There is an assumption in psychological and spiritual circles that other people, irritating as they sometimes can be, act as a mirror. That what we react to and dislike in them is a reflection of how we also behave. Except that we do not know that we are doing versions of the very thing that they are doing. It takes a leap of faith to accept this assumption. I dislike pedophiles, and I am not a pedophile and never have been. But I have ever in my earlier life manipulated, overpowered, or humiliated a person more vulnerable than me. As I understand the concept, the issue isn’t necessarily that I need to behave in exactly the same way as the person who offends me, but that my intense dislike or judgment of them is the first clue that their behavior is triggering something important in me . “Joe” is a an excellent example of someone who creates this effect in many people. Read More
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how valuable it is, not how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.
In the investment banking world that I recently left, part of the culture required that each person comment on, question, or improve on other people’s draft reports, memos and ideas. Not commenting on or questioning a colleague’s draft work meant on some level that you weren’t engaged or paying attention. The point was to show your value: everywhere, all the time, colleagues would subsequently correct a typo, rewrite or move a sentence around, or ask whether you had considered alternative perspectives. No one ever said your work was “fine just the way it is.”
Most of the time, that scrutiny helped improve the work. And most of us learned over time not to be defensive and to accept the input gladly.
And I have observed that outside of work settings, many people find it difficult, if not impossible, to refrain from commenting and giving advice when they are in conversation with another. It seems that impulse to add value, value being defined as whatever you think, is more universal than not. Even more interesting is when the advice given involves common sense platitudes seem extremely applicable to whatever the other person is saying to you.
Listen to this audio clip above where I describe how a fellow classmate from a course I took applied the idea that people should be “whole and complete” before they begin dating. I wonder how many times I myself have wanted to add value by introducing what I consider “common sense” advice into the conversation
There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now
It is an absolute perfection and virtually divine to know how to enjoy our being rightfully. We seek other conditions because we do not understand the use of our own and go outside of ourselves because we do not know what it is like inside. Yet there is no use our mounting on stilts for on stilts we must still walk on our own legs, and on the loftiest throne in the world we are still sitting only on our own rump
Sometimes. But just as often they outperform everyone else. What is the difference? How you give.
Do you live in a world that you want to make a better place? Or in one where no one will look out for you if you don’t look out for yourself first? Perhaps you hedge your bets, ensuring that you keep score with others and balance what you give and take. Adam Grant, a Wharton Business School professor, lucidly describes in Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success how your mindset about giving, taking, or “matching” can set you up for success or failure at work and in life. Before reading further, take a short survey to identify your preferred style.
Jonathan started strategic coaching to determine whether he wanted to stay in his job. For three years he had worked long hours and recently had been promoted to Vice President. In the past year, multiple coworkers had been laid off due to market contraction and ongoing cost-cutting and he and his small team were expected to absorb the work without complaint. Read More