For many years I was the primary “manager” of the early-morning routines in my house — waking my children, making breakfast and lunches, getting the kids to the kitchen table and to school, on time. Every day the challenges were unique — some days there were no clean socks, or someone overslept, or one or both kids just didn’t feel like eating. Once we sat down to breakfast, we often experienced a few moments of calm. At other times I would have to remind my kids that breakfast is a noncontact sport! After dropping them off at their schools, I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. The rest of the day, being CEO of a small, growing, complex company seemed easy in comparison to the task of getting my children to school, on time, every morning.
Whether in or out of the work setting, or at home with our families, when we are open and pay attention, opportunities to connect, to grow, and to learn are everywhere — while waiting in line to pay for groceries, while driving our cars, or while standing by the coffee machine in the office.
Finding fulfillment and satisfaction at work and outside of work is vital to our health and our spirit. According to Suzuki Roshi, (founder of the San Francisco Zen Center) “On one side we are all fools. But when we realize this, we are enlightened.” This, I believe is an important aspect of work, of spiritual practice, of life. It is actually okay to be a fool! If we don’t sometimes laugh at the surprises and challenges, and difficulties in our lives, we cannot learn and grow and become more fully ourselves.
What do you think?
(Adapted from Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration, by Marc Lesser)