Monday, September 08, 2014

Some Thoughts From Lao-Tzu

In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
- Lao-Tzu
This is great wisdom from an ancient Chinese philosopher.  In thinking, keep to the simple.  This is so difficult.  My weakness is to have imaginary conversations in my head and to obsess over them.  In conflict, be fair and generous.  I hate conflict and I avoid it.  It literally makes me feel sick.  When I am in control, and that is very rare, I always try to be fair.  I am not as generous as I should be or want to be.  In spite of this I try to help people whenever I can.  As a leader I am not a control freak.  Well, maybe I am a little.  I do avoid as much as possible being a micro-manager.  As far as work goes, I enjoy much of what I do and who am I doing it with.  However, I cannot tell a lie.  I don’t enjoy everything or everyone.  I have been a family man most of my adult life but it was often very difficult because of my withdrawn and solitary nature.  Raising children was challenging because they always seemed to need or want something and this forced me to come out of my cave.  My wife and I are now empty nesters and after 40 years of marriage we have achieved a nice balance of time alone and time together.  I am now reasonably content in my life and it feels good.  I don’t compare  myself to others and, to be honest, I generally don’t care what other people think of me.  I am happy with myself, I am not competing with anyone, and if I don’t meet everyone’s expectations of me, well, that’s just too bad.  I am generally happy with myself and as my father-in-law once said, “I approve of everything I do”.

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