Would you stop and help a complete stranger in need?
It all depends on how busy you are at the time.
In his compelling TedTalk, Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, talks about the challenges to compassion. He delves into research that suggests the more self-absorbed and busy we are -the less compassionate we become.
When someone is having a tough time, do we see a need and help, or turn a blind eye? Why do we help sometimes and not other times?
Most of our thought patterns are automatic; we do the same logical things over and over. Being mindful means paying attention to others and breaking your routine. In a sense, you are being inconvenienced by other people's problems.
A lack of self-centeredness is humility. Every time we step out of our routine and support others we build our humility, slow down and become a better person.
According to Goleman, our default wiring is to help others, we have just lost this in the world caught up in technology and busyness.
What scares me about the research is how today's workplace has evolved to make people busy, distracted and focused on technology (and not people). In a drive to stay on top of things and preserve our jobs, are we turning a blind eye to others pain?
On a team, if we are absorbed in our dilemmas, can we be a congruent team player? Are we robbing our teams of a vibrant community and spirit because we're narrowly focused on our to-do lists?
Goleman's motivational talk suggests we take the focus off of ourselves and place it on the needs of others. We're not talking about history making Mother Theresa acts of selflessness, but just tuning in and noticing others activities, and offering support where we can.
What kind act can you do today?
Funny motivational speaker, Top 10 Morale Boosters