The Ancient Taoists of China knew a thing or two about polarity. They were keen observers, and saw that everything was divided into two overarching principles: Yin and Yang. Yin was feminine, passive, and flexible. Yang was masculine, active, and assertive. Mirroring the wisdom of Hermeticism, embodied in "as above, so below," the Taoists connected the dots between their inner selves and the outer world. Truly, there was was no "inner" and "outer;" all was merely a manifestation of Yin and Yang upon the ocean of Tao.
Taoist philosophy can be applied in very practical ways to business. Rebecca Shambaugh, originator of the Integrated Leadership Model, suggests a Yin-Yang framework based on gender intelligence. The most obvious way to apply this is to ensure roughly an equal number of men and women collaborate on any given project, bringing a balance of the two perspectives. Also, consulting the opposite sex and reflecting on how he or she might think can be beneficial. Keep in mind that the principles and inclinations of the Yin and Yang perspectives can be found in both genders to varying degrees.
Let's look at the polarities further...
This is the graceful principle that bends, rests, adapts, and flows peacefully. Think of water, and how it meanders around rocks. Yin is considered to be very nurturing. In humans, it expresses itself in intuition, feeling, social bonding, and receptivity.
- Take time to rest or introspect.
- Listen to your gut feelings.
- Put yourself in the perspective of other people.
- Attentively listen to the needs and feelings of others.
- Contemplate how you can achieve maximum results with less effort.
- Keep a journal or diary.
- Find ways to pamper yourself - a spa, a vacation, or maybe a friendly outing.
- Focus on building relationships and community - acknowledge, appreciate, support.
- Things are Going Great in My Absence by Lola Jones
- Writing Down Your Soul by Janet Conner
- The Bond by Lynne McTaggart
With a fiery nature, Yang is the principle that shapes, directs, ignites, and transforms. It is movement and power. The human traits are discipline, competition, logic, steadfastness, innovation, and strength.
- Revisit your goals and create detailed plans for achieving them. Commit!
- Prioritize your tasks.
- Find a vision strong enough to motivate you each day and inspire others.
- Learn to master a skill that's vital to your success.
- Face at least one fear a week.
- Study strategy - play chess and read The Art of War.
- Take up a rigorous exercise program.
- Redirect excess sexual energy towards work and creative endeavors (sex transmutation).
- Mastery by George Leonard
- Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
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