1291 Chapters
Medium 9781908372307


Dee Clayton M-Y Books Ltd ePub
Medium 9781609945367

10 Distracted Beyond Recall

Wheatley, Margaret J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


For years I assumed that the Titanic tragedy was a result of human arrogance, a belief in the indestructibility of the newest, largest, fastest, fanciest ship of all time.

But, in fact, the Titanic went down because of distraction. It was sailing in iceberg-filled waters, and other ships had been warning them for many days prior. The captain changed course, but only slightly, and did nothing about speed. On the night of its sinking, two ships sent warnings of icebergs, but the radio operator never passed them on. When he received a call from a ship nearby surrounded by ice, less than an hour before the collision, he responded, “Shut up, shut up, I’m busy.” By the time lookouts spotted the iceberg ahead, it was too late to slow down the Titan-ic’s nearly full-speed momentum.42

The Titanic as a metaphor for our time, while overused, is frighteningly accurate. Distracted people don’t notice they are in danger. Ignorant of their vulnerability, they discount warnings or evidence that they are about to perish. My favorite quote from Rumi, the thirteenth-century Sufi mystic and poet, is “Sit down and be quiet. You are drunk and this is the edge of the roof.”

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Medium 9781576754672

Law Five: Always Make Your Gratitude Greater than Your Success

Sullivan, Dan Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


Everyone has his or her own idea of what success means. Some people measure success by what they have in their lives, which may include material possessions or circumstances, and also more esoteric things—qualities like love, wisdom, and life skills; particular accomplishments; certain kinds of relationships; and a particular quality of life. The trouble is, it’s possible to attain all these things and still not be happy. Usually, this happens when people reach their idea of success, think they’ve “arrived,” and stop growing. When the enjoyment and energy created by the growth process itself subside, there’s a hole, despite all the trappings of success. For the person committed to lifetime growth, success is a process, not a destination. Living a successful life becomes a matter of constantly growing. Gratitude makes constant growth a given.


Gratitude is the greatest guarantee of continual successful interaction with the world over an entire lifetime. This is because all of our accomplishments and capabilities are made possible by the talents and contributions of others. Just look around you right now if you need proof. Look at everything in your environment that was created by others: the tools you use, the food you ate earlier, the furniture you’re sitting on, the paper this book was printed on. It’s almost inconceivable how many people, how much ingenuity, and how much effort were required to create the situation you’re in right now. No success happens without the right combination of elements and circumstances aligning, whether you believe it’s by luck, fate, design, or destiny.

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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 9781576756300


Crum, Thomas Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Angus reentered his office with determination. He sat at his computer, recalled the day’s learnings, and created a new screen saver for his computer:

The Centering Breath
Breathe in the present moment,
with balance and energy

The Possibility Breath
Breathe in the “me I want to be”
with power and purpose

Then he printed out a smaller copy—for the dashboard of his car.

One pinned to the inside of my brain would be nice, too, he thought.

Angus approached Harold’s office. Previously, whenever Angus had gone to see Harold he had been nervous, the kind of nervous that comes when you see a police car in your rearview mirror—you haven’t done anything wrong, yet you’re expecting flashing lights.

As he walked down the corridor, he focused on Harold’s door. The doorknob was going to be his new “centering cue,” he decided. He took a Centering Breath, a deep inhale, aligning his posture and taking in awareness, and then a long exhale, releasing tension and being present. Then he took a Possibility Breath, accessing his highest level of self —the “me” he wanted to be, without all his stories and excuses. He filled every cell in his being with the essence of a true team player, ready to do his part one hundred percent and to be the leader that he knew he could be.

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