Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Life Lessons from Gandhi and Clint Eastwood

I have read a lot in the last week or so about people and blame. We have had political leaders apologising, refusing to apologise, blaming others or global forces for problems. We have even had Josef Fritzl blaming his mother for the abhorrent crimes against his family.

And then I was directed to an article in the Times, condemning all “management” theories as irrelevant and blaming them for organisations ills.

This all takes me back to a central tenet of my personal philosophy, which is best summed up as the first of Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, which is to be proactive. Covey’s definition of this term takes it back to the fundamental premise of taking responsibility for yourself, your life and your actions, past, present and future – a strong theme from Transactional Analysis, which is another good old theory. This was well put by Abe Wagner, my favourite TA tutor, who advised us to “Be self determining and help others to do the same.”

I believe that if we do that, which frees our minds and our spirit. it then becomes much easier to be effective and successful. You are not hot tempered because you are Irish or have red hair or because your Dad was like that. Life and personality are based on choices - choices about acceptance and direction. No-one else is to blame, and certainly not a theory, which is only someone’s attempt to describe or explain their experience of how life has been for them. How you interpret and live that theory is your responsibility.

We can all learn from experience, whether it is our own or someone else’s, which is why we like to read or watch biographies and in a shorter version, peoples quotes.

As Mahatma Gandhi said: “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”

Or as Clint Eastwood puts it: “Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power.”

So I need to “make my day”, not wait for some punk to do it for me! We should all learn to learn from and through experience.


Suzie said...

I like the idea of personal responsibility, there is too much in the corporate world of passing the buck or even completely not acknowledging the creation of a problem and apologising for it. I amazed how some Senior Executives can drift through without their consciences pricking at them.

As an HR Consultant who specilaises in smaller businesses, I see owner/manager's have more personal investment with their employees and customers - so doing the right thing comes a little easier.

Christine said...

I notice it a lot in my work that individuals like to blame others instead of seeing their own contribution to the situation. Maybe a little more personal responsibility and we wouldn't be in such a mess!!!
I like the Ghandi quote.

Mohammed said...

Nice comments/ discussion on the idea that of you put your mind to it you can 'Possibly' make it; Gandhi was a leader managing people by example, we need more examples in our lives, the increase of capitalism makes people run hard after our daily bread and takes them away from sticking to principle, good ethics, behaviour. Basic needs (Health, education) is a must support for governement to enable good life for all

adalia said...

I read a post today regarding experience. The blogger disagreed with the quote "experience is the best teacher." He validated his conclusion by stating that he did not have to do drugs to know that doing drugs was not a good idea. However, from your blog, because of your conscious awareness, you made a statement that implies that we can have experiences vicariously and learn from the experiences of others.
I like that and I am in total agreement.