Posts in Inspiring Ideas
A Lesson on "I"

One day Rabbi Schneerson got a letter from a man who wrote, “I must see the rabbi. I need the rabbi’s help. I am deeply depressed. I can hardly go on. I pray and am not fulfilled. I am not moved. I feel no satisfaction. I need the rabbi’s help.” The Rabbi sent the letter back, and circled the first word in each sentence in red. The lesson was clear. You live a life of misery because you are focused on yourself.

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Taming the Tiger

It seems like the speed at which people go from nothing to inflamed response is getting faster and faster. The bottom line I see is just a lot of worry, anger and expressed frustration. Calm, non-engagement is a good thing. But how do we get there? Is there a secret?

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Inspiring IdeasDavid Baum
The Being of Happy

A friend and I were recently talking about her new boyfriend. It is a new relationship, filled with promise. They seem a good match, both are active, interesting and interested in varied things. He is teaching her to fly a plane, she introducing him to the world of roller-derby. He asked her, “Do you think I’m a happy person?” “I think” she quietly answered, “You take what comes your way and turn it into joy.”

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Negative Space

We must remember that new ideas, approaches, and perspectives are always there. The secret is to constantly challenge yourself to see the unseen, the unknown on a daily basis. The gift of change is that it shakes up our current view of the world, better allowing us to see any negative space that exists. When we can do that then we can embrace the unknown.

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Staying Hopeful in Hard Times

When things are going poorly, remember that everything is temporary. Know that whatever is heavy on your soul will eventually pass. Times will change. They always do. The issue will eventually get better. So trust that whatever challenges you face today, will not be so important tomorrow. But when things are going well, and our life is sweet, we need to stay in the present and appreciate the moment. The good times also don’t last forever either.

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Finding Meaning

The 17th century philosopher Baruch Spinoza was once asked, “How do you figure out what has meaning?” He thought about it for a moment and responded, “That’s a big question…I’ll get back to you in a year.” After one year of considering this weighty question, Spinoza returned to the man and replied, "You can track purpose and meaning by asking the following three questions for thirty days." ...

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What Fuels Your Work?

I think there are two types of busy; a “busy” that comes from passion or one that comes from fear. When our time is filled with activities of passion, like a great date, time flies and we end our day excited and energized, no matter the pace. But when our time is spent in activities that at their root come from fear, it leaves us drained and weary.

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The Climb to God

Whether Jew, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim, the tenants of love, forgiveness, compassion and divine connection are the same. This year, as you are wandering around the bottom of your spiritual mountain seeking to ascend, remember all others climbing. Take a minute to consider ultimately how fruitless it is argue how to dress and instead seek the similarities of all journeys.

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Inspiring IdeasDavid Baum
Last Breath

I just spent the weekend with a remarkable group of leaders all looking at the question of how do we create lives of life-long learning and purpose? It was during this meeting that I heard the following comment. “I want to live my life”, one participant said, “driven by the following question; ‘What will I do to the last breath?’”

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Inspiring IdeasDavid Baum
The Spirit of Resiliency

In twenty years of studying and teaching on the subject of change there is one fundamental thing I've learned. Change is not a natural state but the natural state. It is the way of the universe to be in constant motion. We are either in expansion or contraction, living or dying, in love or in fear, breathing in or breathing out ... but it is rarely one of stasis.

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Why Partnerships Fail

What seems true is that every organization will usually have one big fear (loss of control or identity) and that during any partnership discussions susceptibilities to that fear run high. It is easy to trigger an unseen landmine if you’re not careful, and so the bigger the stakes, the more impeccable the need for high level behavior.

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Walking to the Middle

A labyrinth is different than a maze. The purpose of a maze is to confuse and obfuscate, with numerous dead ends, twists and turns. But a labyrinth has only one path in and out. Its purpose, through the simple act of placing one foot in front of the other, is to clarify and enlighten.

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Karma and Grace

We walk in two worlds. The first is the world of karma, a Sanskrit word meaning “cause and effect”. All great religious traditions at their core level teach this concept. The second world is that of grace. Grace comes from the Latin root word gratia, and means “to receive unearned favor from God”. We don’t do anything for this—it is, as the word says, unearned. At the heat of this concept is that regardless, we are forgiven.

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Inspiring IdeasDavid Baum
Time and Enclosure

“Time and enclosure"--this is the unofficial mission of the MacDowell Colony for the Arts. Founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire in 1907 it is the oldest artist colony in North America drawing 250 residents each year from the United States and abroad. The Colony is a place where artists can go, free of any expectation or obligation, to create and to do their work.

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Inspiring IdeasDavid Baum
Trust What You Already Know

The next time you are trying to decide a difficult question or make a challenging choice, spend a few minutes considering all that you gain from each choice. Then trust your instincts to guide you into action. Usually we know the answer, but are fearful of the consequences or the implications of action.

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The Braided Path of Learning

In learning there are two paths that take us to transformation. Both can move us into our preferred futures and each are essential for learning and growth. These two paths are intertwined, and when in balance make our lives easier and more fluid. When braided together these paths become critical allies for personal movement and change. But when out of balance they can hinder our inner development and cause either misery or numbness.

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Inspiring IdeasDavid Baum