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7 Traits Of Positive Audacity

Audacity, by its nature, breeds polarized responses. Here’s how you can judge whether your next audacious act will be a catalyst for good.

Detail of The Champion by Sarajo Frieden

The Champion (detail) by Sarajo Frieden

I recently gave a talk at a conference, and afterward people came up to shake my hand and say things like: “One of the best!” and “You should be a keynote!” A follow-up LinkedIn request even asked to learn more and to collaborate. I felt great. A few weeks later, however, I received written feedback that included comments like: “Horrible!,” “Made me uncomfortable,” and “Who does he think he is?” The last comment was especially painful and ironic given that my topic was “interpersonal mindfulness.”In that talk I ranted a bit about what I call “McMindfulness,” a psychologized, pop spirituality approach that overemphasizes individual practice and forgets its roots in spiritual friendship. I emphasized that spiritual friendship—rather than stress relief or health promotion—is a traditional cornerstone of mindfulness as a deep mystical journey. I quoted the Upaddha Sutta, where a monk tells the Buddha that at least half of the holy life is about having admirable companions on the spiritual path. In response, the Buddha exclaimed, “Don’t say that! It is the whole of the path!”Who would have thought this messa …

Joel Bennett, PhD, President of Organizational Wellness & Learning Systems, is author of Raw Coping Power: From Stress to Thriving; Heart-Centered Leadership (with Susan Steinbrecher), and the just-released Well-Being Champions: A Competency-Based Guidebook.

About the Author

Joel Bennett PhD is president of Organizational Wellness & Learning Systems. For 25 years, OWLS has been catalyzing healthy work cultures from the inside out with science.

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