I do not believe that it is in the best interest of businesses to be dishonest in any way. It therefore also follows that I do not believe any business or leader who pursues a path of honesty and integrity is in any way naive. Indeed, I am quite in agreement with Alan Greenspan's comments as provided in his Harvard Commencement speech. Indeed, as Mr. Greenspan implies, those business leaders who pursue honesty are more likely to prosper in the long-term than those who do not.
One needs only to consider business giants like Enron and even super-rich individuals like Bernard Madoff for fair warning that dishonest business practices, if found out, will lead to the downfall of even the strongest, tallest giants. Indeed, it is much easier to maintain business honesty to begin with than it is to operate by underhanded methods that are increasingly difficult to hide. Furthermore, the more a company grows or the higher an individual rises, the more likely it is that those individuals who are unable to live with the dishonesty will engage in whistle blowing and expose the individual or business for what it is.
But, as Mr. Greenspan indicates, business honesty is not only based upon escaping capture and loss, but also upon the best possible outcome for all involved. Even centuries ago, those business owners with a reputation for honesty and integrity survived for longer than those who did not. Hence, according to Alan Greenspan: "And beyond the personal sense of satisfaction, having a reputation for fair dealing is a profoundly practical virtue. We call it "good will" in business and add it to our balance sheets."
In short, it is wise, rather than naive, for business leaders to maintain integrity in their dealings with clients, partners, employees, and others.
In the interview, Roberto Assagioli seems to compare self-control to what he calls the "will." One technique to start at least separating the will from the rest of an individual's inner self is "disidentification." This simply means that a person stops identifying him- or herself with everything that he or she considers as important in life. A person who is very dedicated to a husband or wife, for example, is not less of a person without that love. He or she is not identified as the love, although the love the person experiences is very big. The same is true of other areas of life such as religion or work. A person might say something like "I am a Christian" or "I am a writer." To strengthen self-control, however, it is important to realize that, although we say so, we are not necessarily equal to religion or work. A person must understand that he or she holds a belief or does work. However, if we stop believing or doing certain things, this does not make us less than the people we are.
A strategy that follows this is to affirm what we are beyond the identification of the above things in life. A person must understand that he or she is "self-consciousness." This focus on the consciousness without anything that forms it is a central self-control center that can rule thinking and physical actions. To recognize this strengthens self-control.
The final strategy is visualization. This means that a person should picture very clearly what he or she would be like with a strong will. This picture must be as clear as possible and can be applied to anything, such as the will to control one's temper or the will to strengthen self-discipline for the purpose of studying regularly.
When these techniques are practiced regularly, self-control will become stronger.
I have family members, teachers, and friends, who all deserve a debt of gratitude from me. My parents each played a very important role in my life, especially when I was very young and not yet in school. My mother taught me the value of reading and cooking, while my father taught me the beauty of writing and study. All these skills are now things I use regularly in my life and work.
My seventh-grade English teacher, Mr. Craven, gave me a never-ending passion for expressing myself. He gave me the opportunity to write a composition on my love for nature and to read it in class. When I finished, the class applauded. This gave me confidence in both speaking and writing.
Finally, my best friend, Timothy, deserves a large amount of my thanks. He was always there for me, no matter what I was going through. He always cared for me and always understood, inspiring me to do the same for him.
I therefore offer my thanks to all these important people in my life. They and many others made me the person I am today, and for that, I am deeply grateful.
Joshua Wolf Shenk's thesis is that, while Abraham Lincoln did suffer from depression, as historical and personal records indicate, the general view that this condition hampered his development as a human being and ultimately as a leader should be denied by the actual evidence of his life.
Shenk describes Lincoln's coping strategies, as well as the way in which his life and condition developed, in three major stages: fear, engagement, and transcendence. During the "fear" stage, Lincoln was frequently subject to bouts of melancholy and depression, made worse by personal and financial problems. His major coping strategy here was not to succumb to these, but rather to face his fears. He discussed his personal fears not with family members or friends, but with professionals, such as his law partner, who was in a position to offer practical help.
In the second stage, "engagement," Lincoln worked actively to devise ways in which to live with his condition. While acknowledging that life, for him, was misery, he focused on ways in which he might make life bearable for himself. He did this by investigating his own nature as a human being, the possibility of how he might change, and the extent of the things he would have to endure during this journey. It was therefore a conscious effort to make life better for himself, despite the fact that it was miserable.
In the final stage, transcendence, Lincoln was able to use his depression to help him become a more sympathetic and human leader, to the point where he was able to fight against the established, accepted norm of slavery. This made him one of the greatest leaders of his time, and of all time.
I do not believe that the word "pleasure" can be a good substitute for "happiness." The main reason for this is that the concept of happiness is much wider than pleasure. Pleasure is a simple and short-term thing, such as having a good meal, reading a good book, or listening to good music. Most pleasure comes from physical things or at most from something that we can perceive with our senses. Happiness is much more lasting than this.
Often, to gain happiness, some unpleasant action or commitment is required. To have the happiness of a good job and the pleasure the money could bring for example, a person is required to commit years to study while less than pleasant jobs pay for tuition, books, or the necessities of life. For the happiness of a long-term relationship, a person must often work with a partner through times of insecurity, fights, and other forms of hardship. There is almost no long-term happiness that does not come from some sort of hard work. While the work may often be pleasant, it would be difficult to describe it all as "pleasure." In conclusion, pleasure is therefore not the same as happiness, although it certainly is part of it.
The story begins with the final realization that Ivan Ilych makes as he lies on his death bed: "Ivan Ilych's life had been the most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible." The majority of the work relates Ivan's life as pleasant, but unremarkable. What was remarkable, however, was that Ivan was not aware of being unhappy. In fact, he enjoyed his life and his work. When his home life made him unhappy, he simply escaped into his work. It was only when he became ill and had to spend most of his life at home that Ivan became unhappy. His desire to be cared for and pitied while he was dying brought home to him the idea that this might have been possible if he had lived life differently. Had he been a more loving and caring family man, his family would have reciprocated by loving him on his deathbed. His colleagues, who liked him, could not fulfill this role.
Ivan stopped screaming because he realized that he could still fix the mistake of his life: "Yes, it was not the right thing…but that's no matter. It can be done. But what is the right thing?" he asked himself, and suddenly…