Wednesday, 2 February 2011

a Moment for Wisdom…




Choosing your life means creating your power.

Accepting (or protesting) someone else’s choices means denying your power.

Sharif Abdullah

Personal Wisdom:

Do you believe that you have created a powerful life?

What parts of your life are the result of your own intentions?

What parts of your life are the results of someone else’s intentions?

Did you consciously and willingly accept the intentions of others? Did you feel forced
or threatened to accept their choices?

Very important: if you felt forced to take someone else’s choices… DID YOU TELL THEM?

If you did not, how did you expect them to

Societal Wisdom:

Do you feel powerful in society?

While we claim to live in a “democracy”, and that American’s have “freedoms”, virtually every part of our lives are governed by rules… complex, bizarre and outside of the control of ANY person or group of people.

Which government regulations do you believe are fair, reasonable and well-applied?

Which government regulations do you believe are imposed upon you, regulations that you would end if you had the opportunity?

Which government regulations do you intentionally violate? Why those (and not others)? Can you identify a principle in
the rules that you follow and the rules that you do not?

a Moment with Sharif…

Almost every day, I see people giving up their power.

Most of the time, it comes when people are going through life without a clear understanding of their own intentions. The parent who lets their five year old run their lives. The person who settles for a job they didn’t want, at a salary they didn’t want. Someone who winds up doing someone a “favor” they didn’t want to do.

Don’t get me wrong: compromising is done all the time and is a sign of a very healthy
personality. But, it’s only healthy when you KNOW YOUR INTENTIONS.  Its only healthy when you articulate your position — that’s when you build your power.

Here’s an example from the other day: I saw a very coveted (meaning free) parking space near my favorite coffeehouse. I did a skillful (meaning illegal) U-turn and started backing up to the space. I then noticed another car diving toward the same space.

Both of us stopped. If I had continued into the space, being the polite Portlander, she would probably have given up her claim.

What I did: I “gave” her the space. I did not give up my power… I just changed my intention. And felt very good about the gift!



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Sharif Abdullah photo: Lisa Norton

All other photos by Sharif Abdullah, unless otherwise noted.

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One Response to Wednesday, 2 February 2011

  1. Heather Carver says:

    Just a thought–if both people had been walking or biking instead of driving cars, you could both have fit in that space very easily, with room to spare.
    In addition to all the resources they devour, cars tend to isolate people, creating a clear “me inside, outside=Other” situation.

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