Sharing weaknesses is never easy.
It leaves you feeling vulnerable and feeble and the ego absolutely hates that.
The ego only wants to talk about the strengths, the victories, the accomplishments, etc.
…But meaning and fulfillment don’t come from feeding the ego – they come from feeding the soul.
…And it’s time for some soul food.
One of my weaknesses is that I’m exceedingly anti-confrontational.
In order to avoid a conflict, either verbally or physically, I’ll shut down, close my mouth and try and separate myself from the situation as fast as possible.
There have been times when I have chosen to remain silent about things that I believed to be wrong, unjust, or hurtful.
I was the bystander; the watcher; the one who becomes the gas for the fire of hate.
And it kills me inside to know I acted (or didn’t act) this way.
When it comes to making a difference in the world, you’re either a fire type, a water type, or a gas type.
A few years ago I presented a workshop on negotiation and decision-making strategies to the members of one of the Australian divisions of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). (This is a wonderful organization of young executives who can turn to one another for guidance, for advice, and sometimes just for an ear. They are also completely committed to learning as much as they can about leadership.) Several of the participants traveled from Western Australia to attend our sessions in Sydney, and I had several conversations with one of them.
He was a remarkably conscientious, self-aware leader, and our conversations touched on a variety of topics during the three days of the workshop. At one point he mentioned that he only hired people who put their family before their jobs; he didn’t want people in his organization if they put their jobs first. He felt strongly about this, saying that family-first people were the type of individuals he wanted to work with. He seemed both sincere and enlightened.
The Road Less Traveled is a deeply insightful, no bull, tell-you-what-you-need-to-hear book by Dr. Scott Peck that covers, what he believes to be, the attributes that make for a fulfilled person.
Dr. Peck references his life experience as a psychiatrist and divides his advice into four parts for fulfillment: discipline, love, religion, and grace.
Below, you will find 15 of my favorite quotes from The Road Less Traveled that transcend the individual parts of the book and speak to his message as a whole.
Spend some time reading through these tid-bits of wisdom and reflect on how they might merge with your life’s (road less traveled) path.
Afterall, as Dr. Peck points out, it is only through the action that our desires manifest.
“Loyalty cannot be blueprinted. It cannot be produced on an assembly line. In fact, it cannot be manufactured at all, for its origin is the human heart — the center of self-respect and human dignity. It is a force which leaps into being only when conditions are exactly right for it — and it is a force very sensitive to betrayal.” ~ Maurice Franks
“I have a loyalty that runs in my bloodstream, when I lock into someone or something, you can’t get me away from it because I commit that thoroughly. That’s in friendship, that’s a deal, that’s a commitment. Don’t give me paper – I can get the same lawyer who drew it up to break it. But if you shake my hand, that’s for life.” ~ Jerry Lewis
“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
“Many people know what they want to have, but have no idea of who they want to be. Getting ‘things’ simply will not fulfill you. Only living and doing what you believe is ‘the right thing’ will give you that sense of inner strength that we all deserve.” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
“The only way for us to have long-term happiness is to live by our highest ideals, to consistently act in accordance with what we believe our life is truly about.” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
“When you know what’s most important to you, making a decision is quite simple. Most people, though, are unclear about what’s most important in their lives, and thus decision making becomes a form of internal torture.” ~ Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
“When one of his workers asked for help in decision making, Gandhi told him, “I will give you a talisman. Whenever you are in doubt, or when the self becomes too much with you, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen, and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny? In other words, will it lead to swaraj [freedom] for the hungry and spiritually starved millions? Then you will find your doubts and yourself melting away.” ~ Keshavan Nair, A Higher Standard of Leadership
“Most of us reflect on our actions after we recognize that we have hurt someone or done an injustice. This is certainly a good first step, but it is reactive. We need to be proactive through disciplined and regular personal reflection.” ~ Keshavan Nair, A Higher Standard of Leadership
“By choosing to embrace and practice good values every day, you choose the higher course in life. And your life goes in a direction that you will always feel good about. You may not always get what you desire, but you will always be the person you desire to be.” ~ John C. Maxwell, Today Matters
“Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you. ~ Arthur Gordon