Posts Tagged ‘compassionate’

Life is a Team Sport. How’s Your Team Doing?

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

I think life is a team sport. But not in the way you may think I mean: I’m not talking about being a team player at work. Nor am I talking about looking at your family as a team, or anything like that.

The team I’m talking about is all your different personalities.

All of us have several personalities. I have one who is fearful, one who is determined, one who is compassionate, one who is a procrastinator, and several more besides. Whatever yours are, you have several of them too. And if you’re like me – and I bet you are, you feel really good about some of those personalities, while there are others you would like to get rid of.

But we can’t get rid of them. Like them or not, the personalities we don’t like are just as much a part of us as are the ones that we do like.

As you now know, when I said at the beginning of this post that life is a team sport, the team I was referring to was the team of personalities each of us has. And in the same ways that a football team (or any other sports team) won’t do well if the team members are fighting or arguing among themselves, we won’t do well in life if our team members are fighting or arguing among themselves. So the only way your team is going to win lots of games is if they learn to play well together.

Carrying the analogy a little further, the way for them to learn to play well together is to make sure they have a good coach: you! And as their coach, you want to make sure they each know that winning games – and the game of life – is what really matters. And you want to make sure they know that getting upset or angry at each other has a negative impact on the team. You also want to find out what each team member’s strengths are, and assign positions based on those strengths. And when I say that, I’m including those team members who have an illness and symptoms. From what they’ve gone through, they have wisdom and knowledge the other team members don’t have.

This post is actually very personal. I have some personalities I think are wonderful and that I’m very grateful to have. But I also have a couple of personalities, one in particular, that I’ve struggled with for years and that have sabotaged me more times than I can count. When I finally realized that they were with me to stay and that I couldn’t get rid of them, and that we (all my personalities) are all in this together, my life got a whole lot better. And I started winning a lot more games.

I bet that you and your team can win a lot more games too!


Tom Robinson, who has Crohn’s disease himself, helps people with chronic illnesses feel a whole lot better, and then he helps them find inspiring dreams – and achieve them!

Having a Caring, Compassionate, Understanding Friend

Friday, June 25th, 2010

When our lives are difficult, as they often are when we have a chronic illness, having a caring, compassionate, understanding friend can be tremendously helpful. A friend can give us hugs, and when we need it, a shoulder to cry on. A friend like that can be the difference between getting through difficult times or just giving up.

Everyone I have talked to about this has told me they know how much of a difference having a friend during difficult times in our lives makes, because they have experienced that difference for themselves. I’m sure you have too.

But not everyone has a friend like that. And even if we are lucky enough to have such a friend, it’s very likely that there will be times when we need caring and understanding, but our friend isn’t available to give it to us. Fortunately, if we don’t have a friend like that, or we do but he or she isn’t available, there is something we can do – something that very few people know about: we can be that kind of a friend for ourselves.

The reason we can do that is because as human beings, we are innately caring and compassionate. Without even thinking about it, we care about injured pets and other animals. And we have compassion for our children, friends, and partners when they are facing or going through difficult challenges. All we need to do to be the caring, compassionate, understanding friend that we need is to direct those innate qualities to ourselves.

We can do that in many ways. For example, we can by give ourselves hugs, and we can tell the person in the mirror how much we care about him or her. Doing that may feel strange and awkward at first, but over time it feels less and less so. And I know from watching my clients, as well as from my own life, that the difference being a caring, compassionate, understanding friend to ourselves makes is immense. So I strongly encourage you to be that kind of a friend to yourself.