phpLGs1UcPMI met Charlie Green in February 2013 after hearing about him through Carrie Rathbun Hawks.  Carrie told me Charlie is someone I should get to know because every month he gathers a group of people together to share good news.  Immediately I was intrigued!

Charlie and I met over a cup of Bigby coffee and he told me he is a social capitalist, a term I was not familiar with but wanted to learn more.  By the end of our conversation I remember thinking this guy is one-of-a-kind and is genuinely making a difference!

Who/What inspires you?

What inspires me is literally “breathing in.” It’s the life breathed into us when we are created, the life that makes all things possible.  There is something unique in every person that can serve to remind me to live out what was breathed into me. So the question could be “Who TODAY have you quit judging long enough to appreciate their unique wisdom?” When I quit judging behaviors and started valuing each person, they began to teach me!  For me it’s the 120 sixth graders I work with each week in their Dale Carnegie program.

Do you have a slogan, motto or mantra? 

My one word is mantra is on my wristband: Persevere.  It’s that simple!  Once we know our purpose, just persevere. They don’t build monuments to naysayers.   “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36) Advice from my son is a great corollary: “Don’t be an idiot!” 

Do you have a lesson or thought to share?

My purpose, as a Social Capitalist, is to strengthen communities by connecting and empowering diverse individuals and organizations. We envision a nation where individuals are strongly connected to their families, neighbors, and co-workers and play an active role in shaping the destiny of their communities.  The unit of “currency” in Social Capital is the relationship. We can probably agree in theory on the importance of building and maintaining relationships, but that begs the question: “HOW DO YOU DO IT?” Dale Carnegie offers us 30 tools he collected over a lifetime of observing human behavior.  I believe just embracing his number one and number two principle can change lives, communities, and our country.  I am focusing on the first, “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain” and Bob Hoffman is focusing on the second. “Give honest, sincere appreciation” Passing it forward is all about the other person being sincerely valued and appreciated. (I love words by the way – think about the word “appreciate” – it’s an increase in value – in this case the person and the relationship grow in value. Our stock of social capital increases.)

My focus has been on encouraging us to complain less. Complaining is a huge barrier to good relationships.  Please understand that not complaining does not mean we are not assertive or ignore problems.  A complaint is merely negative energy focused on the problem at hand, rather than the solution sought.  For a great discussion of why we complain and the harm that it causes read, “A Complaint Free World” by Will Bowen and visit www.acomplaintfreeworld.org.

To get a “free” copy of the book, you can buy me a cup of coffee and spend a little of your time at a coffee shop with me.  *(Let me know if you are interested in meeting Charlie and I can help facilitate this)

How do you deal with stress?

I will again refer to Mr. Carnegie.  In addition to 30 human relations principles, he has 30 principles to “Stop Worrying and Start Living.”

My Favorites are:

  • The perfect way to conquer worry.  Pray!

●  Cultivate a mental attitude that will bring you peace and happiness.

  1. Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope
  2. Never try to get even with your enemies
  3. Expect ingratitude  (notice Mr. Carnegie doesn’t say LIKE it)
  4. Count your blessings, not your troubles.
  5. Do not imitate others.
  6. Try to profit from your losses.
  7. Create happiness for others.  (That should be the “Bob Hoffman Principle!”)

We can live in world of “who did this to me,” where we blame others (complain) and value ISOLATION, or we can live in the world of “what can WE create,” where we value CONNECTEDNESS.   It’s a choice.  We are all human and we all slip into “who did this to me,” getting out of that world and taking control of our attitude is up to us.  Back to question one:  Bob Hoffman inspires me because he helps people know the value of making that choice.

Anything you want to share?

In Summary:

  1. Don’t complain.
  2. Create happiness for others.
  3. Persevere.

 

 

 

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