’s written on Kindness!! “Keep it Simple….It is very easy to be kind” 🙂

    Shivani, A – Z Challenge Participant

    http://www.booksinmybagclub.wordpress.com

  16. Shantala Shantala April 13, 2015

    This post does resonate with me. I have written on Kindness too. Shared a personal experience. I like your action steps. I know I have chosen kindness on several occasions and it is always a win win. I have never really written it down, but journaling might actually help to make it a conscious practice. Loved your choice of quote. Very apt.

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