What would you give up to truly give?

 


 

It is rare indeed that people give.

 

Most people guard and keep; they suppose that it is they themselves and what they identify with themselves that they are guarding and keeping, whereas what they are actually guarding and keeping is the system of reality in what they assume themselves to be. One can give nothing whatever without giving oneself – that is to say, risking oneself.

 

If one cannot risk oneself, then one is simply incapable of giving.

 

–The Price of the Ticket:
Collected Nonfiction 1948-1985
by James Baldwin
Page 370

 


 

Shakespeare knew something about ambition, stress, & insomnia





HAMLET
Let me question more in particular: what have you,
my good friends, deserved at the hands of fortune,
that she sends you to prison hither?


GUILDENSTERN
Prison, my lord!


HAMLET
Denmark’s a prison.


ROSENCRANTZ
Then is the world one.


HAMLET
A goodly one; in which there are many confines,
wards and dungeons, Denmark being one o’ the worst.


ROSENCRANTZ
We think not so, my lord.


HAMLET
Why, then, ’tis none to you; for there is nothing
either good or bad, but thinking makes it so: to me
it is a prison.


ROSENCRANTZ
Why then, your ambition makes it one; ’tis too
narrow for your mind.


HAMLET
O God, I could be bounded in a nut shell and count
myself a king of infinite space, were it not that I
have bad dreams.


GUILDENSTERN
Which dreams indeed are ambition, for the very
substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.


HAMLET
A dream itself is but a shadow.


ROSENCRANTZ
Truly, and I hold ambition of so airy and light a
quality that it is but a shadow’s shadow.


The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
Act 2, Scene 1
by William Shakespeare




Embrace the Pain

 


 

To live is to suffer.

–The Buddha

 


 

But not only creativeness and enjoyment are meaningful. If there is a meaning in life at all, there must be a in meaning in suffering. … Without suffering and death human life cannot be complete.

— Viktor Emil Frankl
Man’s Search for Meaning

 


 

One always finds one’s burden again. … The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart.

One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

–Albert Camus
The Myth of Sisyphus

 


 

Meaning Is Healthier Than Happiness

 


 

People who are happy but have little to no sense of meaning in their lives have the same [inflammatory response] as people who are responding to and enduring chronic adversity. …

 

Meaning was defined as an orientation to something bigger than the self.

Happiness was defined by feeling good. …

 

“Empty positive emotions are about as good for you for as adversity,” says Dr. Fredrickson. …

 

From the evidence of this study, it seems that feeling good is not enough. People need meaning to thrive. In the words of Carl Jung, “The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it.” Jung’s wisdom certainly seems to apply to our bodies, if not also to our hearts and our minds.

 

Meaning Is Healthier Than Happiness
by Emily Esfahani Smith
The Atlantic Magazine

 


 

Why Ordinary People Do Evil Things

 


 

[Philosopher Hannah] Arendt concluded that evil in the modern world is done neither by monsters nor by bureaucrats, but by joiners.

That evil, Arendt argued, originates in the neediness of lonely, alienated bourgeois people who live lives so devoid of higher meaning that they give themselves fully to movements. It is the meaning [Adolf] Eichmann finds as part of the Nazi movement that leads him to do anything and sacrifice everything. Such joiners are not stupid; they are not robots. But they are thoughtless in the sense that they abandon their independence, their capacity to think for themselves, and instead commit themselves absolutely to the fictional truth of the movement. It is futile to reason with them. They inhabit an echo chamber, having no interest in learning what others believe. It is this thoughtless commitment that permits idealists to imagine themselves as heroes and makes them willing to employ technological implements of violence in the name of saving the world.

–Professor Roger Berkowitz
Misreading ‘Eichmann in Jerusalem’
New York Times

 


 

See also my blog post on the MCI Worldcom fraud, Integrity Ebbs by Inches

 


 

Gallwey: Coach Their World View


 

I have great respect for Dan Gallwey; he is a pioneer of coaching and really gets it. Heard him just yesterday on a video from the 70s or 80s, paraphrasing.

When an employee or competitor fails to deliver what you require, start by inquiring into what he sees as the requirement, what he saw in the performance. Growth comes from seeing the world differently, not from being criticized or corrected.

Tim Gallwey in a conversation with
John WoodenRed Auerbach,
George Allen, &  Werner Erhard

 


Relative Evil

 


 

During the 1980s, I was an avid admirer of Ayn Rand‘s philosophy of Objectivism. The greatest expression of this devotion was the following short story. The germ of the idea came from this news event. I was very proud of my story at the time. I offered it to only three magazines. I was shocked by their responses.

 

My rejection letters from
The New Yorker and Esquire are below.
The Atlantic Monthly did not bother to respond.

 

Reading the story now, it seems much more righteous and judgmental than I admit to being today. I still love the rhythm of certain sentences, the cinematic clarity of the settings and some of the word play, for example, the double meaning of the title and the triple meaning of DRILLER. Comments are welcome, of course, but please remember that I am no longer the author. He has grown away.

You can read it below this line or click here to download an Adobe PDF that is prettier to print.

 


 

Relative Evil

by Anthony P. Mayo

 

He pressed his fingers to the throb in his temple. Not to ease the pain, but to focus on the rhythmic pressure and blot out his sister’s insistence. Her unpersuasive words sought to compensate with repetition and emotion what they lacked in evidence and reason.

 

“Please Randall, if ever family mattered it is really important now.” Yes, Rachel, he thought as she talked. I know family matters, that is exactly why I am sitting at your kitchen table on a weekday morning. Being part of this family is why his day had detonated from the usual historical exposition to this hysterical exposition. If he were not born a Fleischer, Randall would still be at his desk, working on his next book.

 

 

Randall had just finished his daily preparing-to-get-ready-to-start-to-write rituals and was about to fill the computer screen with historical in-sight when the telephone rang. The first surprise was that the caller was his literary agent. Franklin called for only two reasons, either to report that Randall’s latest book had been sold to a publisher or to report that the publisher was impatient to receive the final draft of Randall’s latest book. Since Errors of Democracy had been purchased only three months ago, he could not imagine a reason for this interruption.

 

“Rand, what is your father’s first name?”

 

“Otto. And my mother’s maiden name was Calabrisi.” Randall was playful. “Is this some kind of identity check, Franklin? Are you going to pass along a secret message to me?”

 

“I’m afraid its no secret, friend. Something terrible has happened. The news is filled with reports that your father was… Rand, do you know what your father did during the war?”

(more…)

A conversation with executive coaching client Ron Dimon. Part 5

 


 

Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastThis latest podcast is part five of a funny and useful conversation between top executive coach Tony Mayo and his longtime client Ron Dimon. Ron is an expert on the use of information by executives of large organizations. Listen as two experienced business people play with useful ideas in this episode including;

  • Commitment exists only in language
  • Useful reminders vs. empty affirmations
  • The power of choice
    • Banishing “I have to..”
  • Holding a Space vs succumbing to overwhelm

Just click here and either listen through your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.

You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.

 


 

A conversation with executive coaching client Ron Dimon. Part 4


 

Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastThis latest podcast is part four of a funny and useful conversation between top executive coach Tony Mayo and his longtime client Ron Dimon. Ron is an expert on the use of information by executives of large organizations. Listen as two experienced business people play with useful ideas in this episode including;

  • Low stress mindset for high performance on a variety of unstructured and unpredictable tasks
  • Meditation & centering for executives
  • Transforming overwhelm into flow
  • Procrastination
  • Creating vs. fixing
    • “Something’s wrong, & it’s me!”

Just click here and either listen through your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.

You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.

 


 

See free, easy Meditation Instructions on this blog.

 


Meditation for Managers video


 

Consider your point of view

 


 

A key benefit of discussing important decisions with your executive coach is the exploration of alternative explanations for observed events. Managers, particularly business owners, have a very distinct point-of-view, a set of filters that leads them to interpret the data differently than their coach, employees, and customers might. A good executive coach will help the manager consider other possible meanings thereby making better decisions and communicating more effectively.

Here is fun example of how the position from which you view events can lead you to the wrong conclusion.