A Sufi tale tells of an intelligent and talented young man with a great thirst for knowledge. So insatiable is his thirst that he is determined to know everything there is to know. His journey takes him to many countries, cultures, masters and teachers in search of more knowledge.
In Cairo, he meets a wise old man who tells him that, far out to the east, 4 days camel ride away, there is a place where he will find ‘the fountain of all knowledge.’ It is marked by an oasis, surrounded by seven palm trees. Under the 3rd palm tree from the left, there is a rock and under that rock, he will find what he is looking for.
After 4 days of travelling, he arrives at the oasis. Excitedly he rushes up to the third palm tree from the left and discovers the rock, which he moved to one side. He sees there is an inscription, covered by dust, which he rubs away, and reads the inscription: why are you looking for more knowledge when you are not using the knowledge you already have?
What are you waiting for?
What are you putting off, that you know you need to do, or if you don’t do it, part of you will forever die? Mojestically yours!
P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:
“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said”. Peter Drucker
What would life be like if you didn’t have fear?
Perhaps you would take more risks, say what you want to say, how you want to say it, ask someone out on a date, introduce yourself to that interesting looking stranger, perhaps even walk naked down the street? Who knows?
But my experience is that this simple question exposes just how much our lives are dictated by fear: fear of what people will think of us, a fear of getting it wrong, making mistakes, looking bad… the list goes on and on doesn’t it?
And it’s really hard sometimes, isn’t it? There are so many forces at work in all of us: emotions, feelings, relationships, agendas, other relationships that have an impact on this moment, in the background. Wow, what a list of things we have to think about!
All this played out recently in my neighbourhood when a neighbour’s dog attempted to attack mine on three successive days. On two of those days we were both able to pull the dogs back on the leashes and on the third, the dog tore at mine, off his leash. I lifted my dog up, shouting at the owner to keep his dog on a leash and kicked the poor dog hard in the ribs. (Isn’t the problem the owner’s, not the dogs? Ahem, myself included!)
It has taken about a month to get to what I hope to be a resolution. I followed a fairly decent rational protocol sending him WhatsApp messages saying I had appreciated if we could talk but they went unanswered.
I called him but he didn’t pick up the phone. Eventually I knocked on the door and asked if we could speak, something I would far rather not have done. I could feel his brisling, tightening and defensive tone because I think he knew exactly what I wanted to talk about but he seemed to feign ignorance.
My only brief to myself was to approach with love and calmness and to remember to ‘be kind, for we all fight mighty battles.’ I know myself well enough to know that I can be an angry dog if I choose to be and I knew that it would only make matters worse.
Luckily, I was able to manage myself and we had a constructive conversation. He agreed to keep his dog on a lead at all times and to ensure that the loud barking stops at 20h30 when he puts him in doors.
I noticed the almost addictive pull I had to be ‘right’ and make him ‘wrong,’ and to ‘dominate’ and bully him was so present for me and yet I also knew that it was a fairly simple – not easy – task to approach it in the right, and best way possible.
The ‘structure’ I used was from Non-Violent Communication:
Share Facts – what happened?
Share what you need.
Make a request.
It really works!
If you are someone like me, who battles with these kinds of incidents, why not take one of them and let’s have a conversation about it?
Drop me a line or give me a call.
P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here:
Perhaps you are familiar with ‘Austin Powers’ who for many of us made Mojo a bit of a household name. This is him at the top, played by Mike Myers. Here’s an excerpt from the movie, The spy who shagged me.
Basically Mojo – which I describe through the acronym, PEACH (Passion, Energy, Authenticity, Confidence and Humour) – is ‘the good stuff,’ namely some or all of the following.
I wonder which words jump out at you? Why not complete the Mojo-Meter here and find out your Mojo Score?
I must admit, I’ve been ‘low-Mojo,’ or ‘Lojo’ for about 2 weeks, dealing with a particular challenge in a significant relationship.
I know what to do: speak my truth, share my feelings, be vulnerable, take action, be courageous, etc. And yet I don’t, (which is a particular bother, given that I am a life coach, helping people get their Mojos back! This Mojonaire’s mojo as gone AWOL.)
What’s going on?
I have been captive to my thoughts. I have been saying things like:
What’s the point?
I can’t go on like this.
I have been actually believing them. I have been in the drama. I have been receiving a grand payoff for them, e.g., Poor me, I am powerless, I can’t do anything about it.
I don’t want to share this stuff with you by the way, for fear that you will think I am idiot, but I trust that you will get it and relate to my current human struggle!
And then yesterday, I turned a corner, got a glimmer of light. I can’t say it was one thing, more a conglomeration of thoughts – other ones! – ideas and reflections, but my coach challenged me by saying I was not stepping up and taking action. He was right. Sometimes it takes that, to shake us awake from the ‘dream.’
I realised that I had the finger pointed over there, rather than looking within myself and asking (with the help of my coach):
What do I want?
What am I willing to create?
To make a stand for?
How can I blow the lid of it and really be me?
I realised that I was stopping myself.
So today, already, I have had a great day. I have been having fun, being mischievous, catching myself when I tell myself I am being too much, over the top of inappropriate, and going for it anyway.
I went to the hospital for a minor procedure and asked an elderly woman and her friend who were puffing and panting along the corridor if they were okay. Her friend said she had cancer. I offered my concern and then asked if I could give her a piggyback to where she was going. They both laughed. The friend wanted to come too. We all laughed. I felt great, I think they did too. Just a brief respite from the seriousness and torture in our heads; the thoughts our minds churn out!
I have been listening to Sam Harris’ Waking Up’, and his excellent 1-minute ‘moments.’ Here was the one this morning. Kind of says it all really…
No matter how good life gets the opportunity to suffer is ever present. Although wealth and fame can secure many forms of pleasure, few of us have any illusions that they guarantee happiness.
Anyone who owns a television or a computer, has seen movie stars, politicians, professional athletes and other celebrities ricochet from marriage to marriage and from scandal to scandal only to learn that a young attractive talented and successful person is nevertheless addicted to drugs or clinically depressed.
We are given almost no cause for surprise and yet the unsatisfactoryness of ‘the good life; runs deep, even while living safely between emergencies, most of us feel a wide range of painful emotions on a daily basis.
When you wake up in the morning are you filled with joy? How do you feel at work or when looking in the mirror? How satisfied are you with what you’ve accomplished in life? How much of your time with your family is spent feeling real love and gratitude and how much is spent struggling just to feel okay in one another’s company?
Even for extraordinarily lucky people life is difficult and when we look at what makes it difficult, we see that we are all prisoners of our thoughts. Pay attention to this your relationship to thought will almost entirely determine the quality of your life and it will also determine how much value you can add to the lives of others.
Stay well and watch those thoughts and remember the old one,
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” Frank Outlaw, Late President of the Bi-Lo Stores.
Want to get your Mojo* back, or find it or keep it? (*P.E.A.C.H: Passion, Energy, Authenticity, Confidence and Humour.) Click on this link and find out what your Mojo-Meter Rating is?
P.S. Find out more about what I do and how I can help with the following offerings
Information on my individual and group Mojo Coaching
Get your Mojo Back – A 2-day Course in the forest where you will access the magical power of your Mojo.
The Interactive Digital and in-person Mojo Dojo Course.
Attend my monthly 90-minute Mojo Storytelling where you’ll discover the transformative effect of your stories.