Listen to the podcast version of this post
Each Friday's podcasts are always under 10 minutes.
This is episode 117.
Wayne Dyer was the first person I heard say “you can’t change the past.” I’ve learned that we can change our view of what happened in the past. We can also change, modify or nuance how we let past experiences affect us.
If we look back at the past with anger or frustration or whatever negative emotion, we have made a choice to do so.
Equally we can choose to look into the future with fear or not. I like American cartoonist, author, humorist, journalist, playwright, and wit, James Thurber’s approach. He said:
“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
I believe self-awareness to be the number one skill of wise leadership, and awareness of others the number two skill.
I’ve concluded that very few people excel at awareness, or to use a common phrase, being awake. Be the one who excels.
One way is to be known for changing your mind, a belief or way of being when appropriate.
The famous economist John Maynard Keynes said:
"When my information changes, I change my mind. Why, what do you do, sir?"
This is a great question. And yet every day, all around us we see and hear people with thinking and behaving that clearly needs an upgrade!
A second way to be a person who excels at awareness is to keep a journal of what you are noticing about yourself, other people, and what’s in your world
Then focus on what you can influence for the better.
A third way to be a person who excels at awareness is to meditate
Meditation is different to prayer as some wise people have noted. "Prayer is asking, meditation is listening."
When faced with a life-threatening illness over 40 years ago my doctor taught me meditation. At the time I couldn't spell it let alone understand it. Meditation is a key to self-awareness and awareness of others.
There are many ways to meditate. Find a way or ways that suit you.
I prefer breath meditation, which was the way my doctor originally taught me. I also use sitting in silence, focusing on a single object or idea, contemplating open-space in the sky, ocean, field, walking alone.
In addition to these since I begin embracing the heart-leadership path four years ago, I often meditate by focusing on a particular part of my body, feeling my pulse (rhythm) there, and then focusing on the feeling of one of the eight heart qualities that I live by.
Each of these three ways to increase our awareness is about living in the now because now is the only time that matters.
Become the wise leader you want to be?
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