Build Your Leaders

Archive for November, 2010

How Do You Define Success?

November 26th, 2010

Questioning the price of success. Perhaps you’ve been wondering if the price of success is too high. Many of my clients do. Win enough races and society will deem you successful. Be successful and you’ll be happy. In my mid-fifties, I’m beginning to think that society is dead wrong. Many of the most successful people I know are miserable, and looking back I was too when I was at the zenith of my career.

I believe now that happiness comes with connection and contribution. At the end of my days, I’ll base my success on relationships and service, not on the money, power, and prestige I socked away.

I’m ready to relax into my life. Flow, not fight. Slow down and smell the roses. Spend time with loved ones, do the things I love to do, and find new ways to serve.

Is the price of success, as you now define it, too high? If so, maybe it’s time to reconsider your definition of success.

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Which Wolf Will Win?

November 21st, 2010

The fight inside of you. I love parables, and one of my favorites comes from the Native American culture. It goes like this.

An elder Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me. It’s a terrible fight and it’s between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

“This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too”, he added.

The Grandchildren thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied… “The one you feed.”

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Welcoming Uninvited Guests

November 6th, 2010

When bad things happen. When a client comes into Jungian analyst Robert Johnson’s office with a problem so big it feels like it will break the client’s back, Johnson offers to take half of the burden. That’s an offer most clients are eager to accept.

Johnson explains, “The half that I take off is the rebellion against the process, the situation as it is.” Once he or she stops struggling, half the burden dissipates. All that’s left is the half that remains.

To stop struggling may seem counterintuitive. The American way is to fight. Surrender is for sissies. Yet when we fight the difficult situations that arise in our lives, we turn our lives into battlefields. We only magnify the burden. More often than not, the situation will pass in time.

Sometimes, bad situations don’t pass. Like invited guests, problems linger. My friend Bill Petz knows this all too well; he has Parkinson’s disease. Recently, he wrote a beautiful piece for his church that he appropriately titled, “Uninvited Guest.”

He wrote:

“I’ve chosen to see my Parkinson’s disease as just that, an invited guest in my body and in my life. Given that perspective, I feel that I am bound by the ancient code of hospitality that dictates that I must welcome the stranger, be a good host, and provide for the guest. The guest, in turn, is bound not to abuse the welcome offered by the host. Such welcoming creates understanding, mutual benefit, and compassion.”

Bill believes that we are called to become the person we were born to be, and that means accepting whatever comes along in life. The good and the bad.

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