Build Your Leaders

Archive for the ‘direction’ Category

Getting Goals Wright

May 6th, 2013

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright liked to share a story from his childhood that he said helped shape his philosophy of life. When he was nine years old, he went walking across a snow-covered field with his rigid, reserved uncle. When the two of them reached the far end of the field, his uncle stopped him and pointed out their tracks in the snow. The uncle’s were straight as a line while young Frank’s tracks meandered all over the field.

“Notice how your tracks wander aimlessly from the fence to the cattle to the woods and back again,” his uncle observed. “And see how mine aim directly at my goal.”

Years later Wright would say, with a twinkle in his eye, “I determined right then, not to miss most things in life as my uncle had.”

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How to Live Life with Purpose

February 3rd, 2013

In my work (and my book Engineer Your Career), I address four “Ps.” One of those “Ps” is Purpose. I’ve been thinking a lot about purpose. Identifying and  sharing my gifts–my special talents, skills, and attributes–is crucial if I want to live life on and with purpose. This summer, I found these two passages in Paul Ferrini’s book “Silence of the Heart.”

“You think the gift is ‘a doing,’ but it’s not. The gift is a ‘way of being’ that is effortless and exultant. It comes naturally to you. It immediately and palpably brings joy to others.”

“Whatever you do, you can express your gift. You don’t need a special role, a special platform.”

Over the past few months, I’ve been pondering how my life’s work can be more “a way of being” instead of “a doing.” I don’t have all the answers, but in Ferrini’s words I’ve got a direction.

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Facing Fear

February 2nd, 2012

Do you usually say yes to life’s invitations? Monhegan Island, Maine, could be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited, yet when a friend asked me to hike its rocky cliffs my first response was to say no.

Whatever the question, no is often my immediate response.

Do you want to take a walk?

How about a bike ride by the river?

What would you think about checking out that new museum?

It seems to be a knee-jerk reaction on my part, but when I dig a little deeper, I discover fear. There’s a thin layer of fear that surrounds almost every new experience. When I name, feel, and face it, fear loses its intensity, and I find the courage to say yes.

I go on the walk, take a bike ride, or visit the museum, and I’m almost always rewarded. I see a beautiful vista, feel the pride of accomplishment, or learn something new.

Taking the path of least resistance leads to complacency. It may be safe, but the scenery seldom changes. When I get off my butt, face my fears, and just do it, I fuel the engines that energize my life.

When life issues an invitation I am learning to consider saying yes before no. Life is most likely offering me a lovely present, but I need to show up to receive it.

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Waking Up With Carl Jung

August 28th, 2011

Carl Jung on individualization. If you’ve ever been to one my workshops, you know I am a big fan of Carl Jung. There are many quotes from Jung that resonate with me.  Here’s one:

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, only dreams; who looks inside, also awakes.”

Carl G. Jung (1875-1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist who is known as the founder of analytical psychology. Early in his career, Jung worked closely with Freud, but later went his own way after developing new theories about the deep unconscious.

Freud considered religious expression to arise from neurotic “illusion”. By contrast, Jung considered it to arise from the psyche’s inner drive toward a healthy balance of individual consciousness and the collective unconscious.

The collective unconscious, or objective psyche, is shared by all humankind. This instinctual heritage includes certain definite patterns, or archetypes, which govern the way symbols and psychic images are processed. Studies of dream and myth show these same patterns from all cultures and all eras of human history. Recognizing these archetypal patterns is the key to understanding dreams and the process of individuation.

The process of fulfillment, or “individualization,” is the striving toward a personal unity of consciousness and unconsciousness. And, it takes place over the course of a lifetime.

For more information on Carl Jung,   http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Jung.

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