Build Your Leaders

Postcard from Asheville

April 2012

If you’ve participated in one of my workshops in the past few years, there’s a good chance I’ve talked about “The Great Values Shift,” or how we’ve begun to communicate differently since 2008 (“The Great Recession”). One of those changes is the shift from blame to responsibility.

Instead of seeking scapegoats, we’re increasingly asking ourselves, “What part did I play in this?” When we ask this question, we focus on changing our behavior instead of the behavior of those around us.

How do you know if you’re trying to change others, rather than yourself?  In their book Heart of the Soul: Emotional Awareness, Gary Zukav and Linda Francis suggest that we notice when we:

  • Feel right.
  • Feel defensive.
  • Get angry.
  • Judge others.
  • React strongly to someone or something.

By accepting personal responsibility, we become not only our “communications best” but our best selves as well.

This month, we’ll look at how to live life more effortlessly.   

Randy Siegel on How to Live Effortlessly

 Was I envious? I was ashamed to admit it, but I was. I had just read an e-mail from a beloved client. The forces of the universe had lined up, and all the pieces of his life’s puzzle were falling into place. Within the past six weeks, he had secured the projects, funding, and other resources he was seeking. Someone had even donated office space in Washington, D.C., at Connecticut and L streets.

I’d love to take some of the credit, but I can’t. The credit belongs to him. The student surpassed the teacher.

How did he do it? I wondered. Was it determination and perspiration or by going with the flow?”  Like most things, I suspect the answer lies in the middle.

Deepak Chopra believes that the power of desire depends on our state of awareness. In higher states of clarity, less effort is needed than in lower states. I agree with Chopra, but I would take it one step further: we have to be crystal clear about our mission, the market, and our intentions.

Mission: During our work together, my client had become very clear on his mission: “Create transformative experiences for people so that they may transform the world.” In every fiber of his being, he believed that this is why he was put on this earth.

Market: He also understood the marketplace. My client had tapped into several significant trends including “voluntourism.” Voluntourism mixes travel with volunteer work. He knew that voluntourism’s popularity would continue to grow as people shift their focus from materialism to meaning. 

Intention: Outcomes are always linked to intentions. When our intentions are aligned with our and the world’s greatest good, a positive outcome is likely to occur. Aligning intentions is easier said than done, however. As humans we often have conflicting intentions. When we have conflicting intentions, the most powerful one will win out.

We had discussed this, and my client had done his work. He had put service first and had put his ego aside.

The clearer we are about mission, market, and intentions, the greater the chances are that the right people, places, situations, and resources will find us. Hard work may be required, but it won’t feel like a struggle. We’ll have good days and days that aren’t so good, but we’ll feel joyful most of the time. We can trust that when we stay clear the universe will provide.   

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