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Shifting Power Dynamics to Win


Once you have chosen a purpose that is clear in your mind, and you are ready to go for it, no matter what kind of opposition you face, your brain starts to open up to see how even opposition can contribute to your purpose.

In The Art of Learning, Josh Waitzkin (the chess prodigy on whose life the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher was based) talks about learning how to be a “push hands master.” Push hands is the Tai Chi fighting technique, and it is based on using other people’s weight in order to knock them off balance. Waitzkin talks about learning to stand in a grounded position as though rooted, and he describes that this is the only way to maintain balance and use a competitor’s force against him.

The same is true with purpose. When you have a purpose that resonates with your soul, it connects you to this life and this body, rather than keeping you in a place of struggle with yourself. The next question is, how can your harasser’s force contribute to that purpose and that rooting?

This doesn’t mean that you learn to love the harassment or appreciate it, although that is possible if you want it. This doesn’t even necessarily mean that you learn to just let go of wanting the harassment to change when it won’t. It means that you learn to actively use the force of the harassment in your favor.

So, for example, I worked with a woman whose supervisor thought she had called him out in public for being sexist, when she had no intention of doing that. He was so upset that he yelled at her, while sitting at a table full of colleagues, telling her that she was a l