The Lone Leader Weekly

31st May 2023

Turning Up Is 90% Of The Battle.

That’s your competitive advantage.

#1. Shed The Past.

Leave your old identity behind.

#2. There Is Always Someone Better. 

There is always someone worse.

#3. Measure Your Progress In Inches.

Not miles.

Use Your Imperfections To Move Forward.

Imposter syndrome has to be one of the top five challenges for all Lone Leaders (For more on why you struggle with it, read here), ultimately based on the story that we tell ourselves that we are not good enough.

You are wrong, according to Japanese culture, more specifically, Kintsugi. The Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold – is built on the idea that embracing flaws and imperfections can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.

Another top five word has to be resilience, or in more crude terms, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.

So with that said, it doesn’t matter how broken YOU think you are. You have enduring value.

You may not need gold to repair yourself; it’s much simpler:

  1. Appreciate how far you have come a little each day
  2. Accept praise when it’s given, don’t call it luck; you created that moment
  3. Very rarely will you be the best, but to strive to be the best, you have to be imperfect
  4. Take a break – when you are so close, you can only see the cracks
  5. Do something for yourself, be selfish – not a reward, kindness to yourself should be a given
  6. Accept that each failure is a lesson that you can review, tweak your approach and then try again
  7. Only death is fatal.

Looking into Kintsugi more deeply, you start to realise that the fragility of the vase is why we treat it differently. We leave it on a shelf out of reach, demanding that others don’t touch it but only admire it.

If we apply that principle to business and your leadership, if we protect our fragility too much, we do not experience the value we are—admiration from afar is the currency of this generation. But as you will witness, their fragility is even greater than ever.

By accepting that we are or can be broken, we can then accept that we can be healed or fixed with love and kindness.

What else can we learn from this philosophy?

Wabi-sabi: admire imperfection

Wabi-sabi is all about embracing those beautiful imperfections and finding joy in the simplicity of life. We all face tough times, and let’s face it, striving for perfection is nothing short of a mirage. In the land of the rising sun, wabi signifies solitude, while sabi represents the ever-passing hands of time.

Together, they bestow upon us the wisdom to accept both the good and the bad within ourselves and the inherent asymmetry of existence.

Dr Rachel O’Neill, LPCC, a seasoned therapist at Talkspace, affirms that when we fully embrace our flaws, we celebrate our inner strengths. From chasing an unattainable ideal to embracing our unique strengths, this profound shift in our mindset paves the way for a more positive and strength-oriented approach to life.

Gaman: live with resilience

Let’s talk about Gaman, the art of enduring, remaining patient, and staying cool as a cucumber. Now, Gaman isn’t some far-fetched concept. Nope, it’s something that every one of us can practice daily.

How? Well, by meditating, visualizing, or simply taking a few precious moments to breathe. As the insightful Christine Tolman, LPC, wisely puts it, when we focus on something as fundamental and elemental as our breath, we’re giving our minds a well-deserved breather.

Let me tell you, resiliency isn’t any secret sauce. It’s something we can cultivate day in and day out by how we choose to respond to life’s daily stresses.

You see, instead of getting all tangled up in the web of negativity, use challenges as golden opportunities for growth. Whether you’re trudging through the life-altering turmoil of a divorce or just trying to make it through a nerve-racking workweek, Gaman urges us to dig deep within ourselves and tap into that wellspring of inner strength.

Kansha: cultivate sincere gratitude

Let’s dive into the heart of Kintsugi wellness, where we encounter a mighty concept known as Kansha. And let me tell you, Kansha is a game-changer—it’s all about expressing gratitude for both the highs and the lows of life’s journey.

When we truly recognize and appreciate all we have, the healing process quickens, and our resilience skyrockets. Gratitude isn’t just some fluffy notion—it’s about wholeheartedly embracing the present moment and shedding those futile wishes for what we lack.

But here’s the kicker—Kansha isn’t just about stroking our egos and putting on rose-coloured glasses. Oh no, it’s about rewiring our brains to focus on the positive instead of getting lost in the quagmire of negativity.

Gratitude encompasses both the good and the not-so-good. You see, everything happens for a reason, and no challenging situation graces our path without a purpose.

That purpose is to mould us into better, more resilient, and profoundly grateful individuals.

So, let’s embrace Kansha with open arms, appreciating every twist and turn, every up and down, on this remarkable journey called life.

The lesson: We are all broken now and then, but our minds must be trained to understand how we heal ourselves.

Until next week, embrace your broken.


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