One of the differences between empathy and compassion is that while empathy is simply experiencing another’s emotion, compassion is a more empowered state where we want what is best for the other person.
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
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’)
I recommend twenty things that I’ve found to be very helpful in developing the inner strength and security to create 3rd Alternative solutions:
1. Beware of pride. Let go of needing always to be “right.” Your grasp on reality is always partial anyway. Allow yourself to achieve the important breakthroughs in relationships and creative solutions that will never likely be realized if you stubbornly hold on to being “right.”
2. Learn to say “I’m sorry.” Do it quickly once you realize you’ve fallen short or hurt someone. Be sincere and don’t hold back. And don’t go just half way. Apologize fully, take responsibility, and express your desire to understand.
3. Be quick to forgive perceived slights. Remember, you choose whether or not to be offended. If you feel offended, let it go.
4. Make and keep very small promises to yourself and others. Take baby steps. As you create a pattern of doing so, make and keep bigger promises. Your own integrity will become your greatest source of security and strength.
5. Spend time in nature. Go on long walks. Create space in your life every day for reflection on the synergies of the world around you.
6. Read widely—it’s one of the best ways to make mental connections and get insights that can lead to 3rd Alternatives.
7. Exercise often, each day if possible; and eat healthy food, with balance and moderation. The body is the instrument of the mind and spirit.
8. Get enough sleep, at least 7 to 8 hours daily. Science tells us that the brain grows new connections during sleep, which is why we often awake with sparkling new ideas. And you’ll find yourself so much more able to give the emotional, mental, and spiritual energy needed to create 3rd Alternatives.
9. Study inspiring or sacred literature. Ponder, meditate, or pray. Insights will come.
10. Make quiet time for yourself to think through creative 3rd Alternative solutions to your challenges.