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Lions Roar : January 2016
ADVICE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES Hey, That Was My Idea! NORMAN FISCHER on reducing self-concern while still protecting your career and morale. Question: The mind-training (lojong) slogan “Give the victory to others” is helpful in my life. But I have a colleague who’s constantly taking credit for my ideas and accomplishments at work. How do I practice the slogan and also do what’s right for my morale and career? Answer: The point of the slogan “Give the victory to others” is to reduce self-focus. Why do you want to do that? Because being too stuck on your own well-being is bad for you. It constricts your heart. First, examine your motivation: Why not let your colleague take credit for your work? Does this bother you? Why? Be honest and realistic. If the situation really is compromis- ing your morale and your career, then it is not helping you to follow this slogan as it is written. In practice it sometimes doesn’t work to take teachings literally. You have to penetrate through to the point behind the words, and be practical. In this case, the point is to reduce self-concern. For now, you are going to have to try to practice that as much as you can, even as you realistically take care of your morale and your career. When you are a Buddha, you can literally give the victory to others all the time. But not now. It won’t be easy, but you should tell your colleague to stop taking the credit because it’s bothering you and it doesn’t seem right or fair. Try to do this with a generous understanding that the behavior must come from some lack or moral blind spot and is not really his or her fault. You’ll need to know what you are going to do next if your request goes unheeded. Pay attention to the effects these encoun- ters are having on you throughout. Doing all this without losing touch with your bodhisattva commitment is the way for you to continue practicing this slogan. ♦ ©PREDRAGVUCKOVIC/ISTOCK Send your question to