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Lose the labels that limit you

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As I wrote in my last post, Nichiren Buddhism teaches that each of us has innate brilliance. And I often tell delegates on my training courses that we are all magnificent works in progress. When we deeply respect others, we get this point and are able to see their potential, (even though right now they may be manifesting more of their dark side than their brightness.) This approach makes for more harmonious families at home, more productive departments at work, more forgiving friendships in the pub and better football teams on a Saturday morning.

As Daisaku Ikeda explains: “We are unlimited beings. Our struggle to surmount our obstacles and sufferings and fulfil our dreams is always finally the struggle to overcome the limitations we have accepted within our own heart.”

Pic by Melson Diniz, SGI Brazil

Photo: Melson Diniz, SGI Brazil

The problem is that we’re hardwired to stereotype and label people, including ourselves. “He’s a complete jerk.” “She’s a total angel.” “They’re utter idiots.” Perhaps this sort of stereotyping served us well in our prehistoric days, when survival depended on deciding very quickly that a sabre-toothed tiger was always bad news, with no shades of grey… But in the modern age, when we use negative labels to describe people we’ve argued with, we prolong the rift and block the seeds of hope from which forgiveness and progress can bloom. (See a previous post called ‘The two words to ban from all your arguments.

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How to change the soundtrack of your mind

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Many experts define happiness as a ‘sense’ or ‘a feeling of wellbeing’. I also like to call happiness ‘the souOcean [by D_Zyl]ndtrack of your mind’. But obviously this is only true when you’re feeling happy! The point is that you always have a soundtrack playing in your subconscious. A kind of background mood music. Stop and listen (how often do we even take the time to do that?): is it excitement, hope, love? Or anxiety, regret and frustration? Is it well-being, amusement or compassion? Impatience, cynicism or boredom? A mixture of all the above? Something else altogether? Something you could not describe in words very easily at all? When I first start coaching a new client, this ‘soundtrack’ is one of the main things I am listening out for because one of my jobs is often to help someone change their mood music before they take action to achieve a goal. More

The ABC CDE of success

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Someone asked me recently if I had a simple formula for success that was easy to remember and would help them geabct the best from the people they led.

So I went back through notes of my client conversations, looking for a pattern. I also looked back at my own failures and the blockages I was facing in my life at the time. From this exercise sprang a simple formula which I now call my ‘ABC CDE of success’:

  • Ability – do I have the skills and knowledge to achieve this goal?
  • Belief – do I believe I can do it and do I believe I deserve it? This includes having high self-esteem
  • Clarity – am I definitely sure this is what I want?

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