Thankful for Seeing through Labels, the Circle of Leadership, & de Mello’s Ability to Focus My Thoughts

Day 2,292


When we use labels on others we see people only as the labels we put upon them. This mutes our ability to see them as their true selves. As an example, I saw Dad as “Dad.” As he lay in the hospital I was quickly introduced to Dad “the brother,” Dad “the friend,” and Dad “the church parishioner.” So many versions of Dad that I never really took time to see because I only saw him as “Dad.”

How often in life do I see only one facet or version of a person? How many times would my life and theirs both be enriched by seeing them in totality?

Definitely something for me to continue pondering and working through, the removal of the blinders of labels.


Over the past couple of years I’ve witnessed such a circularity of leadership. Yesterday was my 23rd anniversary of joining Express and I’ve been asked several questions about my career which have had me waxing nostalgic. As I think back to where I began and then contrast to where I am there’ve been two very striking observations.

First – there’s still so much to learn, even after 23 years.

Second – the circle of leadership is incredible to see. Like many things in life it’s difficult to see it looking forward, the best views are when connecting the dots looking backwards. I’m finding myself having the same conversations but from the other side of the table this second time. So many excellent words of wisdom I’ve received from so many strong mentors in the past, their words now coming out of my mouth to help others. I am beyond honored to have the opportunity to share their wisdom and to pass along their legacy.


There are so many nuggets intertwined into the stories in de Mello’s Awareness that I can’t help but be 100% present in the moment as I read the book. As I read it over and over again there’s more and more depth to be found within its pages. There are some pieces to thought provoking that I’ve learned to pause the book to truly be a sponge to the concepts. Here’s the one that caught me today:

“Pleasant experiences make life delightful. Painful experiences lead to growth. Pleasant experiences make life delightful, but they don’t lead to growth in themselves. What leads to growth is painful experiences. Suffering points out an area in which you have not yet grown, where you need to grow and be transformed and change. If you knew how to use that suffering, oh, how you would grow!”

Anthony de Mello, Awareness


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