Archives For Awareness

A person of discernment: Most of life is discernment; it calls for good taste and the best of judgement, for neither learning nor mind is enough. There is nothing perfect where there is not choice. Two qualities are required: the power to choose and the power to choose the better. And yet in this, many with creative minds, sharp understanding, learning, and experience still fail. Forever consorting with the worse, it is as though they are determined to go wrong. So discernment comes to be one of the greatest gifts from on high.

~ Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Leader Qualities

The quality of the leader determines the quality of the organization.
A leader who lacks intelligence, virtue, and experience cannot hope for success.
In any conflict, the circumstances affect the outcome.
Good leaders can succeed in adverse conditions.
Bad leaders can lose in favorable conditions.
Therefore, good leaders constantly strive to perfect themselves, lest their shortcomings mar their endeavors.
When all other factors are equal, it is the character of the leader that determines the outcome.

Published in The Leadership Experience Fourth Edition

LET the tempted one know this: that he himself is both tempter and tempted; that all his enemies are within; that the flatterers which seduce, the taunts which stab, and the flames which burn, all spring from that inner region of ignorance and error in which he has hitherto lived; and knowing this, let him be assured of complete victory over evil. When he is sorely tempted, let him not mourn, therefore, but let him rejoice in that his strength is tried and his weakness exposed. For he who truly knows and humbly acknowledges his weakness will not be slow in setting about the acquisition of strength.

 He who cannot fearlessly face his lower nature cannot climb the rugged heights of renunciation.


~ Daily Meditations, Daily Meditations

THE foolish man thinks that little faults, little indulgences, little sins, are of no consequence; he persuades himself that so long as he does not commit flagrant immoralities he is virtuous, and even holy; but he is thereby deprived of virtue and holiness, and the world knows him accordingly; it does not reverence, adore, and love him; it passes him by; he is reckoned of no account; his influence is destroyed. The efforts of such a man to make the world virtuous, his exhortations to his fellow men to abandon great vices, are empty of substance and barren of fruitage. The insignificance which he attaches to his small vices permeates his whole character, and is the measure of his manhood.

He who regards his smallest delinquencies as of the gravest nature becomes a saint.

~ James Allen, Daily Meditations

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unbreakable.

How can a troubled mind
Understand the way?

Your worst enemy cannot harm you
As much as your own thoughts, unguarded.

But once mastered,
No one can help you as much,
Not even your father or your mother.

~ The Buddha, Dhammapada

Know what probing is, for it is a fine point in human intercourse. It is done to test the spirit, and by it one may with concern probe the most hidden and the deepest recesses of the heart. Sometimes it is malicious, sharp, poisoned with the juice of envy, and dipped in the venom of passion like unnoticed darts aimed to bring down the sublime and the estimable. Many have fallen from the favor of high or low, wounded by some trifling word, who earlier never feared a whole conspiracy of popular hatred and personal spleen. At other times it works differently, through flattery aiding and abetting the self-esteem. But with the same skill with which a plot is projected, let caution recognize it, and attentiveness expect it. Defense depends upon recognition, and the shot foreseen always misses its mark.

~ Baltasar Gracian, The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)

Question the Brules (Bullshit Rules):

Extraordinary minds question the Brules when they feel those Brules are out of alignment with their dreams and desires. They recognize that much of the way the world works is due to people blindly following Brules that have long passed their expiration date.

~ Vishen Lakhiani , The Code of the Extraordinary Mind (2016)

HE who clings to self is his own enemy, and is surrounded by enemies. He who relinquishes self is his own savior, and is surrounded by friends like a protecting belt. Before the divine radiance of a pure heart all darkness vanishes and all clouds melt away, and he who has conquered self has conquered the universe. Come, then, out of your poverty; come out of your pain; come out of your troubles, and sighings, and complainings, and heartaches, and loneliness by coming out of yourself. Let the old tattered garment of your petty selfishness fall from you, and put on the new garment of universal Love. You will then realize the inward heaven, and it will be reflected in all your outward life.

All glory and all good await the coming of obedient feet.

~ James Allen, Daily Meditations

One who knows other people is wise.
One who knows himself is enlightened.
To overcome others is strong.
To overcome oneself is the will of power.
One who is contented is rich.
One who is determined has the strength of will.
Those who embrace their true nature shall long live.
He who is enlightened with the original nature,
Although dies physically, is eternally united with the everlasting Tao.

~ Lau Tzu, Tao Te Ching

To avoid resentment and worry over ingratitude, here is Rule 3:

  1. Instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s expect it. Let’s remember that Jesus healed ten lepers in one day—and only one thanked Him. Why should we expect more gratitude than Jesus got?
  2. Let’s remember that the only way to find happiness is not to expect gratitude, but to give for the joy of giving.
  3. Let’s remember that gratitude is a “cultivated” trait; so if we want our children to be grateful, we must train them to be grateful.

~ Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living