Build Your Leaders

Archive for the ‘intention’ Category

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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Success Doesn’t Mean Suffering

April 25th, 2010

I was taught suffering equal success. You have to work hard in life to make anything happen. Sometimes you do, but I am learning often you don’t. Sometimes good things just happen and require very little effort.

The hit book The Secret, and movie of the same title, popularized the notion of manifesting. “Go through the drive-in, shout into the clown’s face, drive up, and pick up your order,” it seemed to say. In my experience, manifesting isn’t that pat. I wish I had “the secret” for it, but I don’t.

I do know people, places, things, circumstances, and events seem to line up for me when I am operating from joy, or as Walter Russell said, doing what I love to do.

When my primary motivation is connection and contribution, I am operating for the highest good for myself and others. The result may not be that originally I envisioned, but it’s almost always a positive one.

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Silver Linings

March 6th, 2010

Those wonderful times when life makes lemonade out of lemons. Flight 1724 to LaGuardia has been canceled.” A moment of panic, then clarity. I speed dial Expedia.com and am immediately put on hold.

I am in the Atlanta airport on my way to New York. A winter storm has closed LaGuardia. “We appreciate your patience. The next available operator will be with you shortly.” As saccharine music plays, I weigh my options.

I could fly back to Asheville and abort the trip, or I could spend the night in Atlanta and try again tomorrow. Delta will give me a discount at an airport hotel, or I could stay with my brother’s widow, Helga. I haven’t seen Helga since before Christmas. It would be good to see her.

Still on hold, I hang up and dial Helga’s number. Miraculously, she answers. Even at seventy-seven, Helga is a social butterfly. Helga says she’s just canceled going to a concert that night and she’s free. She’s excited about my visit.

An hour later, Helga picks me up at the Lindbergh MARTA train station. It’s 6:30, and we head to dinner. We’ll eat out. My treat.

It’s a lovely evening. Helga and I talk, really talk. We talk about our lives, our disappointments, our joys, our dreams. Helga tells me about her childhood in Germany and coming to live in the States when she was just twenty-one. I am in awe at her courage.

We talk about my brother’s early death. She says he was the love of her life. My eyes fill.

We also talk about the future. Helga is considering renting a house in France. She invites me to visit.

The next morning, I board the MARTA train for the airport. I am booked on the 9:40 flight to LaGuardia. The weather is iffy.

Life is filled with silver linings, and last night was one of them. I feel even closer to my sister-in-law. New York can wait. There’s nothing more important than the relationships in our lives.

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What Lessons Did You Learn?

December 30th, 2009

A review of 2009. “Every situation you face will transform you if you allow it; life is classroom.” This statement is Tenet Two of my revised “life manifesto.” A life manifesto is a list of four to five principles that summarize how you intend to live your life. I wrote my first one when my brother Chip died in 2004. Several weeks ago, I revised it while in New York.

Recently, I asked myself if I was truly living each principle. It was then that I came up with the idea of reviewing this past year and listing all the lessons I have learned or am learning. 2009 was a challenging year for many of us; it was also a year ripe for learning.

Within twenty minutes I had documented fifty lessons. They included:

Brought more being to my doing.

Got more into my body through yoga, Pilates, and dance.

Claimed the role of “artist.”

Defined my personal theology.

Before you close 2009 out, why not take a few minutes and list the lessons you learned and are learning? Try it. This simple exercise may put a whole new spin on this past year. It did for me.

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