The Wisdom
Exchange

With Patrick Mosher

The Quest for Character

Have you ever wondered if you adequately develop your Character or show up with Character at work?  With your kids?  In your life? 

What Does Character Even Mean? 

Let's start with the definition of Character.  Webster dictionary gives us all sorts of definitions of the word, Character.

  • Attribute that distinguishes an individual
  • Mental or ethical traits that individualize a person, group or nation
  • Essential nature, strongly marked to distinguish
  • Moral excellence
  • Graphic symbol, as in an alphabet

What do you see as common elements in those five definitions of Character?  I see … DISTINGUISH.  After all, who wants to go to the movies or a watch a play or read a novel with bland characters?  Or how could you read an alphabet where all characters looked alike!?!  They must be distinguishable, each with their own sound or meaning.

The second common component in the five definitions of Character is ethical traits and moral...

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Wisdom Story of Authentic Chasm Moments

Have you ever had that moment when you're interacting with someone and time seems to stand still?  There's a million responses running around in your head.  You choose one.  The safe one.  20 minutes later you think to yourself, "OOOOHHHH!   I shoulda said BLANK!"

That, my friend, was an Authentic Chasm Moment….missed.

Let's switch it around.  Think about 5 moments in your life that were significant.  REALLY significant.  Write them down right now.

<jeopardy music plays>

I'd place a large bet that at least two of those five significant moments, there was an Authentic Chasm Moment.  A moment in time you took a diving leap of faith.  A HUGE risk.  The moment right after that Authentic Chasm Moment, you can't believe what came out of your mouth and yet, there it is.  Because you labelled it a significant moment, something purely magical happened next, right?

This too, is an Authentic Chasm Moment, but at the...

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35 Dollar Wisdom Story of Servant Leadership

"I need to go grocery shopping today, Charles.  How much money do you have?"   Charles pulls his wallet out of his back pocket.  Looks in, "$35." 

Seems like a normal conversation, but it changed my life!  You see, I was visiting Charles and his family on Pine Ridge Reservation.  A few of us gathered around him at his front door, listening to him tell stories and share wisdoms from the Lakota ways of being. 

After Charles' wife went back into the house, it dawned on me.  $35.  That's ALL they have!  There's no bank account.  No money stuffed under the mattress.  9 kids and grandma and all they have is $35!!  That realization sunk into my brain.  I was taken aback by the level of faith he has that 'the universe will provide.' 

In the Presence of Wisdom

When you go into another culture, watch for these 'surprise' moments.  You have a choice.  You can judge these moments by your own culture's...

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A Wisdom Story of Significance

What comes to mind when you see the word, SIGNIFICANCE?  Maybe you think of historical events.  Or famous people.  The relevant question is:  Are you significant?  In the world?  On your job?  With your family?  Significance is a big word and it has so many meanings.  Ready to explore?

I've known Becky for 25 years.  A treasured friend.  We were in the café and I was telling her about my new offering which used the words, Success and Significance.  She wrinkled her nose.  "Not a fan of the word, 'significance.'  We live in a world where we strive for more more more.  Significance is overwhelming.  And crushing.  No … significance just feels like more pressure."

Well, that didn't go how I imagined.

Significance and Statistics

Not many people know I'm an analytic geek.  When I was in my PhD program in Organization Behavior, I would go to the bookstore and buy graduate level...

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Wisdom Story of The Last Time

I pulled up in front of the house to pick up my daughters from their Mom's.  I let out a big sigh.  Transition time.  It was a tough week in my consulting job:  tough decisions, long hours and clients in 2 cities.  The 6-hour drive itself is mostly white-knuckled, watching for deer darting out of the woods at any moment.  I'm REALLY bushed.  But it's time to level up the energy for my daughters.  Yes, they expect a full, active day.  I get ready for my 11 and 13-year old -- both at that brink between girl and young women. 

I pause and look up at the door of the house.  It's time.  I get out of the car and walk around to the sidewalk.  My youngest BURSTS through the front door, skips down the stairs and runs down the front path.  She meets me at the sidewalk and throws her arms around me and squeals, "Daddy!!!"  I smile and somehow I know deep in my soul that this is the Last Time I'll get this unsolicited,...

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Wisdom in Finding the ME in YOU!

We began this board retreat in an unusual way.  We walked a labyrinth.  Simply put, a labyrinth is not a maze.  It’s structure that has one way in and one way out so you can let go of wondering what’s next and just settle into your meditation, your intent.  For more information about labyrinths, go to www.Veriditas.org

 In facilitating this board retreat, I wanted to make it very connecting, valuable.  My intention for walking the labyrinth was for the board to collaborate extraordinarily well this weekend.  A simple intention.

 Wisdom Messages from the Labyrinth

 As I stepped onto the labyrinth, my head was filled with the retreat agenda.  The dynamics of the team.  The necessity to blend the personal styles of board and team members.  How to navigate the flow of the two days.  But the business and busyness in my brain slowly melted away with each step.  I began to notice the snow on the trees outside...

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Wisdom Story: What is Retirement?

I often reflect on the words we use. The more conscious we are about our words and their underlying meanings, maybe we can get more in touch with how we feel about things.

 I'm sitting in a cafe in the Old Town of Stockholm....in wonder of the bustle around me. I feel blessed with the freedom and privilege I have to observe and learn. Yes, I retired a couple years back, but I'm fond of calling it my 'next chapter' because I never really feel 'retired.'

 What is Retirement, anyway?

 Decades ago, I had a project in Chicago and my aunt and uncle invited me to stay with them.  It was a welcome change from hotel and Food-to-Go.  One morning, as I was preparing to go to my project, my Uncle Matt was sitting in the front room.  He had retired a couple years back.  I had always felt a sense of peace around my Uncle Matt, like nothing could shake his gentle demeanor.  But there he was, sitting in the living room.  No apparent agenda.  No To...

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Gum Wrappers and Stewardship

At the end of every Boy Scout camp weekend, the leaders would line us up in a row at the edge of our campground.  We would march forward, picking up any items or litter left behind.  I remember picking up gum wrappers and stuff that was there before we arrived.  Why in the WORLD, do we need to pick up something we didn't even drop?  One of our leaders responded, "We leave things better than we found them."

My first lesson in Stewardship.

In what areas do you leave better than you found them?  How do you lean into your stewardship?  In your home?  At the office?  With your kids?

When I was a consultant, I remember walking through the office area with my client, the Vice President of Customer Service of a Fortune 500 company.  We were walking to our meeting, discussing how to navigate through some tough decisions – an entourage of 3-4 people following us through the cubicle area.  He stopped abruptly and picks up a gum wrapper...

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The First Time

Our life is full of 'First Times.'   From the moment we're born until that day we die, we face the first time we do things.  Brainstorm five special moments in your life that are marked in your memory as a 'First Time.'  Write them down. 

I hope most of those five 'First Times' were delightful, but I'm sure some could be tough.

What makes a First Time so memorable?  Did the experience flood your senses?  You could be told that EVERY human being experienced that moment from all millennia, but it doesn't matter.  No one experienced it as YOU did. 

Let me tell you a simple story of one of my 'First Times.'   Follow along as you may remember yours. 

I studied HARD for the written test.  I must've pored over that handbook 53 times.  I was an exceptionally good student.  I ACED the test.  Now it was time.  The First Time behind the wheel of our family car.  A dark blue AMC Sportabout....

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Agents of Freedom

Imagine a beautiful Spring day.  Feel the gentle wind blow through your hair.  Smell fresh scents of blooming flowers.  Each tree carries a shade of green -- unique to itself.  You can hear the symphonic melodies of birds rejoicing.  Spring is here.

You imagine those moments and a smile spreads across your face.  Why?  Perhaps in those moments, you feel FREE!  We strive for that freedom every day.  Time Freedom.  Financial Freedom.  Personal Freedom.  Spiritual Freedom.  In fact, we strive and courageously face difficulties in our journey.  Sometimes we insist to learn the hard way.  Why do we persist and endure hardships?  Perhaps it's so we can gather moments of FREEDOM like pearls on a string. 

Freedom

Let me turn the table around.  Are you a teacher?  A consultant?  A healer?  What about a coach, team lead, speaker?  A parent or grandparent?  Yes, every day, each of...

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