wabi- sabi - Leadership SHIFT Tip

A few weeks ago, I took my youngest daughter to the thrift shop. It’s her favorite place to find treasures — pieces discarded by others who, maybe, are more interested in the chasing the latest fashion trends.

When we got back home, I found myself searching my closest for some of my lost gems long tucked away. As I came across an old favorite, I was reminded of the Japanese philosophy rooted in Zen Buddhism called wabi-sabi.

During my corporate career working for a Japanese multinational, I never found an exact definition of wabi-sabi, but in essence, it’s about seeing the beauty in things imperfect. I also like the translation of “broken but better” that was recently shared with me by Jack Brumm from Ing Guide Media.

It’s about appreciating the natural in a world consumed by the pursuit of plastic flawlessness. Wabi-sabi helps us see the joy in the humble moments of life like George Bailey’s old house in A Wonderful Life, Charlie Brown’s tiny sapling of a Christmas tree, and Major General’s rustic inn in White Christmas.

Through the lens of wabi-sabi, we treasure the simpler moments like curling up with a weathered novel, a walk through the woods on an autumn day, and even the blemishes we see as we gaze into the mirror.

As we rush into the holiday season, maybe the perfect gift this year is a few moments of wabi-sabi and valuing our treasures long tucked away.

Have fun storming the castle.

p.s., Today is the day to remember Pearl Harbor and what happens when we lose sight of peace.

“There is a crack in everything.
That’s how the light gets in.”
- Leonard Cohen

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And discover how you can develop more resilience, grit, and 20 ways to become your best in my memoir, Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows. All net proceeds go to World Bicycle Relief.