In this episode, we talk with our resident spiritual guru, Damien Price.
Damien is a Christian Brother and has taught for over thirty years in schools throughout Australia and New Zealand. Over the past twenty years, he has been involved in working with disadvantaged youth, homeless men and women, refugees and Asylum Seekers.
He has Masters Degrees in Counselling and Pastoral Guidance. I have known Damien for 25+ years and he is my own spiritual mentor.
In this episode we talk about:
- Getting into the Christmas spirit with RAKs – Random Acts of Kindness;
- Why RAKs are a gift received not a gift given;
- Growing every day in your sense of self; and
- Recognising when your values are being compromised and staying true to them under pressure.
Connecting with Damien Price
You can reach Damien via LinkedIn.
Books and resources mentioned in the episode
- Don’t die with the music in you – by Wayne Bennett
“I’ve worked with homeless people for 15 or 20 years. And if someone said to me, ‘Damien you did so much for them.’ Well, I actually received far more in return. Just being with them I was always gifted by them. I made some fantastic friends and I was accepted.”
On what RAKs are
- An RAK (random act of kindness) is just such a little thing. It’s like a way of thinking, it becomes part of who you are. You become other-centred so you just naturally become aware of and think of somebody else. And then that leads you to a sense of giving.
- And it’s built on the idea that in giving we actually receive. You don’t do it to become famous or to get people saying, “What I wonderful guy.”
- It’s extraordinary when you do the simple random act of kindness it’s like a ripple on a pond. And that ripple spreads and spreads.
- Look at the person’s name badge, call them by their name. Or you could just say, “Thank you.”
On building RAKs as a gift and into your culture and life
- In any particular community or work situation, it’ll be the actual spirit or the culture of that place. That’s going to be the really powerful thing. If you walk into a company or a school or into any particular group, you can feel the sense of welcome or acceptance.
- So what I do is I just try to become self-aware. And only then do I try to become aware of the other person. When that happens, the culture becomes softer, more human, more focused. People want to then become a part of it.
- But the main is why you do it. It’s how you do it. Keep seeing this as purely a gift and that there’s no strings attached. Do it because it’s going to make you a better person, and the world a better place. And if you do it when no-one knows, it’s extraordinary what you will actually experience.
On growing every day in your sense of self
- If we’re going to be a chief, we’ve got to be really self-aware. The keys to life is to grow every day in your awareness of your own actual self. And the awareness is around your particular ego, what fires you up, and what annoys you.
On recognising when your values are being compromised and staying true to them under pressure
- Our danger is that we’re such busy, busy people and we live in a world which is fast and we’re going from meeting to meeting, phone call to phone call, and we simply don’t get the space to reflect on what our sense of self is. And what we get is that underneath is a feeling of awkwardness and frustration and that something is not actually right here.
- So find your particular way to take time out. Go for a run, go to the gym, meditate. And when you sit with that frustration or awkwardness, invariably there will be some wisdom there to draw on. And that wisdom will almost always say that your core values are being compromised.
On what to do when your values are compromised
- I would go to my particular boss, my line manager, whichever the person is, that’s engaging with me, to say that I feel this particular way and I frame the example in the context of my particular values. I say, “I’m feeling this.” So it is an “I” statement and I try to do it in a way which doesn’t push the other person into a corner. So I don’t have a sense of blame.
- I try to brainstorm with them. “Can we look at it this in a different way? Can we gain a win-win here? Can we reframe this so it’s not win and lose?”
- Can you look at the person in the mirror and can you live with them? Because ultimately this is about you and whether you can live with your own sense of actual self.
- You might come to a place where you say that you can’t continue and you can’t be authentic anymore. “I can’t stay in this situation and be authentic to me. I’ve got to walk away from this.”
- Our New Zealand brothers and sisters have got a word – mana – which means integrity, heart.
- When you make that difficult choice, especially in that lonely space, you’ll experience a freedom. You will grow and have a sense of being more authentically you. And what often happens is that you go to an even greater leadership space.
- And remember, when you make that call, it’s going to actually cost you. It could cost you money, it could cost you a role, it could cost you a relationship. There will be a cost, and there will be doubt and there will be pushback, so get yourself ready for that.