Published monthly by Sharon Eakes, Hope Unlimited, LLC
************************************************************* NOTE TO READERS:
This issue is guest-written by Dr. Ian Metcalfe,,
an Australian Fresh Views reader who found himself spontaneously thinking in the Fresh Views format. I am delighted with his sharing.

FOCUS: Self-Discipline
Discipline: Personal Mastery, Team Learning

"Only when we are comfortable in our own skins will we be of much use to anyone else."
- Charles Handy, "The Hungry Spirit".


I was reading Charles Handy's "The Hungry Spirit" which has as a key theme the concept of "proper selfishness" - balancing our responsibilities to ourself and to others. Thinking of 'responsibility' lead me to reflect on self-discipline. What surprised me was the realization that, paradoxically and despite the quote above, self-discipline is easiest when you are involved with others.

Most would agree that letting ourselves down is often easier than letting the team down. Self-justification (self-delusion) is easier than justifying our actions (or inactions) to others. Being a role model works best if others are there to observe.

On the other hand 'peer pressure' is a powerful force for social norming. The need to belong is strong. Where best then to test the metal of our resolve, than in the company of a group of colleagues and friends.

We think of self-discipline as a solitary act, but we are not islands unto ourselves. It may be true that until we learn to love ourselves we cannot fully help others, but we learn about ourselves through others. Life is a journey best shared.


1. Practice self-discipline with others holding the mirror.
2. Look inward and outward. Ask not only "what do I believe in?" but also "what do others infer about my beliefs & values from my public actions?"
3. Understand how your emotions and behaviour affects others.
4. Be responsible for your intent to influence.


Please join me (Sharon) in a telegathering Friday, August 30 at 12:00 noon EDT (11 a.m. CDT, 10 a.m. MT, 9 a.m. PDT) to explore self-discipline and learning about ourselves from others in more depth. (425) 818-9401 x925. No need to register, just call at that time!

Sharon Eakes is a professional and personal coach.
Reach her at 1-888-769-3494 or e-mail

Each month FRESH VIEWS focuses on a single topic, relates it to one of the five disciplines of a learning community, and offers a coaching tip and a follow-up telegathering. Please forward it to friends and colleagues. My purpose in writing FRESH VIEWS is to nurture, prod and encourage readers to think and talk about these topics with their families, friends and colleagues. Mine is only one view. Multiple conversations may deliver us to insights only hinted at here. Such a process sustains the vitality of learning relationships, learning families, learning organizations and learning communities.

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