With intellectual courage, you can question all you know about what can “never” occur, what “always” happens, what “everyone” knows and does, and what “no one” will ever understand or accept. You can recognize the cultural myths you’ve accepted unquestioningly, which have kept you trapped in a nightmare, and begin to reconsider them.
Because of its value, some people have called feedback “the breakfast of champions.” But it isn’t the breakfast; it’s the lunch. Vision is the breakfast. Self-correction is the dinner. Without vision, we have no context for feedback. We’re just responding to what someone else values or wants. We’re living out of the social mirror. We fall into the trap of trying to become all things to all people, meeting everybody’s expectations, and we end up essentially meeting nobody’s, including our own. Continue reading
The Mountain And The Squirrel
The mountain and the squirrel
Had a quarrel,
And the former called the latter
“You are doubtless very big;
But all sorts of things and weather
Must be taken in together
To make up a year
And a sphere.
And I think it no disgrace
To occupy my place.
If I’m not so large as you,
You are not so small as I,
And not half so spry:
I’ll not deny you make
A very pretty squirrel track.
Talents differ; all is well and wisely put;
If I cannot carry forests on my back,
Neither can you crack a nut.”
With all its strength the mountain cannot crack a nut. While the squirrel can with ease crack a nut but cannot manage to carry even a stone on its back. Such is the world. Constituted of diverse talents. Why develop an attitude of superiority or inferiority?
….arrogant claim to superiority is as absurd as a despondent feeling of inferiority….
Everyone has a distinct place and purpose in this world. None is big or small
– A. Parthasarathy
I am reminded of a story.
An old man, very rich, was puzzled because he had three sons; the problem was that all three sons were born simultaneously, their age was the same. Otherwise,in the East, the eldest son, inherits. The problem for the old man was who was going to inherit,because all these three were of the same age.
He asked a wise man, ”What should I do?
How should I decide who should inherit?” The old wiseman gave him a certain method. The old man went home, he gave one thousand silver pieces toeach son and told them, ”Go to the market, purchase seeds of flowers.”
“You can see what is happening. There is violence even though religions have said not to kill, not to go to war, not to hurt another, to be kind, generous, tender, to open your heart to others.
Books have said it, so the books have no value at all. What is relevant is what you are. The fact is that the world is you, not as a theory but in actuality; the world, the community, the society, the culture in which you have been brought up have been built through time by man. You are the result of that, and to bring about a change in the outward structure of the established corrupt order, one must change oneself inwardly completely. This is a logical, sane, observable fact.”
– Inward Revolution: Bringing About Radical Change in the World – J. Krishnamurti Continue reading
Creating meaningful change, is how I think about leadership, be it personal or professional. It is a simple definition taught to me by a long-ago mentor, one that I find eminently accessible and relevant and immortal and most closely aligned to shibumi. (Shibumi is a Japanese word that means ‘effortless perfection’)
Most significant transitions involve a time in hell. You go down before you come up. And most of these journeys must be taken alone.
The first step is Karmayoga, the selfless sacrifice of works, and here the Gita’s insistence is on action. The second is Jnanayoga, the self-realisation and knowledge of the true nature of the self and the world; and here the insistence is on knowledge; but the sacrifice of works continues and the path of Works becomes one with but does not disappear into the path of Knowledge.