“What are you here to teach me?”

“What are you here to teach me?”

—Milarepa, 10th Century Buddhist Saint and Teacher

Image from Unsplash by NCI

Thousands of years ago man often looked to the stars and to nature for the wisdom and insight to answer pressing problems.

Looking to the gods or some outside source for reasoning and solutions seemed natural since these external forces seemed so large and powerful.

Today, we often look within ourselves and compare our own answers to others. This can create an Us/Them dynamic, which misses the idea that the totality of the relationship we have within our personal and professional communities have bigger and often better answers to guide us.

Marita Fridjhon, co-owner and CEO of CRR Global, calls this concept The Relationship System. Learn about her work at www.CRRGlobal.com.

EXERCISE:

What are the relationship systems in our world trying to teach us?

What may be the lessons we need to learn from COVID-19, racism, and climate change? What do other relationships systems closer to home – such as work and family – have to teach us?

“On the other side of the door of uncertainty is a room of wisdom.”

“On the other side of the door of uncertainty is a room of wisdom.”

—Chip Conley, American hospitality entrepreneur, author, and speaker

I recently reviewed Humble Inquiry by Edgar Schein. The subtitle is: The Gentle Art of Asking instead of Telling, which as a coach, had a great deal of appeal to me. Some key take-aways include:

  • Asking questions to which you do not already know the answer, and building a relationship on sincere interest in the other person.
  • When we tell instead of ask, we can sometimes offend or demean others.
  • Barriers to humble inquiry include status, rank, and the roles we play in our professional and personal communities.

We can all practice this important skill by slowing down, becoming more mindful and aware of our interactions and our surroundings.

EXERCISE:

Consider exploring Humble Inquiry – The Gentle Art of More Asking and Less Telling as a door to greater wisdom for yourself.

“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”

“Opportunities are seldom labeled.”

—John A. Shedd, 19th Century American author and professor

For most of my life, I have been fascinated by the subject of personal and professional success.

I’ve read hundreds of books, attended dozens of seminars and conferences, and can hardly count the number of blog posts, podcasts, and TED talks I’ve explored.

In his book, Barking Up the Wrong Tree, Eric Barker digs into the science of success, to mess a bit with the conventional and unconventional wisdom on this subject.

One seemingly universal tenet of success does, however, point to the idea of taking massive action and trying many things along the way to stir up far more possibilities and opportunities to pursue.

EXERCISE:

To what degree are you waiting or being too passive, hoping for an opportunity to reveal itself?

Where would taking far more action and trying many more things help you bark up and climb the right trees for you?

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.”

“Don’t gain the world and lose your soul; wisdom is better than silver or gold.”

—Bob Marley, 20th Century Jamaican singer/songwriter

Image from Unsplash by Steve Harvey

How strongly do you “fit” and experience a sense of belonging in your personal and professional communities?

To what degree do your beliefs and core values align and resonate with others at home and at work?

Where may you be looking the other way or squinting a bit as you view your world, due to the benefits and payoffs some of your communities or associations provide?

What, if any, soul-diminishing effects are you experiencing due to certain decisions or indecision?

EXERCISE:

What wise and perhaps courageous choices and actions can and will you take to strengthen your soulful foundations toward an even more richly rewarding life?

“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”

“Wisdom is often times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.”

—William Wordsworth, in The Excursion

Image from Unsplash by Mark Pan4ratte

Achieving new levels of professional and career success is almost always a primary reason people seek coaching. They of course wish to soar, create more value for others, and better provide for themselves and their families.

In the course of pursuing these goals, most people see considerable spill over into their personal life priorities, sometimes right within arms reach.

It turns out that wisdom is far nearer than they thought. Reaching out to serve their friends, colleagues, neighbors, and other communities helps them experience greater passion and purpose in their lives.

EXERCISE:

How might you gain far greater wisdom by doing a bit more stooping rather than soaring? What actions can and will you take today?

“The good and the wise lead quiet lives.”

“The good and the wise lead quiet lives.”

—Euripides, tragedian of classical Athens

The subtitle of the book, Quiet, by Susan Cain is:

“The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking.”

By no means am I suggesting that extroverts are not good or wise. I am, however, suggesting that because of their quietness, we often miss seeing the goodness and the wisdom in those who are more introverted.

Perhaps you are one of them.

Other resources, including the classic “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, describe the value and impact of the more quiet and humble Level 5 Leaders.

EXERCISE:

Where can you more fully appreciate and perhaps pursue a quieter life to experience even greater wisdom and goodness in your world?

Review of posts on Wisdom

FRIDAY REVIEW: WISDOM

What are your sources of wisdom? Here are a few wisdom-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the messages.

 

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”

 

 

 

 

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel.”

 

 

 

 

“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.”

 

 

 

 

With wisdom comes the desire for simplicity

“With wisdom comes the desire for simplicity.”

—Brendon Burchard, American Personal Development Trainer

In today’s fast-moving world, many people seem to be racing around their lives, looking for more. At the same time, others are slowing down a bit, and being more mindful of how their days are spent.

To which group do you belong?

If you examine your current communities, or even your wondrous memory bank of the things you’ve learned over the years, which individuals rank among the wisest? What did their life stories look like, as they pursued and reached this level of self-actualization?

A very consistent theme I’ve observed is their increased ability to focus, prioritize, eliminate distractions, and keep their worlds as simple as possible.

You are probably aware that the title of my book is The Quotable Coach: Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom. It is my belief that a quote is a condensed and simplified version of a profound thought.

EXERCISE:

How can you simplify your life, to more fully pursue greater wisdom for yourself?

Consider searching the over 1,600 quotes/nuggets of wisdom on The Quotable Coach website, using the category drop-down box in the right-hand sidebar.

Make visible what without you might never have been seen

“Make visible what, without you, might never have been seen.”

—Robert Bresson, 20th Century French Film Director

Today’s quote reminds me of “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson in her work A Return to Love. It is often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela.

I thought sharing these words in their entirety might stir something in you, even if you are familiar with this wisdom.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

EXERCISE:

Where and how will you generously, courageously, and visibly contribute your unique and special qualities and talents to the world?