PRACTICE – My Strengths and Weaknesses, I will Know

PRACTICE – My Strengths and Weaknesses,
I will Know

Practice—And What if You Too Developed your Honesty?


Take a few quiet moments for yourself, let this text by the French poet Aragon sink in, and then respond to a few questions:

“I have not always been the man I am. For my whole life, I have been learning to become the man I am, yet I have not forgotten the men I have been. And if between those men and myself there is a contradiction, if I believe I have learned, progressed, changed, then I am not ashamed of them when I turn back and look at them; they are the stages of who I am, they led to me, I cannot say “me” without them”

  Read the poem again, take a notebook and write down the situations that have built your strengths.

To help you do this you can:
• Think of those close to you, colleagues or those who worked for you, who shaped your path.
• For each one, write down what they said they appreciated about you.

  To go deeper, take the time to also put down the weaknesses that they told you about, and then notice how you transformed them.

• What would you still like to develop?
• Are you ready, if needed, to change your stance, from reactive to proactive?

GOING DEEPER

Let this tale touch your heart (unknown author)

A King had, as only son, a young Prince who was brave, skillful and intelligent. To perfect his knowledge of Life, the King sent the Prince to a Wise Old Man. ̶ “Enlighten me the on Path of Life,” the Prince asked. ̶ “My words will fade like the trace of your steps in the sand,” the Wise Man answered. “Yet I am willing to give you some advice. On your path, you will find three doors. Read the instructions written on each of them. You will feel an irresistible urge to follow them. Don’t try and turn away from this, or you will be condemned to live over and over again what you have avoided. I can tell you no more. You need to feel this deep in your heart and in your bones. Go, now. Follow the path that lies directly before you.” The Wise Old Man disappeared and the Prince entered the Path of Life. He soon came to a large door, where he could read: “CHANGE THE WORLD”. “That was indeed my intention” the Prince thought, “because if some things please me in this world, others greatly displease me.” And he began his first fight. His idealism, his fervor and his power urged him to confront the world, to do great things, to conquer, to shape reality to his desires. He discovered the pleasure and the exhilaration of the conqueror, but not peace of heart. Some things he managed to change, but many others resisted him. Many years passed. One day, he met the Wise Old Man who asked him: ̶ “What have you learned on your path?” ̶ “I have learned,” the Prince answered, “to discern what is within my power and what is beyond me, what depends on me and what does not.” ̶ “Good!” the Old Man said. “Use your strength to act on what is within your power. Forget what is beyond your power.” And he disappeared. A short while later, the Prince came to a second door, where he could read: “CHANGE OTHERS”. “That was indeed my intention” he thought. “Other people are a source of pleasure, enjoyment and satisfaction, but also of pain, bitterness and frustration.” And he challenged everything that troubled or displeased him in his fellow men. He tried to influence their characters and to eradicate their defects. This was his second fight. Many years passed. One day, as he was meditating on the utility of his attempts to change others, he met the Wise Old Man who asked him: ̶ “What have you learned on your path?” ̶ “I have learned,” the Prince answered, “that others are not the cause or the source of my joys and my sorrows, my satisfactions and my disappointments. They are simply opportunities to reveal them. All these are rooted in my own self.” ̶ “You are right,” said the Wise Man. “Others reveal you to yourself through what they arouse in you. Be grateful to those who make you thrill with enjoyment and pleasure. But also be grateful to those who engender suffering or frustration, because, through them, Life teaches you what you still have to learn, and the path that you still have to walk.” And the Old Man disappeared. A little further on, the Prince came to a door, where he could read: “CHANGE YOURSELF”. “If I am the cause of my own problems, this is indeed the work that remains for me to do”, he said to himself. And he began his third fight. He tried to change his character, to combat his imperfections, to eliminate his defects, to change everything that he did not like in himself, everything that did not correspond to his ideal. After many years and many a struggle, in which he achieved some successes, but also faced a number of defeats and discovered his own inner resistances, the Prince met the Wise Man who asked him: ̶ “What have you learned on your path?” ̶ “I have learned,” the Prince answered, “that there are things that we can improve, but that there are others which resist our efforts and which we are unable to break.” ̶ “Good!” said the Wise Man. ̶ “Yes,” the Prince went on, “but I am getting tired of fighting against everything, against everybody, against myself. Is there no end to this? When shall I find some respite? I want to stop fighting, to give up, to abandon everything, I want to let go!” ̶ “This is precisely your next lesson,” said the Wise Old Man. “But before going any further, turn around and consider the path you have already trodden.” And the Old Man disappeared. As he looked back, the Prince saw the third door in the distance, and noticed that it had a text on the other side that said: “ACCEPT YOURSELF”. The Prince was surprised that he had not seen this sign when he had first gone through the door the other way. “When you’re fighting, you become blind,” he said to himself. He also noticed, lying on the ground scattered around him, everything he had rejected and fought against in himself: his defects, his shadows, his fears, his limits, all his old demons. He learned how to recognize them, accept them, and love them. He also learned how to love himself without comparing himself to others, and without judging or blaming himself. He met the Wise Old Man who asked him: ̶ “What have you learned on your path?” ̶ “I have learned,” the Prince answered, “that hating or rejecting a part of myself, means condemning myself to never being at peace. I have learned to accept myself, totally, unconditionally.” ̶ “Good!” said the Old Man. “This is the first Word of Wisdom. Go through the door now.” No sooner had he gone through the door, the Prince saw in the distance a sign on the other side of the second door which read: “ACCEPT OTHERS”. All around him, he recognized the people that he had been with throughout his life; those he had loved and those he had loathed, those he had helped and those he had fought. But to his great surprise, he was now unable to see their imperfections, their defects, all that had previously annoyed him so much, and which he had so hotly contested. He met the Wise Old Man again. ̶ “What did you learn on your path?” the Wise Man asked. ̶ “I have learned,” the Prince answered, “that when I was at peace with myself, I no longer had anything to blame others for, nothing more to be afraid of in them. I have learned how to accept and to love others, totally, unconditionally.” ̶ “Good!” said the Wise Old Man. “This is the second Word of Wisdom. Go through the door now.” No sooner had he gone through the door, the Prince saw in the distance a sign on the other side of the first door which read: “ACCEPT THE WORLD”. “How strange,” he said to himself, “I didn’t see these words the first time I went through it.” He looked around and recognized the world which he had tried to conquer, to transform, and to change. He was struck by the splendor and beauty of all things, and by their perfection. And yet it was the same world as before. Was it the world that had changed or the way he looked at it? He met the Wise Old Man who asked him: ̶ “What have you learned on your path?” ̶ “I have learned,” said the Prince, “that the world is a mirror of my soul. That my soul does not see the world, it sees itself in the world. When my soul is cheerful, the world seems happy. When it is downcast, the world seems sad. The world, in itself, is neither sad nor happy. It simply IS. It was not the world that troubled me, but the idea that I had of it. I have learned to accept it without judging it, totally, unconditionally.” ̶ “This is the third Word of Wisdom,” said the Old Man. “You are now at peace with yourself, with others and with the World.” And the Old Man disappeared.

And now ? 

Keep this notebook and read again these lines to awaken the alchemist within you.

 

TO DEEPEN THIS SECOND COLLECTIVE LEADER® ‘S KEY HABIT


–SECOND KEY HABIT–
My Strengths and Weaknesses,
I will Know

–SECOND KEY HABIT–
My Strengths and Weaknesses,
I will Know

–– THIRD KEY HABIT –
To the Views of Others,
I will be Open

–SECOND KEY HABIT–
My Strengths and Weaknesses,
I will Know

TO GO FURTHER – NEXT KEY HABIT


Copyright Paule Boffa-Comby – ReThink & LEAD

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