This is a story about a forty-seven-year, self-awareness journey to uncover the what’s, how’s, and why’s of life’s behaviors: simply awareness of how one chooses to “show-up” in life via the personality, character, and mentality. “Once upon a time” of the trek started during a pre-meeting walk with a new boss in a state-of-the-art, two-piece aluminum can manufacturing plant in Golden, Colorado.
Grateful for four years at West Point; eight years in the Army, including promotions to Major, military decorations, and two years of combat during the Vietnam War; three civilian jobs; and a wife with a child on-the-way, it was good fortune to land a Purchasing Manager position (1973) with Coors Container Company. During a walk in the pounding can plant, the new boss commented that unless the author began to manage his stress, evolving life would be hectic. This comment unleashed a life-long challenge and opportunity to look under the rug and uncover the “stuff” that makes this human being tick. The first tee and green were to read I’m OK, You’re OK: Practical Guide to Self-Analysis (Thomas A. Harris, 1967, NY, NY: Harper Collins) and to attend (1974) an “I’m OK, You’re OK” seminar at the Mountain States Employers Council, Denver, Colorado. The unfolded curriculum vitae (plus approximately $80,000 for the awareness search) includes five educational degrees and 27 years of assorted corporate leadership positions; targeted academic courses and seminars; study abroad and retreats; club, committee, and panel participation; group memberships, workshops, and associations; teaching and public speaking endeavors; published books and unpublished papers; and the student journey of living, family, reading, piano, writing, golf, experiencing, seeing, and learning continues. Here are some discoveries:
- Life is an accumulation of our stories.
- Golf is a guru and can be fun and simple.
- Be grateful and say “thank-you” every day: life is a gift and priceless treasure.
- Simple is on the other side of complexity: keep looking for it.
- Commit to integral health, wellness, and well-being: program the subconscious to be perfectly healthy; and exercise the physical body, subtle body (felt energies), and causal body (resting). Integral Life Practice inspires uncovering the existing treasure of insights, methods, and practices for cultivating a more enlightened life. (Wilber, et al, 2008, Boston, MA: Integral)
- Meditation (concentration and awareness) offers visibility of how one chooses to show-up via the personality, character, and mentality. Meditation fixes nothing: it helps uncover the watcher and offers insight into how one behaves.
- The subconscious is 90% of who we are: learn how to program it, re-program it, and trust it.
- Create solid core values of honesty, integrity, and morality. Other guiding values: generosity, discipline, patience, effort, knowledge, and wisdom.
- A great code of conduct: I will not lie, cheat, or steal nor tolerate those amongst us who do.
- 100% responsibility: life happens because of me, not to me. Accept responsibility and determine what needs to be done to move forward: no blaming, lying, defying, or denying.
- Be objective, not self-serving, and make decisions in the best interests of the organization or folks served.
- Look for “what” and not “who.”
- Manage by agreement: agree on “what” will be accomplished by “when.” If the “what” and/or “when” cannot be accomplished, re-negotiate prior to “when” arrives.
- Walk the talk.
- Be a “lifter” of others: inspire, encourage, support, be bubbly, and help.
- The spouse, kids, and grandkids are the best gurus: be open and listen to the messages.
- I am silent self alone.
- Become master of Self, integral life practice, mind”full”ness (conscious, subconscious, and superconscious), awareness, and self-restraint.
- A nice goal: master of Self and model the way as a person, in relationships, and by helping others.
- Self-restraint is a learned skill.
- Leadership is an earned, influence relationship skill.
- There are two types of power: earned and position.
- Communication skill is fourfold: intrapersonal, interpersonal, person-to-persons, and mass media.
- Awareness differentiates folks in golf and life: mentally and emotionally; physically; in relationships; and institutionally-socially.
- Anti-racism is a must have quality of character, personality, and mentally.
- Racism has very deep pillars that have evolved for 600 plus years.
- Be open to learn and grow.
- Political party sorting creates division.
- Fool-proof business plan: create a vison; accurately assess current reality; and prepare gap closers that move reality closer to the vision.
- Five master skills for leaders: delegation that avoids monkeys and gorillas; project management; team building; selection of quality folks; and completed staff work.
- Let the boss know about “screw-ups” before he-she learns about them from others.
- Customers are king.
- Emotions and projections: own them; sit in the flames of them; and just be with the anger, pride, attachment, ignorance, jealousy, or envy.
- Transcend and include to create unity.
- Just go to the breath; and breathe deep.
- The root of happiness is peace-of-mind; and the root of suffering is desire, thirst.
- The foundation of genuine purpose and connection is compassion.
- Love is an assortment of causal energies with an essence beyond words.
And the self-awareness journey continues, just a student of life, living, and golf!