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How To Live: The Z.B.A. Manifesto

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How To Live: The Z.B.A. Manifesto

One morning, several years ago, I wrote a list of statements addressing how I want to live my life.  I call these 35 statements the Z.B.A. Manifesto (my first book is called Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration).

The Z.B.A. Manifesto

  1. It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to be vulnerable. No one has all the answers. We value and learn from the questions and the asking.
  2. We are learning to appreciate the mystery and sacredness of our lives and the mystery and sacredness of life.
  3. Life is short. There is no escape from old age, sickness, and death. Death is a great teacher. Recognizing the shortness of our lives provides motivation to live fully in each day and in each moment.
  4. We understand the importance of taking regular quiet time for ourselves. Through reflection and by slowing down we develop an appreciation for life and we increase our capacity for understanding.
  5. We are learning to trust our inner wisdom. Our bodies and minds are amazing, unexplainable, and unfathomable.
  6. It’s okay to be uneasy, to be uncomfortable, to grieve, to feel pain. Recognizing when something is off, feeling the depth of loss, experiencing pain, is the first step toward change and growth.
  7. Practice active listening — listening deeply to yourself and to others. Listen to others without formulating your own ideas. Listen to yourself before speaking.
  8. We all seek balance in our lives — balancing work and family, balancing our inner and outer lives, balancing what we want to do and what we must do.
  9. We are learning that we can be fully ourselves in all situations — at work, as parents, as children, as friends, as lovers.
  10. Being ourselves at work is vital to our health and happiness. Our time is too valuable to sell, at any price.
  11. Each moment is precious. In every moment we have an opportunity to discover, to grow, to speak the truth.
  12. Each moment is ordinary. In every moment we can realize we are fine, just as we are. Nothing else is needed.
  13. We appreciate what is paradoxical. What may at first seem contradictory or beyond our understanding may be true. After all, who is it that is breathing? Who is it that dreams? How is it that these hands effortlessly glide along this keyboard?
  14. Age is a state of mind. We have the opportunity to grow to be more like ourselves every day.
  15. Developing intimate relationships is a vital part of our lives and our development. Intimacy requires openness, honesty, and vulnerability.
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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.

44 comments

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8:15PM PST on Nov 20, 2010

Okie, found the print button!

8:14PM PST on Nov 20, 2010

I really enjoyed this article. Is there a print version icon I can click to print it?

6:49PM PDT on Sep 18, 2010

Soooo true! Well done!

8:21AM PDT on Sep 14, 2010

The little voices told me this is a good thing.

9:44PM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

A very swell idea.. and very fine statements
I like it and journal all the time which is always pulling the truth out of me,very,very helpful and cleansing.
pat

8:23PM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

Thanks, I'll share it with a friend.

11:42AM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

Well done. Cheers

8:59AM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

so great article.

7:50AM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

Refreshing

7:33AM PDT on Sep 13, 2010

so good!

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