“To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.” – Lao Tzu.
“It’s just the price you have to pay”.
So said the ‘successful’ business person sitting in front of me.
We were talking about the pervasiveness of busyness in the modern world – or more specifically, the pervasiveness of a busy mind.
I used to believe the same thing.
I don’t any more. I can’t from what I’ve seen with clients and with myself.
The truth is you can be busy in your world BUT have a calm mind. And that makes a world of a difference to everything. Your energy, your clarity, your mood, your communication, your thinking, your creativity and your results.
“I’m not addicted to reading. I can stop as soon as I finish the next chapter.”
I love learning – particularly new and interesting information that expands my horizons.
But for a long time it was in an unhealthy way.
The truth is that for many years I was an information junkie. In a way, it was to be expected because that is the model of the current educational system in the Western World – learning is consuming and retaining information.
And while I made very positive improvements to my life because of new learnings, I knew I wasn’t applying everything I knew – but I didn’t know why.
“If you lower anxiety one notch, it’s a better world.” – Murray Bowen, pioneer of family therapy
Anxiety is a word you rarely hear leaders speaking about in relation to themselves, especially men, probably because of perceived negative stigma. Yet it is more prevalent than you might imagine.
Stress, anger, frustration, doubt, insecurity, mental fog and dis-satisfaction are all symptoms of anxiety.
Don’t be fooled by what you see.
It’s very common for outwardly successful people to be inwardly crippled with high levels of anxiety at times – it doesn’t stop them being good at what they do but often it causes major blips in performance and severely hampers their ability to enjoy life.
“Hope is the last thing that dies in man;
and though it be exceedingly deceitful, yet it is of this good use to us, that while we are traveling through life it conducts us in an easier and more pleasant way to our journey’s end.”
Francois De La Rochefoucauld
A client, who was very experienced in dramatic business turnarounds, once said this to me:
“I’ve come to realise that while hope may not be a strategy, if it leaves the room it’s game over.”
I wonder do we watch hope as much as we should? Be it sport, business or life.
“Victory comes from finding opportunities in problems” – Sun Tzu
I’m just back from some time off and I really enjoyed complete detachment from the news.
So it’s probably no surprise to you that the first thing that has struck me in getting back into ‘work mode’ and tuning back into the business and media world is the barrage of information about an imminent recession.
I’m not going to disagree with that but I am going to flag being careful not to get caught up with the doom and gloom merchants.
“It takes a great person to be a good listener.” – Calvin Coolidge
To change it up a little, and also because I am currently on holidays…:), I thought I’d share some podcast episodes that I think you’ll enjoy if you like what’s on my weekly emails.
First up is an interview I did a few weeks ago with Tamara Howard. Tamara runs a successful strategic marketing and communications company and over the course of an hour she had some interesting very questions that provoked some useful answers that I believe you’ll get value from.