Special Episode – Self Awareness

Special Self Awareness
In a special edition of 10 Lessons Learned, hosts Robert Hossary and Diana White delve into the importance of self-awareness, recognizing one's biases, facing inner demons, and the value of humility. Through insightful guest lessons, they emphasize the need for continuous personal growth and reflection. The hosts share personal anecdotes to highlight the transformative impact of understanding oneself and embracing lifelong learning.

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About Your Hosts

Diana White has over 30 years in sales and retail experience, leading stores with revenues of over 10 million and a staff of 200. Consumer psychology, marketing, operations, and leadership are just a few of her skillsets. 

Seeing a need for startup and operations assistance within the local business community, Diana established D.E.W. Business Solutions, LLC, to provide consulting to small businesses. Diana was appointed as CEO of Chandler Innovations, a technology incubator funded by the City of Chandler, Arizona.

Diana obtained a Bachelor of Science in Small Business Administration from Northern Arizona University, holds a green belt in Lean Six Sigma, and is a certified Agile Scrum Master. She is committed to helping businesses and non-profits as well as the community at large.

Robert Hossary has been involved in international business for the past two decades. Since 2011 – 2018, Robert was the General Manager for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham) and helped advise many Australian and US companies about their international expansion requirements.

 Prior to that, Robert was Regional Vice President for the Americas for a technology manufacturer. He has also worked in Taiwan with responsibility for Asia Pacific and the Middle East. 

With a background in Technology, Transport, Fashion and Healthcare, Robert has a wealth of experience to share.

Episode Notes

0:00 Intro
01:23 The Man In The Mirror (poem is by Dale Wimbro 1934)
04:25 Steve Zylstra- Know the Man in the Mirror
07:11 Bas Borsma – It’s Tough To Beat One’s Demons
11:03 Eric Miller – Know Your Own Bias
15:07 Narelle Hooper – Put On Your Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others
17:09 Vikas Tiku – Nobody Knows Everything

Guests who’s wisdom we talk about:

 
Steve Zylstra: watch episode 
Bas Boorsma: watch episode 
Eric Miller: watch episode 
Narelle Hooper: watch episode
Vikas Tiku: watch episode 

 

Special – Self Awareness

[00:00:08] Robert Hossary:
[00:00:08] Robert Hossary: Hello and welcome to a special edition of 10 Lessons Learned. During this program, we’re going to try out a new format and we’d really like to know what you think of this.
[00:00:19] Robert Hossary: We’ll dive into our archive of more than 100 episodes and more than a thousand lessons learned from our distinguished guests. We want to focus today specifically on big themes and wisdoms that have been shared by our guests globally.
[00:00:35] Robert Hossary: My name is Robert Hossary, and I’m joined today by my co host, Diana White. Hi, Diana.
[00:00:40] Diana White: Hi, Robert.
[00:00:42] Robert Hossary: Today we’ll be delving into the topic of self-awareness, and we hope you enjoy this new format. There’s still a lot of untapped value in our ever-growing library of 10 Lessons Learned.
[00:00:54] Robert Hossary: Please comment, let us know what you think, and let us know if you want us to continue this format.
[00:00:59] Robert Hossary: So let’s dive straight into it. Diana, before we start, I’d like to preface this whole episode with a poem. The poem is by Dale Wimbro, and it was written in 1934. And this particular poem changed my life when I first heard it.
[00:01:18] Robert Hossary: So with your indulgence, ladies and gentlemen, and Diana, the poem is called

[00:01:23] The Man In The Mirror

[00:01:23] Robert Hossary: A Man in the Mirror.
[00:01:25] Robert Hossary: When you get all you want, and you struggle for pelf,
[00:01:28] Robert Hossary: and the world makes you king for a day.
[00:01:31] Robert Hossary: Then you go to the mirror and look at yourself
[00:01:33] Robert Hossary: and see what that man has to say.
[00:01:36] Robert Hossary: For it isn’t your mother, your father, or wife
[00:01:39] Robert Hossary: whose judgment upon you must pass,
[00:01:42] Robert Hossary: but the man whose verdict counts most in your life
[00:01:45] Robert Hossary: is the one staring back from the glass.
[00:01:49] Robert Hossary: He’s the fellow to please, never mind the rest,
[00:01:52] Robert Hossary: for he’s with you right to the end.
[00:01:54] Robert Hossary: And you know when you’ve passed the most difficult test ,
[00:01:57] Robert Hossary: If the man in the glass is your friend.
[00:02:00] Robert Hossary: You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
[00:02:03] Robert Hossary: and think you’re a wonderful guy,
[00:02:06] Robert Hossary: but the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
[00:02:10] Robert Hossary: if you can’t look at him straight in the eye.
[00:02:13] Robert Hossary: You can fool the whole world down the highway for years
[00:02:17] Robert Hossary: and take pats on the back as you pass,
[00:02:20] Robert Hossary: but your final reward will be heartache and tears.
[00:02:24] Robert Hossary: If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


[00:02:27] Robert Hossary: Diana, what do you think?
[00:02:29] Diana White: I think that is very powerful. I really, really do. And it’s going to make me think about what I see.
[00:02:38] Diana White: When I look in the mirror differently now, it really is.
[00:02:41] Robert Hossary: I
[00:02:41] Robert Hossary: heard that when I was around, well, when I was in my twenties and I took it literally and obviously, I understood the metaphor, what it stood for, but I took it literally. And I started looking in the mirror hard and seeing the flaws in the character that was looking back at me.
[00:03:03] Robert Hossary: And then. I realized very quickly; I didn’t actually like myself. And it wasn’t until I learned the respect that you need to have for yourself, that that only then can change occur in you.
[00:03:21] Diana White: I absolutely agree. I recently took a, I won’t say it was a class. Let’s say it was a webinar series, if you will, done by a brilliant man, And it talked about, and we actually are going to cover a lesson that speaks to this, it talks about your inner demons and your inner saboteurs, and how when you look in the mirror, and you look at yourself and you look inward, right, you know the truth.
[00:03:51] Diana White: And that feeling that you have about yourself, no matter what you portray to the world, no matter how much bravado you put on, you know the truth. And if you can’t sit well with, yourself. If those demons and those saboteurs cloud your mind with clutter and noise, there’s no way you can be a better you.
[00:04:11] Diana White: There’s no way you can even begin to be a better you if you’re letting them rule what goes on in your mind. And so I love that poem. I think I’m probably going to put that up next to my mirror going forward. I love it.

[00:04:25] Steve Zylstra- Know the Man in the Mirror

[00:04:25] Robert Hossary: So, what have you got for us, Diana, on self-awareness?
[00:04:28] Diana White: Well, you know
[00:04:29] Diana White: what, since we’re talking about that man in the mirror, why don’t we start with a lesson from Steven Zylstra. Uh, it was lesson number two, and it literally says, know the man in the mirror. And I think that is so powerful.

 
[00:04:44] Steven Zylstra: Unfortunately, many also know more about others than they do about themselves. Self-reflection is a very important thing. Everyone should know their own weaknesses as well as their strong suits. We gain skills and knowledge over the course of our career. And if we work to our strengths, we’ll be happier in our job.
[00:05:06] Steven Zylstra: And that’s really what leads to longevity in any job is the fulfillment and the happiness that we have.
[00:05:14] Steven Zylstra: But the learning shouldn’t be career centric. Develop new skills through your life. We’re all I’m Hearing over and over again, the importance of lifelong learning. Uh, none of us ever know everything. We can always learn something new. And, uh, I think knowing yourself and understanding those strengths and weaknesses is a critical characteristic you need to be successful.

 
[00:05:39] Diana White: You know, some of the things that he talked about in there, you know, self-reflection is key.
[00:05:45] Diana White: learning to work with your strengths. I love that he said learning shouldn’t always be centered around work. That was a big one for me. Um, and I got goosebumps because as you know, I’m a lifelong learner inside and outside of the workplace.
[00:06:00] Diana White: What do you say, Robert?
[00:06:02] Robert Hossary: Look, I’m a great believer. I’m a great believer in self-awareness. It hit me when I was, you know, before I was 10, um, and I remember this vividly, that I realized that People have thoughts that are different to mine, and it made me start looking inwards and I haven’t stopped.
[00:06:23] Robert Hossary: And every day I find out something new about myself, something that’s either motivating me or preventing me from doing something. So I, I agree with Steve, look in the mirror, understand who you are, understand what your buttons are Why you do things The why and many of our guests have talked about the why. Find out what your why is.
[00:06:46] Robert Hossary: And you can only do that by looking inwards and not being afraid of what you find, because some of what you’re going to find is not nice. But you know what?
[00:06:57] Diana White: I agree with you.
[00:06:58] Robert Hossary: It’s you. So, you need to know what’s not nice and see, and it’s a choice. Do you want to change that, or do you not give a shit? Basically,
[00:07:09] Diana White: it’s the truth, right?

[00:07:11] Bas Borsma – It’s Tough To Beat One’s Demons

[00:07:11] Diana White: And, and that kind of segues into the next lesson, Bass Borsma. Because lesson number eight, it’s tough to beat one’s demons.

 
[00:07:21] Bas Boorsma: I suppose that we’re all struggling a bit with our own demons and we’re struggling with, others that represent demons, that talk to a particular part in our own lives, in our life stories that we’re still struggling with. And, and typically I’ve come to find out demons are actually indeed tough to defeat. At earlier stages in life. You think you can, you know, you can declare victory by doing something and then declare the demon dead. But very often you find it will resurface in your life.
[00:07:52] Bas Boorsma: And you need to make your peace with that demon. You can learn to live with it because you start to know yourself better.


[00:07:58] Diana White: Anyway, you’re looking in that mirror. And you have to see the things you don’t want to see and hear the inner voices that you don’t want to hear. Sometimes it’s easier to just go numb.
[00:08:12] Diana White: It’s easier to just go numb, tune it out and just go about your day the way you were going. Nobody has to know that this conversation happened with me in the mirror. Nobody has to know, but you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay to have demons. It’s okay to acknowledge them. When you acknowledge them, you give them less power.
[00:08:31] Diana White: When you say, I see you, I see that fault in me. I see that insecurity in me. And it’s okay. Cause I’m human.
[00:08:40] Robert Hossary: That’s, that’s so incredibly important. If you acknowledge your flaws, your demons, you remove their power. I know some of mine. I mean, I’ve got a lot and I know some of mine and I know full well what I can do to combat them.
[00:08:58] Robert Hossary: Now, do I choose to combat them, or do I not choose to combat them? You know what? No, nobody’s business but mine, but I know what they are and it’s powerful to be able to identify them. And to make that choice, because the choice gives you power and removes the power from your flaws and your demons. Look, Diana, I don’t think there’s going to be much when it comes to this topic that I’m going to disagree on.

[00:09:27] Robert Hossary: This is something that I have lived, and I think Bass is absolutely spot on. It’s hard to fight your own demons. But you can. All you have to do is admit that you have them.
[00:09:42] Diana White: And, and I, and I want our viewers and listeners to understand that. You’re not going to look in, it’s not going to be a fairy tale thing, right?
[00:09:50] Diana White: You’re not going to look in the mirror and say, I see you demon. I, you don’t have any power anymore. We’re done. Hit the bricks, right? They’ll come back in different forms. As we grow as humans, new demons arise. Old demons may come back that we’re like, what, what are you doing here? Well, you know, you said that you weren’t going to date anymore because you felt like the dating pool was horrible, but there you are on your first date again.
[00:10:19] Diana White: So here I am, I’m back to tell you all the things you don’t like. That, that kind of stuff is going to happen. Right? So don’t think that. You’re going to get rid of all those demons and you’re going to find some kind of euphoric state that you will walk through for the rest of your life. That, that is, that is the human condition and understand it.
[00:10:40] Robert Hossary: I think it’s important to say that we use the term demons, but really, we’re talking about your personality. Yeah. This is a trait. This is a trait within your personality, it’s not going away.
[00:10:54] Diana White: I will go even deeper than that and say, ultimately at the end, it’s your insecurities.
[00:10:59] Robert Hossary: Oh, definitely your insecurities.
[00:11:00] Diana White: It’s your insecurities.
[00:11:01] Robert Hossary: It’s a defence mechanism.

[00:11:03] Eric Miller – Know Your Own Bias

[00:11:03] Eric Miller: I love it. Yep. All right. All right. Now, I want to talk about Eric Miller’s lesson. Eric Miller, lesson number five, know your own bias. It’s really good. it’s interesting. It’s come up very recently and that I’m Cause I don’t have, I, I don’t have enough to do. I’m actually taking a class on, on writing and, we’re learning to read right now and we’re sharing our analysis of the chapter, and everybody has a completely different point of view on what the author is trying to say. And it just brought home that we’re all bringing our biases.
[00:11:41] Eric Miller: Right. So, you know, my bias, the way I look at things as from the view of an engineer is very matter of fact, very logical there there’s ghosts in this story. So there’s no such thing as ghosts. So therefore, the author is saying that, you know, our own imagination fills in these gaps and other people are like, ghosts are such an important part of the ecosystem and blah, blah, blah.
[00:11:59] Eric Miller: And it’s just has to do with your biases and where your point of view comes from. And that’s so true in business, right? Because you can be in a negotiation, or you could be trying to get a project done and where you set your priorities and how you respond is so based on your bias. And it may not be where you want to go.
[00:12:15] Eric Miller: Your goals may be over here, and your bias is driving you over to the left. You’ve got to be aware of it and be conscious of it and adjust, and sometimes ignore that bias.

 
[00:12:24] Diana White: it was a wonderful episode.
[00:12:27] Robert Hossary: This was wonderful, a wonderful lesson. And it’s just so on point for today’s topic. Knowing your own bias, it goes back to looking in the mirror, it goes back to recognizing your own demons.
[00:12:43] Robert Hossary: This is all the same thing, people. Knowing your own bias. And can I share a quick anecdote?
[00:12:50] Diana White: Absolutely.
[00:12:51] Robert Hossary: So, I went from, uh, running the American Chamber of Commerce here in Australia to, working for a disability charity. And I didn’t realize until maybe six months into that new role that I had an unconscious bias against people with disabilities.
[00:13:13] Robert Hossary: Not because I thought any less of them, but because I was afraid of how I was going to interact with them.
[00:13:20] Diana White: Wow.
[00:13:21] Robert Hossary: And every day. Tim, who was in his fifties and had Down syndrome, would come into my office and talk about the jeans he was wearing or show me his shoes. And I quickly realized that
[00:13:36] Robert Hossary: These are just wonderful people who just happen to be living with a disability. The person with a real disability was me, who would avoid them. Once I recognized that, Diana, I had a wonderful relationship and a great time working with these people and this charity.
[00:13:57] Diana White: I love what you just said, and I want viewers and listeners to hear between the lines, so to speak, because I think a lot of us do that.
[00:14:08] Diana White: Where you say somebody has a bias, and you automatically assume that it’s, A negative connotation. Sometimes the bias is I’m uncomfortable and I don’t know how to act or interact. And that is a bias, but it’s not an evil bias. It’s not a bad bias. It’s, it’s an uncomfortableness and, and a lack of knowing.
[00:14:34] Diana White: A lack of knowledge.
[00:14:36] Robert Hossary: Yeah. Uh, absolute lack of knowledge. Our guest is spot on there. You know, know your biases, know what your own issues are, and you can’t do that without being self-aware and understanding who you are. Take the time, people, to know the person that you’re living with.
[00:14:58] Robert Hossary: for the rest of your life, which is you.
[00:15:02] Diana White: So true. You can’t get away from yourself, no matter how hard you try.

[00:15:07] Narelle Hooper – Put On Your Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others

[00:15:07] Diana White: I want to go on to Narelle Hooper. lesson number six. Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.
[00:15:17] Robert Hossary: Yeah, look, with Narelle, when that lesson came up and I was editing, I thought, this is pretty cliche.
[00:15:27] Robert Hossary: And then I listened to what she had to say. And it dawned on me that it’s, while the saying is cliche, the meaning behind it is not. You can’t help others without understanding and helping yourself first.
[00:15:46] Diana White: Yeah, you cannot give from an empty cup.
[00:15:50] Robert Hossary: Oh, I like that one.
[00:15:51] Diana White: You can’t. You cannot pour from an empty cup. so let me give a scenario, if you will.
[00:15:58] Diana White: You’ve got five people that need you. Five people that need your help, but you can’t help them all together. You can only help them one at a time. And your cup, you haven’t taken any time to replenish your own soul, your own cup. And so you go to the first person and they get two drops. And you look in the cup and there’s a half a drop left, and you go to the second person and you give them that half a drop.
[00:16:21] Diana White: Now you and the other three people are shit out of luck. Right? You can’t do anything else. And the first two people you helped didn’t even get enough. They didn’t even get enough because you had nothing to begin with.
[00:16:35] Robert Hossary: Exactly right. So, Narelle, if you’re watching this, we agree with you.
[00:16:39] Diana White: We do. And, and I will say, Narelle, if you’re watching this, I absolutely agree with your other point, which is Start at home.
[00:16:48] Diana White: We, talk on these global issues and, and they’re important and we need to, we need to see ourselves as global citizens. But you’ll have people that talk about what’s going on in the world and they don’t even know that their neighbor is lonely. And I love that she talked about that. S
[00:17:08] Diana White: Thank you for that lesson.

[00:17:09] Vikas Tiku – Nobody Knows Everything

[00:17:09] Diana White: And that’s going to lead us to the last lesson I want to talk about today. this one really got me, uh, something I believe in. Vikas Tiku. Mm hmm. His lesson number 10, be humble.
[00:17:23] Diana White: Nobody knows everything.
[00:17:25] Robert Hossary: I’m pretty sure it was Aristotle, uh, could have been Socrates, probably Socrates, but said it is a wise man who knows he knows nothing. And I have been wise for a long time because I know nothing
[00:17:41] Diana White: I love what he said. He said there’s a difference between confidence and just thinking you know everything and not being willing to be humble enough to listen to somebody else’s opinion or a different perspective on what you thought you saw because know your own bias.
[00:18:01] Diana White: I, I enjoyed that episode and I enjoyed that lesson and I really wanted to wrap up our talk with that because I think it’s what 10 Lessons is all about.
[00:18:11] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. That particular lesson, Diana, took me back to being a teenager.
[00:18:16] Robert Hossary: Not only did I know everything, I was invincible, I was going to live forever, no one could teach me anything. What an absolute dickhead I was.
[00:18:29] Diana White: Well, I remember, uh, when it was time to go to university. And my girlfriends, we, we had all picked a university and we stayed there for a four-day weekend and stayed in the dorms and everybody was excited and I chickened out.
[00:18:47] Diana White: And I said, uh, well, I don’t, well, viewers and listeners, uh, let me explain, uh, that this was originally 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn. So I’m a little older. And so. I said, and I remember, it’s clear to this day, What? I’m not going to go to college. I’m already making 3. 75 an hour. That was a lot of money back then, folks.
[00:19:13] Diana White: I was already making 3. 75. I don’t need to go to college. I’m on my way. And to see my friends go through university and come out and get these high paying jobs and how’s, how’s retail doing Diana and I’m like, um, well now I’m making 6. 75 an hour, you do think you know everything when you’re that age and you do think you have it all figured out and, and you’re
[00:19:39] Diana White: obstinate with people that try to tell you, kid, listen, I’ve been there. You don’t want to hear that. You haven’t been where I’ve been. and I think it’s probably one of the reasons why I gravitated towards this show so much, because it flies in the face of that, I don’t need to learn. Every single day, it makes people remember.
[00:20:00] Diana White: You’ve always got something new to learn. And you’ve always got something new to teach somebody.
[00:20:05] Robert Hossary: Well, this is one of my lessons when I was on the show, which is you can always learn from anybody, even if it’s how not to do something. It’s important that you open yourself up to new experiences.
[00:20:21] Robert Hossary: It’s important that you realize that you don’t know anything. and it wasn’t too long ago, I was redoing the website for the American Chamber and the web designer, and you’ve got to remember, ladies and gentlemen, this was in the early 2010s. the web designer says, well, it’s going to cost you an extra 5, 000, for the mobile.
[00:20:43] Robert Hossary: version of it. And I thought to myself, who the hell looks at websites on their mobiles? But to my credit, I walked out of my office, and I asked my team, who looks at their website on the mobile? Every hand went up. I went back into my office, called the web designer, I said, you’ve got your money.
[00:21:03] Robert Hossary: Make it happen. You did your research. Because I realized that just because I don’t do it. Does it mean other people don’t do it? And that is a lesson, believe it or not, I learned from my wife, who said to me, Sweetie, just because you can do it, doesn’t mean other people can do it. And that works in reverse, too.
[00:21:19] Robert Hossary: Just because you don’t do it, doesn’t mean other people don’t do it. So, you’re right, Diana. You can only get to these places that Diana and I have been talking about today, if you believe. in yourself. If you look deeply enough to realize what your limitations are, what your strengths are, or skills are, and make that determination, then you’re going to continue to learn that you don’t know everything.


[00:21:46] Robert Hossary: This is important, and this is probably one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in my career, in my life, and I continue to learn. And that’s why we do 10 Lessons, because every episode that we do, I learned something new. And I’m not a young man, people. I am not a young man.
[00:22:07] Diana White: Neither am I.
[00:22:09] Robert Hossary: No, I’m, I’m sure you’re not a young man, Diana.
[00:22:14] Diana White: Oh, Robert. audience. We want you to know at 10 Lessons, we really, truly are a family, and we have fun with each other. And you don’t see the behind the scenes, how excited we get when we talk about the episodes, when things really strike us. It’s one of the reasons why we decided to test this series, to see if we can give you a glimpse into how we feel about each other’s episodes and these lessons that we learn.
[00:22:41] Diana White: Um, we have a blast when we have our meetings. Talking about some of these lessons and epiphanies, um, and, and sometimes they’re not fun. Sometimes they really make us look at ourselves and, and challenge what we think we know. And, I want to say in all honesty, I hope it does that for you too. I hope our viewers and listeners get the same range of a rollercoaster emotions that we do because then that means we’re doing something right.
[00:23:08] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. Absolutely, Diana. And, you know, it’s a mission that we’re all on, and we’re very proud of what we do.
[00:23:17] Robert Hossary: So with that, I would like to thank you, Diana, for joining us and for leading this conversation. And I’d like to thank our audience.
[00:23:26] Robert Hossary: You’ve been listening to a special episode of 10 Lessons Learned. Our mission on 10 Lessons is to focus on wisdom and permanent knowledge. It’s not so much about current affairs or stock market options or politics. No matter how relevant these issues are Our goal here at 10 Lessons is to capture lessons from our guests and share them as far and wide as possible.
[00:23:52] Robert Hossary: We hope you enjoyed the show. We will include the guest names and links in the show notes. Please don’t forget to leave us a comment or review and tell us how you like this new format. You can also email us at podcast@10Lessonslearned.com. I hope you’ll subscribe so you don’t miss any of our regular episodes or any of these new episodes if a majority of our audience likes it, we’ll continue to make them.
[00:24:18] Robert Hossary: And remember that this is the only show on the internet. That makes the world wiser, Diana.
[00:24:27] Diana White: Lesson by lesson.
[00:24:30] Robert Hossary: Thanks for watching. See you in the next episode.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

Special Self Awareness

Special Episode – Self Awareness

In a special edition of 10 Lessons Learned, hosts Robert Hossary and Diana White delve into the importance of self-awareness, recognizing one's biases, facing inner demons, and the value of humility. Through insightful guest lessons, they emphasize the need for continuous personal growth and reflection. The hosts share personal anecdotes to highlight the transformative impact of understanding oneself and embracing lifelong learning.

About Your Hosts

Diana White has over 30 years in sales and retail experience, leading stores with revenues of over 10 million and a staff of 200. Consumer psychology, marketing, operations, and leadership are just a few of her skillsets. 

Seeing a need for startup and operations assistance within the local business community, Diana established D.E.W. Business Solutions, LLC, to provide consulting to small businesses. Diana was appointed as CEO of Chandler Innovations, a technology incubator funded by the City of Chandler, Arizona.

Diana obtained a Bachelor of Science in Small Business Administration from Northern Arizona University, holds a green belt in Lean Six Sigma, and is a certified Agile Scrum Master. She is committed to helping businesses and non-profits as well as the community at large.

Robert Hossary has been involved in international business for the past two decades. Since 2011 – 2018, Robert was the General Manager for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham) and helped advise many Australian and US companies about their international expansion requirements.

 Prior to that, Robert was Regional Vice President for the Americas for a technology manufacturer. He has also worked in Taiwan with responsibility for Asia Pacific and the Middle East. 

With a background in Technology, Transport, Fashion and Healthcare, Robert has a wealth of experience to share.

Episode Notes

0:00 Intro
01:23 The Man In The Mirror (poem is by Dale Wimbro 1934)
04:25 Steve Zylstra- Know the Man in the Mirror
07:11 Bas Borsma – It’s Tough To Beat One’s Demons
11:03 Eric Miller – Know Your Own Bias
15:07 Narelle Hooper – Put On Your Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others
17:09 Vikas Tiku – Nobody Knows Everything

Guests who’s wisdom we talk about:

 
Steve Zylstra: watch episode 
Bas Boorsma: watch episode 
Eric Miller: watch episode 
Narelle Hooper: watch episode
Vikas Tiku: watch episode 

 

Special – Self Awareness

[00:00:08] Robert Hossary:
[00:00:08] Robert Hossary: Hello and welcome to a special edition of 10 Lessons Learned. During this program, we’re going to try out a new format and we’d really like to know what you think of this.
[00:00:19] Robert Hossary: We’ll dive into our archive of more than 100 episodes and more than a thousand lessons learned from our distinguished guests. We want to focus today specifically on big themes and wisdoms that have been shared by our guests globally.
[00:00:35] Robert Hossary: My name is Robert Hossary, and I’m joined today by my co host, Diana White. Hi, Diana.
[00:00:40] Diana White: Hi, Robert.
[00:00:42] Robert Hossary: Today we’ll be delving into the topic of self-awareness, and we hope you enjoy this new format. There’s still a lot of untapped value in our ever-growing library of 10 Lessons Learned.
[00:00:54] Robert Hossary: Please comment, let us know what you think, and let us know if you want us to continue this format.
[00:00:59] Robert Hossary: So let’s dive straight into it. Diana, before we start, I’d like to preface this whole episode with a poem. The poem is by Dale Wimbro, and it was written in 1934. And this particular poem changed my life when I first heard it.
[00:01:18] Robert Hossary: So with your indulgence, ladies and gentlemen, and Diana, the poem is called

[00:01:23] The Man In The Mirror

[00:01:23] Robert Hossary: A Man in the Mirror.
[00:01:25] Robert Hossary: When you get all you want, and you struggle for pelf,
[00:01:28] Robert Hossary: and the world makes you king for a day.
[00:01:31] Robert Hossary: Then you go to the mirror and look at yourself
[00:01:33] Robert Hossary: and see what that man has to say.
[00:01:36] Robert Hossary: For it isn’t your mother, your father, or wife
[00:01:39] Robert Hossary: whose judgment upon you must pass,
[00:01:42] Robert Hossary: but the man whose verdict counts most in your life
[00:01:45] Robert Hossary: is the one staring back from the glass.
[00:01:49] Robert Hossary: He’s the fellow to please, never mind the rest,
[00:01:52] Robert Hossary: for he’s with you right to the end.
[00:01:54] Robert Hossary: And you know when you’ve passed the most difficult test ,
[00:01:57] Robert Hossary: If the man in the glass is your friend.
[00:02:00] Robert Hossary: You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
[00:02:03] Robert Hossary: and think you’re a wonderful guy,
[00:02:06] Robert Hossary: but the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
[00:02:10] Robert Hossary: if you can’t look at him straight in the eye.
[00:02:13] Robert Hossary: You can fool the whole world down the highway for years
[00:02:17] Robert Hossary: and take pats on the back as you pass,
[00:02:20] Robert Hossary: but your final reward will be heartache and tears.
[00:02:24] Robert Hossary: If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


[00:02:27] Robert Hossary: Diana, what do you think?
[00:02:29] Diana White: I think that is very powerful. I really, really do. And it’s going to make me think about what I see.
[00:02:38] Diana White: When I look in the mirror differently now, it really is.
[00:02:41] Robert Hossary: I
[00:02:41] Robert Hossary: heard that when I was around, well, when I was in my twenties and I took it literally and obviously, I understood the metaphor, what it stood for, but I took it literally. And I started looking in the mirror hard and seeing the flaws in the character that was looking back at me.
[00:03:03] Robert Hossary: And then. I realized very quickly; I didn’t actually like myself. And it wasn’t until I learned the respect that you need to have for yourself, that that only then can change occur in you.
[00:03:21] Diana White: I absolutely agree. I recently took a, I won’t say it was a class. Let’s say it was a webinar series, if you will, done by a brilliant man, And it talked about, and we actually are going to cover a lesson that speaks to this, it talks about your inner demons and your inner saboteurs, and how when you look in the mirror, and you look at yourself and you look inward, right, you know the truth.
[00:03:51] Diana White: And that feeling that you have about yourself, no matter what you portray to the world, no matter how much bravado you put on, you know the truth. And if you can’t sit well with, yourself. If those demons and those saboteurs cloud your mind with clutter and noise, there’s no way you can be a better you.
[00:04:11] Diana White: There’s no way you can even begin to be a better you if you’re letting them rule what goes on in your mind. And so I love that poem. I think I’m probably going to put that up next to my mirror going forward. I love it.

[00:04:25] Steve Zylstra- Know the Man in the Mirror

[00:04:25] Robert Hossary: So, what have you got for us, Diana, on self-awareness?
[00:04:28] Diana White: Well, you know
[00:04:29] Diana White: what, since we’re talking about that man in the mirror, why don’t we start with a lesson from Steven Zylstra. Uh, it was lesson number two, and it literally says, know the man in the mirror. And I think that is so powerful.

 
[00:04:44] Steven Zylstra: Unfortunately, many also know more about others than they do about themselves. Self-reflection is a very important thing. Everyone should know their own weaknesses as well as their strong suits. We gain skills and knowledge over the course of our career. And if we work to our strengths, we’ll be happier in our job.
[00:05:06] Steven Zylstra: And that’s really what leads to longevity in any job is the fulfillment and the happiness that we have.
[00:05:14] Steven Zylstra: But the learning shouldn’t be career centric. Develop new skills through your life. We’re all I’m Hearing over and over again, the importance of lifelong learning. Uh, none of us ever know everything. We can always learn something new. And, uh, I think knowing yourself and understanding those strengths and weaknesses is a critical characteristic you need to be successful.

 
[00:05:39] Diana White: You know, some of the things that he talked about in there, you know, self-reflection is key.
[00:05:45] Diana White: learning to work with your strengths. I love that he said learning shouldn’t always be centered around work. That was a big one for me. Um, and I got goosebumps because as you know, I’m a lifelong learner inside and outside of the workplace.
[00:06:00] Diana White: What do you say, Robert?
[00:06:02] Robert Hossary: Look, I’m a great believer. I’m a great believer in self-awareness. It hit me when I was, you know, before I was 10, um, and I remember this vividly, that I realized that People have thoughts that are different to mine, and it made me start looking inwards and I haven’t stopped.
[00:06:23] Robert Hossary: And every day I find out something new about myself, something that’s either motivating me or preventing me from doing something. So I, I agree with Steve, look in the mirror, understand who you are, understand what your buttons are Why you do things The why and many of our guests have talked about the why. Find out what your why is.
[00:06:46] Robert Hossary: And you can only do that by looking inwards and not being afraid of what you find, because some of what you’re going to find is not nice. But you know what?
[00:06:57] Diana White: I agree with you.
[00:06:58] Robert Hossary: It’s you. So, you need to know what’s not nice and see, and it’s a choice. Do you want to change that, or do you not give a shit? Basically,
[00:07:09] Diana White: it’s the truth, right?

[00:07:11] Bas Borsma – It’s Tough To Beat One’s Demons

[00:07:11] Diana White: And, and that kind of segues into the next lesson, Bass Borsma. Because lesson number eight, it’s tough to beat one’s demons.

 
[00:07:21] Bas Boorsma: I suppose that we’re all struggling a bit with our own demons and we’re struggling with, others that represent demons, that talk to a particular part in our own lives, in our life stories that we’re still struggling with. And, and typically I’ve come to find out demons are actually indeed tough to defeat. At earlier stages in life. You think you can, you know, you can declare victory by doing something and then declare the demon dead. But very often you find it will resurface in your life.
[00:07:52] Bas Boorsma: And you need to make your peace with that demon. You can learn to live with it because you start to know yourself better.


[00:07:58] Diana White: Anyway, you’re looking in that mirror. And you have to see the things you don’t want to see and hear the inner voices that you don’t want to hear. Sometimes it’s easier to just go numb.
[00:08:12] Diana White: It’s easier to just go numb, tune it out and just go about your day the way you were going. Nobody has to know that this conversation happened with me in the mirror. Nobody has to know, but you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay to have demons. It’s okay to acknowledge them. When you acknowledge them, you give them less power.
[00:08:31] Diana White: When you say, I see you, I see that fault in me. I see that insecurity in me. And it’s okay. Cause I’m human.
[00:08:40] Robert Hossary: That’s, that’s so incredibly important. If you acknowledge your flaws, your demons, you remove their power. I know some of mine. I mean, I’ve got a lot and I know some of mine and I know full well what I can do to combat them.
[00:08:58] Robert Hossary: Now, do I choose to combat them, or do I not choose to combat them? You know what? No, nobody’s business but mine, but I know what they are and it’s powerful to be able to identify them. And to make that choice, because the choice gives you power and removes the power from your flaws and your demons. Look, Diana, I don’t think there’s going to be much when it comes to this topic that I’m going to disagree on.

[00:09:27] Robert Hossary: This is something that I have lived, and I think Bass is absolutely spot on. It’s hard to fight your own demons. But you can. All you have to do is admit that you have them.
[00:09:42] Diana White: And, and I, and I want our viewers and listeners to understand that. You’re not going to look in, it’s not going to be a fairy tale thing, right?
[00:09:50] Diana White: You’re not going to look in the mirror and say, I see you demon. I, you don’t have any power anymore. We’re done. Hit the bricks, right? They’ll come back in different forms. As we grow as humans, new demons arise. Old demons may come back that we’re like, what, what are you doing here? Well, you know, you said that you weren’t going to date anymore because you felt like the dating pool was horrible, but there you are on your first date again.
[00:10:19] Diana White: So here I am, I’m back to tell you all the things you don’t like. That, that kind of stuff is going to happen. Right? So don’t think that. You’re going to get rid of all those demons and you’re going to find some kind of euphoric state that you will walk through for the rest of your life. That, that is, that is the human condition and understand it.
[00:10:40] Robert Hossary: I think it’s important to say that we use the term demons, but really, we’re talking about your personality. Yeah. This is a trait. This is a trait within your personality, it’s not going away.
[00:10:54] Diana White: I will go even deeper than that and say, ultimately at the end, it’s your insecurities.
[00:10:59] Robert Hossary: Oh, definitely your insecurities.
[00:11:00] Diana White: It’s your insecurities.
[00:11:01] Robert Hossary: It’s a defence mechanism.

[00:11:03] Eric Miller – Know Your Own Bias

[00:11:03] Eric Miller: I love it. Yep. All right. All right. Now, I want to talk about Eric Miller’s lesson. Eric Miller, lesson number five, know your own bias. It’s really good. it’s interesting. It’s come up very recently and that I’m Cause I don’t have, I, I don’t have enough to do. I’m actually taking a class on, on writing and, we’re learning to read right now and we’re sharing our analysis of the chapter, and everybody has a completely different point of view on what the author is trying to say. And it just brought home that we’re all bringing our biases.
[00:11:41] Eric Miller: Right. So, you know, my bias, the way I look at things as from the view of an engineer is very matter of fact, very logical there there’s ghosts in this story. So there’s no such thing as ghosts. So therefore, the author is saying that, you know, our own imagination fills in these gaps and other people are like, ghosts are such an important part of the ecosystem and blah, blah, blah.
[00:11:59] Eric Miller: And it’s just has to do with your biases and where your point of view comes from. And that’s so true in business, right? Because you can be in a negotiation, or you could be trying to get a project done and where you set your priorities and how you respond is so based on your bias. And it may not be where you want to go.
[00:12:15] Eric Miller: Your goals may be over here, and your bias is driving you over to the left. You’ve got to be aware of it and be conscious of it and adjust, and sometimes ignore that bias.

 
[00:12:24] Diana White: it was a wonderful episode.
[00:12:27] Robert Hossary: This was wonderful, a wonderful lesson. And it’s just so on point for today’s topic. Knowing your own bias, it goes back to looking in the mirror, it goes back to recognizing your own demons.
[00:12:43] Robert Hossary: This is all the same thing, people. Knowing your own bias. And can I share a quick anecdote?
[00:12:50] Diana White: Absolutely.
[00:12:51] Robert Hossary: So, I went from, uh, running the American Chamber of Commerce here in Australia to, working for a disability charity. And I didn’t realize until maybe six months into that new role that I had an unconscious bias against people with disabilities.
[00:13:13] Robert Hossary: Not because I thought any less of them, but because I was afraid of how I was going to interact with them.
[00:13:20] Diana White: Wow.
[00:13:21] Robert Hossary: And every day. Tim, who was in his fifties and had Down syndrome, would come into my office and talk about the jeans he was wearing or show me his shoes. And I quickly realized that
[00:13:36] Robert Hossary: These are just wonderful people who just happen to be living with a disability. The person with a real disability was me, who would avoid them. Once I recognized that, Diana, I had a wonderful relationship and a great time working with these people and this charity.
[00:13:57] Diana White: I love what you just said, and I want viewers and listeners to hear between the lines, so to speak, because I think a lot of us do that.
[00:14:08] Diana White: Where you say somebody has a bias, and you automatically assume that it’s, A negative connotation. Sometimes the bias is I’m uncomfortable and I don’t know how to act or interact. And that is a bias, but it’s not an evil bias. It’s not a bad bias. It’s, it’s an uncomfortableness and, and a lack of knowing.
[00:14:34] Diana White: A lack of knowledge.
[00:14:36] Robert Hossary: Yeah. Uh, absolute lack of knowledge. Our guest is spot on there. You know, know your biases, know what your own issues are, and you can’t do that without being self-aware and understanding who you are. Take the time, people, to know the person that you’re living with.
[00:14:58] Robert Hossary: for the rest of your life, which is you.
[00:15:02] Diana White: So true. You can’t get away from yourself, no matter how hard you try.

[00:15:07] Narelle Hooper – Put On Your Oxygen Mask Before Helping Others

[00:15:07] Diana White: I want to go on to Narelle Hooper. lesson number six. Put your oxygen mask on first before helping others.
[00:15:17] Robert Hossary: Yeah, look, with Narelle, when that lesson came up and I was editing, I thought, this is pretty cliche.
[00:15:27] Robert Hossary: And then I listened to what she had to say. And it dawned on me that it’s, while the saying is cliche, the meaning behind it is not. You can’t help others without understanding and helping yourself first.
[00:15:46] Diana White: Yeah, you cannot give from an empty cup.
[00:15:50] Robert Hossary: Oh, I like that one.
[00:15:51] Diana White: You can’t. You cannot pour from an empty cup. so let me give a scenario, if you will.
[00:15:58] Diana White: You’ve got five people that need you. Five people that need your help, but you can’t help them all together. You can only help them one at a time. And your cup, you haven’t taken any time to replenish your own soul, your own cup. And so you go to the first person and they get two drops. And you look in the cup and there’s a half a drop left, and you go to the second person and you give them that half a drop.
[00:16:21] Diana White: Now you and the other three people are shit out of luck. Right? You can’t do anything else. And the first two people you helped didn’t even get enough. They didn’t even get enough because you had nothing to begin with.
[00:16:35] Robert Hossary: Exactly right. So, Narelle, if you’re watching this, we agree with you.
[00:16:39] Diana White: We do. And, and I will say, Narelle, if you’re watching this, I absolutely agree with your other point, which is Start at home.
[00:16:48] Diana White: We, talk on these global issues and, and they’re important and we need to, we need to see ourselves as global citizens. But you’ll have people that talk about what’s going on in the world and they don’t even know that their neighbor is lonely. And I love that she talked about that. S
[00:17:08] Diana White: Thank you for that lesson.

[00:17:09] Vikas Tiku – Nobody Knows Everything

[00:17:09] Diana White: And that’s going to lead us to the last lesson I want to talk about today. this one really got me, uh, something I believe in. Vikas Tiku. Mm hmm. His lesson number 10, be humble.
[00:17:23] Diana White: Nobody knows everything.
[00:17:25] Robert Hossary: I’m pretty sure it was Aristotle, uh, could have been Socrates, probably Socrates, but said it is a wise man who knows he knows nothing. And I have been wise for a long time because I know nothing
[00:17:41] Diana White: I love what he said. He said there’s a difference between confidence and just thinking you know everything and not being willing to be humble enough to listen to somebody else’s opinion or a different perspective on what you thought you saw because know your own bias.
[00:18:01] Diana White: I, I enjoyed that episode and I enjoyed that lesson and I really wanted to wrap up our talk with that because I think it’s what 10 Lessons is all about.
[00:18:11] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. That particular lesson, Diana, took me back to being a teenager.
[00:18:16] Robert Hossary: Not only did I know everything, I was invincible, I was going to live forever, no one could teach me anything. What an absolute dickhead I was.
[00:18:29] Diana White: Well, I remember, uh, when it was time to go to university. And my girlfriends, we, we had all picked a university and we stayed there for a four-day weekend and stayed in the dorms and everybody was excited and I chickened out.
[00:18:47] Diana White: And I said, uh, well, I don’t, well, viewers and listeners, uh, let me explain, uh, that this was originally 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn. So I’m a little older. And so. I said, and I remember, it’s clear to this day, What? I’m not going to go to college. I’m already making 3. 75 an hour. That was a lot of money back then, folks.
[00:19:13] Diana White: I was already making 3. 75. I don’t need to go to college. I’m on my way. And to see my friends go through university and come out and get these high paying jobs and how’s, how’s retail doing Diana and I’m like, um, well now I’m making 6. 75 an hour, you do think you know everything when you’re that age and you do think you have it all figured out and, and you’re
[00:19:39] Diana White: obstinate with people that try to tell you, kid, listen, I’ve been there. You don’t want to hear that. You haven’t been where I’ve been. and I think it’s probably one of the reasons why I gravitated towards this show so much, because it flies in the face of that, I don’t need to learn. Every single day, it makes people remember.
[00:20:00] Diana White: You’ve always got something new to learn. And you’ve always got something new to teach somebody.
[00:20:05] Robert Hossary: Well, this is one of my lessons when I was on the show, which is you can always learn from anybody, even if it’s how not to do something. It’s important that you open yourself up to new experiences.
[00:20:21] Robert Hossary: It’s important that you realize that you don’t know anything. and it wasn’t too long ago, I was redoing the website for the American Chamber and the web designer, and you’ve got to remember, ladies and gentlemen, this was in the early 2010s. the web designer says, well, it’s going to cost you an extra 5, 000, for the mobile.
[00:20:43] Robert Hossary: version of it. And I thought to myself, who the hell looks at websites on their mobiles? But to my credit, I walked out of my office, and I asked my team, who looks at their website on the mobile? Every hand went up. I went back into my office, called the web designer, I said, you’ve got your money.
[00:21:03] Robert Hossary: Make it happen. You did your research. Because I realized that just because I don’t do it. Does it mean other people don’t do it? And that is a lesson, believe it or not, I learned from my wife, who said to me, Sweetie, just because you can do it, doesn’t mean other people can do it. And that works in reverse, too.
[00:21:19] Robert Hossary: Just because you don’t do it, doesn’t mean other people don’t do it. So, you’re right, Diana. You can only get to these places that Diana and I have been talking about today, if you believe. in yourself. If you look deeply enough to realize what your limitations are, what your strengths are, or skills are, and make that determination, then you’re going to continue to learn that you don’t know everything.


[00:21:46] Robert Hossary: This is important, and this is probably one of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned in my career, in my life, and I continue to learn. And that’s why we do 10 Lessons, because every episode that we do, I learned something new. And I’m not a young man, people. I am not a young man.
[00:22:07] Diana White: Neither am I.
[00:22:09] Robert Hossary: No, I’m, I’m sure you’re not a young man, Diana.
[00:22:14] Diana White: Oh, Robert. audience. We want you to know at 10 Lessons, we really, truly are a family, and we have fun with each other. And you don’t see the behind the scenes, how excited we get when we talk about the episodes, when things really strike us. It’s one of the reasons why we decided to test this series, to see if we can give you a glimpse into how we feel about each other’s episodes and these lessons that we learn.
[00:22:41] Diana White: Um, we have a blast when we have our meetings. Talking about some of these lessons and epiphanies, um, and, and sometimes they’re not fun. Sometimes they really make us look at ourselves and, and challenge what we think we know. And, I want to say in all honesty, I hope it does that for you too. I hope our viewers and listeners get the same range of a rollercoaster emotions that we do because then that means we’re doing something right.
[00:23:08] Robert Hossary: Absolutely. Absolutely, Diana. And, you know, it’s a mission that we’re all on, and we’re very proud of what we do.
[00:23:17] Robert Hossary: So with that, I would like to thank you, Diana, for joining us and for leading this conversation. And I’d like to thank our audience.
[00:23:26] Robert Hossary: You’ve been listening to a special episode of 10 Lessons Learned. Our mission on 10 Lessons is to focus on wisdom and permanent knowledge. It’s not so much about current affairs or stock market options or politics. No matter how relevant these issues are Our goal here at 10 Lessons is to capture lessons from our guests and share them as far and wide as possible.
[00:23:52] Robert Hossary: We hope you enjoyed the show. We will include the guest names and links in the show notes. Please don’t forget to leave us a comment or review and tell us how you like this new format. You can also email us at podcast@10Lessonslearned.com. I hope you’ll subscribe so you don’t miss any of our regular episodes or any of these new episodes if a majority of our audience likes it, we’ll continue to make them.
[00:24:18] Robert Hossary: And remember that this is the only show on the internet. That makes the world wiser, Diana.
[00:24:27] Diana White: Lesson by lesson.
[00:24:30] Robert Hossary: Thanks for watching. See you in the next episode.

 This episode is produced by Robert Hossary. Sponsored as always by Professional Development Forum. You can find the www.professionaldevelopmentforum.org you’ve heard from us we’d like to hear from you. Email us it’s podcast@10lessonslearned.com. Remember, this is the podcast the only podcast. That’s makes the world wiser lesson by lesson.

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