self-awareness

How To Endure Hardship The Modern Way

Practicing a mindset of Stoic Empathy allows you to endure hardship gracefully while maintaining healthy emotional connections with yourself and others.

When I was a young girl, my father used to read me the poem If by Rudyard Kipling, just as his father used to read it to him. The poem was framed above my little bed and was illustrated with all my favorite African animals — a giraffe, an elephant, a lion, a zebra. 

After receiving heartbreaking news from the doctor a few weeks ago, I found myself Googling Kipling in need of his poem’s wisdom. The beginning of the second stanza stood out to me: 

How To Build And Benefit From A Mind, Body, Spirit Practice

Stop dealing with stress through control and start reducing it through connecting to your authentic self.

Nothing lasts forever — not even stress. No matter how intense a problem or how significant a challenge, life moves on eventually. This too shall pass, as the Sufi poets taught us.

Of course, understanding the inherent ephemerality of life does little for us when we’re in the thick of a problem. All things may be temporary, but stress sure does feel permanent when it sinks its teeth in. It doesn’t matter what we do or how hard we try, we can’t seem to shake it. The stress, the challenge, the problem sticks around.

Finding Answers Through Intentional Listening

In times of small challenges and big ones, the first thing we can do is just listen.

Taking the time to actively listen to ourselves, others, and the world around us not only gives us knowledge and insight but calmness and stability too.

What is your mind, body, spirit trying to show you?

What are others trying to tell you with their words, body, actions?

What are the trees, birds, winds, rivers trying to teach you?

The answers are within and around us, we just need to first be able to listen for them.

Self-wisdom Is The Prerequisite To Worldly Wisdom

You cannot find fulfillment without first knowing what fulfillment looks like to you.

You cannot show empathy and compassion to others without first showing empathy and compassion to yourself.

You cannot correctly interpret what you sense in the external world without first correctly sensing what lies in your internal world.

Self-wisdom is the prerequisite to worldly wisdom. 

How To Be An Influential Leader By Being Vulnerable

It’s not about denying your innate exposure, it’s about leveraging it for success.

There is no denying that by nature we are vulnerable. As human beings and social creatures, we are naturally open to attack and capable of being hurt. But it is also true that by nature we don’t want to be attacked or hurt. As a result we find we’re always doing all we can to protect ourselves and hide what we see as our weakness.

Herein lies the vulnerability paradox. To be innately vulnerable while denying our vulnerability seems to be what is at the heart of being human, and more so, of being a leader.

The more we deny our vulnerability, the less influence we have on the world, the people around us, and ourselves. The more we hide away from what makes us feel uncomfortable, the less fulfillment and connection we experience.