I had this whole plan to post the other day on how I was stood up by a client (first time in three years) and end with how to be successful you need to surround yourself with like minded people and put in the necessary hours to develop the skills you need… blah, blah, blah. But as one book I was reading finished, I started “the Art of Power” by Thich Nhat Hanh. It was in the first chapter that I realized that I am in no position to talk about success (who am I kidding, I am not successful) or putting in the hours (I could be considered a work-a-holic). Yes I write blogs on a weekly basis, but usually when Anna and Pam are still in bed.
What I realized was that all I have ever chased was this idea of “power”. To me, power was equated with education, respect, money and in some cases, fame…or at least being recognized at the supermarket. So I go to school for what, 11 years of post secondary, I get a job I love at Peak Power and then I start getting my face out to the public. I was an ambassador for Lululemon for two years; try to do a few presentations when asked. But was that bring me power? The book “Art of Power” talks about this in a little more detail and what I came to realize (side note: Pam and my parents have been telling me this but I need to experience and discover it for myself) that what I chased has brought me further away from my goals, and my family. We become obsessed with work as we try to gain “power”. We work harder which leads to raises in pay (increased power) and we gain promotions (increased power). But at some point in the game we begin to gain worries, and we are absorbed with work. We begin to work longer hours to gain more “power” however we become distant to our families. We are never present when we ARE with our families. Our idea of “power” is bastardized.
It is about true power. What we see as power are actually cravings… wealth, fame, sex, fancy material goods and lots of sleep. What we need to be more focused on are the five true powers.
- The Power of Faith – The word faith though in this case is better translated as “confidence” and “trust”. You must have this within or you end up seeking it from outside means.
- The Power of Diligence – This is the act of practicing (your skill) for example regularly, daily, BUT with the support of family, friends and community.
- The Power of Mindfulness- the energy of being aware of what is happening in the present moment. Not being concerned with what happened in the past, or what will happen in the future. Being in the present moment.
- The Power of Concentration – This is closely tied to Mindfulness as with concentration we must concentrate on what we are doing in the present moment. For example, if I am writing a program, I concentrate at the task at hand, be mindful that the program in all I should be concerned with. If I am not mindful, and concentrate, the program writing takes much longer.
- The Power of Insight – Insight allows one to fully see what they are concentrating on. It is very much built on the idea of Impermanence (everything does not last forever; there is a cycle of life for example). Therefore we live with this idea that we will be around forever, and we dwell on despair and negative emotions. With the insight to impermanence we begin to live our lives in the moment, with purpose.
These are not changes we make over night, or over a chapter in a book. They take the five powers themselves to change your thoughts, and mannerisms. But they also challenge the very direction you may have been traveling in your own personal life.
But until the next post
Yours in health and performance,
Jeff Osadec, MKin, CEP, CSCS
Deliberate Health and Performance