In business and personally we seem to constantly be focusing on all the wrong things… money, power, success… and it’s all supposed to lead to happiness.
What follows is an old Buddhist parable (which was sent to me recently by a close friend as a very gentle reminder), that could be of some interest to you because happiness actually comes from within, and if you start to become truly happy, the normal trappings of success that we seem to be constantly chasing start to eventuate far more easily and effortlessly than we thought.
“Long ago, when the earth and all living creatures were being created, a meeting was called of the council of the Gods. They wanted to make the One Thing available to all Human beings, but they were concerned that it might be misused. So they decided to hide it, where only those people who could value its power could find it.
Where to hide the One Thing was the question. “Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said one God. But another answered, “No, that will not do, because humans will eventually create huge machines to dig into the earth and find it.”
Another God said, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.” But then came the objection, “No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean in big metal fishes, and will find it.” Then someone said, “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.” But once again another replied, “No, that will not do either, because they will eventually climb every mountain and put the One Thing to improper use.” Then they all gave up in despondency. “We do not know where to hide it, because it seems that there is no place on earth or in the sea that human beings will not eventually reach.”
The King of all the Gods thought for a long time and then said, “Here is what we will do. We will hide the One Thing deep in the center of their own being, for humans will never think to look for it there.”
They all agreed that this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. Since that time, humans have been going up and down the earth, digging, diving, climbing, and exploring, searching for power and riches and resources, when all the time the greatest treasure is already within themselves.”
Remember, we are not business people… we are people in business and every journey that we undertake starts from within.
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Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) was a French mathematician, logician, physicist and theologian – One of his famous quotes – “Je n’ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n’ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte”. (Literal translation – I made this [letter] very long, because I did not have the leisure to make it shorter), has been paraphrased many times..
Today our communication has been reduced to sound bites that are almost totally ineffective as most people put very little thought into what they want or need to say.
We have created a culture of gross miscommunication, a culture that is now hell-bent on communicating everything in a meme, a 140 character message or a 5-10 second video. Too many times I have seen memes, like the one I have used in this post, with absolutely no explanation whatsoever, other than the saying in the picture.
The biggest challenge to me, and I expect most people, is that we don’t really know the intent of the person who was posting this meme . Are these messages reflecting what the person thinks, feels or are they just trying to say, “Look at me, I think the same as the famous person in this meme, aren’t I clever?”
I feel, and I could be wrong, that just posting a meme without a personal explanation or comment or opinion is a total waste of time and it can actually detract from a persons personal reputation online. I see this happening too many times on Facebook, now LinkedIn and Google+, and my first thought is, do these people have a life, isn’t there anything else better they could do to contribute to their, community, their family or themselves?
On the other hand if they are posting opinions and comments with their memes, we are getting an insight into the person, their heart, we are actually making a connection, a connection that can be the beginning of a process to building a relationship rather than wasting people’s time and bandwidth.
We need to put more thought into what we post, write or say because our communications runs the risk of being dumbed down, if it hasn’t already, and we will continue to lose huge opportunities to connect with the right people, in the right way, simply because we haven’t taken the time to create the right message, for the right circumstances, for the right person.
What are you doing? Are you being relevant? Are you achieving the success YOU want to achieve?
“The Race” – by Dee Groberg
“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!”
They shout at me, and plead
“There’s just too much against you now.
This time you can’t succeed.”
And as I start to hang my head
In front of failure’s face
My downward fall is broken by
The memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will
As I recall that scene
For, just the thought of that short race
Rejuvenates my being.
A children’s race, young boys, young men
Now, I remember well,
Excitement, sure! But also fear,
It wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope
Each thought to win that race,
Or, tie for first, if not that,
At least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side
Each cheering for his son.
And each boy hoped to show his dad,
that he would be the one.
The whistle blew, and off they went
Young hearts and hopes afire
To win, to be the hero there
Was each young boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular,
Whose dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the head and thought:
“My dad will be so proud!”
But as they speeded down the field
Across a shallow dip
The little boy who thought to win,
Lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself,
His hands flew out to brace
And ‘mid the laughter of the crowd
He fell flat on his face.
So, down he fell, and with him hope
– he couldn’t win it now –
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished
To disappear somehow.
But, as he fell, his dad stood up,
And showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said:
“Get up and win the race.”
He quickly rose, no damage done,
– behind a bit, that’s all –
And ran with all his mind and might
To make up for his fall.
So, anxious to restore himself
– to catch up and to win –
His mind went faster than his legs;
He slipped and fell again!
He wished, then, he had quit before
With only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now;
I shouldn’t try to race.
But, in the laughing crowd he searched
And found his father’s face.
That steady look that said again!
“Get up and win the race.”
So, up he jumped, to try again
– ten yards behind the last –
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought
‘I’ve got to move real fast.”
Exceeding everything he had
He gained back eight or ten,
But trying so, to catch the lead,
He slipped and fell again!
Defeat! He lay there silently
– a tear dropped from his eye –
“There is no sense in running more;
Three strikes, I’m out, why try?”
The will to rise had disappeared
All hope had fled away
So far behind; so error prone
A loser all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought
“I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But, then he thought about his dad,
Who, soon, he’d have to face.
“Get up!” an echo sounded low,
“Get up, and take your place
You were not meant for failure here,
Get up, and win the race.”
With borrowed will, “Get up,” it said
“You haven’t lost at all.
For winning is no more than this;
To rise each time you fall.”
So, up he rose to run once more,
And with a new commit
He resolved that win, or lose,
At least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now
– the most he’d ever been –
Still, he gave it all he had,
And ran as though to win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling.
Three times he’d rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win
He still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner,
As he crossed the line first place,
Head high, and proud, and happy.
No falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster
Crossed the line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer
For finishing the race.
Even though he came in last.
With head bowed head low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race
To listen to the crowd.
And to his dad, he sadly said,
“I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won!” his father said,
“You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and hard,
And difficult to face.
The memory of that little boy
Helps me to win my race.
For all of life is like that race
With ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win,
Is rise each time you fall.