For Your Own Good

At first,
I assumed people hurt others
with malicious intent.

Then I learned,
most people are hurt
by people
with good intentions.

People
who cared
and had compassion
for them.

People
close to them.

People
who told them
“This
is for your own
good.”

Privilege

One way
to discuss privilege
is to focus on the burden of gifts
others
have given us.

Wealth,
Opportunity,
Access…

Another way
to discuss privilege
is to focus on the gifts
we have
to give.

We cannot always force others
to give their gifts
to people
other
than ourselves.

But we can give
our own gifts
to anyone
we choose.

Misunderstanding Perfection

Perfection
is a feeling.

What is perfect
to one
is imperfect
to another.

What is perfect
one day
is not perfect
the next.

We can misunderstand perfection
if we focus solely
on clarifying the measurement
of perfection.

We can better understand perfection
by clarifying the tension
underlying the drive
for perfection.

It wasn’t the Culture

He thinks
he cultivated a company culture
that motivated me
and brought out
my best.

In reality,
I thought he was the father
I never had.

I was motivated
not to work hard,
but to get his _love_
instead of my father’s.

Why?
Because it was easier.

After all,
all it required
was to work
hard.

Working hard
was not enough
for my father.

I’m glad
the culture didn’t block me
from seeking his love,
but it wasn’t the culture
that motivated me
or brought out
my best.

Flow and Empathizing

Apr 4th 2014 12:55pm ET

Dear Dr. Csikszentmihalyi

It occurs to me
that the sense of “oneness” we feel
when we empathize
may be related
to the sense of “oneness” we feel
when we’re in flow.

Have you ever wondered
if they were related?

Would be an honor
to hear from you,

with much gratitude

slim


Apr 4th 2014 2:33pm ET

Hi Slim,

That feeling
is something you can experience
as a result of different ways
of organizing your attention:
By feeling a sense of awe
looking at the ocean or the starry sky,
by meditating,
or by engaging in an activity
that produces flow.

I don’t know
whether these are exactly the same
— we have no way to measure “oneness”
except by relying on subjective accounts —
but they sure sound very
similar . . .

Best,

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

How can I help?

For people in need of help
“How can I help?”
can be an overwhelming
question.

Instead,
listen and inquire deeply.

To unearth
their unconscious concerns.

Respect creatively.

To make value
from their unappreciated concerns.

Request permission.

Before sharing the load
of those specific concerns.

Be honest.

Enough to share
your own struggles.

And most importantly,
follow up.

Soon,
the need to ask
“How can I help?”
will vanish.

Best vs Ideal

Doing our best
does not guarantee
an ideal outcome.

In fact,
what doing our best can do
that doing less cannot
is expose to us
our limitations.

In such a way
that we become motivated
to either
accept our limitations
with our whole heart
or
embark on a journey of development
to extend the boundary
of our limitations.