Practice listening to your inner wisdom and master your ego. How do we do that?
I am really working on being calmer and more emotionally even when under pressure. When one is the CEO or on the front line there seems to be ample opportunity to get the pulse racing in a way that may distract us from our best thinking and behavior.
Over the last year I’ve made progress but I’ve got lots more work to do on this: the ability to achieve inner and outer calm in the face of pressure. I know that when I get upset or angry it is because my ego is doing the talking. If I’m really aware, I will realize that the flushness in the face, stomach tightening, and in extreme cases, the grinding of my teeth, is driven by fear. I have to keep asking what I’m afraid of at least 5 times. Each time I ask getting one layer deeper and closer to the root of my fear. My ability to recognize the signals in my body gives me the opportunity to pause and listen. If I can take a deep breath and put myself in the other person’s shoes, I can ask better questions. This often leads to inside out calmness, which in turn usually leads to higher quality decisions and principle based actions. In fact very strong actions often come from a peaceful mind. This behavior, what some define as equanimity, also brings a greater sense of calmness and confidence in stake holders. People want leadership that is grace under fire. At the same time inner peace make lots of room for purpose-driven passion. Passion and inner calmness can fit nicely together.
- Action: as we go into a new year I encourage you to join me in the journey to be better aware of our inner self and to find that peaceful mind more than before. This requires purposeful practice in recognizing the signals and knowing what to do.
We live in an intense and often conflict-riddled work environment. Being able to be master that ego and achieve that inside out level of calm will reinforce the elements of the Character Triangle.
Live inside-out peace in the Triangle,
Happy New Year,