One Apple A Day #917 – more love

The web is flooded with quotes from business giants. When it comes to success, we look at the great achievers, usually, billionaires who have created remarkable results.

We rarely quote teachers, farmers, or nurses. Yet, those are fundamental roles in our society.

What does this say about the society we are promoting?

And I use “we” because I do the same. Sure, sometimes it is laziness. It is way easier to find a powerful quote or idea from the like of Steve Jobs or Jeff Bezos than from the teacher living next door or the smiling lady improving your morning with a good coffee.

So, today I want to share a piece of advice from my granduncle Domenico, a farmer who spent his life in a small countryside village, who could always find ways to spark a good laugh in others.

It was about ten years ago. I was sitting in my grandma’s kitchen, listen to the two of them telling funny stories about their youth. At some point, my granduncle turned to me and said something that I wasn’t expecting from him.

“There is not enough love in the world. That is the issue. We need more love.”

That’s it.
We need more love.
Everywhere, in everything.
As my friend Mark told me once, love transforms a job into a craft, a work into art.
So, if you want to be successful, here’s a piece of great business advice from a seasoned farmer.

Add more love.

Find ways to add more love to whatever you do: to your task, to your working environment, to your relationship with your clients and colleagues.

Because we need more love.

One Apple A Day #910 – do it because you love it

The main narrative in our society is that the only thing that matters is the result. We celebrate the winners, the ones who achieve something, who deliver the results.
Even worse, we learn that the result depends solely on our effort. The way to achieve something it’s work hard and put in a lot of effort. And if you don’t get the result you want, most probably it’s because you didn’t work hard enough. In short, it’s your fault.

However, results are a lot more elusive. The final outcome of any human endeavour depends on many factors of which your work is only one.
Even when we win, we should be honest enough to admit that it’s not all our making. That luck, fate or coincidences – call it as you want – played a significant role.
That doesn’t diminish a bit your effort and commitment.

This mindset’s problem is that by focusing on the outcome, we lose the joy of the journey. And we get to the end and don’t achieve the desired results, then the whole journey will feel like a waste of time and energy.

That is why you should ask yourself what your real intention for doing something is. Would you do it even if you know you won’ get the results in the end?

In my experience, if you do the work because you love it and because you love the person you become by doing it, then the results will come. And even when they don’t come, it will be a success.

One Apple A Day #884 – Love

It feels so fitting to close this series of posts about human strengths with the essence of them all; love.

Such is the power of love that it transforms everything.

Love is not like any other strengths. It is the fuel of all of them.

That’s why we should always be looking for love.

In every person, place, group, initiative, work, task. Everywhere.

If you can find the love in something, you can activate its power.

Whatever you’re doing, wherever you are, ask yourself; where is the love here?

And when you find the source of love, take care of it.

Nurture that love so it can expand and transform everything from within.

One Apple A Day #799 – an ode to imperfetcion

Sometimes it’s hard for me to like myself.
Anytime I’m angry, spiteful, resentful, annoyed, bored, fearful, bitter, defeated, ashamed, petty, cynical, distracted.
When I can’t move beyond a wrong received or committed.
When I can’t forgive, and when I forget.
When I lose my temper and my balance.
When I don’t respect myself.
When I’m late, or I’m in a rush.
Anytime I know what I should do, but I don’t do it.
When I’m aware that I have the tools and the knowledge I need, but I don’t use them.
When I waste time and energy in useless things.
When I realize that I could have done more, but I didn’t.
When I’m disoriented, even if I should know where to go.
When I’m sad, even if everything is great.
Anytime I’m not here and now because my mind is miles away.
When I promise, and I don’t keep.
Anytime I commit to a practice, and I fail.

And it’s then, when it’s hard for me to like myself, that I begin to love me.
Because the magnificent beauty of humanness lays in its imperfection.
To love a human being, it means to embrace her or his imperfection.
I love me.
I love you.

One Apple A Day #781 – we are all human beings

I know people who are loving parents, kind colleagues, supportive friends, helpful community members and yet, they can quickly turn into violence and hate towards other human beings like immigrants, politicians or just people with a different perspective of the world. 

How is it possible? I know for sure they would never use the same language or even have the same thoughts towards people they know. But, they can quickly attack someone on social media, or spit harsh words against people they’ve never seen or met.

Then I read this article, and I discover that we all have this program wired in our brain that gives us the ability to see fellow men and women as less than human. It’s a process called dehumanization.

Most of us would never say or do such terrible things to another human being. But what if we don’t see others are human beings? 

What if we see them as something else, something less then human?

Anytime we dehumanize others, we loosen our ethical values and principles. So we don’t feel bad for what we say or do. It’s a lie we tell ourselves so we can still feel good people even while we say hateful things. 

And we all do that very often. Anytime we look at people, and we see only the surface; the job they do, the role they have, the place where they are from, the group they belong and so on. If we can’t see the human being, we are permitting ourselves to relax our ethical principles.

We are all human beings.