The illusion that personal gain is made up of crushing others.
The tendency to worry about things that cannot be changed or corrected.
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it.
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences.
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind, and not acquiring the habit of reading and study.
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.
- Marcus Cicero (106 B.C.-43 B.C.)
I am currently reading a book on wisdom by thought-leader Wayne Dyer and came across this listing titled "The Six Mistakes of Man". What caught my eye about it is the time period in which Cicero wrote it. Cicero lived loooong ago but these same mistakes are still applicable today.
For example, one of the hardest things I've had to re-frame in my life as an entrepreneur is regarding the first mistake listed above. In business, it has been a long standing traditional model to look at your success at the expense of another and that competition is the root of great business.
As a woman, I completely and have always disagreed with this sentiment.
I believe in win-wins where both parties of any business transaction can win. Period.
I don't want to do business with anyone that is cut-throat, out for blood, doesn't consider people and who also doesn't want me to win as much as I want them to win.
This was especially evident to me this past week as I prepared a package for a new client. I am outsourcing part of the package to a fellow woman-owned business owner. Not only has it been a pleasure to work with my fellow woman-owned business owner (she really wants me to win as much as I also want her to win) but she also is supporting me 100% by discounting her normal fees so that I can get my foot in the door.
That's not competition...that's winning!
Clarifying Your Worry
Another example that I thought about when reading this poem is based on the second mistake listed above. Not only in my life but also in the life of clients and friends, I have seen over and over how we all can become focused on the wrong things. The wrong things are worrying about people and situations that we cannot change or correct. I have seen people leave companies, end relationships or sever ties because they were frustrated with not being able to change a person or situation instead of focusing their energies on what they CAN change.
An exercise I have my coaching clients do that can help give you clarity for this mistake is: 1. Make a listing of all the things that are worrying you about a specific situation; 2. Draw one medium sized circle and then draw another larger circle around the medium sized circle; 3. Take your listing and write those items from your list that are within your own, personal control inside the medium sized circle; 4. Take your listing again and write those items from your list that are outside your own, personal control inside the larger sized circle.
What you should have is a visual of what you need to take some action on (inside the medium sized circle) and what's outside your control that you need to let go (inside your larger sized circle). I have and have had clients who get some great "aha" moments from this simple exercise.
What do you think of these six mistakes? I hope these six mistakes make you re-consider what you are worrying about, how you reach personal gain, letting go of trivial preferences and live with grace!
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