Mindfulness, Hiring, Org Dev & Cool Stuff
Hello Dear Friends, 
There is a lovely Japanese proverb: “fall down seven times, stand up eight.” The proverb speaks to resilience. No matter how many times you fall, get up and keep going. 
The good news is that resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. Resilience involves thoughts and behaviors that can be learned and developed in anyone; and resilience is our fourth Leadership Essential. 
So many of us are afraid to fail, but we all know failure is inevitable. Interesting dilemma. So what is failure anyway? If you try something and it doesn’t work, is that failure? Imagine if we took that attitude as toddlers learning to walk. 
Each time we fall down, we gain new information, new learnings. Remember, pain and experience are the great teachers. When we fall down, we have just received a new lesson from our teacher. That’s it. But so often, we beat ourselves up, and punish ourselves with internal verbal abuse. Not helpful. I suggest you remind yourself to cultivate the Four Essential Attitudes: Gentleness, patience, a sense of humor and curiosity. These are super powers by the way. 
I’m reminded of a story from childhood. I grew up in a very rough neighborhood on the Mexican border. A bully moved in next door when I was in second grade. He was older, meaner and stronger than me. Almost every day he either made fun of me, harassed me or hit me. And I never told anyone. But I also devised a plan. We had a treehouse with a branch that extended over the sidewalk. I took a blanket and climbed up in the tree waiting for Mr. Bully to walk by after school. And when he walked under me, I jumped from the tree with the blanket right on top of him. He was not really injured, but started to run home crying. My grandmother witnessed the whole thing and yelled out the door, “Ricky, get in here right now.” As soon as I walked in the door, she smiled and asked me if I wanted some ice cream. Whoa! I was certainly not expecting that. I thought I was in big trouble. My grandmother knew this kid was a bully, and she decided to reward my heroic effort with gentleness in the form of a warm smile and a bowl of ice cream. I’m not saying what I did was right, or what she did was right, but she met me with a gentleness that is visceral to me almost 50 years later. In fact, she was always gentle. 
Right now, take a few moments to think of a gentle teacher in your life. Maybe she is your grandmother or a dear friend. I encourage you to adopt this voice in your head, alongside the harsh critic that lives in all of us. The very next time you catch yourself bullying yourself, tap into that gentle voice. What would she say? I tap into my grandmother’s voice almost daily. She’s alive in my DNA after all, and I want to hear her opinion. It’s usually something like “honey, I love you. It’s okay. Everything will be fine. How about some ice cream. You don’t need to fight against your inner critic, but that does not need to be the only voice in your head. I strongly encourage you to find the gentle voice as a wonderful method to develop resilience. 
Some indigenous cultures refer to rocks as the wisdom keepers. I just did a Google search on the average age of a rock. The answer is 1.3 billion years. Rocks can certainly teach us about patience. One way to develop patience is to work towards a goal that really matters to you. The highest goal for me is helping others. Well, how long does it take to become highly skilled at helping others. The answer: 1.3 billion years. Just kidding. Maybe :) 
One of my teachers made the comment that 95% of meditation is patiently enduring. I tend to agree. We want the great feeling, the realization, the bliss states. Nothing wrong with that. And we can always gently remind ourselves that all great accomplishments take a long time. 
A Sense of Humor
We tend to make a big deal out of things that really are not a big deal at all. Here’s a few things that might actually matter. The sun is the exact distance from the Earth to keep from either frying or freezing us. The Earth is spinning at over 600 miles per hour. Plants produce oxygen so we can breathe. My heart beats day and night with no time off. So maybe I can lighten up a little bit. Right now, I strongly encourage you to smile. Wherever you’re at, just simply smile. Chances are that right now, this very moment in time, you’re okay. You have what you need right now. And, do you know what time it is? Yep. It’s right now. Always. Smile. Repeat. 
All children are curious. They seem to be interested in just about everything. You were a child once, and you were curious. You know how to be curious. You may have just forgotten. We recover our curiosity by adopting an open mind and an open heart. Almost all conflict can be resolved by simply seeking greater understanding. To do so, all we have to do is remind ourselves to be curious, ask questions, and refrain from judgement. Child’s play. You got this. 
Now go out and screw something up, and when you do, remember: gentleness, patience, a sense of humor and curiosity. That’s how you cultivate resilience. Simple! 
And now let’s engage in a simple meditation to practice resilience: 
Breathing in may I be gentle. Breathing out allow a gentle smile to form on your lips. 
Breathing in may I be gentle. Breathing out, I smile. 
Breathing in, may I be patient. Breathing out, I smile. 
Breathing in, may I be patient. Breathing out, I smile.
Breathing in, may I remember my sense of humor. Breathing out, I smile. 
Breathing in, may I remember my sense of humor. Breathing out I smile.
Breathing in, may I always be curious. Breathing out, I smile. 
Breathing in, may I always be curious. Breathing out, I smile.
-Rick Breden, CEO
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