388 Chapters
Medium 9781608682294

2. Epictetus and the Art of Maintaining Control

Jules Evans New World Library ePub

RHONDA CORNUM WAS WORKING as a flight surgeon in the 101st Airborne Division during the First Gulf War in February 1991, when she was sent on a mission to rescue a fighter pilot who had been shot down. Her own helicopter was shot down, and crashed into the Arabian Desert at 140 miles an hour, instantly killing five of the eight crew. Cornum survived, although both her arms were broken, a ligament was torn in her knee, and she had a bullet lodged in her shoulder. Iraqi soldiers surrounded the crashed helicopter, and dragged Cornum out by her broken arms. They put her and another member of the crew, Sergeant Troy Dunlap, into the back of a truck. As the truck bumped along the desert road, one of the Iraqi soldiers unzipped Cornum’s flight suit and sexually assaulted her. She couldn’t fight him off, and tried not to scream, but every time he knocked her broken arms she couldn’t help crying out. Eventually he left her alone. Sergeant Dunlap was chained up next to her, unable to help. “Ma’am,” he said quietly, “you’re really tough.” “What’d you think, I’d cry or something?” she said. “Yeah, I thought you would.” “That’s okay, Sergeant,” Rhonda said after a while. “I thought you’d cry too.” They were kept prisoner in an Iraqi military compound for eight days. Cornum has said of the experience: “Being a POW is the rape of your entire life. But what I learned in those Iraqi bunkers and prison cells is that the experience doesn’t have to be devastating, that it depends on you.”1

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Medium 9781608680221

10. Notes from a Bicycle Bodhisattva: May All Beings Be Liberated! by Carmen Mills

Amy Walker New World Library ePub

Carmen Mills

May all beings everywhere, with whom we are inseparably interconnected, be fulfilled, awakened, and free. May there be peace in this world and throughout the entire universe, and may we all together complete the spiritual journey.

   –BUDDHIST PRAYER

Once upon a time I went for a ride on Cortes Island, with a sore knee, a rusty chain, and a battered heart. I had no destination in mind, and I chugged over hill after hill until finally the gears seized. I leaned the heavy old bike against a sign in the shape of a wheel and started to walk. An odd warm wind was pulling me forward, playing gently through the fine hairs on my forearms. I heard the distant chime of wind bells and kept following the dusty path, arriving finally at Dorje Ling Dharma Centre — an ersatz Tibetan fantasy of cedar and film set castoffs, rusted metal and sky. I walked into the meditation hall and knew I was home. Years of cycling in city traffic make a person brave, and in that moment I called up all I the courage I could gather. I walked under the prayer flags and stayed for six months, while my dharmic path and my bicycle path merged into a single lane.

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Medium 9781608682508

11. Take Only Inspired Action

Jim Donovan New World Library ePub

In my work, whether writing, speaking, or coaching, I distinguish between two distinctly different types of action. The first is what I refer to as “gerbil action.”

This is the name I ascribe to what too many people do. Most of us have been taught to take a lot of action if we want to achieve a particular result. We have financial services representatives who make a hundred phone calls an hour selling their services. Outside sales representatives in many industries, especially advertising sales, plod along each day, going from business to business, cold calling in the hope of making a sale, much like Willy Loman, the depressing character in the Arthur Miller play Death of a Salesman.

This type of activity makes you feel busy but often produces little return on your effort. Repeated long enough, it results in lowered morale, depression, and, ultimately, job burnout. Companies that encourage “action, action, action” behavior typically suffer high turnover and mediocre outcomes.

I call this behavior gerbil action because it reminds me of a little gerbil spinning on his wheel and going nowhere. While I have nothing against gerbils, there is a better way. This brings us to the second type of action.

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Medium 9781608681297

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: Developing Emotional Intelligence

MFT Linda Graham New World Library ePub

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Developing Emotional Intelligence

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said and people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

— MAYA ANGELOU

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE is a phrase used by Daniel Goleman almost two decades ago to describe a range of skillful behaviors that allow us to navigate our peopled world with effectiveness and resilience. Curt used it when he channeled his anger into constructive action, meeting with the school principal and obtaining an apology to his daughter. The two Canadian women put it to work when they decided to trust each other with their cars so that they could get through the snowstorm to their loved ones. Toby used it when he expressed loving acceptance that brought Richard out of his swamp of shame, and it helped Monica hold the grief of her several simultaneous losses with compassion. My brother, Barry, put emotional intelligence to work when he was willing to try a gratitude practice to help get him through a medical crisis.

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Medium 9781608682508

24. Learn to Deal with Difficult People

Jim Donovan New World Library ePub

No matter how nice a person you may be or how easy you think you are to get along with, in any organization there will be people who, for whatever reason, do not like you. There are people in many companies who just seem not to like anyone, for that matter.

No one says you have to like all your coworkers; however, you do still have to work with them. Sometimes this means having to work closely with people you’d just as soon not even be in the same room with. While you do not have to like your coworkers, you all have a job to do and are expected to do it. You have to find a way to get along, or the tension may become a detriment to the entire organization.

A concept I learned many years ago is “principles before personalities.” I learned this in a recovery program, a situation in which someone I did not particularly like might just be the person to say something that could save my life.

In the context of your work environment the idea still holds true. While what a coworker says or does may not be lifesaving, it may well be what you need to hear to successfully complete a job, and it could be the difference between career advancement and termination. It is therefore imperative that you develop ways of dealing with people you’d just as soon avoid all together.

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