The French have an expression that I relate to: Joie de Vivre! It means the simple joy of living, embracing all that life has to offer – right now, in this moment. Joie de Vivre is about being aware of things around you. It’s being conscious of life as it happens. It’s being enveloped by the love and laughter of young children. It’s connecting with old friends and meeting new ones. And of course, good wine and good food. But most of all, for me Joie de Vivre is about acceptance . . . of the current state of one’s authentic self, while being accountable of the impact on others.
Recently, I was co-leading a team building retreat of senior leaders during which several individuals stated that they didn’t view themselves as particularly bright, creative, or bold enough to be fully effective. That shocked me, for I saw them as more than capable. What was the difference between what I saw and what they accepted as true? It was the lens through which they viewed themselves. Instead of being grounded in gratitude and living in self-acceptance, these individuals were viewing themselves as flawed and disempowered. I was saddened to see these lives overshadowed by the belief they were “less than.”
If you look for pleasure, joy, and satisfaction each day, every day, you’ll find it. I’m fond of saying, “Take what you do seriously, but not yourself.” Don’t beat yourself up, as you’ll never be perfect. Too many of us live in fear of being discovered that we are not ______ enough: not bright enough, capable enough, experienced enough, or courageous enough. Instead of focusing on what you lack, focus on what talents you do have and . . . bask in the moment.
Enjoy your Joie De Vivre!
At this year’s R|L Summer Open House, we welcomed several global coaches into our midst with an evening of great conversation as well as food and wine from around the globe. Thank you for joining us!
When you get past the glitz of Hollywood’s red carpet, I often wonder what attributes make each of the celebrities a true Star. Is it how celebrities present themselves – the fashions they wear or the eloquence of speech during interviews, or is it something more? My take is that a Star is someone who authentically brings something into the world that wasn’t there before.
This year’s R|L Summer Open House theme, Mingle with the Stars, was selected to honor the Star in each of you, as our guests – whether our clients, alumni, sponsoring companies, recruiters, spouses, or friends. Nelson Mandela said, “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”
Given the fascinating diversity of our guests’ backgrounds, we were delighted to observe, once again, the high level of engagement as you connected and reconnected with people throughout the evening. We were proud to play a part in your STAR network. It is your genuine interest and support for one another that makes this night special. For 33 years I have marveled at the inclusiveness of the group.
Thank you for being a significant part of our R|L Community. You enrich our lives beyond measure.
Our challenge: How can you, this week, live more authentically, embracing the Star within you?
By Clyde C. Lowstuter
Summer is a great time for renewal with invigorating gatherings of business colleagues, friends, and family. The theme for this year’s Open House was Wind in Your Sails – a metaphor for those interactions and insights that have the power to buoy your spirits and recharge your batteries to carry you forward with even greater enthusiasm. Just as well trimmed sails will convert the force of the wind into motion, the right types of connections will propel you with new energy. Who and what buoys you in the midst of these fast-paced, demanding times?
We recommend that you connect with others regularly – as a means of deepening your insights and capabilities. Work hard and play hard to experience the breadth and depth of your authentic self.
Thank you for being part of the R|L Community that energizes us beyond measure. We appreciate you greatly.
Clyde C. Lowstuter
President and CEO
When 250+ people stepped out and joined us for a fabulous time on July 19th, it was invigorating and the energy palpable. The phenomenon of hundreds of engaged people, laughing and smiling, seemed to be a great metaphor for stepping out . . . of your comfort zone.
Every one of us engages in self-limiting talk that inhibits how courageous we allow ourselves to be. It’s part of the human condition. At our Open House I met an interesting fellow who was attending our gathering for the first time. Despite our warm and accepting group, he indicated that he was very shy and was always uncomfortable meeting and networking with new people. I observed that the only person who thinks that he is shy is himself; since he was unknown to the group, no one knew whether he was bold and outgoing or shy and retiring. I asked him what kind of behavior he would exhibit if he were emboldened, confident, and enthusiastic. After he accurately described an emboldened person, I introduced him to a cluster of folks with the encouragement to let loose and have fun. Moments later, he was smiling and actively interacting with them. (Click photos below to enlarge.)
This timely lesson was a great reminder for me to pay attention to my own disempowering thoughts and actions. Given that it is learned behavior, I get to experiment with dropping my self-limiting habits and embracing those beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes that I’ve always admired. To that end, I’ve been asking myself – “Where and when do I play small?” and “How might I more fully step out – into my authentic self?”
So – I invite you to step on out there with me.
Drawing Update: Sandy Mitsch, Director of Talent Management at Takeda, won the kaleidoscope from the event drawing, reflective of Clyde’s favorite metaphor for “Change Your Perspective . . . Enhance Your Life!” We appreciate Sandy’s support and engagement with R|L over the years.