All posts filed under: Audacity

Sermon on Human Flourishing

 In telling the story of his awakening Confucius said, and I paraphrase, “At 15, I set my heart on learning.  At 30, I planted my feet firmly in day to day living.  At 40, I no longer suffered from uncertainty.  At 50, I knew what made my heart sing.  At 60, I knew equanimity.  At 70, I became an authentic person of no fixed position.” Confucius lived masterfully.  In sitting down to tell the story of my life, I discovered that there were six spiritual disciplines of human flourishing that had guided me to my own awakening.  Like Confucius I could say at 15, I set my heart on learning.  At 30, I planted my feet firmly in day to day living.   At 40, I far less often suffered from uncertainty.  At 50, I knew what made my heart sing.  At 60, I finally discovered equanimity.  So now I seek to grow in wisdom and understanding into my seventies. For me, the first and foundational spiritual discipline was resiliency.  Let me tell you a story …

Spiritual Audacity by Jim Sherblom

Spiritual Audacity radio interview

Next Thursday August 17, 2017  from 3 pm to 3:58 pm Eleanor LcCain will interview me about my new book SPIRITUAL AUDACITY: Six Disciplines of Human Flourishing on her “All Together Now” radio program on the progressive radio network (www.prn.fm) You can listen to it live at: http://prn.fm (on your computer) http://prn.fm/mobile (on your mobile device) @PRN_Radio-http:twitter.com/prn radio (on Twitter) http://facebook.com/PRNfm  (on Facebook) Or listen to the archive of the show later at http://prn.fm/?s=LeCain

Spiritual Audacity by Jim Sherblom

Discipline Four: Generosity

Discipline Four of Six: Generosity My spiritual memoir Spiritual Audacity is built around six spiritual disciplines of which the fourth is generosity.  Is this an important discipline in your spiritual life? Generous means “freely giving more than is necessary or expected.” So generosity includes the idea of open-handedness, along with a connection to our internal experience and spirituality. . . . Generosity ennobles us; it makes us great souls.”  From The Generosity Path by Mark V. Ewert How has generosity helped shape your life and well-being? Generosity takes different forms, depending on our financial circumstances. Jesus expressed this in his story of the widow’s mite. She had very little and therefore could give very little. Yet what she gave was everything, so far beyond the large gifts of the rich man. This is the gift of spiritually transcending scarcity. Each of us chooses how we will live, and that choice alters our spiritual opportunities. So choose abundance. All religions teach some form of this wisdom. Generosity enhances the joy we receive from living. This has always been …

October 1987 Crash

I had hungered to be wealthy even when I didn’t become a millionaire before the age of thirty. So after leveraging our debt to buy Genzyme founder’s stock from Sam, then taking Genzyme public in 1986, I borrowed as much as I could on margin to buy yet more Genzyme stock. I believed by taking on margin debt, and raising the value of our Genzyme holdings, though heavily leveraged, we could better reap the fruit of all my hard work. Loretta asked me how low the stock could go before we lost it all. Genzyme had gone public at $10 per share and traded as high as $16 per share. I told her Genzyme had never traded below $7 as a public company and we could meet any margin calls as long as the stock was above $5.25 per share, which was less than half its current level, and 25% below its lowest price ever. On the other hand if Genzyme went to $30 per share as predicted by analysts we would become wealthy. Then …

Beginning Again

Life has its ups and downs. As I was approaching age forty, having lost my job, most of our net worth, and much of my industry reputation, it was time to begin again. Fortunately Loretta’s business was doing fine, the kids were doing well in school, and I had learned much from my dozen years in international business. Yet here I was in my late 30’s, having worked 70 or 80 hours a week for most of my adult life, with no job, no clear prospects, and my life in a financial shambles. Yet this was a time for deepening my practice of spiritual generosity. This could have been a time for succumbing to a scarcity mentality, but that is not my nature, so instead I focused on the sudden abundance of time in my day, time to spend with my wife, with my children, time to read all those philosophical and spiritual books I hadn’t gotten to read, time to think and re-evaluate my life. And thanks to Loretta’s and my financial prudence over …

New Hope

The week after the announcement of my termination as Chairman and CEO of TSI was in the WSJ a prominent Boston venture capitalist, who we pitched on numerous occasions but who had never invested, called to assure me there was life after public executions. He offered to invest $2 million from his fund in whatever I decided to do next. I began watching Steven Spielberg’s movie Hook, where Peter Pan has grown up to be a clever financier who dabbles in mergers and acquisitions, and forgets the essence of his being, until his nemesis Captain Hook steals Peter’s children and forces him to return to Never Land to remember who he is so that he can save his children. I must have watched that movie 20 or 30 times, long after my wife and children grew bored with it, but this was my situation. The movie Hook became a Delphic oracle explaining my fall from grace. Now I needed to rediscover my true identity, decide who to truly be, and find my right occupation for …