1041 Chapters
Medium 9781523094578

7: Gratitu de

Murphy-Shigematsu, Stephen Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

We learned about gratitude and humility — that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean . . . and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.1


Once a great talker, my Grandmother Mitsu spoke less and less as she neared the end of her 111 years on Earth. I knew that I would see her again, but as we were leaving her for what they thought would be their last visit, my wife and sister became emotional and apologized for not visiting more often. But Grandmother just waved her hand as if to say, “no worries, it’s okay,” putting her hands prayerfully together in gassho, saying arigatou, an expression of thanks, and bowing her head.

When she fell into a coma and was “nearing the mountaintop,” I rushed back to Japan to see her. When I called her name, she opened her eyes to see me and soon after refused food and water, and within hours there was silence. “She waited for you,” the priest told me.

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Medium 9781576754276

Step 7: Prepare Yourself

Blumenthal, Noah Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Questions to get you started:

What is the new skill you are trying to master?

How do you prepare yourself for important moments in life?

There is a scene that actors and actresses play out in movies that I am confident you have seen, regardless of your taste in film. They have done it in action movies, comedies, dramas, horror, you name it. It is a scene where the hero is about to do something important and out of the ordinary. Sometimes he needs to have a very important conversation with another character. Sometimes he has to prepare for a big event. What he does in his scene is practice what he is about to perform. Actors who have done this include:

In all of these cases these actors were trying to take unnatural actions and make them natural. They practiced speeches, fighting, posture, and manners. Regardless of the skill, these actors repeated their new behaviors over and over. As they practiced, we, as the audience, saw their nervousness grow at first, then eventually dissipate as they neared the triumphant moment.

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Medium 9781523094905

Chapter 4: If You Can Do It Here, You Can Do It Anywhere

White, Kimberly Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Oh, I hate nursing homes,” my friend Lynn said when I told her about the book I was writing.

Most people do. That’s why I’m bringing it up with you now. If I’m going to write a book about a nursing home company, I might as well acknowledge the elephant in the room. People hate nursing homes and certainly don’t want to read about them; to be honest, before I really engaged with nursing homes, I didn’t particularly want to write about them. But here we are, stuck in this chapter anyway. So I’ll let you in on a secret: nursing homes are an astonishingly perfect place to study what happens when we truly see people as people.

How does any ordinary person shift from seeing people as objects—as problems, puppets, or irrelevancies—to really seeing and feeling and being awed by the complicated, infinite, precious greatness of others? If the shift were easy and obvious, we would all see people as people all the time; we would never waste time crippling and blinding ourselves and restraining our potential happiness by seeing others as less than they are. And yet we do it all the time. (At least I do it all the time.) We’ll soon learn exactly how we make that shift, but for now the issue is whether it really is possible to see anyone, let alone everyone, in this way.

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Medium 9781576755594

14. Balancing Life and Work

Caprino, Kathy Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Being responsible for my life,
my children, my choices sustains
me even in the darkest hours

Mommy Wars

* STEP BACK TO EXPLORE Overfunctioning and perfectionism to control your world.

* LET GO of your fears about not being in control.

* SAY YES! to being helped by others and your higher self.

* BREAKTHROUGH “I balance my life and work with joy.”

Because balancing life and work is one of the most prevalent crises for working women today, this chapter offers two compelling stories about real-life professionals who have achieved balance and harmony and inspire others to do the same.

* Karen: When I think about childhood, I realize now that I was deeply formed by my culture and upbringing. My mom was a traditional wife and mother—a corporate executive’s wife—and Dad was a high-powered successful executive. I grew up in suburbia, and somewhere I got the message that I needed to go it on my own, be independent, tough it out, go do it. I felt I needed to be successful monetarily or something was wrong with me. Either you married success, or you did it yourself—that’s what made you worthwhile. Looking back now, I see that it was huge ingrained fear—I felt as if I were going to die if I didn’t have money.

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Medium 9781626566682

CHAPTER 7 Power in the Reality Model

Smith, Hyrum W. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

When we are no longer able to change a situation . . . we are challenged to change ourselves.


In chapter 6 we saw examples of people throughout history who had different Belief Windows. The principles on those Belief Windows had some devastating results in some situations and some tremendously positive and fulfilling results in others. See if you can identify if the people in chapter 6 were pessimists, optimists, or realists.

Let’s take a look at three more definitions: The pessimist, the optimist, and the realist. These are Belief Window issues. Admiral James Stockdale was the highest-ranking officer in Vietnam to be taken as a prisoner of war; he spent seven and a half years in captivity. In his book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t, Jim Collins talks about the Stockdale paradox. Stockdale discovered three distinct groups in the prison in Hanoi: pessimists, optimists, and realists. He discovered the same three groups of people that Viktor Frankl discovered at Auschwitz during the Second World War. These are Stockdale’s definitions:

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