It was an emotional day as I said farewell to my 17 year-old Japanese student who’s come to Canada for an English educational experience. She inspired this topic of discipline. Coming from Asia where education is the highest priority for school aged youth, she demonstrated consistency and effort every single day with her routine of study. Before she arrived, I had wanted a more productive routine in my life, which is one reason I said yes to taking one of the 45 youth that came to North Bay from Saga Japan. I was aware of other Asian cultures, so I knew this experience would be good for my new single, independent life, as well as my children’s experience too. I set some written house rules, more about routine, so she could read them and better understand them with the language barrier.
About a month into her stay, we watched The Karate Kid together, and the movie coupled with the experience of watching her habits made me aware of the difference between disciplines in the Asian and Canadian lifestyle. I think we have a lot to learn about discipline from the people of Asian traditions, and I think that our lives would be more productive, our governments more effective, our budgets more useful if we adopted some of the productive efforts that are demonstrated in these ancient ways of living.
It seems like we’re more social here, and that is not a bad thing. But I believe that our social desires do distract us from what could be a more productive result, especially in this era of technology and social media, social networking and the entire knowledge base of the internet right in the palm of our hands.
- Would you like to shift your results in business, relationships or wellness?
- What would you like to be different?
- What discipline (habits) do you need to form to achieve the new result?
- How are you going to stay on course?
I’ve written a full Leadership Tip about the topic, here’s a link.
Preparing for a late-night walk in the rain with my dog Joy, my coat, hood and headband flashlight had made the dark, damp night feel safe.
I had been walking for almost 45 minutes before I realized that my head was dully aching. The guiding light of my headband’s light had been bright enough to help me find my way along the dirt road and choose secure and solid steps over the uneven ground, rocks and mud puddles, but once over the rough terrain, it became a burden. Had I been more tuned into the feeling of my skull being compressed by the headband, I would have removed it sooner. As soon as I realized and acted upon this, I instantly regretted my earlier lack of attention; the release of the taught elastic band that secured the lamp to my forehead loosened, and I felt immediate relief, expansion and freedom.
I then removed my hood and felt a natural high as the cool breeze blew through my hair. I began to think about how clinging to something—or someone—else’s guiding light and protection might end up sheltering me in the long run.
In my past, I held onto a guiding light: a teacher whom I felt compelled to follow along with, step by step. Following my teacher’s light, I felt safe and protected, but it was only after our time together ended that I discovered my own way. Without the teacher’s light, I was forced to find my own. Without their protection, I had to be brave; to stumble, get back up, and find my own groove. The chance to do things my own way gave me a new freedom that I had never known. This, too, was a natural high that felt just like the sudden cool breeze blowing through my hair: refreshing, liberating, proud and abundant.
Why do we remain under the wings of those who’ve led us, rather than take flight on our own journey with what we’ve learned?
Where have we allowed overprotection in our lives, and how has that stifled our freedom?
What are we clinging to for safety which only holds us back from being who we really are?
When will we allow our own guiding lights to shine brighter than those without whom we thought we’d be blind?
The brilliance of others can be helpful to us when balanced with our own guidance. The protection of others can be a safe place while we strengthen ourselves, but it’s not meant to be a place to curl up and hide from our own potential.
As I walked without the guiding light and hooded protection, I saw the night sky, the moon and the stars and realized that unsheltered and untethered is where my true freedom is.
Best wishes for your steps to freedom,
Penny Tremblay is the Director of the Tremblay Leadership Center, an international speaker, author, trainer and mentor with more than 20 years experience on the subject of business relationships. Her work has been published internationally for over ten years in online and offline publications, books and audio products. Her new book, Give and Be Rich will help you tap the circle of abundance in early 2014. Penny lives in Northern Ontario where she loves to balance family, career and time for spiritual self-mastery. www.PennyTremblay.com
One sure way to get feeling good and doing your best with the personal and professional relationships in your life is to live each day as if it were your last. If today was your last day at the office, how would you live it? The relationships with co-workers and customers would be a priority. If today was the last day of your life, the relationships with family and friends would be paramount to you. Imagine if you could feel good about the relationships in your life everyday. With feelings of appreciation, gratitude, peace, forgiveness and love for yourself and others, there is nothing you cannot accomplish. Read more about the power of living each day as if it were your last in the July 2010 article titled What’s On Your Bucket List?
Wishing you a full bucket every day,
PS.Would you please take a moment to complete a one-question survey for me?Everyone who responds will be entered into a draw for a free copy of The Greatest You, a dual CD audio program to learn the skills of self-mastery.