Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Personal Power

Mindfulness helps to smooth out all the ups and downs of our daily lives”.
Power is the capacity to translate intension into reality and then sustain it”.
-Warren Bennis
If you can find as much happiness at the bottom of the ladder of success as you can at the top, then you understand commitment”.
-Tom Krause
I think mindfulness is good not only for our mental health but for our overall well-being.  If we all were just present to where we are and to what we should be doing in the moment, our lives would be a lot less stressful.  I have spent most of my adult life managing other people and I have experienced all types of personalities.  Some are driven and competitive people who push themselves on a daily basis to perform better than they did the day before.  Others will do exactly what you ask, no more and no less.  In every group of people I have ever managed there are always some who will only do what they are supposed to do if you light a fire under them or poke them with a stick.  Obviously, I say this in a metaphorical sense and don’t mean literally.  True personal power is making yourself do what needs to be done without another’s person’s power forcing you to do it.  I am reminded of a definition for character that says “character is doing the right thing even when no one is watching”.  If we are adults we know what needs to be done in our lives, whether it be in our families or in the workplace.  I must confess that I found parenting one of the most difficult things I have ever done.  There were times I hated it and thought I should have stayed in the monastery!  I used to have regular dreams where I found myself trapped in buildings where I could not find an exit.  I think I had those dreams because I felt trapped in the expectations of parenting and I wanted to escape them.  I am sure many other parents have felt the same way especially when their children were teenagers.  However, despite my dreams of being trapped, I stuck it out and used what little power I had to be there for my children and to do the best I could.  I am happy to say they both turned out to be pretty good human beings.  The point is that we all need to use whatever personal power we have to sometimes force ourselves to do what is needed and what is right.  In my experience, doing what is needed and right has often brought me a sense of contentment that wasn’t dependent on any other kind of success.     

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