Category Archives: Character

How One Small Weakness or Flaw can Invalidate Everything – Discipline and Humility

Discipline. It’s a word I hated for a very long time.

“Others making me do things.” That’s how it felt to me.

“I don’t want discipline! I don’t need discipline.

I am free!”

Wait a minute.

I have learned (in my old age)…

No matter your gifts and abilities…though you can do all miracles, know all things, and have all power …

If you have one character flaw, bad habit, or weakness…

It can all be useless.

That weakness can destroy or invalidate all the rest, if it isn’t handled.

The worst part?

Often, as a gifted superstar, you won’t even see it.

You will continue ‘being great’ and making miracle after miracle and yet never figure out why your results are mediocre or worse.

Thus comes the discipline. And the humility.

Humility to find out what you are lacking–from those who care about you and can see you clearly.

And discipline to work on it until it is no longer in the way.

3 months?
6 months?
A couple years?

Are you willing to put in that time to develop that weakness, overcome that flaw, and move through that habit–to get what you really want?

Even if it takes that long?

Am I OK how I am?

Our friendship was on the laser’s edge. We had had great conversations. But I felt our friendship collapsing. And I didn’t know why. The ‘advice’ I had given him recently, while feeling good at the time, had thrown his system into chaos today.

And I didn’t know why.

In the last minute, I suddenly ‘got it’. I said what I needed to say. He felt much better. And our connection deepened.

And I was a different man.

This is such a deep lesson to me and it took many, many mistakes with clients, friends, and partners before I finally got it, and I felt like a giant weight was lifted off of me.

The question is: Am I OK how I am?

When someone comes to us with some kind of distress, often the question deep down is:

  • Am I broken?
  • Am I defective?
  • Is how I am ‘wrong’?

Incredibly difficult questions to ask, rooted in deep shame.

And, my response to those, for years, has been to find the source of their discomfort and to alleviate it via…

  • new techniques
  • better “ideas”
  • empathy

…and so on.

But, the fundamental truth is that: You are perfect. You are exactly who and what you need to be right now.

You are perfect in which the way the sapling is as perfect as the mighty oak.

Just as perfect as the six-year-old is to the sixty-year-old.

Which is ‘better’? Which is ‘done’? Which is ‘perfect’?

Obviously, neither. The six-year-old is at the perfect stage of development for himself. The sixty-year-old as well. They are both vital and powerful parts of their community.

And they don’t need to change anything.

And neither do you!

So, instead now, I come from a space of: you are perfect as you are, of course. Nothing to be ashamed of. And nothing that ‘needs’ changing.

When we come from that space, anything we wish to change comes from a space of play and experimentation, rather than defect and a I-must-correct-this attitude.

And the results are unimaginably different in this energy as opposed to the energy of shame.

Most of our suffering about a situation comes from our wanting that situation to be different. And a lot of that ‘wanting’ is the result of shame.

Being able to accept the perfection of ‘right now’ allows us both to enjoy where we are and take steps to have things different later.