600 Chapters
Medium 9781605095233

The Purpose Checkup

Leider, Richard J. Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

After a certain age, many of us accept the necessity of regular physical checkups. We’re also generally willing to review our financial situation with some regularity.

So if money, medicine, and meaning are all essential to a purposeful life, we might be wise to take guidance from the financial and medical worlds and adopt the praaice of a regular checkup on that third dimension to ensure that our spirit—our sense of purpose—remains healthy.

Please read each statement carefully and take a few moments to decide on a true response for yourself. Then write the number that most nearly reflects that response. The answers offer the following range of responses:

1. Definitely disagree.

2. Somewhat disagree.

3. Somewhat agree.

4. Definitely agree.


I derive satisfaction from what I have in my life.


I express my creativity in a number of ways.


I have found ways to offer my gifts and talents to the world.


I have a positive vision for my future.


I feel satisfied with my location.


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Medium 9781523094905

Chapter 8: The Second Key: Look through Their Eyes

White, Kimberly Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


There once was a skilled nursing facility night shift. The members of this night shift expressed a lot of complaints to Sheldon, a top executive from HG, when he visited them. We will look at only two of them. First, they had supply issues, particularly with gloves. Second, the facility supposedly had a storage shed, but it was essentially useless to them because it was way out back, without any lighting. They said they never used it because of the long, time-consuming walk, and anyway, it seemed dangerous to go out there in the dark in the middle of the night, especially for the women. One person added, “I heard the storage shed doesn’t even have the inventory that we need, so why go out there anyway?” So they had supply issues they couldn’t solve because of the shed, which, though all well and good for the day staff, was no good to them.

Sheldon thought about this problem and came back the next night, saying, “Well, let’s just dive into this. Let’s solve this for these guys.” He was prepared to figure out what went wrong with the lighting, find ways to make the walk safe, and then fill the shed with gloves. He said to the group, “Well, take me out to the shed!” and it turned out that none of them—not one person on the night shift—had ever been out to the shed before. They’d all heard about it, but none of them had ever tried to find it.

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Medium 9781605099224

Eight The Water Voice: Caring, Compassion, and Affirmation

McAfee, Barbara Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub



There never was any heart truly great and generous,
that was not also tender and compassionate.

Robert Frost

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine de Saint - Exupery


The following are examples of the water voice. Can you hear them in your imagination?

A parent enthusiastically praises a young child for taking her first steps.

Julia Child describes her technique to a television audience while whisking eggs and oil into mayonnaise.

An operatic alto in a glittering gown sings a tender love scene at the Metropolitan Opera.

Former president Jimmy Carter gives a speech at the United Nations about his work combating malaria.

A male comedian pretends to be a woman (picture Tootsie, Dame Edna, and the Monty Python guys).

A couple exchanges apologies after the resolution of a difficult disagreement.

The water voice is the voice of the heart, the sound of human kindness. It is sourced in the chest and throat area and carries a warmer, softer tone than the earth and fire voices. You may notice that when people are speaking sincerely or emotionally, many of them put their hands over their hearts. Others clasp their hands at heart level. When you welcome someone close to you with a hug, you open your arms at heart level. You may also notice how people fighting back tears sometimes touch their throats. The water voice dwells in the gateway between the thinking mind and the feeling body.

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Medium 9781523097821

20 Dead Ends

, The Arbinger Institute Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“To begin with,” Lou continued, “it helps to understand how we don’t get out of the box.”

He wrote on the board, “What doesn’t work in the box.” Turning back to me, he said, “Think about the things we try to do when we’re in the box. For example, in the box, whom do we think has the problem?”

“Others,” I answered.

“That’s right,” he said, “so normally we spend a lot of energy in the box trying to change others. But does that work? Does that get us out of the box?”


“Why not?” he asked.

“Because that’s the problem in the first place,” I said. “I’m trying to change them because, in the box, I think they need to be changed.”

“But does that mean no one needs to be changed?” Lou asked. “Is everyone doing things just perfectly, then? Is that what you’re saying—that no one needs to improve?

I felt a little stupid when he asked the question. Come on, Callum, I said to myself. Think! I wasn’t being careful enough. “No, of course not. Everyone needs to improve.”

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Medium 9781605098869

4 Turn Adversity into Opportunity

Muchnick, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

SOMETIMES LIFE THROWS us challenges that test our resilience and threaten to keep us stuck in a rut of regret. Lloyd Bachrach knows this all too well: he was born with a congenital bone deficiency that made his lower limbs so unusually small that doctors told his parents he should be institutionalized. When his parents insisted that they were going to take him home, they were warned that he would never be able to have a normal life. “He’ll find his way,” his parents responded.

Lloyd’s parents encouraged him early on to figure out how to do things on his own and refused to coddle him. To the amazement of his doctors, he learned how to crawl without the use of his legs. He became progressively mobile and, despite his severe disability, attended public school when he became school age. Lloyd’s attitude from the beginning was one of no regrets for the cards he’d been dealt in life. “You can’t miss something you never had,” he’d say. Lloyd also adopted a motto that embodied his can-do approach: “It doesn’t matter what you don’t have—just use what you do have to pursue your goals.”

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