This morning I had the opportunity to sit down for coffee with a worldly recognized Executive Coach who has dedicated over 30 years of his life's work to coaching and developing others. Perhaps one of the most authentic professionals I have ever met, I found our conversation captivating, the alignment between our passions and purpose intriguing, and his stories inspiring.
After sharing my own personal story of how and, more specifically, why I arrived as this blended package of Consultant, Entrepreneur and Coach, he paused and reached into his briefcase and, with a smile, slid over a piece of paper and said, "I think you'll understand this". He was right. It was at that moment that I knew our meeting would be the highlight of my day.
Before shaking hands and departing, I asked him what I could do to reciprocate the generous time and advice he had so graciously given me. He leaned back in his chair, as if first confused by my question, and then openly shared that he too had been on my end of this conversation many times years before. That I owed him nothing. His only request, that I "do great work."
With those three words (do great work) top of mind for me this evening, I share the exact words that were on that mystery piece of paper with you. I hope the message resonates for you as it does for me. And if not, that you give yourself permission to explore what it means for YOU to be a Master in the Art of Living.
[the piece of paper read as follows]
Master in the Art of Living
The master in the art of living
makes little distinction between his work and his play,
his labor and his leisure,
his mind and his body,
his education and his recreation,
his love and his religion.
He hardly knows which is which.
He simply pursues his vision
of excellence in whatever he does,
leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing.
To him, he is always doing both.
- Zen Buddhist Text -