Your Children Are Not Your Children

When I first read these lines in the ‘Road Less Travelled’ by M.Scott Peck, quoted from the original writings of Khalil Gibran, I was confused. What are you saying? My children are my children, I gave birth to them and I did what it takes to grow them in to purposeful adults. However, after listening to it and reflecting on it, I realised how profound these words were. I have created a video with these words of wisdom as you see embedded in this blog. I recommend you watch and listen to the words in the video, reflect on it and then read the rest of the blog.

I believe the impact this video creates is different from person to person. I also believe the impact this video creates for you is determined by the journey of your life so far, where you are in your life now and your aspirations for the journey ahead. Therefore I feel the best contribution I can make is to write about what this poem means to me. Perhaps that might give you another perspective for you to reflect on, perhaps nourish your perspective and move you on to further reflection.

Let me reflect on the verse in two parts;

“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts for they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward not tarries with yesterday.

As I saw my three daughters growing in to become beautiful, graceful, intelligent, confident, loving and caring young ladies, I realised that they were all unique and had amazing lives they were longing to live. The three of them had their own passion and purpose in the areas of political science, fashion and culinary respectively. What an amazing contrast. Thankfully I had read these words when my daughters were very young and had been a student of the notion of purpose. These helped me to let them to grow into the life they were born to live, not to make them follow my profession or do what I believed was best for them.

I realised they belong to the process of life and came through me and not from me. They are miracles that cannot be created by me. It was my responsibility to provide them a secure and nourishing environment to grow, but not to give them my thoughts. They had their own unique ways of thinking. Parenting them was educating for me and my wife, learning how they think and learn. We only housed their bodies as their souls belonged to a higher energy force.

I realised that I was trying to be like them as they were much more talented than I was and it was a joy learning from them many times more than they would have learnt from me. In the middle of writing this I paused to play a card game with my youngest daughter while watching a talent show going on TV. It was amazing how much she knew about types of dances, musical instruments, methods of singing, names of coaches and the best coach/performer fit etc., that I did not know.

The other part of the verse is;

You are the bow from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and he bends you with his might that his arrow may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; for even as he loves the arrow that flies, so he loves also the bow that is stable.

My life experience confirms that I am the bow that is responsible to send my children, the arrows in to the future. The more the bow bends the further the arrows travel. Me as the bending bow is synonymous with the ‘stretching’ I had to do to give the best grounding for my daughters. It was about stretching in the areas of learning, balancing demands, dealing with challenges, working, earning and teaching to ensure they, the arrows go far and wide. And as in the last line of verse I realised that the ‘archer’, the God Almighty, loves me as much she loves my children.

I hope this helps you to reflect and make sense of your life.

Wish you purposeful living.

Taking a Break – Is it Purposeful Behaviour?

Image Credits: Humanperformancepsychology.com

I decided to take a break from social media, blogging, tweeting and newsletter writing during October. This is partly to allow my mind to settle down and rest after the extensive online work done in the past 6 months from April to September. It is also due to my calendar getting filled with corporate sessions for clients in UAE, Africa, Solomon Islands. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.  

On the personal side, it was my second daughter’s wedding which gave us a lot of joy and I needed to release myself from work for this important life event.  We also had two other wedding anniversaries and four birthdays in the family during the month. It looks like October (my birth month) is becoming a month of family celebrations and this perhaps would be the month I take time off from work in the years to come. 

Being The Person You Are Destined To Be

Six questions you need to ask yourself to be the person you are destined to be – A presentation by Marshall Goldsmith.

Engage in this sincere presentation by Marshall Goldsmith and reflect on the six powerful questions he is prescribing. You may at-least start thinking in a manner that leads you to discover who you are meant to be. Enjoy the journey.

The following process can be used to create a learning experience for your team using this video.

Step 1 – A moderator (an expert from your company) to open the session, explaining the importance of the session.

Step 2 – Show the video – let participants absorb, take notes and write down questions to ask later

Step 3 – Have a Q&A session and a discussion

Step 4 – Agree on actions to be taken based on the video

Step 5 – Participants to say how the session was useful.

Purposefulness in Team Members – Can It Be Developed?

Developing Purposefulness in Team Members – My presentation at the Asian & African Retail Congress in Mumbai India,

A presentation made to leaders in the retail industry at the Asia & Africa Retail Shopping Center Congress. Practical application of leadership and personal develop ent methods delivered with powerful concepts and personal experiences.

As you watch this video, reflect on steps you are taking and further steps you can take to develop purposeful team members in Your organisation.

The following process can be used to create a learning experience for your team using this video.

Step 1 – A moderator (an expert from your company) to open the session, explaining the importance of the session.

Step 2 – Show the video – let participants absorb, take notes and write down questions to ask later

Step 3 – Have a Q&A session and a discussion

Step 4 – Agree on actions to be taken based on the video

Step 5 – Participants to say how the session was useful.

How To Create Delightful Self-Sustaining Service

Ron Kaufman discusses his New York Times bestselling book Uplifting Service,

A proven path to delighting your customers, colleagues, and everyone else you meet. The book exposes a massive wound in a subject area that has become buried in weak distinctions, inadequate practices, and popular but shallow clichés. Ron explains the 5 key elements to build a self-sustaining service culture that can uplift an individuals, transform an organization, and ultimately change the world.

As you watch this video, reflect on steps you can take to engage the fickle minds of your children, team members and yourself.

The following process can be used to create a learning experience for your team using this video.

Step 1 – A moderator (an expert from your company) to open the session, explaining the importance of the session.

Step 2 – Show the video – let participants absorb, take notes and write down questions to ask later

Step 3 – Have a Q&A session and a discussion

Step 4 – Agree on actions to be taken based on the video

Step 5 – Participants to say how the session was useful.

The Coin That Makes The Difference

What can a coin reveal about your service mindset? Listen to Ron Kaufman and discover.

As you watch this video by customer service guru Ron Kaufman, reflect on the ‘coin’ that is preventing you from reaching specialness. What will it take to pick up YOUR coin and get rid of it today?

The Pandemic and Temporal Aspect of Purposefulness

Image Credit: Nationalpost.com

In the last 8 blog posts in the ‘purpose quest series’, we explored how the pandemic impacted eight important pillars for purposeful living; spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial, environmental and societal. Let’s explore the ninth pillar, the ‘temporal’ aspect in this blog post. As in the past eight blog posts let me attempt to describe my personal experience during the pandemic. 

The word ‘Temporal’ has two broad applications; relating to worldly as opposed to spiritual affairs (secular) and relating to time. I use the word in relation to the use of time. The temporal aspect of purposeful relates to the use of limited time. The purposeful person attempts to utilise most of the time for purposeful activity, which requires letting go of non-purposeful activity.

The last eight weekly blog posts in the ‘purposeful quest’ series illustrated how my time was allocated to purposeful activity in spiritual, mental, emotional, relational, physical (health), financial, ecological and temporal areas. These activities took most of my waking time and there was rarely any time remaining for non-purposeful activity during the approximately 16 hours of waking time.

The sense I make from this reflection is that the pandemic gave me so much opportunities to be purposeful, that it left me with almost no time for non-purposeful activities. This way of life has kept me occupied in meaningful and energising activity, giving me inner success, happiness and peace. My purpose is to inspire others to live a purposeful life and I hope this series of blog posts will inspire you too to live a purposeful life and find Success happiness and peace.

Say ‘No’ to Distraction and Say ‘Yes’ to ‘Mastery’

Robin Sharma – on the dangers of your devise and other non-value adding addictions on your success and how to gain monomaniacal focus, using practical and neurological information.

As you listen to this powerful speech by Robin Sharma, reflect on steps you can take to kill the distractions of your life, build purposeful habits and give life and energy to your special talent … to achieve mastery purposefully.

Liberating Empathy

Can empathy be developed or Liberated? As you watch this video, reflect on this questions. Consider how important empathy is for leadership success. Is there an ideal amount of empathy? Could empathy be too much or two little? What steps would you take to liberate the ideal amount of empathy from within you for your leadership success.

The following process can be used to create a learning experience for your team using this video.

Step 1 – A moderator (an expert from your company) to open the session, explaining the importance of the session.

Step 2 – Show the video – let participants absorb, take notes and write down questions to ask later

Step 3 – Have a Q&A session and a discussion

Step 4 – Agree on actions to be taken based on the video

Step 5 – Participants to say how the session was useful.

Simple and Unassuming life for a better body and mind.

Eric Berne’s – Transactional Analysis presented.

As you read this quote by Sir Albert Einstein, reflect on a baby step you can take to go towards a simple and unassuming manner of life that has potential to have a positive impact on body and mind.