How We Self-Sabotage


Leadership Wisdom From the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Rituals 2 and 3

The second ritual from the Monk who sold his Ferrari is called the Ritual of Human Relations or, in the words of the Monk, how to “Manage by Mind and Lead by Heart.”

The wisdom of this ritual leans on the fact that every visionary leader deeply connects with his followers. This stems from the fact that one of the deepest of all human hungers is the need to be cherished and understood. As leaders, let our humanity shine at work and treat people with courtesy and kindness.

What are the actions that help us fulfill this ritual?

  • Keep promises
  • Sincere listening
  • Being consistently compassionate
  • Tell the truth

Every visionary leader has mastered the practice of deeply connecting with his/her followers. He/She has refined the art of clarifying his/her vision for the benefit of his/her people in a way that fully engages and stirs them into action. Through their people skills and talents as effective communicators, visionary leaders touch the hearts of their team and earn long-term loyalty. Simply put, when you enrich the relationship, you enhance the leadership.

The third ritual from the Monk who sold his Ferrari is called the Ritual of Team Unity or, in the words of the Monk, “Reward Routinely, Recognize Relentlessly.”

The wisdom of this ritual asserts that great leaders are great teachers and great coaches. Great leaders must reward and recognize employees regularly by giving genuine appreciation. By doing so, great leaders always get more of what they reward. After all, praise is free.

What are the practices that help us fulfill this ritual?

  • Hunt for good behaviour
  • Use public opportunities for rewarding and recognizing
  • Establish Symbols of Victory and team traditions

Visionary leaders understand that individuals who feel they are valued members of an exciting team will go the extra mile and give their best. If we practice this ritual by rewarding routinely and recognizing relentlessly, they will invest their spirits in our organization. They will begin to see themselves as part of a larger whole. That is when our organization will become unstoppable.

The Monk’s Wisdom – Ritual 1: The Ritual of Compelling Future Focus

The first ritual from the Monk who sold his Ferrari is called the Ritual of Compelling Future Focus or, in the words of the Monk, how to link Paycheck to Purpose.

The wisdom of this ritual leans on the fact that purpose is the most powerful motivator in the world. The primary task of the leader is to get his/her people excited about a compelling cause that contributes to the lives of others. Great leadership precedes great followership (we show our employees that we have their best interest in mind). Visionary leaders focus on liberating human talent and manifesting the potential of people (multipliers) and lead with integrity, character and courage.

What are the actions that help us fulfil this ritual?

  • Ritualize wisdom so that our positive intentions translate into tangible results (Stephen Covey would say that we need to exercise integrity in the moment of choice);
  • Communicate our compelling cause so it engages hearts; and
  • Align our “video” with our “audio” (observe and listen and go back to vision and communication if necessary)

The ultimate task of the visionary leader is to dignify and honour the lives of the people he/she leads by allowing them to manifest their highest potential through the work they do.

The following video from Robin Sharma provides some thoughts about this topic:


Leadership Wisdom from the Monk who sold his Ferrari – Intro

Robin Sharma is a leadership consultant and prolific author who has written many books on the topic of leadership and personal renewal. His most famous book is “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and was published in 1997. This book became a best-seller with more than three million copies sold (as of 2013). It has been translated into more than 70 languages and published in over 50 nations. The book develops around two characters, Julian Mantle and John, in the form of conversation. Julian narrates his spiritual experiences during a Himalayan journey which he undertook after selling his holiday home and red Ferrari. A successful trial lawyer, Julian collapsed from a heart attack while arguing a case in court, and his lengthy recovery led him to seek a spiritual path in the Himalayan mountains after receiving wise and practical lessons which brought drastic changes in his life.

I just finished reading one of the book’s sequels: Leadership Wisdom from the Monk who sold his Ferrari. I found it interesting and I will start summarize what Robin calls the 8 Rituals of Leadership so that you can have an idea of the thoughts expressed in this other book.

This book, which is similar in style to the first one, also tells the story of Robert, a successful CEO of a rampant software company called GlobalView, who has a very “Diminisher” attitude. Because of his leadership style, the company is experiencing a crisis of unprecedented proportions. At the height of this crisis, Robert is contacted by this strange individual dressed like Buddhist monk who is nobody else but his old friend Julian Mantle, the lawyer who had a Ferrari and then all of a sudden disappeared after his heart attack.


An Annual Dilemma

I found the following article a simple and yet effective way to approach our annual dilemma in setting a plan for the upcoming year. Enjoy it!

Resolve to Stay on Track in the New Year
Posted by Forrest Dylan Bryant on 26 Dec 2015

A new year is upon us, which means it’s time to break out the champagne and survey the months ahead. It’s only natural to think in terms of fresh starts and new opportunities when the calendar changes, whether that means improving our health, acquiring a new skill, or picking up a neglected hobby. But as many of us know, resolving to change is one thing. Making those changes stick is another.
Research suggests that one-third of all new year’s resolutions are abandoned within the first month, and fewer than half survive to the six-month mark. It’s better to try and fail than never to try at all, but most of us want to do better than that.
How can we keep our resolutions going all year long? According to experts in psychology and productivity, the answer has three parts:

* First, we need to be smarter about how we make resolutions, and choose the right goals for the right reasons.
* Second, we need to implement new behaviors in the ways most likely to turn them into ingrained habits.
* Finally, we need the willpower, planning, and support to stay motivated and on track, especially in the critical first month.

Step 1: Get SMART
Let’s start with the resolutions themselves.
It’s not enough to have a good idea. You have to distil that idea into a goal that’s actionable and attainable. Borrowing a concept from modern business, sociologist Christine Whelan has described a well-crafted resolution as “SMART” — it’s specific, measurable, and achievable, there’s a reward for sticking with it, and our progress is tracked throughout the year.
Just as importantly, you have to want it. As Linda Geddes recently summarized in an article for The Guardian, “The first question to ask yourself is: if there were no pressure from anyone else, what would you, personally, like to change?” Whether we’re trying to lose weight or write a novel, we’re more likely to stick with difficult projects when the motivation comes from within.
Step 2: Get in the habit
Another reason resolutions fall apart is that we try to take on too much at once. When you commit to changing a behavior, you’re essentially trying to rewire your own brain, and that takes a lot of work. Every time you need to stop and think, to exercise self-control, or remember to do X instead of Y, you’re burning mental energy. Going after too many difficult goals at the same time can leave you burned out, with none of your goals fulfilled.
To maximize your chances of success, choose just one resolution. If you have a list of ideas, consider starting with the easiest one. You wouldn’t try to run a marathon if you’ve never run a mile, or deadlift a huge weight without lifting smaller weights first. The same applies to willpower and self-control. Start small and work your way up.
Like a snowball rolling downhill, big changes can accumulate from tiny ones. Doing one hundred pushups is hard, doing five is easier. And nearly all of us can manage one. “Eating healthy” is big and vague, but adding a sprig of broccoli to your plate is tiny and simple. As Leo Babauta puts it, “make it so easy you can’t say no.”
Put another way, the idea is to focus on the habit, not the goal. If we’re in this for the long term, the important thing is simply to acquire the habit, not to make big gains fast. Losing 20 pounds doesn’t mean much if you’re only focused on the number and not internalizing healthy habits; it’s too easy to slip and gain it all back.
Try fitting your new habit into the daily routines you already have. Routines run on autopilot and resist big changes, but they’re easy to hack from within once you understand how they work.
Generally speaking, habitual behavior begins with a trigger or cue, and results in some sort of psychological reward:

* At 3:00, I take a coffee break in the office. The coffee tastes good and makes me feel alert.

In this example, 3:00 is the cue, the coffee break is the behavior, and feeling alert is the reward. If you can insert a new behavior or task into this cycle, leaving the cue and the reward intact, your brain should adapt more easily, especially if you’ve kept the task small:

* At 3:00, I walk to the fancy coffee bar on Broadway. The coffee tastes good and makes me more alert, I get a little exercise, and the fresh air clears my head.

You don’t need any particular motivation to make the change, because you’re already doing pretty much the same thing. And that makes it easy to gradually ramp up to your objective.

* At 3:00, I go for a brisk power-walk. It gives me some exercise, clears my head, reduces stress, and makes me more alert.

The cue has not changed. The rewards are similar, but greater. But the behavior has completely changed.
Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. It may take a long time to get where you want to go, through a succession of tiny steps. But as long as each step is headed in the right direction, you’ll get there in the end.

Step 3: Stay motivated with Evernote
Okay. You’ve made a resolution. It’s specific, measurable, and achievable. You’ve fit it into your routine and made sure there will be a reward for sticking with it. Now you need to stay motivated to keep the cycle going. Consider creating a Personal Development notebook in Evernote where you can keep it all together.
Here’s some of what goes in your resolution notebook:

* a calendar
* an inspiration archive
* checklists and reminders

Calendars are simple yet powerful motivational tools. When you successfully achieve your daily goal, mark your calendar. That’s it. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld famously used this method when building his career, making sure he wrote new material every day. Seeing a string of marked days on a calendar is a great way to build confidence and a sense of accomplishment. It also provides gentle pressure: you’ll go out of your way to make sure you “don’t break the chain.”
We have some great 2016 calendars you can save right into Evernote. Just click the links below and look for the “Save to Evernote” button. Once you’ve saved them, add your milestones or targets and start tracking your progress:

Checklists and reminders
Need a little push? Build checklists and reminders into your Evernote workflow so you never forget to keep working on your new habits. Good checklists might include your gym routines, that list of great books you plan to read or movies you’ve always wanted to watch, or themes to tackle in a 365-day photo project.

Inspiration archive
Found an article or image online that inspires you? Use Web Clipper to capture it in Evernote. Build a collection of examples you can turn to when you feel your motivation drooping. If you use IFTTT to connect Evernote with other apps, there are recipes available for capturing favorite tweets or other social media updates in notes, recording your locations and check-ins, and much more.

More ideas
For more ways to keep track of resolutions with Evernote, check out our 2015 list. We’d also love to hear your own stories in the comments. Happy new year, and good luck with your goals!



Be Patient in All Things!

As we enter a new year, most of us make resolutions and try to set a course that will take us to the end of it unscathed and, possibly, better. I for one, need to do this because I believe that every day is a day earned and an opportunity to be had. At the same time, when I look back to the last few years, I also see that while opportunities are multiplying so are the challenges and the difficulties we have to face. In fact, it is fair for me to say that all of us will face more remarkable opportunities and challenges in this new year than we have had before.

Understanding the true nature of the principle of “opposition in all things” being an integral part of our life is vital to our true happiness and the success of achieving the goals we will set for 2015. If we wish to be a light for ourselves and others, we cannot allow that such a light be hidden. Let me illustrate with a story.

A long time ago noted preacher Dwight L. Moody told his congregation the story of a captain who was attempting to bring his boat to the Cleveland harbor one very dark and stormy night. The waves rolled like mountains, Moody said, and not a star was to be seen in the clouded sky. He pictured the boat rocking on the violent waves as the captain peered through the darkness for the sight of a signal light by means of which to guide his vessel to safety. When he finally spotted a single light from the light-house, he turned to the pilot and asked:

“Are you sure this is Cleveland harbor?”

“Quite sure, sir,” the pilot replied.

“Then where are the lower lights?” the captain continued.

“Gone out, sir,” the other man answered.

“Can you make the harbor?” the captain asked anxiously.

“We must, or perish, sir,” the pilot replied.

But despite his strong heart and brave hand, in the darkness he missed the channel. With a resounding crash the boat piled up on the rocks and then settled slowly to a watery grave.  Moody concluded with this admonition to the congregation: “Brethren, the Master will take care of the great light-house; let us keep the lower lights burning.”

Somewhat, I truly believe that because of all the challenges we face, we have a rendezvous with destiny, which will involve some soul stretching and some pain. Renowned educator Neal A. Maxwell once stated: “We so blithely say … that life is a school, a testing ground. It is true, even though it is trite. What we don’t accept are the implications of that true teaching—at least as fully as we should. One of the implications is that the tests that we face are real. They are not going to be things we can do with one hand tied behind our backs. They are real enough that if we meet them we shall know that we have felt them, because we will feel them deeply and keenly and pervasively.” Let’s face it: being true to our values and beliefs is not easy. Having said that, although Life may not seem fair, it is worth living. It is both a gift and an opportunity.  Maxwell also said: “We may at times assume that [life] requires merely that we endure and survive when, in fact … it is required of us, not only that we endure, but also that we endure well, that we exhibit “grace under pressure.” This is necessary, not only so that our own passage through the trial can be a growth experience, but also because (more than we know) there are always people watching to see if we can cope, who therefore may resolve to venture forth and to cope themselves. Every time we navigate safely on the straight and narrow way, there are other ships that are lost which can find their way because of our steady light.”

It boils down to patience and persistence as I learned very early in my life to never give up.

Former Lufthansa Vice President of Operations, Dieter Uchtdorf told the following story in a talk entitled “Continue in Patience”:   “In the 1960s, a professor at Stanford University began a modest experiment testing the willpower of four-year-old children. He placed before them a large marshmallow and then told them they could eat it right away or, if they waited for 15 minutes, they could have two marshmallows. He then left the children alone and watched what happened behind a two-way mirror. Some of the children ate the marshmallow immediately; some could wait only a few minutes before giving in to temptation. Only 30 percent were able to wait. It was a mildly interesting experiment, and the professor moved on to other areas of research, for, in his own words, “there are only so many things you can do with kids trying not to eat marshmallows.” But as time went on, he kept track of the children and began to notice an interesting correlation: the children who could not wait struggled later in life and had more behavioral problems, while those who waited tended to be more positive and better motivated, have higher grades and incomes, and have healthier relationships. What started as a simple experiment with children and marshmallows became a landmark study suggesting that the ability to wait—to be patient—was a key character trait that might predict later success in life.”

Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. Unfortunately, in this day and age we want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter. Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot reach our deepest dreams. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.

Jeffery R. Holland, former President of Brigham Young University, once shared the following personal experience.  When he was young, he and his little family set out to cross the United States, every earthly possession they owned packed into the smallest trailer available. No money, an old car, they drove exactly 34 miles up the highway at which point their beleaguered car erupted. The young father surveyed the steam, matched it with his own, then left his trusting wife and two innocent children, the youngest just three months old, to wait in the car while he walked the three miles or so to the southern Utah metropolis of Kanarraville, population then, 65. Some water was secured at the edge of town, and a very kind citizen offered a drive back to the stranded family. The car was attended to and slowly—very slowly—driven back to St. George for inspection.

After more than two hours of checking and rechecking, no immediate problem could be detected, so once again the journey was begun. In exactly the same amount of elapsed time at exactly the same location on that highway with exactly the same pyrotechnics from under the hood, the car exploded again. It could not have been 15 feet from the earlier collapse, probably not 5 feet from it! In Jeffrey Holland words: “Obviously the most precise laws of automotive physics were at work.”

Now feeling more foolish than angry, the chagrined young father once more left his trusting loved ones and started the long walk for help once again. This time the man providing the water said, “Either you or that fellow who looks just like you ought to get a new radiator for that car.” For the second time a kind neighbor offered a lift back to the same automobile and its anxious little occupants. He didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry at the plight of this young family. “How far have you come?” he said. “Thirty-four miles,” Elder Holland answered. “How much farther do you have to go?” “Twenty-six hundred miles,” he said. “Well, you might make that trip, and your wife and those two little kiddies might make that trip, but none of you are going to make it in that car.” Elder Holland stated later “He proved to be prophetic on all counts.”

Many years later, Dr. Holland drove by that exact spot where the freeway turnoff leads to a frontage road, just three miles or so west of Kanarraville, Utah. In his mind’s eye, for just an instant, he thought perhaps he saw on that side road an old car with a devoted young wife and two little children making the best of a bad situation there. Just ahead of them he imagined that he saw a young fellow walking toward Kanarraville, with plenty of distance still ahead of him. His shoulders seemed to be slumping a little, the weight of a young father’s fear evident in his pace. In the scriptural phrase his hands did seem to “hang down.” In that imaginary instant, Dr. Holland couldn’t help calling out to him: “Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

No matter how old you are, whether in the prime of life or longer in years, there is always hope. Have a wonderful 2015!