The Practice of Acceptance

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Though there are occasions when a firm hand is needed, I learned early that one of the most important qualities of a leader is listening without judgment, or with what Buddhist call bare attention.

In The Tao of Leadership, John Heider writes:

The wise leader is of service, yielding, following. The group member’s vibration dominates and leads, while the leader follows. But soon it is the member’s consciousness which is transformed. It is the job of the leader to be aware of the group member’s process; it is the need of the group member to be received and paid attention to. Both get what they need if the leader has the wisdom to serve and follow.

In Zen it is said that the gap between accepting things the way they are and wishing them to be otherwise is “the tenth of an inch of difference between heaven and hell”. If we can accept whatever hand we’ve been dealt – no matter how unwelcome – the way to proceed eventually becomes clear. This is what is meant by right action: the capacity to observe what’s happening and act appropriately, without being distracted by self-centered thoughts. If we rage and resist, our angry, fearful minds have trouble quieting down sufficiently to allow us to act in the most beneficial way for ourselves and others.

Phil Jackson

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Life is a Tennis Match

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Andre Agassi Holding a Tennis Racket

 

Life is a tennis match between polar opposites. Winning and losing, love and hate, open and closed. It helps to recognize that painful fact early. Then recognize the polar opposites within yourself, and if you can’t embrace them, or reconcile them, at least accept them and move on. The only thing you cannot do is ignore them.

Andre Agassi

Law of Dependent Origination

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Buddha came to understand that the destiny of beings was not a result of mere chance or fate, nor was it dependent upon the arbitrary actions of a supreme being. Man’s destiny could be traced to former deeds, good and bad.

He devised the Law of Dependent Origination of all phenomena – the law of cause and effect. He found that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

According to Buddhist philosophy every deed – mental, oral or physical – has a consequence. The entire universe is governed by moral principles. Any attempt to act contrary to these principles or disregard them will only result in the increase of suffering.

Wise and wholesome deeds performed under moral principles reduce suffering and bring happiness, while unwise and unwholesome actions carried out without regard to moral principles result in the end in the increase of woe and suffering.

John E. Coleman

The Most Destructive Word

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“The most life-destroying word of all is the word tomorrow.” He said, “The poor, the unsuccessful, the unhappy, and the unhealthy are the ones who use the word tomorrow the most.” These people will often say things like, “I’ll start investing tomorrow” or “I’ll start reading tomorrow”. Rich dad said the word tomorrow is the word that destroys more lives than any other single word. He said, “The problem with the word tomorrow is that I have never seen a tomorrow. Tomorrows do not exist. Tomorrows only exist in the mind of dreamers and losers. People who put off till tomorrow find that the sins and bad habits of their past eventually catch up with them.” He finished his comment by saying. “I have never seen a tomorrow. All I have are todays. Today is the word for winners. Tomorrow is the word for losers.”

Robert T. Kiyosaki

About Positive Thinking

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Positive thinking is not just a motivational idea. It has measurable, constructive effects on your personality, your health, your levels of energy, and your creativity. The more positive and optimistic you are, the happier you will be in every area of your life.

Each time you take complete control over your thoughts and feelings, and discipline yourself to keep them positive, the quality of both your inner and outer lives improves. In the absence of negative emotions, your mind automatically fills with the positive emotions that generate feelings of happiness and fulfillment.

Brian Tracy

Who We Are, and What We Do

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As you can guess, finding our purpose is not easy. A small minority of people have known their purpose since childhood, and have no need of guidance on the subject. For most of us, such a harmonization of mind and spirit is hard to achieve, and needs working on, even when it is achieved.

It is worth working on, though, because not only will it help you be more effective in making a difference, it may help in other areas of your life.

So what is our purpose? What do we stand for? Which raises the question – who are we? Who we are, and what we do, are often two very separate things. Discovering our purpose will help us to understand better who we are.

Tim Drake

Action and Feeling

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“Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.”

Before entering a man’s office I would pause for an instant and think of the many things I had to be thankful for, work up a great big, honest-to-goodness smile, and then enter the room with the smile just vanishing from my face. It was easy then to turn on a big, happy smile.

Give every living soul you meet the best smile you ever smiled in your life, even your own wife and children, and see how much better you feel and look. It’s one of the best ways I know to stop worrying, and start living. When I began doing this, I found I became more welcome everywhere.

Frank Bettger