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Mindful Leadership

Purification Requires “Grit”

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As we become more Mindful, we also become aware of our negative patterns.  Essentially, these are behaviours or habits that hold us back, get us into trouble, cause us to struggle, and become impediments to our happiness and effectiveness.  If left unchecked, these patterns compromise our relationships and our lives.

As Mindful leaders, our objective is to purify these patterns, so that we can get the most out of our lives, personally and professionally.

In the previous Blog, I cited the research of Angela Lee Duckworth on “grit”, which she asserts to be a predictor of success.  She defines “grit” as passion and persistence for your long term goals.  It is having stamina and working towards your future goals, day in and out, for years.  It is living life as if it is a marathon, not a sprint.

And that is exactly the quality required to “purify” negative patterns.  First, it requires being honest with oneself.  We have to be prepared to accept the negative side of ourselves, to acknowledge that we could do better.  Most importantly, once that is done, we have to be prepared to accept ourselves as we are, without recrimination, and without guilt.  Purifying requires self compassion, and along with that self forgiveness.

Even when we fall short, we have tried our best. It is always our best under the circumstances.  And that’s all we can ever ask.  We can resolve to do better next time, and to try and try again, until the negative pattern has dissolved, with barely a trace.

By making deliberate purification a habit, we feel lighter and more in control of our lives.  In fact, we begin to see that our negative patterns were never punishable failures, but rather opportunities to “correct our course”, much as a sailor would alter or correct course in recognition that the winds had changed.

Deliberate purification is empowering.  It enables us to recognize that we are not at the mercy of life and its circumstances.  No matter what life brings, we can always take control of our attitudes, behaviours and actions.

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