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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Overcoming Arrogance

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“What I know makes me money. What I don’t know loses me money. Every time I have been arrogant, I have lost money. Because when I’m arrogant, I truly believe that what I don’t know is not important,” rich dad would often tell me.

I have found that many people use arrogance to try to hide their own ignorance.

When you know you are ignorant in a subject, start educating yourself by finding an expert in the field or a book on the subject.

Having no money should not be an excuse to not learn. But that is a choice we all make daily: the choice of what we do with our time, our money, and what we put in our heads. That is the power of choice. All of us have choice. 

Invest first in education. In reality, the only real asset you have is your mind, the most powerful tool we have domination over. Each of us have the choice of what we put in our brain once we’re old enough.

A truly intelligent person welcomes new ideas, for new ideas can add to the synergy of other accumulated ideas. Listening is more important than talking. 

Too many people think with their mouth instead of listening in order to absorb new ideas and possibilities. They argue instead of asking questions.

Robert T. Kiyosaki