The story goes that the tortoise and the hare were in a race. The hare, a very confident and somewhat noisy fellow (so we’re told), decided he could sit back and wait until the last possible minute to cross the finish line. He felt, because the tortoise was so slow, there was no chance his competition would win. Unfortunately for the hare, he dozed off under a tree whilst waiting, and so he lost the race.
This childhood fable reminds us that it’s not always those you’d expect to win – the extroverts – who succeed, and it challenges us to consider whether it’s always the confident, loudest, fastest people who get ahead. Not only did the tortoise win, but his message to keep going even in the face of adversity, offered motivation for us all. In her book Quiet, Susan Cain explains that introverts can succeed just as well, quoting Albert Einstein and JK Rowling as two examples. (There’s more about this in my next newsletter).So what does winning mean to you – what would it look like? I’d love to hear what you think.
* We may associate winning with being loud and confident but, as I’ve described above, you don’t have to be noisy to get your own way. If you’re finding assertive conversations difficult either at work or at home, you could try preparing a list of things you want to say or the points you want to make, by writing them down and practicing them, perhaps with a friend before hand.
* Knowing what you want in life to help you succeed can be hard, especially if things have been difficult for so long. Spend an hour imagining what life would look like if you were ‘successful’, to help you get in touch with what success means for you. Start writing a ‘to do’ list – make sure you add some timescales to help you make it happen. Ask for help, if you’re still not sure.
* Something like 50% of the population are introverts – if you’re someone who needs some time out, schedule this in your diary each week, whether it’s to read a book or just sit under a tree – it’s okay to be quiet! Every winner has scars, so whether you’d describe yourself as an extrovert or an introvert, everyone has fought quite a battle to get where they are. Time out is important though, so if you’re feeling the strain, make sure you schedule time to relax as often as possible.
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Susan Cain talks about the Power of Introverts at a TED conference.
Blog Featured Image courtesy of Warner Bros
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Two travelling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She thanked him and went on her way.
As the monks continued their journey, the one who had hesitated was now brooding and seemed preoccupied. Unable to remain silent any longer, he spoke out: “Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!”
“Brother,” the second monk replied, “I set her down on the other side straight away, why are you still carrying her?”
Letting go isn’t easy. Life can challenge us in many ways and the ripple effects of hurt and problems can stay with us for months or years to come. Our time spent worrying about the future, or thinking about the past, can take us away from the here and now, and in doing so we miss the beauty of what’s happening all around us. This is where mindfulness can help us focus our mind and our awareness in a way that can be good for us.
What is Mindfulness?
“Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing something about who that is. Mindfulness has to do with…questioning our view of the world and our place in it. Most of all it has to do with being in touch.” Jon Kabat-Zinn
Have you ever driven your car to work and not remembered the journey? This “automatic pilot” is what many of us have become used to, and it can stop us from living a fulfilling and rewarding life. We exist, rather than thrive. We get stuck in a rut.
Mindfulness is also about becoming ‘unstuck’. The teachings (which are over 2000 years old and which include those taught to me by a Buddhist monk) focus on bringing your awareness to your situation in a way that can be healthy and effective for you.
It’s about putting you back in touch with who you are, what you want, and helping you to steer in a direction where you’re in control.
What are the benefits?
Thank you for listening to me, your calmness, your empathy and the techniques you taught me to help with my anxiety. They have been invaluable and I will continue to use them. Thank you for helping me find my sparkle. ~ Debbie
The benefits of mindfulness are known to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and is also believed to help manage pain and stress (suitable in pregnancy).
I also offer Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a technique to help reduce stress, manage anxiety and live mindfully.
Group learning on this topic is also available for private and corporate clients. You can use the form below to enquire about a 1-1 or group learning event.
Dear Delphi. Thank you for a fascinating session. Will certainly try these techniques to help me drift off to a good night’s sleep.
How to book with Delphi
Please use the form below to get in touch. Clients who subscribe receive a discounted rate of £35 per session. (Before discount: £45 an hour).
There is also a guide about meditation in the Members area which is exclusive to subscribers who join my mailing list – it’s free to subscribe.
*NEW* Factsheet – What is Mindfulness?
There is also a guide on meditation in the members area, exclusive to subscribers of my mailing list. It’s free to subscribe.