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We hope only that we have not obstructed or weakened the power of these teachings. May they help to liberate all beings from the warring evils of the setting sun.
Shambhala vision teaches that, in the face of the world’s great problems, we can be heroic and kind at the same time.
What is lacking is a sense of humor. Humor here does not mean telling jokes or being comical or criticizing others and laughing at them. A genuine sense of humor is having a light touch: not beating reality into the ground but appreciating reality with a light touch.
The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything. We can never say that we are simply falling to pieces or that anyone else is, and we can never say that about the world either.
The point of warriorship is to work personally with our situation now, as it is.
We should feel that it is wonderful to be in this world.
So through the practice of sitting still and following your breath as it goes out and dissolves, you are connecting with your heart. By simply letting yourself be, as you are, you develop genuine sympathy towards yourself.
Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.
Everything is compartmentalized, so you can never experience things completely. We are not talking purely about food; we are talking about everything that goes on in the setting-sun world: packaged food, packaged vacations, package deals of all kinds. There is no room to experience doubtlessness in that world; there is no room to be gentle; there is no room to experience reality fully and properly.
In fact, tenderness and sadness, as well as gentleness, actually produce a sense of interest. You are so vulnerable that you cannot help being touched by your world.
A warrior doesn’t need color television or video games. A warrior doesn’t need to read comic books to entertain himself or to be cheerful.
For the true warrior, there is no warfare. This is the idea of being all-victorious. When you are all-victorious, there is nothing to conquer, no fundamental problem or obstacle to overcome.
But if you look back and trace back through your life—who you are, what you are, and why you are in this world—if you look through that step-bystep, you won’t find any fundamental problems.
In meditation, when your thoughts go up, you don’t go up, and you don’t go down when your thoughts go down; you just watch as thoughts go up and thoughts go down. Whether your thoughts are good or bad, exciting or boring, blissful or miserable, you let them be. You don’t accept some and reject others. You have a sense of greater space that encompasses any thought that may arise.
Although the warrior’s life is dedicated to helping others, he realizes that he will never be able to completely share his experience with others. The fullness of his experience is his own, and he must live with his own truth. Yet he is more and more in love with the world. That combination of love affair and loneliness is what enables the warrior to constantly reach out to help others.
Why are you always joyful? Because you have witnessed your basic goodness, because you have nothing to hang on to, and because you have experienced the sense of renunciation that we discussed earlier. Therefore, your mind and body are continually synchronized and always joyful.
If you tell the truth to others, then they can also be open with you—maybe not immediately, but you are giving them the opportunity to express themselves honestly as well. When you do not say what you feel, you generate confusion for yourself and confusion for others.
It is like falling in love. When you are in love, being with your lover is both delightful and very painful. You feel both joy and sorrow. That is not a problem; in fact, it is wonderful. It is the ideal human emotion.
The most practical and immediate way to begin sharing with others and working for their benefit is to work with your own domestic situation and to expand from there. So an important step in becoming a warrior is to become a family person, someone who respects his or her everyday domestic life and is committed to uplifting that situation.
When we draw down the power and depth of vastness into a single perception, then we are discovering and invoking magic. By magic we do not mean unnatural power over the phenomenal world, but rather the discovery of innate or primordial wisdom in the world as it is.
However, for the warrior, gentleness is not just politeness. Gentleness is consideration: showing concern for others, all the time. A Shambhala gentlewoman or gentleman is a decent person, a genuine person. He or she is very gentle to himself and to others. The purpose of any protocol, or manners, or discipline that we are taught is to have concern for others.
When the environment is stuffy and full of arrogant, self-styled men and women, the dralas are repelled. But then, what happens if a warrior, someone who embodies nonaggression, freedom from arrogance, and humbleness, walks into that room? When such a person enters an intense situation full of arrogance and pollution, quite possibly the occupants of the room begin to feel funny. They feel that they can’t have any fun and games anymore, because someone who won’t collaborate in their deception has walked in.
The world is very interesting wherever you go, wherever you look.
Habitual patterns allow you to look no further than three steps ahead of you. You are always looking at the ground, and you never look up at the bright blue sky or the mountain peaks.
So you can’t be a warrior in the office and a tudro at home.
The former Secretary General of the United Nations, U Thant of Burma
You are not being blind to the setting-sun or degraded aspects of existence. In fact, you see them very precisely, because you are so alert. But you also see that every aspect of life has the potential of being upgraded, that there is the potential for sacredness in every situation. So you begin to view the universe as a sacred world.
Then there is the man principle, which is connected with simplicity, or living in harmony with heaven and earth. When human beings combine the freedom of heaven with the practicality of earth, they can live in a good human society with one another.
The challenge of warriorship is to live fully in the world as it is and to find within this world, with all its paradoxes, the essence of nowness. If we open our eyes, if we open our minds, if we open our hearts, we will find that this world is a magical place. It is not magical because it tricks us or changes unexpectedly into something else, but it is magical because it can be so vividly, so brilliantly.
We cannot change the way the world is, but by opening ourselves to the world as it is, we may find that gentleness, decency, and bravery are available—not only to us, but to all human beings.
That is the basic wisdom of Shambhala: that in this world, as it is, we can find a good and meaningful human life that will also serve others.
But if you do not start at home, then you have no hope of helping the world. So the first step in learning how to rule is learning to rule your household, your immediate world. There is no doubt that, if you do so, then the next step will come naturally. If you fail to do so, then your contribution to this world will be further chaos.
Raising windhorse is a way to cast out depression and doubt on the spot. It is not a form of exorcism but a cheering-up process. That is to say, raising windhorse invokes and actualizes the living aspect of fearlessness and bravery. It is a magical practice for transcending doubt and hesitation in order to invoke tremendous wakefulness in your state of mind.
The four dignities are meek, perky, outrageous, and inscrutable.
Just as the snow lion enjoys the refreshing air, the warrior of perky is constantly disciplined and continuously enjoys discipline. For him, discipline is not a demand but a pleasure.
Modesty here means feeling true and genuine. Therefore the warrior feels self-contained, with no need for external reference points to confirm him.
For the warrior of meek, confidence is a natural state of awareness and mindfulness in the way he conducts his affairs.
Rather, vastness comes from seeing the greatness of your own spot, your own particular place.
Like the tiger in the jungle, you are both relaxed and energized. You are constantly inquisitive but your awareness is also disciplined, so you accomplish every activity without difficulty, and you inspire those around you to do the same.
The first one is experiencing an uplifted and joyful mind. In this case, uplifted mind means a continual state of delight that is not caused by anything.
This warrior is always aware and never confused as to what to accept and what to reject.
The warrior of perky is never caught in the trap of doubt and is always joyful and artful.
Outrageousness is based on the achievement of fearlessness, which means going completely beyond fear. In order to overcome fear, it is also necessary to overcome hope. When you hope for something in your life, if it doesn’t happen, you are disappointed or upset. If it does happen, then you become elated and excited. You are constantly riding a roller coaster up and down.
The analogy for this is a good, self-existing sword—desire to sharpen it will make it dull. If you try to apply a competitive or comparative logic to the experience of vast mind, by trying to measure how much space you have fathomed, how much is left to fathom, or how much someone else has fathomed, you are just dulling your sword. It is futile and counterproductive. In contrast to that approach, outrageousness is accomplishment without a sense of accomplisher, without reference point.
Inscrutability is also the state of settling down in your confidence—remaining solid and relaxed at once. You are open and fearless, free from longing and doubt, but at the same time, you are very interested in the movements of the world.
The main point is being somewhat noncommittal, but at the same time seeing a project through to its end.
There is a need for discipline, and that discipline comes from realizing that such a world as this was created for you, that people expended energy to bring you up, that in your weak moments you were helped, and that, when you were ready for inspiration, you were inspired. So the discipline of genuinely working for others comes from appreciating hierarchy.
One year of one child using disposable diapers uses two full grown trees.
What’s worse is very few people dispose of the poop in the toilet before throwing away the diaper—did you even know you’re supposed to do that?
Most moms, probably including you, are reading this book because you know deep in your heart that your child is ready.
There will be a power struggle and for the first time ever, your child will literally be holding all the power, in the form of pee and poop. You will not win.
Some men are superlinear thinkers and don’t really connect with the chaos of the toddler mind. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a situation like this: Mom’s been working her butt off to potty train the kid during the day. She leaves the child in her husband’s care for twenty minutes. The child has an accident. Mom asks Dad what happened, and he says, “I told him to go and he said no.” I think dads really expect that you only have to tell your child that he needs to pee in the potty one time and the child should fully comprehend and comply.
He’s vital to this process, just as you are, so let’s involve him right from the beginning. And let’s understand and validate how he truly feels about this process, yeah?
Kids can smell fear a mile away, and it will either make them fearful or they will eat you for breakfast.
Online news, the ability to Like and Share, blogs . . . all these things combine to make for a fast-paced world. We as moms, in particular, are subject to an onslaught of not only frightening news (kidnappings, etc.) but also parenting media drama, like the infamous Time magazine and the breast-feeding cover. All this media just serves to confuse us and wound our intuition. It also makes us feel anxious, which our children pick up on.
Bottom line: we are moving too fast. We are exposing our children to too much, too soon.
I’ve seen kids learn to meter out pee and poop to get more rewards, and I’ve seen candy create bigger power struggles during potty training.
Logistically speaking, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a preschool or kindergarten that will accept an untrained child.
Day cares are essentially screwing you, especially if you are a full-time working mom or dad. (Though I’m sure you’re used to getting screwed by everything at this point, eh?)
Wearing underwear is simply too confusing for your child in the beginning. The snugness creates a muscle memory of a diaper, and the covering suggests privacy. I can almost bet you that your child will have more accidents if you put undies on her too soon.
Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne a couple of times. Mr. Payne was a Waldorf teacher and is so brilliant and eloquent on this topic, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. He says that raising children is like building a pyramid. The widest part at the bottom is the foundation. That is made up of “governing,” and takes place roughly from birth to age six. Next is the middle of the pyramid, made up of a “gardening” phase that takes place from roughly six to twelve years. And last, at the top, is the “guiding” phase, which is the way he recommends parenting children ages twelve to eighteen.
maybe nobody told you this, but one kid plus one kid = like five kids.
Your partner is going to go cuckoo. I promise she’ll return to normal very soon. Get her drunk. It’s okay.
Your role in this is just as vital as Mom’s is. Maybe more. Everyone knows that Dad is a little magic.
When setting limits, the emotional state of the parent almost always dictates the child’s reaction. If we lack clarity and confidence, lose our temper or are unsure, tense, frazzled, or frustrated — this will unsettle our kids and very likely lead to more undesirable behavior.
Why would our sweet darling throw her toy at us when we’ve just asked her not to, and then add insult to injury by smirking? Is she evil? Does she have a pressing need to practice throwing skills? Maybe she just hates us…
When parents say more than a sentence or two about the limit-pushing behavior, even while remaining calm, they risk creating a tale about a child with a problem (perhaps he hugs his baby sister too forcefully), which then causes the child to identify with this as his story and problem, when it was just an impulsive, momentary behavior he tried out a couple of times.
If the comfort and validation of our attention has been in short supply, or if there have been compelling mini-stories and dramas created around our child’s limit-pushing behavior, she might end up repeating them to seek this negative attention.
For example, if we snatch toys away from our child, she may persistently snatch from friends
Deciding between two options is usually all a toddler needs, as long as the question is an easy one.
The sooner a caregiver can establish those limits, the easier it will be for the child to relinquish ‘testing’ and return to playing. Parents sometimes fear they will crush a child’s spirit if they are firm and consistent about rules. Truthfully, it is the other way around. A child does not feel free unless boundaries are clearly established.
Children raised without firm, consistent boundaries are insecure and world-weary. Burdened with too many decisions and too much power, they miss out on the joyful freedom every child deserves.
A toddler also acts out when there is a blatant failure to draw clear boundaries at home. Sometimes, the child is exposed to adults or older children who do not respect the toddler’s boundaries; they grab and tickle him, for example, depriving him of a sense of secure space. When a young child is overpowered and assaulted in this way, he becomes confused about physical boundaries with other people.
I asked Wendy if anything was different at home, and she mentioned that she was frustrated while getting Henry to sit in his car seat when it was time to go somewhere. She was allowing Henry to do it in his own time, waiting while he played around inside the car. Wendy said she finally became impatient, and after telling him what she would do, she placed him in his seat. She could not believe that Henry cried anyway, even after she had tried to be respectful, giving him so much time to sit in the seat himself!
I advised Wendy to give Henry the option of climbing into his seat by himself, but if he did not climb in right away, she should place him in his seat, even if he cried.
Respect your child’s play and other chosen activities. Don’t interrupt unless absolutely necessary.
Children need our undivided attention during these cooperative activities. Pay attention, connect, and encourage children to do the same.
Unfortunately, this perspective makes it next to impossible to stay unruffled with toddlers, who (as I explained above) need to disagree with us and feel safe expressing their strong emotions.
Occasionally, though it’s pretty rare, my superhero perspective even allows me to recognize the romance in these moments. I’m able to time travel at hyper-speed into the future, look back, and realize that this was prime time together. It didn’t look pretty, but we were close. I’ll remember how hard it was to love my child when she was at her very worst and feel super proud that I did it anyway.
Help fulfill her healthy needs for autonomy, competence, and participation by asking for her assistance with the baby (and anything else) whenever possible.
To transition effectively, first identify the risks you face as you move into your new role using the Transition Risk Assessment.
No matter where you land, the keys to effective delegation remain much the same: you build a team of competent people whom you trust, you establish goals and metrics to monitor their progress, you translate higher-level goals into specific responsibilities for your direct reports, and you reinforce them through process.
They attribute the high failure rate of outside hires to several barriers, notably the following:
Leaders from outside the company are not familiar with informal networks of information and communication.
Outside hires are not familiar with the corporate culture and therefore have greater difficulty navigating.
New people are unknown to the organization and therefore do not have the same credibility as someone who is promoted from within.
A long tradition of hiring from within makes it difficult for some organizations to accept outsiders.
Transitioning leaders should use this checklist to help them figure out how things really work in the organizations they’re joining.
Influence. How do people get support for critical initiatives? Is it more important to have the support of a patron within the senior team, or affirmation from your peers and direct reports that your idea is a good one?
Meetings. Are meetings filled with dialogue on hard issues, or are they simply forums for publicly ratifying agreements that have been reached in private?
Execution. When it comes time to get things done, which matters more—a deep understanding of processes or knowing the right people?
Conflict. Can people talk openly about difficult issues without fear of retribution? Or do they avoid conflict—or, even worse, push it to lower levels, where it can wreak havoc?
Recognition. Does the company promote stars, rewarding those who visibly and vocally drive business initiatives? Or does it encourage team players, rewarding those who lead authoritatively but quietly and collaboratively?
Ends versus means. Are there any restrictions on how you achieve results? Does the organization have a well-defined, well-communicated set of values that is reinforced through positive and negative incentives?
Table 1-2 is a simple tool for assessing your preferences for different kinds of business problems. Fill in each cell by assessing your intrinsic interest in solving problems in the domain in question.
Like many new leaders, he failed to focus on learning about his new organization and so made some bad decisions that undercut his credibility.
Ask them essentially the same five questions:
What are the biggest challenges the organization is facing (or will face in the near future)?
Why is the organization facing (or going to face) these challenges?
What are the most promising unexploited opportunities for growth?
What would need to happen for the organization to exploit the potential of these opportunities?
If you were me, what would you focus attention on?
Specifically, you must establish priorities, define strategic intent, identify where you can secure early wins, build the right leadership team, and create supporting alliances.
The performance of people put in charge of start-ups and turnarounds is easiest to evaluate, because you can focus on measurable outcomes relative to a clear prior baseline.
Evaluating success and failure in realignment and sustaining-success situations is much more problematic.
Negotiating success means proactively engaging with your new boss to shape the game so that you have a fighting chance of achieving desired goals. Many new leaders just play the game, reactively taking their situation as given—and failing as a result. The alternative is to shape the game by negotiating with your boss to establish realistic expectations, reach consensus, and secure sufficient resources.
You might simply say that you expect to notice differences in how the two of you approach certain issues or decisions but that you’re committed to achieving the results to which you have both agreed.
By the end of the first few months, you want your boss, your peers, and your subordinates to feel that something new, something good, is happening.
keep in mind that your early wins must do double duty: they must help you build momentum in the short term and lay a foundation for achieving your longer-term business goals.
You cannot hope to achieve results in more than a couple of areas during your transition. Thus, it’s essential to identify the most promising opportunities and then focus relentlessly on translating them into wins.
Addressing problems that your boss cares about will go a long way toward building credibility and cementing your access to resources.
Close personal relationships are rarely compatible with effective supervisory ones.
Effective leaders get people to make realistic commitments and then hold them responsible for achieving results. But if you’re never satisfied, you’ll sap people’s motivation. Know when to celebrate success and when to push for more.
Accessible but not too familiar.
Early in your transition, you want to project decisiveness but defer some decisions until you know enough to make the right calls.
Effective new leaders establish authority by zeroing in on issues but consulting others and encouraging input. They also know when to give people the flexibility to achieve results in their own ways.
It’s never a bad thing to be seen as genuinely committed to understanding your new organization.
Simply blowing up the existing culture and starting over is rarely the right answer. People—and organizations—have limits on the change they can absorb all at once. And organizational cultures invariably have virtues as well as faults; they provide predictability and can be sources of pride. If you send the message that there is nothing good about the existing organization and its culture, you will rob people of a key source of stability in times of change. You also will deprive yourself of a potential wellspring of energy you could tap to improve performance.
Strive, where possible, for clear lines of accountability. Simplify the structure to the greatest degree possible without compromising core goals.
The most important decisions you make in your first 90 days will probably be about people. If you succeed in creating a high-performance team, you can exert tremendous leverage in value creation. If not, you will face severe difficulties, for no leader can hope to achieve much alone.
Who defers to whom when certain topics are being discussed? When an issue is raised, where do people’s eyes track?
You will also begin to recognize the power coalitions: groups of people who explicitly or implicitly cooperate over the long term to pursue certain goals or protect certain privileges.
Over time, the patterns of influence will become clearer, and you’ll be able to identify those vital individuals—the opinion leaders—who exert disproportionate influence because of their informal authority, expertise, or sheer force of personality.
The work you’ve done to map influence networks in your organization can also help you pinpoint potential supporters, opponents, and persuadables.
Keep in mind, too, that success in winning over adversaries can have a powerful, symbolic impact. “The enemy who is converted to the ally” is a powerful story that will resonate with others in the organization. (Another example is the story of redemption—for example, helping a person who has been marginalized or labeled as ineffective prove himself.)
People are motivated by various things, such as a need for recognition, for control, for power, for affiliation through relationships with colleagues, and for personal growth.
The power of active listening as a persuasive technique is vastly underrated. It can not only promote acceptance of difficult decisions but also channel people’s thinking and frame choices.
The art of effective communication is to repeat and elaborate core themes without sounding like a parrot.
People asked to engage in behavior inconsistent with their values or beliefs experience internal psychological dissonance.
Decision-making processes are like rivers: big decisions draw on preliminary tributary processes that define the problem, identify alternatives, and establish criteria for evaluating costs and benefits. By the time the problem and the options have been defined, the actual choice may be a foregone conclusion.
You do this by setting up action-forcing events—events that induce people to make commitments or take actions. Meetings, review sessions, teleconferences, and deadlines can all help create and sustain momentum: regular meetings to review progress, and tough questioning of those who fail to reach agreed-to goals, increase the psychological pressure to follow through.