“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Teresa

You are angry because your coworker hijacked the project near and dear to your heart. Who do they think they are? One of your favorite singers is a lot heavier since first appearing on American Idol. Geez, put down the Twinkie, will you? Your child needs financial help…again. How many times do I need to bail you out? You blew off that exercise class…again. I’m a lazy, flabby slob.


This is judgment. When you are wrapped up in judgment you cannot love; even yourself. We are taught judgment from a very early age. For me, it was not having an expansive vocabulary (What do you mean you don’t know that word?), not achieving straight A’s or not having the physical prowess of my siblings. I judged myself for not measuring up. This judgment and comparison robbed me of my joy and will rob you of yours. Stop judging.

Here is how to let go of judgment:

Catch yourself.  First, you need to be aware that you are judging. It is so easy to fall prey to a constant stream of judgment of yourself and others. How to change it? It starts with awareness.  I make an effort to be cognizant of my judgments. When I notice that someone has gained or lost weight, or is wearing something I don’t find appropriate, I think to myself, “This is judgment.” I have found myself passing judgment all day long. Whoa. Whether it’s me getting on the scale in the morning to an additional five pounds, or rolling my eyes at the screaming kid throwing a tantrum in the grocery store. Hmmm. This is judgment. The first step is to be aware that you are judging and then label it.

Whose path is it?  “Don’t compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20.” – Anonymous. This is a profound quote for me. I don’t know where you are in your book and I don’t have any idea how many pages have preceded the current chapter. We are all on different journeys. I don’t know if your path has been rocky, a steep hill, or if you have been on the couch for the last ten years. Comparison of your path versus someone else will rob you of your joy. Focus on your path. On your happiness. Stay on your path.

Find admiration.  I have several friends who are expert yoga instructors. They are in fabulous shape. I could live in jealousy of their expertise and physical prowess and compare my somewhat klutzy self to their elegance. I am so much more at peace and happier when I just admire their expertise and power. Wow. What an amazing dedication of being outstanding at yoga. I admire them and am proud to call them friend. Find admiration for what you think you lack. And get beyond yourself.

Compassion for yourself and others.  Let go of the mistakes that you and others have made. Depending on the depth of the wound this may take more time and involve going through rather than around the feeling. I can get wrapped up in what my parents, teachers, spouses, and friends should have done differently. In the end, history cannot be rewritten and the regrets that are harbored in your heart help no one, especially yourself. Having compassion for that egotist at work, or your fickle client, or your ex’s addiction is, in the end, freeing. Compassion is finding love for friend or foe. It is holding that special space of love and forgiveness. This compassion starts with yourself and can help you change with others.

Thoughts become things.  You do get to choose your thoughts. It seems at times that your mind is blasting you with uncontrollable thoughts and judgments. You can choose instead to choose thoughts of love. I have recited affirmations for years to help develop a more positive outlook and results. It is a practice of centering and focusing on happiness and love. I have been following Mike Dooley for years and am subscribed to his Notes from the UniverseEvery weekday I receive a message from the Universe helping me push forward on my wondrous path. His tag line is: “Thoughts become things, choose the good ones.” This is a powerful message and keeps me mindful of trying to focus on possibility and love rather than blame and judgment.

If you are constantly judging yourself, you don’t have time to love yourself. Take a breath and be okay right now. You will love it.

Why We Need Compassion in the Workplace

You walk into work and can’t even make it to your cubicle without being assaulted by 3 different coworkers, impatiently making requests.  You walk through the cube farm to the bathroom and not a single employee greets you.  Your coworker is suffering from a dreaded disease, but feels isolated and afraid of repercussions in his job if “word gets out”.  This is a not a compassionate workplace and it’s having an impact on the bottom line.


It’s easy for those in the ivory tower to believe that “carrot and stick” leadership is the best way to increase market share and fat bonus checks, but studies now show that is not the case.  In a study by Wharton and O’Neill from George Mason University, they found “that compassionate love does matter across a broad range of industries, including those as diverse as real estate, finance and public utilities.”  O’Neill continues by saying,  “But the interesting thing is that even though the overall baseline of compassionate love can differ across industries, there was as much of a difference within industries as between industries.  Overall, we found that — regardless of the industry baseline — to the extent that there’s a greater culture of compassionate love, that culture is associated with greater satisfaction, commitment and accountability.”  Happy, satisfied, committed employees make for a better workplace.


Here is why you need to create a compassionate workplace:


  • Better health for everyone.  In a Boston Globe article by Richard Williams, Wallace Higgins and Harvey Greenberg, they cited numerous research studies regarding leadership style and the health of employees.  They concluded “your boss can cause you stress, induce depression and anxiety, or even trigger the onset of serious illnesses.  It is not just bad managers who can negatively affect employee health, but it is also the lackadaisical and mediocre who put employees on the sick list.”  And the cost is huge in terms of lost productivity, healthcare costs and employee turnover.


  • Regardless of technology, we still need personal connection.  With the overabundant use of social media and texting, it’s easy to hide behind technology, rather than reaching out and connecting personally with others.  As Bill Taylor wrote for Harvard Business Review, “In a world that is being shaped by the relentless advance of technology, what stands out are acts of compassion and connection that reminds us what it means to be human.”  It reminded Taylor of a story that Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos told students at a Princeton University convocation.  His grandmother use to chastise him by reminding him, “It’s harder to be kind than clever.”  Don’t forget to try and be kind to your co-workers.


  • Compassion relieves our own suffering.  In The Book of Joy, written by the Dali Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, both put forth the 8 pillars of Joy.  The seventh pillar is Compassion.  The Dali Lama puts it well when he says that, “When we think of alleviating other people’s suffering, our own suffering is reduced.  This is the true secret to happiness.”  This seems counter intuitive to me.  Like borrowing trouble from someone else.  But I know when I had to lay off a group of employees many years back, when I was compassionate and understanding, some of the departing employees actually hugged me and I was relieved.  That shared compassion is what helped me cope with an unenviable situation.


  • The greatest correlation between profitability and productivity is a compassionate leader.  As Christina Boedker of the Australian School of Business found in her research, the ability of a leader to be compassionate.  “[Understanding] people’s motivators, hopes and difficulties and to create the right support mechanism to allow people to be as good as they can be” was the single greatest indicator towards success.  Time to throw out the carrots and sticks.


  • Teams with compassion surpass those who are not.  As Ray Williams wrote for Psychology Today, “The new science of altruism and the physiological underpinnings of compassion are finally catching up with Darwin’s observations nearly 130 years ago, that compassion is our strongest instinct.”  Jonathan Haidt, author of Righteous Mind, reflects the view of Edward O. Wilson, David Sloan Wilson and others, who argue that when groups of animals compete, it’s the cohesive, cooperative, internally altruistic groups that win and pass on their genes.”  Teams who care about each other are more successful.


This can be a difficult sell to the Powers that Be.  I had a manager tell me once that, “I’m not going to do all the Kum-ba-yah stuff.”  She had a much more difficult time getting the results from her group.  Don’t we prefer to work with others that are compassionate?  It starts with us.