Why “I Never Thought About It This Way” Information is Good for YOU

Tom Lane
Photo Courtesy of Thomas Lane

Summary: The internet and social media have changed us. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes not. Here is an interview with Tom Lane, author of “The Karma Factor,” that will give you new ways of thinking about the consequences of behavior.

Dear Dr. Sylvia,

I messed up! Big time! And then I had to apologize.

I did not think what I did was a big deal.

However, my boss saw it differently.

I am now on a PIP (performance improvement plan).

I am not looking for you to side with me. Well, maybe a bit!

Accountability is at the foundation of successful work

I love it here and want my career to flourish. Yet, I want to understand how “karma” plays into behavior. Also, what it takes to neutralize what I did so I can stay with the company?


Messed Up

Dear Messed Up,

My colleague and Leadership Breakthrough Coach, Joanne LaMarca Mathisen, and I did a fun and informative interview with Tom Lane, author of “The Karma Factor,” which should answer many of your questions.

What word comes to your mind when you hear “Karma?”

First, what is karma?

The word karma in Sanskrit means “action.”

Hinduism and Buddhism are about the sum of an individual’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.

Another way of saying this is karma is the relationship between a person’s mental or physical activity and the consequences following that action.

A simple statement is, “You reap what you sow.”

Yes, there is good karma and nasty karma.

“When you truly understand karma, then you realize you are responsible for everything in your life.”

Keanu Reeves

Karma demands that YOU take responsibility for your actions

How does this play out in life?

As I researched this intense and often frightening word, proving that karma is real is impossible, especially when thinking about past and future lives.

Will someone, for example, Hitler, come back in another life to be tortured in the world’s worst prison?

The other side of the coin is, will good karma get you a ticket on the front row of a Taylor Swift concert?

And here is a quote that Joanne has framed in her kitchen.

“I’m watching YOU!” —-Signed, Karma!

Do you wonder how karma can show up at work?

Like “Messed Up,” you can be put on a PIP. Or be fired. Or become the butt of jokes.

The big question: How can you reverse the curse of karma?

Big answer: 

  1. Be accountable. The way OUT of negative karma is to observe, understand, and transform outdated behavior.
  2. Apologize. Say your apology directly to those involved in a negative situation.
  3. Forgive. You need to forgive yourself after you are accountable and apologize to others.
  4. Become a force for good. Volunteer in a project to learn more about human behavior from others.
  5. Share your story. Help others by learning from how you changed your behavior.

In conclusion, Tom Lane’s book is a fast-moving detective story that I hope will become a significant film or a Netflix series. There is much to learn about the world, significantly how to rebalance behavior that gets in the way of open and creative relationships at work and home.

Here is the link to watch the interview. I promise you will get tons of good information.

Here’s to your success,

Sylvia Lafair

PS. I was so inspired by our talk with Tom that Joanne and I will do interviews once a month. It is called “New Perspectives.” All creative ideas are welcome. And, if you or someone you know is an excellent candidate to help with unique, effective ways of working and relating, please mail me at sylvia@ceoptions.com.

Creative Energy Options

Sylvia Lafair

Creative Energy Options