Build Your Leaders

Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

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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Become a Better Person: The 90/10 Rule

January 2nd, 2013

Nothing spotlights sagging self-esteem stronger than when people judge others. Growing up, I was the supreme judge. A fat kid (I had to wear “Husky” brand pants), I constantly put down others in an attempt to pull myself up.

Looking back, I had good teachers; my family members were masters in the art of judgment. Around the dinner table, we would take turns picking on and judging one another. It got so bad during one Sunday supper that my brother’s new bride fled the dining room; our cruelty had reduced her to tears.

Teachers used to preach, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything.”   Even when I don’t verbalize judgments, I subtly communicate them and damage relationships.

I now know that judging serves me poorly. My judgments separate me from others, and above all I want connection in my life. I also know that self-esteem is an inside job; it must come from within, not by putting people down.

When judgments bubble up, they must be examined. Writers Carol Kurtz Walsh and Tom Walsh recommend applying “The 90/10 Rule.”  When judgment rears its serpent-like head and we experience a strong negative emotional reaction to another, assume that only 10 percent of our reaction is based upon the situation, leaving a whopping 90 percent that belongs to past.

When we consider the psychological principles of projection and transference, the Walshes’ counsel makes sense. A projection is something that we don’t want to accept about ourselves, so we bury it and then observe it someone else. Years ago, I was in a men’s support group in Atlanta. One man in the group drove me crazy. He was so emotional; he cried at the drop of a hat. Several years later when I began to experience my own shut-down emotions, I was able to reclaim my projection.

Transference occurs when we assign traits to someone that really belong to someone else, and nowhere is transference more apparent than in our primary relationships. I used to transfer negative traits belonging to my mother and father onto my romantic partners until I read the eye-opening imago work of Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. Hendrix’s research shows that we seek partners who have the predominant character traits of the people who raised us. He believes that we do this subconsciously in an attempt to heal old childhood wounds.

Old habits are hard to break. Although my self-esteem is much stronger than it once was, I still catch myself becoming judgmental toward a person or situation at times. When I do, I try to remember the 90/10 Rule and these wise words: “When you point your finger at someone else, there are four fingers pointing back at you.”

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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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A World Without Doors

August 11th, 2011

We could be all one. There’s a front door, back door, side door, screen door, basement door, and pet door. How about a storm door, trap door, closet door, garage door, and shed door? Then there’s a revolving door, sliding door, French door, and Dutch door. And don’t forget Christian Dior, the pompadour, and the rock band the Doors.

What would the world be like without doors?  Would we become one big room?

It boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

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