Guiding is helping people get where they want to go. Managing is helping people get where you need them to be.
In a world which can at times be a hard place, full of harsh circumstances and tough decisions, I see the study of Budō as one of the most effective means of understanding and cultivating one’s potential.
The Japanese term for martial arts, Budō is a compound of bu, meaning war or martial, and dō, meaning path or way. One of the reasons I have infinite respect for Budō is because it embodies a spirit of preparedness without the associated condition of being enslaved by fear of what you are preparing for. The fearlessness that Budō cultivates comes from ultimate capability – the confidence & self-possession to make decisions that lead to “win-win”.
Ultimately, the purpose of Budō is the cultivation of one’s own personal capabilities to such a degree that one can effectively manage the challenges of Life while generating peace & harmony in both spirit & practice. So the true spirit of Budō is really the spirit of winning through having cultivated a Decisive Spirit.
The Scenario: From time to time we are all presented with requests that we’re not entirely comfortable with. But remember, you always have the choice of how to respond: ACCEPT or ACQUIESCE
To ACCEPT is a proactive choice based on evaluation and judgement.
Insight: The key here is pausing to keep the request in your mental holding tank for consideration. This gives you the freedom to either ACCEPT the request because it’s consistent or consonant with your value system, or reject it because it isn’t. No matter which option you choose, exercising your will gives you a feeling of positive control over whatever you were presented with.
To ACQUIESCE is to give in to something or someone.
Insight: By choosing to merge without challenge or evaluation into someone else’s context, you run the risk of ceding your will, initiative or control. One risky side-effect of often choosing to ACQUIESCE is that you might start to feel that your will or sense of self is becoming eroded by it.
The Takeaway: Life isn’t perfect, so at times the nature of a particular circumstance may dictate whether your best choice is to ACCEPT or ACQUIESCE. But as long as your choice is a deliberate one and you have confidence in your rationale for it, you’re still moving towards your potential.
Resist the temptation of being too self-deprecating; it can become a self-indulgence that foreshadows an abdication of personal responsibility.
Conviction should never feel like a dead weight. Rather, it should feel like and function as dynamic fuel for excelling yourself.
Don’t bother trying to replace “bad” emotions with “good’ ones – you will find it a continual struggle, and not really worth the uphill battle. Trying to corral your bad emotions doesn’t work either – they can consume you if you try.
Instead, work to purge yourself of emotions that are of no use to you. A good start is to say to yourself: “Y’know, at the end of the day……”, and then see what really matters in terms of getting the results you’re looking for.
This is a simple but effective way to make your emotions work for you rather than against you.
Recognition is a product; Awareness is a process.