Every decision has a cost, which is usually more than just the published cost of an item or service. Sometimes, while trying to save money in the short run, we actually spend more in the long run. Sometimes, “free” things cost a lot. And sometimes inaction has a cost, spiritually and emotionally as well as financially.
While we are accustomed to thinking about expenditures only as spending money, there are also such costs and potential benefits as impact on time, health, relationships, and ability to live purposefully. Thus, the wise choice considers more than just money in calculating ROI (return on investment). Continue reading →
The world’s religions are filled with practical spirituality on how to earn, spend, save, invest and share money. There’s abundant ancient and ever-new wisdom for how to work with less stress and more meaning … how your workplace can be a center of peace and compassion — not fraud, waste or abuse. And more. Much, much more.
Over the past 14 years, it’s been my great pleasure to interview hundreds of people about how their work and their spirituality support each other. The great world religions scholar Huston Smith, graciously granted an interview of some basic tenets in each faith. Individuals have added their own rich insights, providing a marvelous, ever-growing picture of the many ways to put spiritual values to work everyday. Continue reading →
Nothing messes more with real spirituality, with real positive approaches to life, work or money than phoney or illusory positive thinking.
Distorted positive thinking can cost you money, sleep, your job, peace of mind, and maybe your life. It can also be a catalyst or enabler of fraud, waste and abuse on an individual or social scale.
Even the best models of positive thinking, like The Little Engine That Could, can be distorted. Yes, many obstacles can be overcome and dreams can be built when we affirm, “I think I can,” then follow through with action and stay on track. But sometimes, wisdom and integrity call us to accept what we can’t do. Sometimes, our best path is to go off track, even if we don’t yet know the best path to follow next.
However, if you anchor positive thinking in reality, then give it due diligence, you’ve always got the start of something great. Continue reading →
Monastic life in all faiths is ordered around prayer. Such prayer sets the rhythm for each day. It keeps members focused on the mission of the order and the life of the community, as well as the spiritual life of each member.
I spent 13 years in the Discalced Carmelite monastic order, which traces its origins to hermits living on Mt. Carmel in the 13th century. As is the case with most religious orders, the Discalced Carmelites prayed together at least six times a day on a regular schedule, using Latin names for the hours. These were also known as Canonical hours, because they have been used by all orders in the Roman Catholic Church for many centuries.
As our Muslim friends have so ably demonstrated, prayer can also provide the framework for secular life, including busy workdays. Inspired by what I learned in the monastery and from the example of Muslims, I adapted the canonical hours to my spiritual practices. Continue reading →
You wouldn’t know it from the major media, but more compassionate, more sustainable and way more ethical capitalism is thriving. Or, as many call it, “Conscious Capitalism.” Now there are some very easy ways to bring yourself up to speed in how the conscious capitalism movement can impact your individual work, your business and/or your finances.
Just What is Conscious Capitalism and Why Is It So Beneficial to Us All?
The conveners of last summer’s conference on conscious capitalism at Bentley University offered these three key elements of conscious capitalism:
companies have a purpose that transcends profit maximization;
companies are managed for the benefit of all stakeholders in their ecosystem, not just shareholders; and
companies are led by spiritually evolved, self-effacing servant leaders. Continue reading →
In a recent post, guest blogger Tricia Malloy wrote: “To me, a spiritual practice is any routine or ritual that connects you to your inner wisdom and helps you be less stressed and fearful and more positive, focused and productive. It’s often how you communicate with your subconscious mind. It may or may not relate to any religion or belief.”
Over the years, I’ve integrated many spiritual practices into my life and work: meditating, taking a moment of silence, being grateful, walking, visualizing, spending time in nature, or journaling. Some of these practices I learned from others; some I invented or adapted. All have led to rich and sometimes surprising insights for work, money and the rest of life — provided they fit my life, not some idealized notion of what the spiritual life ought to be. Continue reading →
If all the expensive fallout from corporate, political or other shenanigans could be traced to a few greedy rotten apples, then it should be easy for all us good, non-greedy apples to toss out the rest.
But greed is just one variety of fraud, waste and abuse that have long been rampant in our world. All are supported by a culture that makes it equally hard to confront wrong-doing or to envision a culture based on honesty, sustainability, and compassion. Continue reading →
Yes, it’s been a while since I last blogged. An overload of work has made workdays extra long and my blogging time minimal. The death of a friend across country interrupted the work flow and made me more keenly aware of how short and precious life is. Reconnections with old friends and family there make me feel sad that I’ve missed so much by being too little in their fascinating lives, yet hopeful about the possibilities for richer friendships.
Never has it been more obvious that real life can’t be broken into categories such as work, life, money, children or fun. Everything important always happens right when we’re smack dab in the middle of seeming contradictory challenges. How to do the tasks that need to be done versus the work our soul calls us to? How to find time to mourn and reflect in the midst of work that needs to be done and life that needs to be lived right now? How to follow one calling, complete one task, when there are dozens or hundreds or thousands to be done? Continue reading →
If you believe that the meaning of life has no practical business, work or financial application, you’ve got a lot of company. Yet there’s a huge body of evidence, even among top business and professional publications, that meaning and other “soft” stuff can be the catalyst for solving some of the most pressing worldly problems. Continue reading →