13imgThe Foundations of WisdomPhysical Training for Character

One of the first ideas shared in this book is that everything we do, or fail to do, begins in the mind (or, more precisely, in the brain that creates the mind). However, one of the biggest takeaways from scientists who explore neuroplasticity is that our behaviors, our thought patterns, and even what we pay attention to all affect the brain.

Upon first reading the title of this chapter, you might envision a workout regimen designed to somehow facilitate leadership excellence. Although I'm certainly a huge proponent of keeping the body physically fit, this chapter of the book is not about physical fitness. It's about being much more intentional about our speech and the behaviors in which we engage; making the effort to spend more time acting and speaking in ways that can change the brain positively and improve our ability to sustain mindful self-awareness; and refraining from acting and speaking in ways that undermine that ability.

Traditionally, mindfulness training has always been taught as having three essential components. We have already thoroughly discussed the first two components: stabilizing awareness and applying that stable awareness to develop wisdom. The third component, the behavioral component that we'll explore in this chapter, can actually be viewed as the foundation of the entire practice. (This component ...

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