When I look back at what I had hoped to achieve in this activity I really didn’t hit the mark very well. I don’t think it is fair to say that I failed the activity, but there were a few things I wanted to try that I didn’t really find a way to do.
The main problem with practising compassion during the 30 days was that work was extremely stressful, and I’ve found that an ability to maintain a compassionate focus on other people is significantly reduced when you are in a “My life sucks” mode – yeah it could be seen as a leadership fail as well I guess. Anyway, what I mean to say is that I was far too self-focused for a large portion of this 30 day activity, but not all of it.
Thinking positive thoughts
I did find that maintaining a positive thought about the person I was dealing with, like Chade-Meng’s “I want you to be happy” thought, it wasn’t always that exact thought. This was particularly powerful if there was someone being very challenging. It really can shift your focus onto them and their needs, rather than how they might be interrupting you and your needs.
Pretty big compassion win
One of the things I had wanted to try to do was improve the compassion of people in my office. I didn’t really have an opportunity to focus on that explicitly but, as I explained in a previous post, I did organise a couple of very successful activities in the office to try to bring them all together a little more. It’s been a week since we did these activities and I can say that the overall changes were not very lasting, but this isn’t the sort of thing that changes overnight. It was the beginning of a process that has lightened the mood a little bit and for at least a week it helped people in the office engage with each other.
On the whole, I am happy with some of the things that I achieved during the activity. This will be something that I will have to maintain focus on for a long time before it becomes just part of my personality. The important thing is that I know that I want it to be a larger part of my personality, and that I am willing to spend more time getting there. I know that I will stumble and fail a lot in my compassion (for others and myself), but this is one that I have been trying to improve since Activity 2 of this project, so I am not about to stop now.