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It All Starts (and ends) with Love

When was the last time you used (or heard) the word “love” in the workplace? 

In today’s world, we tend to shy away from using that powerful 4-letter word at work. 

Yet love is so integral to the core of who we are as human beings: 

  • We are born out of love.
  • We are motivated by love. 
  • We crave love. 

I always say that we can substitute the word “love” for compassion, kindness, care

Whatever name you prefer to call it by, perhaps love is the missing link in today’s world. We all know times are turbulent…unpredictable…and, for many, downright scary.  

What Exactly Can Love Do?

I learned the hard way. 

In my 20s, I was a complete overachiever. On the outside, I had it all figured out. 

Despite being an immigrant, I graduated with a double degree on the dean’s list, got a job in a big financial institution and was promoted with less than 2 years on the job. 

But the side that people did not see…the real truth…is that my life really looked like this: 

Sick. Driven by loud inner criticism. Constantly searching for answers. 

Maybe you can relate. 

After plenty of searching (and along with other modalities), something powerful happened: a single mantra shifted my thoughts to allow me to better understand myself and others.

This mindset shift had a major impact on my feelings and actions – and over time, on my well-being and happiness. 

My Magic Mantra is So Simple: 

💌“Love & Compassion First” 💌

Eye roll, I know. But hear me out: this is not some New Age woo-woo BS. 

Trust me, I learned the hard way: not only in the relationship I had with myself, but with others as well. 

Love Works. Impactful Leaders Know it. 

The legendary “Trillion Dollar Coach” of Silicon Valley Bill Campbell always rooted his behaviors in his heart, saying they came from love. Years after his 2016 death, the positive effects of his incredible impact reverberate far beyond the Valley. 

Did you know? Campbell was well-known for hugging everybody, including someone most people would consider pretty ‘unhuggable’…Bill Gates. 

Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and now an emotional intelligence expert and the author of the groundbreaking book “Search Inside Yourself” asserts that compassionate leadership creates the most effective leaders. 

In Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within, he wrote these inspiring words: 

Perhaps the most important thing is to constantly aspire to serve the greater good. If you always try to practice compassion and you are always trying to benefit the people around you and beyond, the good people around you will love you and want to help you.”

Compassion starts with you – but the impact that it has within ripples outward in positive ways you may not even be able to comprehend right now. 

The Results of Choosing Love & Compassion 

When I committed to choosing love and compassion, so many amazing things happened in my life. I know ALL of these are possible for you, too: 

  • I finally stopped beating myself up all the time with my inner critic. 
  • Instead of judging others, I listened more fully and built deeper relationships.
  • I went from a struggling “people manager” to someone people actually asked to work for.
  • I discovered my true talents & passions, hiding beneath layers of criticism and self-doubt. 
  • Long-standing, persistent fears were overcome, and I successfully changed careers. 

A Simple, 2-Part Mindshift Can Transform Your Life 

Start with Part 1: Love & Compassion towards yourself first.

We set expectations for others, the same way we hold ourselves accountable. We can only authentically connect to others if we can connect to ourselves first. 

Put it into practice with 3 simple tips:

  • Acknowledge and honor how far you’ve come (only you know this!) 
  • Measure yourself today only against yourself yesterday 
  • Remind yourself that you are an imperfect human doing your best

Step up to Part 2: Love & Compassion toward others. 

Too often, we create distorted images of others in our heads – making them dominating, intimidating and attaching other unpleasant labels to them that do not benefit anyone. 

By remembering our common humanity, we shorten the difference between us and them. With this mindset shift, we can automatically enjoy a deeper sense of human connection and experience more authentic relationships.  

3 Simple tips to help you put it into practice: 

  • Remember that each person is just another human doing the best they can
  • They are a person with a body, thoughts, feelings, and unique life experiences – just like you.
  • They’ve celebrated triumphs & dealt with painful defeats. They want to be happy and healthy – just like you.

With Any Mindset Shift, Practice Makes Perfect

Just kidding…nothing, nobody is “perfect” …

However, if you want to truly make a genuine shift in your mindset, you’ve got to put it into practice

No worries if bubble baths aren’t your thing: 

Just try a simple self-compassion practice or a loving-kindness meditation. 

I also recommend the following resources to help deepen your awareness on the power of compassion: 

And if you’re still thinking the whole love and compassion concept is just some fluffy New Age BS, I’ll leave you with a meaningful quote from Disney CEO Bob Iger on the late Bill Campbell: “Everything Bill brought to the boardroom came from a place in his heart.”

Yes, the man who once coached Apple’s Steve Jobs and the infamous Sheryl Sandberg was fearless when it came to authentic displays of love and compassion. When he passed away in 2016, even some of Silicon Valley’s elite were in tears. 

That’s the power of love. And you can fearlessly put it into practice in your own life, starting right now. 

Ready to put this into practice? Check out my recorded LinkedIn Live here

If you found this article helpful, consider signing up for my newsletter, A Cup of Connection, packed with observations and practical tools for your career & life. 

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