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Enlightened, Fool, or Enlightened Fool?

Enlightened, Fool, or Enlightened Fool?

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)

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Marc Lesser

Marc Lesser is CEO of ZBA Associates LLC, a company providing executive coaching, leadership development consulting, and keynote speaking services to businesses and non-profits. He is a developer and instructor of Google’s Search Inside Yourself program. Marc is a Zen teacher with an MBA degree and a former resident of the San Francisco Zen Center for 10 years. He is the author of Less: Accomplishing More By Doing Less and Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration.


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8:12AM PDT on Mar 13, 2013

I think life is hard and you need all the support you can get to make it through.

3:28PM PDT on Mar 12, 2013

thank you

9:05AM PDT on Mar 12, 2013


3:49PM PST on Jan 25, 2012

I appreciate your point, but many of us have been turned into corporate soldiers and routinized worker-bees. We need to be viewing this from a larger perspective of social change. Without, most of us become little more than "consumers" for most of our lives.

10:49PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011


11:30AM PDT on Sep 27, 2011

Thank you

4:46AM PST on Nov 16, 2010

Thanks for the article.

2:38PM PST on Nov 15, 2010


8:32PM PST on Nov 14, 2010


10:15PM PDT on Oct 11, 2010

Seems as though things were rough for you and your kids. However you wouldn't trade those times for anything.

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