The cracked pot

I got this classic story from a friend, it’s great and makes us see cracks and flaws in a different way.

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One pot had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Moral:
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

The Seven Generations Perspective

Vattenfall has been awarded the Climate Greenwash Awards 2009, probably not an award they desired.

Swedish energy company Vattenfall is a master of spin when it comes to climate change, portraying itself as a climate champion while lobbying to continue business as usual, using coal, nuclear power, and pseudo-solutions such as agrofuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

For more information about why they got the award, read Vattenfall – Nominated for branding problems as solutions.

The prize reminded me of a post in my Swedish blog, Vattenfall och indianfilosofi from May 22, 2008. The managing director of Vattenfall said that “According to Indian philosophy you should look six generations ahead.” It’s safe to say that if Vattenfall had fully understood that concept and had walked that talk they would not have recieved this award.

Newspapers questioned the six generation concept and I could not find anything about it either. But I did find several sources that mention seven generations ahead.

The Six Nations: Oldest Living Participatory Democracy on Earth says that:

In making any law our chiefs must always consider three things: the effect of their decision on peace; the effect on the natural world; and the effect on seven generations in the future.

Oneida Indian Nation writes that:

Tradition also requires both the Nation’s leaders and its Members to consider the impact on the next seven generations when making decisions.

In the book The Manifestation Wheel it says that:

The elders of the Iroquois Confederacy councils taught that in our every deliberation we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.

I especially like the Six Nations version. What would happen if our decisionmakers did consider these three things:

  • the effect of their decision on peace
  • the effect on the natural world
  • the effect on seven generations in the future

Credit: Photo by Thiru Murugan.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

There is a crack in everything

I am a fan of Leonard Cohen and there is a part in the Anthem lyrics that means a lot:

There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.

In other words, we need to be open to let the light in – and to let our own light out.

Added in a comment by Sue James

Perhaps another way of expressing this can also be found in the words of another poet – Kahlil Gibran:

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.”

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

Spend your time wisely

I came across this quote which has a message worth considering:

When you’re lying on your death bed, you won’t wish you spent more hours in the office.
Robin Sharma

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

My Best Year Yet 2009

I have been working with the book Your Best Year Yet – The 10 questions that will change your life forever and figured I should put my result on my blog. Two reasons for that, putting pressure on myself and hopefully to inspire others to work with that book.

My guidelines

• Trust my heart and inner truth.
• Face the music!
• Do what I love.

New paradigm.

I create my own destiny.

Major focus.

My own business, with focus on coaching.

My top ten goals.

  1. Care for my mind – body – spirit.
  2. Be visible and valuable.
  3. Build a profitable business.
  4. Build friendships.
  5. Network locally – with a purpose, in real life.
  6. Create and follow a blogging schedule.
  7. Network virtually – with a purpose.
  8. Become a certified coach.
  9. Maintain and rebuild family connections.
  10. Be flexible!

I put taking good care of myself as goal one simply since if I am not well then everything else will falter too.

Credit: Photo by JoF.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

Your Best Year Yet

This review is about Your Best Year Yet – The 10 questions that will change your life forever, written by Jinny Ditzler. I came across this book since it should be the topic for a breakfast seminar at CoachCompanion. The book felt right and I ordered the book at once, before being at the seminar.

I like this book a lot, it is well written and has a clear concept. The book is in three parts, first an introduction, then a part with a chapter for each of the ten questions and finally a workshop with forms for each of the ten questions. It says ‘three hours to change your life’, that is what the workshop part will take you.

You can go straight to working with the ten questions but I found it very useful to read part one and two before that. In part two with chapters per question you will get an understanding of why these questions, why in this order and what will you gain in the process. There are also examples for each question that helps you get started.

The strongest motivation for doing Best Year Yet is that you find the way to live your life so it shows what really matters to you – so you are true to yourself.

These are the ten questions, you start with looking back on your past year and then start working on the coming year:
1. What did I accomplish?
2. What were my biggest disappointments?
3. What did I learn?
4. How do I limit myself, and how can I stop?
5. What are my personal values?
6. What roles do I play in my life?
7. Which role is my major focus for the next year?
8. What are my goals for each role?
9. What are my top ten goals for the next year?
10. How can I make sure I achieve them?

Question four is about how we limit ourselves and how to stop that.

Our limiting beliefs about ourselves become like brick walls in front of us, keeping us from even thinking about how to make the big changes or set the big goals.

Question five is about personal values, that chapter has an interesting part about life pursuits. Which one is yours?
I What can I do to prove myself? To be good enough?
II What can I do with the gifts I have?

Question six is about our roles in life. Jinny points out the importance of taking care of ourselves:

You must take care of yourself so you can take care of others and carry out your responsibilities.

In question eight about goals, Jinny connects back to values from question five:

Value-driven goals lead to behaviour and performance which are true expressions of who we are.

Summary
I highly recommend this book if you want a toolbox that helps you improve your life. Learn from the past and more about yourself, all in order to make the next year your best year yet.

Read more:
Best Year Yet, FREE Online Workshop
Your Best Year Yet! – the introduction
Best Year Yet – website
Know Yourself Change Yourself, a great book about beliefs and values.

This was originally posted at Forty Plus Two, another blog of mine.

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