Build Your Leaders

Archive for August, 2009

Desparately Seeking Direction

August 28th, 2009

Where is a burning bush when you need one? I came to New York for clarity and direction. It’s been over a week and no lightning bolts of inspiration have hit. Or have they?

Maybe insight is whispered, not shouted. Maybe we find direction through a gentle nudge, rather than a harsh shove.

If this is true, we have to trust more. While it’s easy to trust which direction to take when Moses parts the Red Sea, it’s a little harder when that quiet voice inside whispers, “This way.” It gets even harder when you look up to see where “this way” is taking you, and the fog is so thick you can’t see the destination, only the space right in front of you.

I am beginning to learn that “this way” can only be achieved one step at a time. God didn’t supply Moses and his people a week’s worth of manna; it came one day at a time.

When I am still and listen, the quiet voice inside tells me that right now it’s not about what I do, but how I do it. For someone who gets his sense of worth by checking things off the “to do” list and for the “attaboys” I receive for making things happen, this is a hard lesson. Yet it’s an important one.

Happiness may not depend so much on what I do. I can do many things and not be happy. Instead, maybe happiness comes with focus. When I focus on awareness, attention, and intention, life seems richer.

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AHA! Moment

August 24th, 2009

Think of it as “sacred selfishness.” I felt a little guilty today. No workout, and very little time spent working. Instead, I met a friend for lunch in Bryant Park and then went to a movie in Times Square. In the middle of the day, and on a weekday!

One of my favorite book titles is Bud Harris’s Sacred Selfishness. I actually like the book, too, and highly recommend it.

Anthony de Mello, author of Awareness, reminds us that living your life as you see fit is not selfish. What is selfish is demanding that someone else live their life as you see fit.

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The Identity Project

August 21st, 2009

How do you see yourself now, and how would you like to see yourself? To me, it looked like a gingerbread man. Do you remember those wonderful ginger cookies with raisin eyes you loved as a kid?

I had drawn a crude drawing in my journal to represent me before my New York trip. Across the top of the page, I scribed, “The Identity Project.”

What would I be like after my two-week retreat? How did I want to change?

I went to work. First, I added feet. My figure was now grounded. Next came hands. The hand on the left was open to receive, and the one on the left was outstretched to give.

Eyes followed. He looked straight ahead as if he knew where he was going. I then drew ears, one on the right and one on the left, representing a nice balance between the right and left brain.

Around his throat I placed a large circle. This figure would be less scripted and more confident in what he had to share.

A huge heart followed. This figure would speak more from the heart than from the head.

I then wrote attributes to describe this man at the bottom of the page: inspiring, empowering, empathetic, elegant, and authentic. I knew I already possessed many of these attributes, but I hoped they’d be more pronounced when I returned.

I looked at my work and was pleased.

I know there is no guarantee that a transformation will occur on my sabbatical, but I’ve found that when I approach an experience with a strong intention, magic can happen.

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Randy’s New York Pilgrimage

August 18th, 2009

Conscious Travel Brings Creativity to Career. A lot has been written about the importance of creativity in business. In fact, if you haven’t read Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind, run—don’t walk—to your nearest bookstore.

Travel is one of the best tools I know to stimulate the creativity gene. There’s something about being in a new environment that gets the creative juices flowing. This Wednesday, I leave for New York for two weeks. My friend Andrew has loaned me his apartment.

I have set several goals for the trip, but the most important is to get a bigger picture of the possibilities for my career and life. (I am concerned that I may becoming too complacent.) My hope is to leave New York with a renewed sense of direction.

My friend Joseph Dispenza has written a wonderful book, The Way of the Traveler, that offers some great suggestions on how to make any trip into a spiritual pilgrimage. One suggestion is to physically pack the attributes that would you like to take along with you on your journey.

I have taken Joseph’s advice to heart and packed three index cards. On each, I have written an attribute. They are:

1. Openness
2. Courage
3. Connection

Follow this blog over the next two weeks, and I’ll let you know how it’s going.

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