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Why Osho Rajneesh Did Not Allow Non-Vegetarian Food in the Commune

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I don’t allow non-vegetarian food in the ashram has nothing to do with religion, it is just pure aesthetics. I am not one who thinks that if you take non-vegetarian food you will not become enlightened. Jesus became enlightened, Mohammed became enlightened, Ramakrishna became enlightened — there has been no problem about it. You can take non-vegetarian food and you can become enlightened, so there is no religious problem about it. (Paras note: I know people who don’t eat meat that have tried to make themselves out as being more spiritual than meat eaters. To me that already shows ignorance on the path and their ‘level of enlightened-ness’.) To me the problem is that of aesthetics. Because Jesus continued to eat meat, I have a feeling that he did not have a great aesthetic sense. Not that he is not religious — he is perfectly religious, as religious as Buddha, but something is missing in him. Ramakrishna continued to eat fish; just nonaesthetic, it looks a little ugly. Enlightenment is not at stake, but your poetry is at stake, your sense of beauty is at stake. Your humanity is at stake, not your super-humanity. That’s why it is not allowed in my ashram — and it will not be allowed. It is a question of beauty. If you understand this many things will be clear to you. Alcohol can be allowed in this ashram but not meat, because alcohol is vegetarian — fruit juice…. fermented, but it is fruit juice. And sometimes to be a little drunk gives rise to great poetry. That is possible, that has to be allowed. In the new commune we are going to have a bar — Omar Khayyam. Omar Khayyam is a Sufi saint, one of the enlightened Sufis. But meat cannot be allowed, that is just ugly. Just to think that you are killing an animal to eat, just the very idea, is unaesthetic. I am not against it because the animal is killed… because that which is essential in the animal will live, it cannot be killed, and that which is nonessential, whether you kill it or not, is going to die. So that is irrelevant, that is not a point for me to consider. The question is not that you have killed the animal and killing is not good, no. The question is that you have killed the animal — you. Just to eat? While beautiful vegetarian food is available? If vegetarian food is not available, that’s one thing. But the food IS available. Then why? Then why destroy a body? And if you can kill an animal, then why not be a cannibal? What is wrong with killing a man? The meat derived from a human body will be more in tune with you. Why not start eating human beings? That too is a question of aesthetics. And the animals are brothers and sisters, because man has come from them. They are our family. To kill a man is only to kill an evolved animal, or to kill an animal is just to kill somebody who is not yet evolved but is on the way. It is the same. Whether you kill the child when he is in the first grade or whether you kill the young man when he has come to his last grade in the university, it does not make much difference. The animals are moving towards human beings, and human beings had once been animals. It is only a question of aesthetics. Why not kill your wife and eat her? She is so beautiful and so sweet…. Why can’t you eat your mother? Why can’t you eat your husband or your child? — so delicious. The question is not religious, I would like to remind you again, it is a question of aesthetics. An aesthetic man will see that life remains beautiful it does not become ugly and nightmarish. (Paras note: In this Kardashian world where people are so focused on physical beauty and booty I found a lovely quote – If only your eyes saw souls instead of bodies, how very different our ideals of beauty would be.) But the question has arisen in Chinmaya’s mind, that shows something. In India people who are vegetarian are not really vegetarian; it is just because they are born in a vegetarian family, so from the very beginning the vegetarianism has been imposed on them. And naturally they are curious, naturally they want to taste other things also, and naturally the idea arises, “The whole world is nonvegetarian; people must be enjoying.” The vegetarian feels that somehow he is missing much. That’s why the question has arisen. It has nothing to do with meditation. You can eat meat and you can meditate. You can eat meat and you can love. It has nothing to do with love either. But you will be showing one thing about yourself — that you are very crude, that you are very primitive, uncultured, uncivilized; that you don’t have any sense of how life should be. It was out of an aesthetic sense that vegetarianism was born. It became entangled in religion and got lost. It has been taken out from the religious context. People come to see me and they ask, a Jaina asked me, “How can you say that Jesus was enlightened? — because he was a meat-eater….” His question is relevant because he thinks that meat-eaters cannot become enlightened. Meat-eaters can become enlightened, just as people who are not poets can become enlightened. That is not a barrier. People who don’t have any sense of beauty, who will not see any beauty in a rose, can become enlightened… who will not see any beauty in the moon, can become enlightened… who will not have any taste for Beethoven’s music, can become enlightened. But Jesus shows something crude. Maybe it was not possible, maybe he lived amongst people who were all meat-eaters. It would have been difficult for him to be a vegetarian. It would have been almost impossible for him. But still, that trouble has to be taken. But remember that here my whole approach is an integrated approach. Meditation is needed, so is poetry, so is aesthetics, so is religion, so is music, so is art. Man should evolve in many dimensions in an integrated way. Then comes the ultimate flowering when all your petals have opened. And you will have greater joy and greater benediction in life. (Paras question: Why can’t we all just live in peace with each other. Why can’t we keep our noses out of each others plates and beliefs to ourselves? Do we need more reasons for separation? What school one goes to, what God one follows, what phone one has? Is it so hard to just let me eat my bacon and egg sandwich without the hysterics?)

Bonus – Osho on Intelligence (Veg food and Circumcision)

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Deep Inner Game DVD Set – David DeAngelo featuring Dr. Paul Dobransky and Richard aka Billy

​Around 2005-2007 I was getting out of a bad place. David Deangelo and Dr. Paul Dobransky taught me something deeper than this. One of the few videos I’ve still kept for personal development. Deep Inner Game DVD 6 to be specific ;o)

Dr. Paul Dobransky

Self esteem: You (and groups) have boundaries and doors. Depending on what you’d like to open doors to e.g. win-win situations. You decide!

This picture shows Colleagues, Women, Family and Community as the boundaries and the doors to them.

When it comes to groups like a company you want to join, the company has it’s own boundaries and so do the individuals in the company. Together they have a set of shared ideas (mission statement). If the individuals have poor boundaries like anger, it will come on to you.

Here an innovator (R&D) of the company is pushing the boundaries and if it sits well, that is how much the company’s boundary will grow too.

This shows what happens if the innovator goes too far and tries to pull in others. They end up forming a cult which wouldn’t last too long.

When you have been doing things that are ethically wrong and you use your observing ego to see that it’s not right. You decide to close the door on yourself after raising your conscience.

Intention needs a right balance of the 4. Education, Intuition, Conscience, Experience. Fun fact: The literal translation for Sin in Aramaic is to ‘miss the mark’ which is much more forgiving than what the shame the preacher man makes you feel.

Wussy concept – Has a lot of holes in his boundaries and would rather get a woman/mommy/daddy to get come in and take over the decision making. For decision making: Conscience vs. Intuition. Intellect: Education vs. Experience. Emotional energy: Well-being vs. Confidence. (Paras note: The well-being/nurturing and courage bit really helped me as those are mother and father traits respectively and I needed to be my own parent to fix a lot of things – Personal story here).

Individuation is where you start going out on your own to figure things out after your parents have taught you (if they’re present or parent figures) as best as they can. You start to explore different groups and figure out your boundaries. Until you’re totally independent of your parents. Connected to all these groups but still separate and distinct. I hope the text explains what the images can’t and vice versa.

Richard aka Billy


Made his mind up to lose weight no matter what it takes and in turn helped his game with women. A lot of it is inner game stuff. I’m not sure if I can share the videos of these as his big is really funny so will try to include it. Otherwise I’ll just summarise the inner game stuff.

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People have made phenomenal changes just by changing their belief systems. E.g. A man had a lip growth and was told it’s a curse and will die straight after so his whole appearance changed over night, lost weight, hair colour changed, etc. Until his follow up with the doctor who removed it and just said it was scar tissue after which he recovered.

You made up who you are so you can go in and see if that is still what you want to create. You are not who you think you are and you can start architecting yourself. Your bring is constantly telling you you will fail so rewrite it and instruct it the way you want.

His favourite affirmations are – Things just work out for me in life. My life just keeps getting better and better everyday. I am strong, powerful, committed and driven. I adapt and overcome at lightening speed. I’m comfortable with hot women being attracted to me (pre-supposition). I am the power. Build your own that speak to you.

Trust your unconscious.

Make a mental note of where you have come from and how strong you are.

Quote from the movie Heat (paraphrased): Don’t let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner..

On Emotional Control and Building Status

Stop seeking other peoples approval. If you’re not on your journey for you and your life then it’s all BS.

Self appointment. If you don’t live for you others will decide who you are and what you’re about. The self esteem you get from this does a lot. Martial arts reference about being committed to the path and not the destination. Masters have masters and they have masters. Practice and fail to get better as more knowledge is gained from the failures. The reason you’re not successful enough is because you’ve not failed enough, fail more and faster (Robert Kiyosaki). You train over and over until you do it unconsciously. (Paras note: This part took me back to when I really got into fixing myself and I have to admit all this information has become pretty basic to me but I am very grateful for it and we could always do with a refresher.)

Gaining Leverage: When you get angry ask if it’s worth getting angry about and learn from it or use it in better ways. Is it really worth it. Acceptance vs. resistance. Decision vs. indecision. Victim/injustice vs. life student.

Goes with the attitude of him going through things no one will ever face, know what others are too ignorant to comprehend and may look dumb for a while but in this path he’s get stronger and much further down the path than others will ever go. Taking pride in the failures.

Mind being like a garden metaphor (I love this bit): Everyday you have to pull weeds. Maybe you go through a time where you’re pulling weeds everyday. Then you go through a time where you’re hoeing ;oP. And after you’re doing hoeing, it’s time to plan your seed. (Pull weeds, not pull YOUR weed ;op).

The greats reinvent themselves. You can too.

Develop a panic room in your mind. A safe spot where nothing can truly hurt you.

People do stupid things. It’s them not you. Don’t internalise it or take it personally.

Let yourself be human and forgive yourself. Nearly everyone has been through what you’re going through at some point in their lives. (Reads a nice part from the Emotional Resilience book).

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David DeAngelo – Deep Inner Game – DVD 6 – Chapters
Total film length : 01:52:20:03
Chapter 01 = 00:00:00:00 – Politics
Chapter 02 = 00:13:40:00 – Group Boundaries
Chapter 03 = 00:21:27:50 – Ethics
Chapter 04 = 00:33:19:00 – Forgiveness
Chapter 05 = 00:39:34:00 – Wussy
Chapter 06 = 00:47:38:50 – Individuation
Chapter 07 = 00:52:16:50 – Introduction
Chapter 08 = 00:55:13:00 – Richard
Chapter 09 = 01:01:53:50 – Who You’re Not
Chapter 10 = 01:09:35:50 – The Mind Virus
Chapter 11 = 01:18:03:00 – Emotional Control
Chapter 12 = 01:24:05:00 – Gaining Leverage
Chapter 13 = 01:31:57:00 – Depression
Chapter 14 = 01:42:39:00 – Let Yourself Be Human


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Insults and Putdowns – Dealing with them & Responses

The first part is about dealing with insults and putdowns while the second goes deeper into responses.

Part 1 – How to Deal With Insults and Put-Downs by Neel Burton
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Insults can be physical, such as punching, slapping, or spitting. More usually, they are verbal, whether direct or indirect. Examples of indirect verbal insults are jokes and ironic comments, backhanded compliments, mimicry, and false fascination. Ocular and facial expressions can substitute for speech; and things like a cold or constant stare, a false or exaggerated smile, or a raised eyebrow can, depending on their intention, also count as indirect verbal insults.

All of the above involve actively doing something, and therefore count as insults of commission. But insults of omission are equally if not more common. Examples of insults of omission are not inviting or including someone, not deferring to her age or rank, and not responding to her friendly gestures, including basic eye contact.

So, what is the best way of dealing with all these insults?

1. Anger.
This is the weakest possible response, and this for three main reasons. First, it shows that we take the insult, and therefore the insulter, seriously. Second, it suggests that there is truth in the insult. And third, it upsets and hurts us—which can invite further insults.

2. Acceptance
This may seem like a very weak response, but in many cases is actually the strongest response of all. When someone insults us, we ought to consider three things: whether the insult is true, who it came from, and why. If the insult is true or largely true, the person it came form is reasonable, and his motive is worthy, then the insult is not an insult but a statement of fact and, what’s more, one that is potentially very helpful to us. Thus, we seldom take offense at our teacher, parent, or best friend.

In general, if you respect the person who insulted you, you ought to give thought to the insult and learn as much as you can from it. On the other hand, if you think that the person who insulted you is unworthy of your consideration, you have no reason to take offense, just as you have no reason to take offense at a naughty child or barking dog. So whatever the case, you have no reason to take offense.

3. Returning the insult
There are several problems with the put-down, even if it is a very clever one. First, it does have to be clever, and, second, it has to occur to us at just the right moment. But even if we are as sharp as Oscar Wilde, a witty put-down is unlikely to be our best defence. The problem with the put-down, however witty it may be, is that it tends to equalize us with our insulter, raising him up to our level and bringing us down to his. This gives him and his insult far too much credibility. The witty put-down should only be used among friends, and only to add to the merriment. And it should be followed by something like a toast or a pat on the shoulder. In other words, it should only ever be used for humor.

4. Humor
Humor is an especially effective response for three reasons: it undermines the insult, it brings the audience (if any) on side, and it diffuses the tension of the situation. Here is an example of the effective use of humor. Cato the Younger, the Roman statesman and stoic philosopher, was pleading a case when his adversary Lentulus spat in his face. After wiping off the spittle, Cato said, ‘I will sweat to anyone, Lentulus, that people are wrong to say that you cannot use your mouth.’

Sometimes, it might even be appropriate to exaggerate or add to the insult so as to make a mockery of the insulter and, by extension, the insult: ‘Ah, if only had known me better, you would have found greater fault still!’

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5. Ignoring the insult
One downside of humor is that it requires quick thinking. In contrast, ignoring the insulting is easier and, in fact, more powerful. One day, a boor struck Cato while he was out at the public baths. When the boor realized that it was Cato whom he had struck, he came to apologize. Instead of getting angry or accepting his apology, Cato replied, ‘I don’t remember being struck.’ Subtext: ‘You are so insignificant that I don’t even care to register your apology, let alone take offense at your insult.’

In conclusion, we need never take offense at an insult. Offense exists not in the insult but in our reaction to it, and our reactions are completely within our control. It is unreasonable to expect a boor to be anything but a boor; if we take offense at his bad behaviour, we have only ourselves to blame.

Acknowledgement: The principal ideas and examples in this chapter are from A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine.

Part 2 – First-Class Responses to Second-Class Putdowns By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D
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Wouldn’t it be great if people went out of their way to appreciate what you did right instead of berating you for what you did wrong? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if people nixed their insults, squelched their criticisms and, instead, supported and encouraged you? Before you interrupt my starry-eyed fantasy, let me enjoy my moment of reverie.

Okay, micro-vacation over. Back to reality, where people blame and criticize all the time — and that’s on their good days! On their bad days, they throw in insults, curses, ridicule and humiliation.

When you’re on the receiving end of such put-downs, how should you respond?

Most people are familiar with only three strategies:
– Explain or justify why you did what you did
– Respond offensively by attacking the attacker.
– Say nothing and silently stew.

Such responses frequently result in attacks and counterattacks or passive-aggressive behavior laced with blame and shame. Thus, it’s a good idea to expand your repertoire of responses. Here are seven ideas for you to try on:

1. Agree with what’s been said. Disagree with the negative value judgment.
“Yes, I agree. My room is a mess. No need to call me names, though. I’ll clean it up this evening. Promise.”

2. Respond to what’s happening (the process), not to what was said(the content).
“I can see you’re upset with me. Can you calmly explain what I did that’s bothering you?”

3. Agree that you did something wrong and apologize.
“Yes, I should have called earlier to cancel. I apologize. I’d like to set another date now if that’s OK with you.”

4. Disagree but try to understand the other person’s viewpoint.
“I didn’t think I did anything wrong but I see you’re upset. Tell me more about what’s upsetting to you so I can understand.”

5. Enlighten the person about your sensitivities.
“I feel demeaned when you use that tone of voice with me. You may think there’s nothing wrong with it, but it feels patronizing to me.”

6. Offer the person another way to phrase what he said.
“I don’t mind if you call me ‘sensitive’ but it feels like a putdown when you say I’m ‘overly sensitive.’

7. Be succinct.
Often, the less you say, the more powerful your message. “The name you just called me is totally unacceptable. I don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

If you believe that you’ve been unfairly put down, your goal should be to respond with valuable, constructive information in a confident, strong tone of voice.

You may also find this post helpful – How to Handle Criticism and Negativity


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Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma

Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma
Such a great talk with lots and lots of great info. Summary below for my future reference. * means that it blew my mind.

Terra Perma – Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup from Terra Perma on Vimeo.

– Pests and weeds have a beneficial ecological role. Pests attract good predators so let it happen.
– Analyse your site to see where the sun is passing. In summer a lot of intense sun will be bad so you can plan shady plants and trees at multiple heights. Same for winter, breeze/winds, etc.
– Where you walk past most often is where you can plant things that need the most attention. Think about design function in this way. Raised beds are easier to reach further in.
– Instead of the usual pets, why not chooks?
– Hi production plants like herbs are better in containers instead of crappy sand.
– TORK soil – Texture (sand/silt/clay), Organic matter like compost/mulch, Rock minerals, Kelp. Fill haft a jar with your soil and the other half with water, shake it up and let it settle. You’ll see the 3 textures so you’ll know what to add.
* Apples don’t just give us fruits. It comes along with birds and bees and beauty and and and!
* Annuals are when you plant something, it grows, then you grow it again after it goes to seed while perennials will be there for 3-5 years so more reward less effort. I’m sure I missed a part about the magic of deciduous trees that give a good shade in the summer and shed leaves in autumn/fall/winter so they are good as other plants get more light.
* SEED SAVING (this one really blew mine mind even though it was pretty obvious). You don’t only save seeds because they’re free or you keep on cycling but you save them because every generation will be stronger and more adapted to the soil. It changes genetically! (I’m so excited to learn this!)
– Talks about water tanks, clay in the soil to hold the same amount of water when it rains. Grey water or access to a bore. Tap water has chlorine which is antibacterial while the soil needs the bacteria so think about other options. Types of drippers. Wicking beds.
– Shade cloths are good pest solutions. Pests and weeds were all part of nature and human life. Also if you kill things like rats in a nontoxic way you can just put it under a tree and you don’t need to get blood and bone. I use a couple of facebook groups to know more about plants and animals. WA gardeners and Insects of Perth & South West Western Australia. So find out what the bugs and things are and then find out natural predators or solutions like getting frogs etc. – Benefits of ponds and Q and A to Z time.

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Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen of the Harvard Negotiation Project

Difficult Conversations
I have tried to keep the notes as neat as possible. You can find another great summary here –
http://www.fscanada.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Difficult-Conversations-Summary.pdf

Click to get the book or audiobook

– 3 Conversation
1. The “What Happened?” Conversation. Most difficult conversations involve disagreement about what has happened or what should happen. Who said what and who did what? Who’s right, who meant what, and who’s to blame?
2. The Feelings Conversation. Are my feelings valid? Appropriate? Should I acknowledge or deny them, put them on the table or check them at the door? What do I do about the other person’s feelings? What if they are angry or hurt? These feelings are not addressed directly in the conversation, but they leak in anyway.
3. The Identity Conversation. This is the conversation we each have with ourselves about what this situation means to us. We conduct an internal debate over whether this means we are competent or incompetent, a good person or bad, worthy of love or unlovable. What impact might it have on our self-image and self-esteem, our future and our well-being? Our answers to these questions determine in large part whether we feel “balanced” during the conversation, or whether we feel off-center and anxious.

– 3 fronts — Truth, Intentions, Blame
1. The Truth Assumption. As we argue vociferously for our view, we often fail to question one crucial assumption upon which our whole stance in the conversation is built: I am right, you are wrong. This simple assumption causes endless grief. There’s only one hitch: I am not right. They are not about what is true, they are about what is important. (Paras note: Something I say about relationships. Either one person wins/is right or the relationship wins/is right)
2. The Intention Invention. Did you yell at me to hurt my feelings or merely to emphasize your point? What I think about your intentions will affect how I think about you and, ultimately, how our conversation goes. We assume we know the intentions of others when we don’t. Worse still, when we are unsure about someone’s intentions, we too often decide they are bad. Sometimes people act with mixed intentions. Sometimes they act with no intention, or at least none related to us. And sometimes they act on good intentions that nonetheless hurt us.
3. The Blame Frame. Most difficult conversations focus significant attention on who’s to blame for the mess we’re in. We don’t care where the ball lands, as long as it doesn’t land on us. But talking about fault is similar to talking about truth—it produces disagreement, denial, and little learning. It evokes fears of punishment and insists on an either/or answer. Nobody wants to be blamed, especially unfairly, so our energy goes into defending ourselves. Talking about blame distracts us from exploring why things went wrong and how we might correct them going forward. Focusing instead on understanding the contribution system allows us to learn about the real causes of the problem, and to work on correcting them. The distinction between blame and contribution may seem subtle. But it is a distinction worth working to understand, because it will make a significant difference in your ability to handle difficult conversations.

– Why We Argue, and Why It Doesn’t Help. We think they are the problem. They think we are the problem. We each make sense in our story of what happened. Arguing blocks us from exploring each other’s stories. Arguing without understanding is unpersuasive.

– Move from Certainty to Curiosity. Curiosity: the way into their story. Embrace both stories: adopt the “and stance”. They can feel one thing and you can feel something totally opposite. Exceptions are I really am right (caught daughter smoking) and giving bad news (firing/breaking up).

– Disentangle Impact and Intent. Separating impact from intentions requires us to be aware of the automatic leap from “I was hurt” to “You intended to hurt me.” You can make this distinction by asking yourself three questions: 1. Actions: “What did the other person actually say or do?” 2. Impact: “What was the impact of this on me?” 3. Assumption: “Based on this impact, what assumption am I making about what the other person intended?” Share the Impact on You; Inquire About Their Intentions.

– Listen for Feelings, and Reflect on Your Intentions. When we find ourselves being accused of bad intentions — we have a strong tendency to want to defend ourselves: “That is not what I intended.” We are defending our intentions and our character. However, as we’ve seen, starting here leads to trouble.

– Listen Past the Accusation for the Feelings. Accusation about our bad intentions is always made up of two separate ideas: (1) we had bad intentions and (2) the other person was frustrated, hurt, or embarrassed. Don’t pretend they aren’t saying the first. You’ll want to respond to it. But neither should you ignore the second. And if you start by listening and acknowledging the feelings, and then return to the question of intentions, it will make your conversation significantly easier and more constructive.

– Be Open to Reflecting on the Complexity of Your Intentions. When it comes time to consider your intentions, try to avoid the tendency to say, “My intentions were pure.” We usually think that about ourselves, and sometimes it’s true. But often, as we’ve seen, intentions are more complex.

– Blame Is About Judging, and Looks Backward. Contribution Is About Understanding, and Looks Forward. Contribution is joint and interactive.

– Three Misconceptions About Contribution.
1: I should focus only on my contribution.
2: putting aside blame means putting aside my feelings.
3: exploring contribution means, “blaming the victim”.

– Four Hard-to-Spot Contributions.
1. Avoiding until now.
2. Being unapproachable.
3. Intersections.
4. Problematic role assumptions.

– Two Tools for Spotting Contribution. Role reversal. The observer’s insight.

– Map the Contribution System. What are they contributing? What am I contributing? List each person’s contribution. My contributions. His contributions. Who else is involved? Take responsibility for your contribution early. Help them understand their contribution. Make your observations and reasoning explicit. Clarify what you would have them do differently.

– Don’t Vent: Describe Feelings Carefully.
1. Frame feelings back into the problem.
2. Express the full spectrum of your feelings.
3. Don’t evaluate — just share. Express your feelings without judging, attributing, or blaming. Don’t monopolize: both sides can have strong feelings at the same time. An easy reminder: say “I feel . . . .”

– The Importance of Acknowledgment. What does it mean to acknowledge someone’s feelings? It means letting the other person know that what they have said has made an impression on you, that their feelings matter to you, and that you are working to understand them. “Wow,” you might say, “I never knew you felt that way,” or, “I kind of assumed you were feeling that, and I’m glad you felt comfortable enough with me to share it,” or, “It sounds like this is really important to you.” Let them know that you think understanding their perspective is important, and that you are trying to do so: “Before I give you a sense of what’s going on with me, tell me more about your feeling that I talk down to you.” Sometimes feelings are all that matter.

– Three Core Identities. Am I competent? Am I a good person? Am I worthy of love?

– Vulnerable Identities: the all-or-nothing syndrome. Denial. Exaggeration. We let their feedback define who we are.

– Ground Your Identity.
1: become aware of your identity issues.
2: complexify your identity (adopt the And Stance).

– Three Things to Accept About Yourself.
1. You will make mistakes.
2. Your intentions are complex.
3. You have contributed to the problem.

– Learn to Regain Your Balance. Let go of trying to control their reaction. Prepare for their response. Imagine that it’s three months or ten years from now. Take a break.

-Three Kinds of Conversations That Don’t Make Sense.
1: is the real conflict inside you?
2: is there a better way to address the issue than talking about it?
3: do you have purposes that make sense?

– Remember, You Can’t Change Other People. Don’t focus on short-term relief at long-term cost. Don’t hit-and-run. Letting go. Adopt some liberating assumptions. It’s not my responsibility to make things better; it’s my responsibility to do my best. They have limitations too. This conflict is not who I am. Letting go doesn’t mean I no longer care. Create a learning conversation.

– If You Raise It: Three Purposes That Work.
1. Learning their story.
2. Expressing your views and feelings.
3. Problem-solving together.

– Why Our Typical Openings Don’t Help. We begin inside our own story. We trigger their identity conversation from the start.

– Getting Started.
1: Begin from the Third Story. For example, in the battle between bicycles and cars for the streets of the city, the third story would be the one told by city planners, who can understand each side’s concerns and see why each group is frustrated with the other. When tensions arise in a marriage, the third story might be the one offered by a marriage counselor. In a dispute between friends, the third story may be the perspective of a mutual friend who sees each side as having valid concerns that need to be addressed. Think like a mediator. Not right or wrong, not better or worse – just different. If they start the conversation, you can still step to the third story.
2: Extend an Invitation. Describe your purposes. Invite, don’t impose. Make them your partner in figuring it out. Be persistent.

– “I Wonder If It Would Make Sense . . . ?” Revisiting conversations gone wrong. Talk about how to talk about it. A map for going forward: third story, their story, your story.

– What to Talk About: The Three Conversations (What Happened? Feeling. Identity). Explore where each story comes from. Share the impact on you. Take responsibility for your contribution. Describe feelings. Reflect on the identity issues. How to talk about it: listening, expression, and problem-solving.

– Listening to Them Helps Them Listen to You. The stance of curiosity: how to listen from the inside out. Forget the words, focus on authenticity. The commentator in your head: become more aware of your internal voice. Don’t turn it off, turn it up. Managing your internal voice. Negotiate your way to curiosity. Don’t listen: talk.

– Three Skills: 1: Inquiry, 2: Paraphrasing, and 3: Acknowledgment.
1: Inquire to Learn – don’t make statements disguised as questions. Don’t use questions to cross-examine. Ask open-ended questions. Ask for more concrete information. Create a learning conversation. Examples – can you say a little more about how you see things? What information might you have that I don’t? How do you see it differently? What impact have my actions had on you? Can you say a little more about why you think this is my fault? Were you reacting to something I did? How are you feeling about all of this? Say more about why this is important to you? What would it mean to you if that happened? Make it safe for them not to answer.
2: Paraphrase for Clarity – check your understanding. Show that you’ve heard. Create a learning conversation.
3: Acknowledge Their Feelings (Paras note: big one for me) – answer the invisible questions. How to acknowledge. Order matters: acknowledge before problem-solving. Acknowledging is not agreeing.
A final thought: empathy is a journey, not a destination

– Failure to Express Yourself Keeps You Out of the Relationship. Feel entitled, feel encouraged, but don’t feel obligated. Start with what matters most. Say what you mean: don’t make them guess. Don’t rely on subtext. Avoid easing in. Don’t make your story simplistic: use the “me-me” and.

Telling Your Story with Clarity: Three Guidelines.
1. Don’t Present Your Conclusions as The Truth.
2. Share Where Your Conclusions Come From.
3. Don’t Exaggerate with “Always” and “Never”.
“Always” and “never” do a pretty good job of conveying frustration, but they have two serious drawbacks. First, it is seldom strictly accurate that someone criticizes every time, or that they haven’t at some point said something positive. Using such words invites an argument over the question of frequency: “That’s not true. I said several nice things to you last year when you won the interoffice new idea competition”—a response that will most likely increase your exasperation.

“Always” and “never” also make it harder — rather than easier — for the other person to consider changing their behavior. In fact, “always” and “never” suggest that change will be difficult or impossible. The implicit message is, “What is wrong with you such that you are driven to criticize my clothes?” or even “You are obviously incapable of acting like a normal person.”

A better approach is to proceed as if (however hard it may be to believe) the other person is simply unaware of the impact of their actions on you, and, being a good person, would certainly wish to change their behavior once they became aware of it. You could say something like: “When you tell me my suit reminds you of wrinkled old curtains, I feel hurt. Criticizing my clothes feels like an attack on my judgment and makes me feel incompetent.” If you can also suggest what you would wish to hear instead, so much the better: “I wish I could feel more often like you believed in me. It would really feel great to hear even something as simple as, ‘I think that color looks good on you.’ Anything, as long as it was positive.”

The key is to communicate your feelings in a way that invites and encourages the recipient to consider new ways of behaving, rather than suggesting they’re a schmuck and it’s too bad there’s nothing they can do about it.

– Give Them Room to Change. Help them understand you. Ask them to paraphrase back. Ask how they see it differently — and why.

– You can reframe anything. The ‘you-me’ and (I can try to understand you and you can try to understand me). It’s always the right time to listen. Be persistent about listening. It takes two to agree. Gather information and test your perceptions. Say what is still missing. Say what would persuade you. Ask what (if anything) would persuade them. Ask their advice. Invent options. Ask what standards should apply. The principle of mutual caretaking. If you still can’t agree, consider your alternatives.

– Putting It All Together. (See below checklist for more details). 1: prepare by walking through the three conversations. 2: check your purposes and decide whether to raise it. 3: start from the third story. 4: explore their story and yours. 5: problem-solving.

– Expression: Speak for Yourself with Clarity and Power. Orators need not apply. You’re entitled (yes, you). Failure to express yourself keeps you out of the relationship. Feel entitled, feel encouraged, but don’t feel obligated. Start with what matters most. Say what you mean: don’t make them guess. Don’t rely on subtext. Avoid easing in.

– Don’t Make Your Story Simplistic: Use the “Me-Me” And. “This memo shows incredible creativity, and at the same time is so badly organized that it makes me crazy.” In your attempt to be clear, you say, “Your memo is so badly organized it makes me crazy,” or worse, “Your memo makes me crazy.”

– Problem-Solving: Take the Lead. Reframe, reframe, reframe! You can reframe anything. The “you-me” and (“I can listen and understand what you have to say, and you can listen and understand what I have to say.”). It’s always the right time to listen. Name the dynamic: make the trouble explicit. Now what? Begin to problem-solve. It takes two to agree.

– Gather Information and Test Your Perceptions. Propose crafting a test. Say what is still missing. Say what would persuade you. Ask what (if anything) would persuade them. Ask their advice. Invent options. Ask what standards should apply. The principle of mutual caretaking. If you still can’t agree, consider your alternatives.

– Difficult conversation checklist
Step 1: Prepare by Walking Through the Three Conversations
– Sort out What Happened. Where does your story come from (information, past experiences, rules)? Theirs? What impact has this situation had on you? What might their intentions have been? 
What have you each contributed to the problem?
– Understand Emotions. 
Explore your emotional footprint, and the bundle of emotions you experience.
– Ground Your Identity. What’s at stake for you about you? What do you need to accept to be better grounded?

Step 2: Check Your Purposes and Decide Whether to Raise the Issue
– Purposes: What do you hope to accomplish by having this conversation? Shift your stance to support learning, sharing, and problem-solving.
– Deciding: Is this the best way to address the issue and achieve your purposes? Is the issue really embedded in your Identity Conversation? Can you affect the problem by changing your contributions? If you don’t raise it, what can you do to help yourself let go?

Step 3: Start from the Third Story
– Describe the problem as the difference between your stories. Include both viewpoints as a legitimate part of the discussion.
– Share your purposes.
– Invite them to join you as a partner in sorting out the situation together.

Step 4: Explore Their Story and Yours
– Listen to understand their perspective on what happened. Ask questions. Acknowledge the feelings behind the arguments and accusations. Paraphrase to see if you’ve got it. Try to unravel how the two of you got to this place.
– Share your own viewpoint, your past experiences, intentions, feelings.
– Reframe, reframe, reframe to keep on track. From truth to perceptions, blame to
contribution, accusations to feelings, and so on.

Step 5: Problem-Solving
– Invent options that meet each side’s most important concerns and interests.
– Look to standards for what should happen. Keep in mind the standard of mutual caretaking; relationships that always go one way rarely last.
– Talk about how to keep communication open as you go forward.

Contents:
Foreword by Roger Fisher
Acknowledgments
Introduction

The Problem
1 Sort Out the Three Conversations

Shift to a Learning Stance – The “What Happened?” Conversation
2 Stop Arguing About Who’s Right: Explore Each Other’s Stories
3 Don’t Assume They Meant It: Disentangle Intent from Impact
4 Abandon Blame: Map the Contribution System

– The Feelings Conversation
5 Have Your Feelings (Or They Will Have You)

– The Identity Conversation
6 Ground Your Identity: Ask Yourself What’s at Stake

– Create a Learning Conversation
7 What’s Your Purpose? When to Raise It and When to Let Go
8 Getting Started: Begin from the Third Story
9 Learning: Listen from the Inside Out
10 Expression: Speak for Yourself with Clarity and Power
11 Problem-Solving: Take the Lead
12 Putting It All Together

A Road Map to Difficult Conversations
A Note on Some Relevant Organizations

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The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan

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The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan
​Every chapter ends with a summary of the big ideas. Big up Charles Poliquin for the recommendation. The main point of the book which you should ask for everything is ‘What’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?’. I thought just focusing on one thing was too simple or would be easy but it takes conscious practice.

Notes:
“Be like a postage stamp— stick to one thing until you get there” Josh Billings

Where I’d had huge success, I had narrowed my concentration to one thing, and where my success varied, my focus had too.

Extraordinary results are directly determined by how narrow you can make your focus.

When one thing, the right thing, is set in motion, it can topple many things. (Example of small domino find front on consecutive bigger ones.

The ONE Thing becomes difficult because we’ve unfortunately bought into too many others—and more often than not those “other things” muddle our thinking, misguide our actions, and sidetrack our success. The real solutions we seek are almost always hiding in plain sight; unfortunately, they’ve usually been obscured by an unbelievable amount of bunk, an astounding flood of “common sense” that turns out to be nonsense.

Frog hot water, fish smelling from head down and burning ships stories are examples of non-truthiness. Repeat a lie long enough it starts sounding like truth.

THE SIX LIES BETWEEN YOU AND SUCCESS
Everything Matters Equally
Multitasking
A Disciplined Life
Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
A Balanced Life
Big Is Bad

While to-dos serve as a useful collection of our best intentions, they also tyrannize us with trivial, unimportant stuff that we feel obligated to get done—because it’s on our list. You don’t need a to do list you need a success list. Paretos principle/Jurans rule … 80:20 so from a to-do list, prioritise and it becomes a success list. And then ‘extreme Pareto’ it by narrowing down to just 1.

Multitasking is about multiple tasks alternately sharing one resource (the CPU), but in time the context was flipped and it became interpreted to mean multiple tasks being done simultaneously by one resource (a person). It was a clever turn of phrase that’s misleading, for even computers can process only one piece of code at a time.

It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do, it’s that we feel the need to do too many things in the time we have

Switching between two simple tasks—like watching television and folding clothes—is quick and relatively painless. However, if you’re working on a spreadsheet and a co-worker pops into your office to discuss a business problem, the relative complexity of those tasks makes it impossible to easily jump back and forth. It always takes some time to start a new task and restart the one you quit, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll ever pick up exactly where you left off. There is a price for this. (Something I kept telling a manager!)

If you were trying to talk a passenger through landing a DC-10, you’d stop walking. Likewise, if you were walking across a gorge on a rope bridge, you’d likely stop talking.

Researchers estimate we lose 28 percent of an average workday to multitasking ineffectiveness.

Once a new behavior becomes a habit, it takes less discipline to maintain.

The results suggest that it takes an average of 66 days to acquire a new habit. The full range was 18 to 254

WHAT TAXES YOUR WILLPOWER
Implementing new behaviours
Filtering distractions
Resisting temptation
Suppressing emotion
Restraining aggression
Suppressing impulses
Taking tests
Trying to impress others
Coping with fear
Doing something you don’t enjoy
Selecting long-term over short-term rewards
More on willpower in this posts – Willpower: Rediscovering Our Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister & John Tierney

A balanced life is a lie, it doesn’t exist. Focusing on one means others will be neglected. Instead of balance, counterbalance. Like balancing 2 buckets.

When you’re supposed to be working, work, and when you’re supposed to be playing, play. It’s a weird tightrope you’re walking, but it’s only when you get your priorities mixed up that things fall apart.

“We are kept from our goal, not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.”
—Robert Brault

What’s the ONE THING I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

Think big and specific e.g. How can I double sales in 6 months.

There is a natural rhythm to our lives that becomes a simple formula for implementing the ONE Thing and achieving extraordinary results: purpose, priority, and productivity. Bound together, these three are forever connected and continually confirming each other’s existence in our lives. Their link leads to the two areas where you’ll apply the ONE Thing—one big and one small. Your big ONE Thing is your purpose and your small ONE Thing is the priority you take action on to achieve it. The most productive people start with purpose and use it like a compass. They allow purpose to be the guiding force in determining the priority that drives their actions.

Those in one group were told to visualize the outcome (like getting an “A” on an exam) and the others were asked to visualize the process needed to achieve a desired outcome (like all of the study sessions needed to earn that “A” on the exam). In the end, students who visualized the process performed better across the board—they studied earlier and more frequently and earned higher grades than those who simply visualized the outcome.

4 proven ways to battle distractions and keep your eye on your ONE Thing.
Build a bunker.
Store provisions.
Sweep for mines.
Enlist support.

Research that individuals with written goals were 39.5 percent more likely to succeed. But there’s more to the story. Individuals who wrote their goals and sent progress reports to friends were 76.7 percent more likely to achieve them. As effective as writing down your goals can be, simply sharing your progress toward your goals with someone regularly even just a friend, makes you almost twice as effective.

THE FOUR THIEVES OF PRODUCTIVITY
Inability to Say “No”
Fear of Chaos
Poor Health Habits
Environment Doesn’t Support Your Goals

CONTENTS
1. The ONE Thing
2. The Domino Effect
3. Success Leaves Clues

PART 1
THE LIES
THEY MISLEAD AND DERAIL US
4. Everything Matters Equally
5. Multitasking
6. A Disciplined Life
7. Willpower Is Always on Will-Call
8. A Balanced Life
9. Big Is Bad

PART 2
THE TRUTH
THE SIMPLE PATH TO PRODUCTIVITY
10. The Focusing Question
11. The Success Habit
12. The Path to Great Answers

PART 3
EXTRAORDINARY RESULTS
UNLOCKING THE POSSIBILITIES WITHIN YOU
13. Live with Purpose
14. Live by Priority
15. Live for Productivity
16. The Three Commitments
17. The Four Thieves
18. The Journey

Putting The ONE Thing to Work
On the Research
Index
Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Resources
Copyright

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